In our apartment, each season comes with it's own pattern of light that travels across the floors and up the walls as the days get shorter and shorter. There were a few shots on the last roll of film I took that proved, despite this weird warm weather we have been having, fall is here in earnest. At last, it's time to wear sweaters and eat soup and bake lots and lots of bread to eat with all of the lovely jams that we put up all summer. I ate these hearty rolls with apple butter and made some pretty excellent tomato sandwiches with the last of the summer tomatoes.
Emmer Wheat Bread adapted from Beard on Bread
yield: 2 small loaves or 16-20 dinner rolls
4 1/2t yeast
2c warm water (110ºF-115ºF)
1 1/2t salt
3c hard wheat flour (I used hard red wheat)
2 1/2-3c emmer wheat flour (whole wheat would work here too)
1 egg beaten, for egg wash
oats or seeds to sprinkle
2T melted butter, if making rolls
1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2c of the warm water and let proof while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, remaining warm water, molasses and salt. Then add the yeast mixture.
3. Add the whole wheat flour and 2c of the emmer wheat flour to a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, then stir in the yeast mixture. If the dough seems very sticky and soft add more emmer flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a soft and tacky, but not sticky dough. I used an entire cup of additional flour.
4. Continue to knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and let rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled in size, about an hour.
5. After it has risen, gently press the dough to remove air bubbles, at this point you can divide the dough into two loaves, or 16-20 rolls.
6. To make the rolls, divide the dough into 16-20 even portions and roll into balls. Roll the balls in melted butter and place them in a 13x9 baking dish and cover loosely with a towel to rise. To form loaves, pat each 1/2 of the dough into a rectangle about 6'' wide and 8'' long on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough from the short side, away from you, pinching the crease each time the dough meets itself. Gently place each loaf into a lightly greased loaf pan, seam side down, and cover loosely with a towel to rise. For both loaves and rolls, let the dough rise in a warm draft free spot until doubled in size. While the dough is rising a second time preheat your oven to 425ºF.
7. After the dough has risen a second time, brush the loaves or rolls with an egg wash and sprinkle seeds or oats on the top to garnish. Slide the bread into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 375ºF and bake the loaves for an additional 20-30min until they are browned and sound hollow when tapped. The rolls will need about 10-15 minutes at 375ºF and are done when they are nicely browned on top. Let cool before slicing.
My brother and sister in law are excellent gift givers and they sent me a box chock full of fun, food goodies including a variety of flours including the hard red wheat and emmer that I used in this recipe. Feel free to substitute whole wheat flour for either or both, although you may need more water than is called for here. Also, emmer flour is quite low in gluten and the bread will rise less than traditional whole wheat dough.