Generally, I don't make breads with 100 percent whole wheat - I like a little white flour to lighten it up. But I decided to make these with all white whole wheat, just to be different. If you're a fan of whole wheat, I think you'll find these interesting.
White whole wheat has all the health benefits of regular whole wheat bread and the wheaty flavor. But since the red pigment is where the bitterness resides, white whole wheat is less bitter. While it's not as coarse as some whole wheat flours, it's still got more hearty texture than white bread.
I thought the design on these was pretty interesting. And fun. In a bread basket, with a variety of designs, they look strange and interesting.
And since I'm a big fan of sesame seeds, that's always a plus.
White Whole Wheat Flower Buns
18 ounces white whole wheat flour, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil
Egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
The night before you bake, combine 1 1/2 cups of water with 9 ounces of the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature overnight.
When you're ready to bake, combine the remaining 1/4 cup water, the sugar, yeast and saffron in a measuring cup. Stir to combine, and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 9 ounces of flour to the flour/water mixture in the stand mixer bowl. Knead with the dough hook until the mixture comes together in a ball and is well combined, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, knead the dough again with the dough hook until the mixture is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil and the final teaspoon of salt and continue kneading until the salt and oil are completely incorporated.
Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a ball, and drizzle with olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl and turn to coat completely with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 1 hour.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Form each piece into a ball and place eight on each baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
When the dough has doubled, use a sharp knife or small sharp pair of scissors to cut a circle in the center of each bun, about 1/4-inch deep and 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter.. This will form the center of the flower. Then, using the small scissors, snip around the center to create rows of petals.
Brush the egg wash on just the center of the flower, and sprinkle sesame seeds onto the egg wash. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned. Cool on a rack.
This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.