Whole-wheat flour gets its distinct hearty, nutty flavor from flecks of bran. Unfortunately, the sharp bran particles destroy the structure of bread, leaving you with a denser roll than one made with only all-purpose flour.
We tackled this heavy issue and found a way to produce a light, fluffy whole-wheat roll by settling on a combination of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours (with slightly more wheat than all-purpose). And to soften the bran so that it didn’t wreck havoc on our bread, we made an especially hydrated dough.
Then came the fun part: Shaping them into individual portions. Here’s how we recommend doing it:
1. To get evenly sized rolls, cut the dough into quarters and then quarters again.
2. Shape each piece of dough into a ball by pulling the edges under and pinching to seal.
3. Working on a clean counter, cup the dough with your palm and roll it into a taut ball.
4. Nestle the balls closely in the dish for maximum rise: 6 down the center and 5 on either side.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for Honey-Wheat Dinner Rolls is free through June 4, 2013.