Herbs & Things

Herbs & Things
Herbs & Things

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Homestyle Cookin' | Oatmeal Wheat Dinner Rolls + Bread

A lot of people don't know that my very first job was at a small Mennonite owned bakery in Virginia called, The Farmer's Wife. Why don't they know this? Because I really don't do a lot of baking. I attribute that to just being lazy. But now that I'm working from home, I have a lot more time on my hands, and I thoroughly enjoy baking when I have the time to do it. I'm not talking about cupcakes from a box...I'm talking about home made goodies :) Click here to

I'm pretty sure the ladies at The Farmer's Wife taught me almost everything I know about cooking and baking. But when it comes to bread, they are the bomb-diggity. Bread completely intimidated me when I first started working there (rightfully so, I was a teenager!). But the more I watched them, and even saw my younger friends making it, the more I wanted to do it.

The Farmer's Wife was a really great experience for me -- I met one of my old best friends there. The owner at the time, Dawn....she was there for me more than she realizes. She was an amazing inspiration, and still is!

With all of that said, Dawn sold the store several years ago to another wonderful woman who has equally as delicious goodies in her store. However, Dawn has recently published her very own cookbook titled A Farmer's Daughter (Receipes from a Mennonite Kitchen). Her cookbook isn't just full of yummy recipes, but most of them are practical and simple, and her story (and other people's stories with in the book) are inspiring and real. I love it!

Today, we're hunkering down in preparation of a large snow storm which is about to hit the East Coast. So I decided to take what little free time I had this morning and make some bread, rather than rushing to the store to buy 2 week old crusty, dry, chemical filled bread ;)

The recipe is called Oatmeal Wheat Dinner Rolls, but I only made one pan of rolls and the rest I put in bread loaf pans -- super yummy!

Make sure you click on the 'printable recipe' link to print the recipe (with out my comments, photos, etc)

Oatmeal Wheat Dinner Rolls (and bread)

2 cups water
1 cup rolled oats 
(I used old fashioned because that's all I had)
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup salted butter 
(I used unsalted and added an extra 1/2 tsp of salt, again, it's all I had)
1.5 tsp salt

2 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water

1 cup white wheat flour
3.5 cups bread flour
1 egg, beaten

I actually used 3 cups of white whole wheat flour and the rest was unbleached white flour. If you don't have bread flour, use regular unbleached white flour and add a little (about 2 tsp) of baking powder.

Let me first note that this was not some failed attempt at a dramatic food photo. No no, see, these oats that are scattered about actually DID dump out of the first cup while trying to squirm away from a hungry toddler and yellow lab. 

Anyway, lets begin.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in oats. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar, butter, and salt. Cool to lukewarm (set it in the fridge so it chills quicker). 

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.
mmm, yeast. Trust me, your child will be amazed as they watch it grow and grow and grow. Yes, it grew more than I wanted it to while waiting for the oatmeal to cool! I will wait a little longer before I mix it up next time. It was pretty much over the top of the bowl by the time we were ready to mix it into the flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2.5 cups of flour and oatmeal mixture; add yeast mixture. Add egg, beat well. Add remaining flour to form soft dough. The dough will be a little sticky (it can be difficult to work with sticky dough, but sticky dough yields moist rolls!) Knead in a mixer with dough hook for 5 mins. If you don't have a mixer (which I don't), turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. 

Bread dough is very forgiving and bounces back pretty quickly, so this is a great time to allow your children to help you with the bread making process!

Place into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to oil all sides of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

 I like to use a heating pad underneath of the bowl (on low setting) to speed up the process or if you have a drafty house. 

Once risen, shape into 24 rolls. Place in 2 greased 9x13 baking pans. 
Or you could do 2 loaves of bread, or one pan of rolls and one loaf of bread. 
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 mins.

Preheat oven to 350*. Sprinkle with additional oats if desired. Bake for 15-20 mins for rolls, 30-40 mins for bread -- or until golden brown. Turn out rolls onto wire racks to cool. Allow bread loaf to cook in pan for a few mins before turning out onto wire rack. Brush with melted butter if desired.

Don't let this recipe intimidate you -- it is SO EASY. Take your time with it and enjoy it. It really doesn't take a lot of time to make, which is something I really enjoyed. I think it took me about 10 mins to put it together, honestly. If that! The rest of the time was rising and baking -- easy peasey, and sooo moist and delicious!
Check out Dawn's cookbook for more bread recipes and other goodies!


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