While our entire family is in love with the lighter brioche bun, I came across this whole grain bun recipe that the grain lover in me had to try. There’s no denying the satisfaction of a mostly-white flour bun, but this beautiful wheat, oat, and flaxmeal recipe is pretty darn good for a whole grain alternative. Now, I have to admit, FHE was probably thinking “hockey puck” when he saw them emerge from the oven. Truthfully, they don’t rise much and they are denser than other mostly-white rolls. But you’ll be amazed by the result. Soft, moist, and flavorful with a crunchy base, these are versatile enough as a stand-alone dinner roll or as a hamburger bun. It might just convert whole wheat / whole grain haters in your family. Might, I said.
Wheat-Oat-Flax Buns, from King Arthur’s Flour
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup (4 ounces) White Whole Wheat or Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup whole flax meal
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter
1 large egg yolk, white reserved for topping
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 to 7/8 cup lukewarm water (start with 3/4 cup)
- Combine all the ingredients with 3/4 cup water. (You may need less or more depending on how humid the environment is.) Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes, to give the grains a chance to absorb some of the liquid.
- Then knead – by hand, stand mixer, or bread machine – to make a smooth, soft, elastic dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s risen. (Mine did not rise noticeably but King Arthur Flour’s website says they should….)
- Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 12 pieces (about 72g each) and shape each one into a round ball.
- Use your fingers to pull and flatten each ball into a circle about 3″ across.
- Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for about 90 minutes, until noticeably puffy.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Next, take the egg white you reserved while making the dough, and whisk it with 2 tablespoons cold water. Brush the buns with the egg white/water mixture. Sprinkle with whole flax seeds or rolled oats, if desired.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. To keep their bottoms crisp, transfer them to a rack to cool.
- Buns freeze beautifully.