Whole Wheat Rosemary Bread Buns

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I absolutely love the bread buns in Macaroni Grill. I actually made some a while ago with bread flour, but since I have been on a health kick and trying not to use refined white flour anymore, I have been wanting to remake these with whole wheat so they are healthier. Although I have to admit, nothing really beats the taste of white flour, but these are great as well!

There’s always something amazing about Macaroni Grill’s breads. The top is crunchy, the inside is soft, and the rosemary and olive oil is simply delicious. I was so crazy about it that I had to figure out how to make it. Although this obviously doesn’t have butter, I think olive oil alone is enough.

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My experiences with baking bread is always a challenge. For some reason in the past, my breads either turned out unsweetened when I wanted it to be sweet, or hard as rock. I still remember once I baked these rock solid bread that we literally couldn’t even bite into, and then I threw it in the bin. Guess what? All we heard was this loud thud, as if we threw stones in the bin. Erm, that’s when I gathered that, “you know you’ve baked bread as hard as rocks when you hear a loud thud if you throw it in the bin”. Haha!

Since then, I think I have improved with breads. I’m still learning because I think baking it with a hard crust compared to soft requires different techniques, and I only learned about ‘steaming’ the things in the oven by putting on a layer of foil not long ago. This is all a fun experiment and I was quite surprised these breads turned out really great.

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Whole Wheat Rosemary Bread Buns

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup spelt flour (and more for kneading)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon white grape juice
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan/Sea Salt
A few sprinkles Italian seasoning

Glaze
2 teaspoons extra light olive oil
A sprinkle of Himalayan/Sea Salt

Measure out 1/4 cup of warm water (not too hot, otherwise it may kill the yeast) and combine it with the dry active yeast. Be sure that you see bubbles foaming, which means the yeast is alive and well. Let this sit for a couple of minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, almond milk, grape juice, rosemary leaves (separate all the individual leaves first), olive oil, vital wheat gluten (you can omit if you wish, though adding it will help the dough rise better), baking soda, salt and Italian seasoning. Add the small bowl of yeast and water.

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Stir with a spoon for a minute until the dough clumps together, then transfer it onto a wooden dough with a bit of spelt flour sprinkled underneath. Knead the dough with your hands until it’s soft and silky, and not sticky. Roll it into a ball and place it back into the bowl and cover it with a lid or wet towel. Have it sit in a warm place (I like to turn the oven on briefly, then turn it off and have the bowl sitting on the door of the oven) to rise for about two hours or so.

When the dough has risen twice its original size, punch down a hole and knead it again. Split the dough in two and roll it into a ball. Have it sit on an oven tray that’s covered with baking parchment paper. Put it back in the warm place and allow it to rise again for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) and while you’re waiting, prepare the salt and olive oil for the glaze. Have a pastry brush ready. Once the dough has risen again, use the pastry brush to paint some olive oil over the dough, be sure that it covers all the surface. Sprinkle some salt over it as well.

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Cover the baking tray with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes with it on, this helps steam the bread for a little while. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes (may be more or less) until the top becomes golden brown. You’ll have to check often!

Feel free to drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top once the bread is finished.

Serve with extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper if you wish.

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Whole Wheat Rosemary Bread Buns
Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1½ cup spelt flour (and more for kneading)
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon white grape juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan/Sea Salt
  • A few sprinkles Italian seasoning
Glaze
  • 2 teaspoons extra light olive oil
  • A sprinkle of Himalayan/Sea Salt

Instructions
  1. Measure out ¼ cup of warm water (not too hot, otherwise it may kill the yeast) and combine it with the dry active yeast. Be sure that you see bubbles foaming, which means the yeast is alive and well. Let this sit for a couple of minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, almond milk, grape juice, rosemary leaves (separate all the individual leaves first), olive oil, vital wheat gluten (you can omit if you wish, though adding it will help the dough rise better), baking soda, salt and Italian seasoning. Add the small bowl of yeast and water.
  3. Stir with a spoon for a minute until the dough clumps together, then transfer it onto a wooden dough with a bit of spelt flour sprinkled underneath. Knead the dough with your hands until it’s soft and silky, and not sticky. Roll it into a ball and place it back into the bowl and cover it with a lid or wet towel. Have it sit in a warm place (I like to turn the oven on briefly, then turn it off and have the bowl sitting on the door of the oven) to rise for about two hours or so.
  4. When the dough has risen twice its original size, punch down a hole and knead it again. Split the dough in two and roll it into a ball. Have it sit on an oven tray that’s covered with baking parchment paper. Put it back in the warm place and allow it to rise again for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) and while you’re waiting, prepare the salt and olive oil for the glaze. Have a pastry brush ready. Once the dough has risen again, use the pastry brush to paint some olive oil over the dough, be sure that it covers all the surface. Sprinkle some salt over it as well.
  6. Cover the baking tray with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes with it on, this helps steam the bread for a little while. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes (may be more or less) until the top becomes golden brown. You’ll have to check often!
  7. Feel free to drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on top once the bread is finished.
  8. Serve with extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper if you wish.

 

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