We're not big bread bakers around here. I love the idea of baking bread. I love the smell of bread baking. I love the taste of homemade bread. I do not think, though, that bread making and I are meant to be. I've had some successes. I can make a nice loaf of French bread. I can make pizza dough in my sleep. Much beyond that and I find myself lacking. Talent? Interest? Probably a combination of both. I have come to terms with this and I am fine with it. I am not a bread baker.
Jamey, on the other hand, makes one kind of bread- oatmeal rolls- and he makes them incredibly well. The recipe he uses suggests baking the bread in loaf pans. We prefer the roll version. He will often quadruple the recipe and stock our freezer with these yummy rolls that are then pulled out to be served with soups or salads or to be used as sandwich bread.
My mother uses this recipe as well and these rolls have made appearances at at least two of our family weddings and countless Thanksgiving dinners. These rolls are exceptional right out of the oven. As in, I can eat four at a time. If you are careful not to over bake them, they retain their soft, moist, fluffiness long after coming out of the oven.
Oatmeal Rolls (Jamey has adapted this recipe from the More-With-Less Cookbook)
This recipe yields two loaves or two cake layer pans full of rolls. The rolls freeze very well.
1 cup quick oats
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter, sofetned
2 cups boiling water
1 package or 1 tbsp. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
4-5 cups white flour
Combine quick oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the oat mixture and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast until the yeast has dissolved. When the oatmeal mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast mixture and combine. Add the white flour one cup at a time, mixing with a spoon until the dough becomes too tough, then turn it out on a floured counter and knead additional flour into the dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.
Pull off clumps of dough and form into large round balls to form rolls. Place them in a greased pan with or without sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes and check the rolls. Remove them from the oven when the tops are just starting to brown and a knife inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Brush the tops with some melted butter (optional) and cool on wire racks.