Soft Half and Half Rolls (Half White and Half Whole Wheat)
About Half and Half Rolls
These rolls are easy enough for the novice bread baker, but so delicious that bakers of all skill levels will want to try them. The inspiration for them came when I made some white rolls in culinary school that were yummy but did not satisfy everyone in my family. I modified the original recipe so many times that the textbook author definitely would not recognize it. I changed the flour type and quantity, reduced the sugar, added honey, substituted different shortening, and committed the culinary school sin of omitting salt.
You can wrap the excess dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for three days, but I do not like the way it freezes. I make breakfast sandwiches out of these rolls, and the convenience of having fresh dough for days makes it effortless.
This is not a comprehensive list of equipment, but there are two pieces of equipment I want to mention because you are unlikely to get excellent results without them.
- Heavy-duty mixmaster with a dough hook. A hand mixer will not be able to handle the dough.
- Kitchen scale. If you do not weigh your dry ingredients, you will not be adding the right quantities to the recipe.
If you absolutely do not have a kitchen scale, here are some standard conversions:
- 1 cup sugar = 7 ounces
- 1 cup flour = 5 ounces
- 1 cup whole wheat flour = 5.5 ounces
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 12 ounces very warm water
- 2 tablespoons quick-rising yeast
- 3 1/2 ounces softened butter
- 16 ounces bread flour
- 9 ounces whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons powdered milk
- 1 large egg
- Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
- Nonstick spray, as needed
Double Knot Technique
Double knot rolls can be tricky to shape if you have not made them before. Excuse the COVID-19 attire as I demonstrate an easy way to make the rolls. Your family will be impressed with how professional they look.
How to Shape Double Knot Rolls
- Fill a pitcher or bowl with the warm water. Add the yeast to the water. Spray a teaspoon with nonstick spray. Fill it with honey, and add it to the yeast mixture; the spray willl make it slide off the spoon with ease. The mixture will get bubbly when you stir it. Let it proof a few minutes.
- Cut the butter into small pieces, and place it in a large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and one egg. Turn the mixer on for 1 minute until the ingredients are barely combined.
- Add the yeast mixture, and mix until the dough looks smooth and forms a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional whole wheat flour, as needed. Mix the dough about 8 minutes on medium speed. If the dough feels too sticky, add additional whole wheat dough.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, sprinkle some flour on a piece of parchment, and hand-knead it for 1 minute.
- Spray the bowl with nonstick spray, and return the dough to it. Let the dough stand for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size. Cover the dough with a damp dish towel to keep it from becoming dry. Lightly spray the towel with nonstick spray to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
- Once it has doubled, use your fist to punch the dough down, and let it rest a few minutes.
- Use a kitchen scale to weigh 3-ounce pieces of dough. Roll the dough into balls or make double knot rolls. Place the rolls on parchment that is lightly sprayed with nonstick coating.
- Mix the egg and water, so you can lightly brush the top of the rolls with the egg wash. Do this before the individual rolls rise, and then let them relax another 20-30 minutes or until they double in size. If desired, lightly brush the rolls a second time with egg wash.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while the rolls rise. After they rise, bake them for 12-15 minutes. The tops will be a deep, golden brown.
- These rolls will taste best when you eat them immediately after they are baked.
- If you choose to refrigerate the dough, let it return to room temperature before making the rolls.