National Pollinator Month is a great time to give some attention to the little creatures that play such a big role in allowing us to grow delicious food. It’s also a perfect excuse to enjoy one of my favorite natural sweeteners- honey. Honey can be used for a number of medicinal purposes from helping sooth a cough and sore throat to minimizing the impacts of certain types of allergies and it’s also a delicious ingredient to use in the kitchen.
These whole wheat rolls have a bit of honey in the bread dough which offers just a touch of sweetness. The honey flavor really shines in the honey butter spread which should be slathered on liberally. I love the spread on rolls and toast, but it’s also great on savory dishes like roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob.
- 1 cup salted Organic Valley butter, room temperature
- 3-4 tbsp. honey
- 1 3/4 cups Organic Valley whole milk, heated to 110 degrees, plus 1 tbsp. separated
- 6 tbsp. honey
- 4 tbsp. unsalted Organic Valley butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large Organic Valley egg
- 2 1/2 cups (13 3/4 oz) whole-wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 1/4 tsp. salt
- To make the honey butter spread, place the softened butter in a mixer and beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the honey 1 tablespoon at a time and stir until combined, taste, then add additional honey until you reach your desired sweetness. The honey butter should be stored in the refrigerator, then allowed to soften to room temperature before serving.
- To start the rolls, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. When the oven has finished heating, turn it off. Grease a large bowl and a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, then set aside.
- Combine 1 3/4 cups milk, honey, butter and the egg in a liquid measuring cup.
- Using a stand mixer fit with the dough hook, mix the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt on low speed until combined. Slowly pour in the milk mixture and stir until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and sticks to the bottom while almost clearing the sides of the bowl, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the turned-off oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured counter the punch the dough down. Divide the dough into 16 even pieces. Form each piece into a rough ball by pinching and pulling the dough edges under so the top is a smooth, tight ball. Arrange the rolls in the greased baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rest in the turned-off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
- Take the rolls out of the oven and remove the plastic wrap. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the rolls with the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk. Bake until the rolls are golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through baking. Let the pan cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the rolls and serve.
Servings: Approximately 16 servings
Slightly adapted from Cooks Country.