Monday, January 18, 2021

Whole Wheat Walnut and Raisin Sandwich Rolls

Our Avid Baker's Challenge ("ABC") group is back in full swing. For our January challenge, the chosen theme is "BREAD". This can be a quick bread or a yeast bread and you can use any recipe you like! I opted to make a yeast bread.

Whole Wheat Walnut and Golden Raisin Sandwich Rolls

When I saw these Whole Wheat Walnut and Raisin Sandwich Rolls, I knew I had to make them. They reminded me of Petit Pains, a mini baguette type bread you find a lot in Europe. You'll need to make a pre-ferment (also called "biga" or "sponge"), which is super easy: you mix part of the flour and water from the recipe and a tiny bit of yeast. Let that sit on the countertop for a few hours to ripen, or overnight in the fridge. It creates a lot of gluten which provides structure to your bread as well as a lot of flavor, without tasting sour. The dough also has an Autolyse step. That's just a fancy name for mixing part of your flour and water together ahead of time. In this time, the Autolyse step is doing on the whole wheat flour to soften the wheat bran in the flour. As a result, the flour will be more gentle to the gluten in your dough.

The filling consists of toasted walnuts that are roughly chopped, and golden raisins. I'm allergic to walnuts, so I mixed in the raisins first and set aside enough dough (~100 gr) to make one sandwich roll for myself, which would make it a Whole Wheat Raisin Roll :) I added walnuts to the rest of the dough for hubby.

Step by step photos

After an overnight stay in the fridge. Left: Autolyse step for the whole wheat flour + water. Right: Biga.

Look at that gluten formation after an overnight Autolyse!

After final shaping; ready for the second rise. The one in the upper right corner is mine (sans walnuts)!

Ready for the oven

Waiting for them to cool off was hard :)

Crispy exterior

Soft and airy interior

While still slightly warm, I made this sandwich for us!

Bon Appetit!

Final thoughts/tips

  • Hubby loved these rolls! He liked them toasted for dipping in good olive oil, as well as sandwiches, with his favorite being: Pepper Jack cheese + sliced hardboiled egg + lettuce + sriracha mayo. He rated the rolls a 9.5 out of 10!!
  • I loved my Whole Wheat Raisin Roll too! When I lifted one off the cookie sheet after it was done baking and felt how light it felt, I knew it was going to be good (we're not fans of dense and heavy bread). The bread was crispy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside. The smell was amazing! It didn't smell yeasty at all. I too made a cheese/lettuce/egg sandwich with it.
  • These rolls would be great with other nuts and other dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, etc).
  • I think that these rolls would also be good without any nuts or dried fruits :)
  • Although the recipe is split across 2 days, most of which is waiting time (and not active time), it would be possible to combine all the ingredients at once, using the "straight dough" method, and bake the bread the same day.
  • This is definitely going on the "make-again" list!


Whole Wheat Walnut and Raisin Sandwich Rolls

(slightly adapted from this blog which pointed to All Cooking Stuff on YouTube)

Yields: 8 rolls (about 100 g each)

Biga

  • 145 g bread flour (King Arthur Flour)
  • 100 g water (cool tap water)
  • 2 g dry yeast
  • Mix, cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 15 hours)

Autolyse step

  • 205 g whole wheat flour
  • 205 g water (cool tap water)
  • Mix, cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 12 hours)
Final dough
  • Biga, cut into large pieces with scissors
  • Dough from the Autolyse step
  • 60 g bread flour (King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 g dry yeast
  • 5 g salt
  • 15 g honey
  • 18 g soft butter, added towards the end of the kneading cycle
  • 40 g roasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 40 g (golden) raisins

Day 1

  • Make the Biga and do the Autolyse step.

Day 2

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or bread machine, combine the ingredients for the Final dough, except the butter, nuts and raisins.
  • Mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Add the butter then the nuts and raisins.
  • Let rise for 30 min (doesn't need to double in volume).
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces of about 100 g and round them slightly.
  • Let rise for 30 min.
  • Do the final shaping (see video).
  • Let rise 45-60 min or until the dough passes the "poke test"
  • Halfway through the second rise, preheat your oven to 425 F.
  • Score the top of the rolls, sprinkle with a little flour and bake for 14 min.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 375 F and bake for another 4-5 min.
  • Remove from the oven and let the rolls cool on a wire rack.
Storage
  • These rolls will remain soft in a Ziploc bag on the counter for 2-3 days.
  • For longer storage I recommend putting them in a Ziploc bag and storing them in the freezer.

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