Dense, super moist, slightly sweet buttery heaven. Borrowed from America’s Test Kitchen’s, ‘Bread Illustrated’, we all lost our minds over these and they’re easy to make ahead and have ready to bake fresh – enjoy!
2 1/2 c. (390 g) whole-wheat flour AND 1 3/4 c. (248 g) flour
2 1/4 t. EACH instant yeast AND salt
1 3/4 c. (400 g) whole milk, room temperature AND 1 egg, room temperature
6 T. (127 g) honey AND 4 T. (57 g) butter – gently melt and stir these together
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 T. water and a pinch of salt – for brushing on before baking
1 t. honey AND 1 T. butter, gently melted together for brushing on after baking
Whisk together the 2 flours, yeast and salt in the bowl of your electric mixer and in a small bowl with a spout, whisk together the milk, egg, melted honey and butter until the honey has completely dissolved.
Using your dough hook at low speed, slowly pour in the liquid mix and leave your mixer running until the dough starts to come together. You may need to stop it to scrape down the sides and help it along. Once a dough begins to form, increase the speed to medium and knead for about 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic – this mix will definitely appear more damp than you’re used to!
Roll the dough out into a lightly greased bowl – again, it will seem very sticky – cover it with plastic wrap and leave it to rise in a warm place for about one and a half hours until it has doubled in size.
Lay sheets of foil in a 9 x 13 casserole dish, one lengthwise and one crosswise so that there are overhanging edges and the whole dish is covered, then lightly spray the foil. Once the dough has finished rising, punch it down and then roll it into an even 15-inch log for cutting into 15 equal pieces – alternatively, you could weigh it and measure out 15 equal portions.
Work each portion into a ball by rolling the dough in your palm, steering with your fingers and pinching in the bottom seam. Place into your prepared pan, 3 the short way and 5 the long way, making sure to place each seam side down with a smooth top. Once all of the buns are rolled, cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour and a half until almost doubled in size again and the buns spring back a titch to a light finger press. **This is the point where the rolls could be refrigerated over night as long as they’re given an hour or so sitting out to come to room temperature.**
Preheat the oven to 350 and when the rolls have finished rising (or come to room temperature), brush them all evenly with the egg wash and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a lovely golden brown. Once the rolls are out of the oven, use the foil overhang to lift them out onto a cooling rack and then brush with the honey butter mix. Serve warm!