Ugly Breakfast Rolls

These are something I've been wanting to make since I started my current job in January. I have to get up at a ridiculously early hour, even before my stomach is awake enough to know it wants food. One of the few things I have an appetite for at that time is freshly baked bread. Unfortunately, even when I have good bread to eat, I'll still be hungry well before it is time for my 'lunch', which happens to be about the same time I'd be eating breakfast, normally. So I thought it'd be a good idea to make bread that was full of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, as an attempt at a somewhat nutritious breakfast.

When Lee gave me the recipe for the chocolate cherry stout bread, I also copied a recipe from the same healthy magazine for a sunflower seed bread that looked good. I used that as a base to make these rolls, but I took out some ingredients (dried blueberries, cornmeal), added some (walnuts, dried dates, dried apricots, etc) and made some changes due to my complete inability to read my own handwriting.

The dough was too thick and heavy to rise much at all, and the yeast hadn't seemed very active when I dissolved it in warm water in the very beginning, so I did not expect these to turn out at all. I baked them anyway, but didn't slash the top or coat them in seeds, like I'd planned. They cracked around the bottom from the oven spring and generally look like rocks. I thought that putting them in a picture by some ugly bananas that had been slated to be made into banana bread would make them more attractive by comparison. They taste pretty good, though they're a bit sweet for my taste. They stayed fresh for a long time in a plastic bag and provided many a good breakfast.

Next time I try to do a breakfast roll like this, I'm going to experiment with adding some powdered soy protein, more seeds and nuts, and less honey and molasses. I think I will also try to update this blog with my recipe before I've completely forgotten what it was I put in.

Ugly Breakfast Rolls
1 package instant dry yeast
1 cup warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup oats
1 1/2 cups bread flour

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit five minutes.

Measure the wheat flour into a bowl and add the honey, molasses, salt and yeast water to it. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for one hour to make a sponge.

Add the wheat germ, wheat bran, and oats. Add one cup of bread flour and stir until the dough comes together.

Turn dough onto a floured surface, knead in the remaining flour to make a tacky dough, then gradually knead in the rest of the ingredients.

Let rise one hour in a large, oiled bowl in a warm spot, until doubled. (Or until it hasn't changed a bit...)

Divide into roll-sized portions, form rolls and let rise an additional 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375*F, slash rolls (or don't...) and bake 35-40 minutes.