When I came across this recipe in the Farm Journal’s Homemade Breads book last year, it seemed like an absolute no-brainer for Thanksgiving dinner. I reworked it a little. I made the dough into rolls rather than a loaf, and added a bit more water and molasses. Then, to show off the whole grains inside, I sprinkled seeds on the top. I was super happy. I don’t know that guests really even eat the bread at Thanksgiving dinner, after being saturated with potatoes and the like, but the rolls are always the best the next day when you get to stuff bits of turkey and cranberry sauce in them. And what’s really great on Friday is that all the work is done.
2 1/4 c. water (might need up to 1/4 c. more)
1/3 c. honey
3 T. molasses
2/3 c. corn meal
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. stirred whole-wheat flour
1 c. stirred rye flour
2 packages dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)
2 t. sugar
1/2 c. warm water
2 1/2 t. salt
3 1/4 – 4 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. mixed seeds (sesame, pumpkin, chia) to sprinkle
1 egg white, mixed with 1 t. water and lightly beaten
In a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat, bring 2 1/4 c. water, honey, and molasses to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. With wire whisk, gradually beat in corn meal until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens, and 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in oil. Let stand to cool until warm (105-115 degrees).
In a small bowl, stir together the whole wheat and rye flours.
In a large bowl of a standing mixer, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over 1/2 c. warm water; stir until dissolved. Add salt, corn meal mixture, 1/2 c. whole wheat flour mixture and 1 c. all-purpose flour. Using mixer at low speed, beat until well blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes.
Stir in remaining whole wheat flour mixture and enough additional all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Place in a large, greased bowl and let rise 1 hour.
Punch down. Divide into 18 pieces. Shape each roll (I did knots–long snake and then tie) and place on a baking sheet. Rise again for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. After the second rise, brush with a beaten egg white, and then sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.