Monday, November 21, 2011


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Last night we had a fabulous vegan "Thanksmas" dinner (which is becoming a yearly tradition) at our friends Sarah and Gordon's lovely house with our 5-couple vegan dinner group.  I'll post about the dinner in a day or two, but there was some interest expressed on my Facebook page about the recipe for the dinner rolls I was making, so that's the subject of this blog post.

I wanted to make a nice fluffy roll, but with some fiber, and I wanted to go the no-knead route because it's so easy and convenient.  I couldn't find a suitable recipe in any of the six no-knead bread books that I own, or even online, so I "winged" it.  I kept it simple, using a combination of unbleached white flour with wheat bran for added fiber (without cutting down on the "fluffiness"), and using soy milk for most of the liquid, because soy acts as a "dough conditioner", making light, soft breads.  (I already know that the no-knead method allows the dough to develop exceptional flavor and gives strength to the gluten the way kneading ordinarily would [see the following posts for more info: 1.), 2.), 3.)].)  The hazelnuts add an elegant touch.

Well, it turned out to be a great success (not one left!) and I'm happy to share the recipe with you-- these rolls would be great with just about any holiday dinner.

Printable Recipe

21 rolls

1/4 cup    warm water  
2 tsp    dry active baking yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast)  
2 cups    warm soy milk (soy milk makes wonderful soft breads, but use another type of non-dairy milk if you must)  
1/4 cup    unbleached organic granulated sugar  
1/4 cup    palm-oil-free vegan butter (softened or melted), such as my homemade version OR 3 tablespoons oil
4 cups    unbleached white flour  
1/2 cup    wheat bran  
2 tsp    salt  
non-dairy milk (preferably soy milk or nut milk) for brushing  
1/2 cup    chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts, or seeds, if necessary)  
At least the evening before you wish to serve the rolls, mix the yeast in the warm water in a small cup and set aside for a few minutes. In a medium to large bowl mix the warm soy milk with the dissolved yeast, sugar and vegan butter or oil.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, bran and salt. Dump this into the bowl with the yeast mixture. Stir the soft dough together briefly, using a wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk.  The dough will be loose and "shaggy". 

Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. (You can use a bowl with a snap lid, or use plastic wrap or a clean disposable shower cap to cover the bowl.) After an hour or so, Place the covered bowl in the refrigerator.  Leave the dough in the refrigerator until about 2 1/2 to 3 hours before you wish to bake the rolls. You can leave the dough in the refrigerator for about a week, if you wish.

2 1/2 to 3 hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Have ready two round 9-inch cake or pie pans, greased and lined on the bottom with baking parchment. Form the dough into 21 equal-sized round rolls (the balls of dough should be about golf-ball-size) and place a little bit apart in the prepared pans. Place the pans large inside food-safe plastic bags, or cover with damp clean tea towels. Place in a warm spot for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the rolls are fully risen.

Turn the oven to 400°F about 20 minutes before you anticipate the rolls to be fully risen.  Before baking, brush the rolls lightly with soy or nut milk and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Place the pans on racks to cool for 15 minutes or so before serving.

 Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per roll): 146.3 calories; 27% calories from fat; 4.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 214.1mg sodium; 102.1mg potassium; 22.9g carbohydrates; 1.7g fiber; 3.2g sugar; 21.2g net carbs; 3.9g protein; 3.0 points. 

Enjoy (and an early "Happy Thanksgiving" to my American relatives, friends and readers)!


daniela said...

Hi Bryanna, thanks for the recipe, and I will try it right away, it comes in at the perfect time. I have a question though... Why are the unbaked rolls, in the photo right after the dough, in two colors, green and pink? Is it a matter of lighting in the photo or something else?
Thanks, Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

It's the lighting!

Fireweed said...

Save these great prep photos at high res, never know! Also love the shot of the buns with my wild mushroom soup in the background...those buns were to die for! A PERFECT compliment...OMG, I have to go make some right now...!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

The soup was ambrosia, Fireweed! I will save the pictures-- don't worry.

Becky said...

I made these for Thanksgiving dinner, and they were great! I loved being able to mix them up the night before and then pop them in the oven right before our meal -- a great time saver. Thanks for the recipe!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

You're welcome, Becky! I love that no-knead method, and I believe that it improves the flavor, too.

Flo said...

Hi Bryanna !
I baked the rolls yesterday night but I think I did something wrong.

First the dough was almost impossible to handle so I had to add flour ...
But the weirdest thing was the over-fermented smell that came from the raw dough.
Nonetheless, I tried to bake it but the taste was very sour.
The entire recipe ended in the garbage bin :(

I thought that maybe it was a yeast problem ? I've used instant yeast in the same proportion as stated, but I believed for no-knead bread we should lessen the amount.

Any thoughts ?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

That is very strange, Flo! As you can see above, one reader made them and they came out well, and I have made them several times. The only thing I can think of is that there was some organism in your flour that might have caused it to be sour and runny. (The no-knead dough IS softer than a kneaded dough, though, but you should be able to scoop it up and form it with a little flouring, and if it's cold it's easier to handle.) I can't see anything being wrong with modern dry yeast. I have had souring of no-knead dough, but only after about 2 weeks in the fridge! BTW, I sometimes use a lesser amount of yeast if the dough is going to rise for a long time on the counter, but this one only rises for 1 hour outside the fridge, so the amount of yeast is fine.

Anyway, maybe try it with all your utensils and bowls scalded (just to be sure) and a newly-bought batch of flour?

Jess said...

Hi! These look perfect for our christmas eve dinner. One question - I don't have bran, is there a suitable substitute? Whole wheat flour or ground flax, or some of both?
Thank you!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

You could use oat bran, wheat germ, ww flour, some ground flax (not all flax, though). I hope you enjoy them!

Jill said...

is the dough supposed to be super sticky?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Jill, all no-knead doughs are a bit sticky. They are very sticky when you first mix them, but they are less so after rising. Rising the dough in the fridge overnight makes it easier to shape because it's more firm. If you are shaping a sticky dough, sprinkle a little flour over the dough while dealing with it and use a parchment or silicone mat surface. Wash your hands from time to time if dough gets stuck to your fingers. I've never had any trouble with this dough (but I always raise it in the refrigerator.