Whole Wheat Date Rolls
- 2 3/4 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast (from 2 envelopes)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour - (about) plus
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn oil
- 1 pound pitted dates chopped
- 1 large egg beaten with
- 1 tablespoon water for glaze
Whisk 2 3/4 cups warm water and molasses in large bowl to blend. Sprinkle yeast over. Let stand until foamy, about 6 minutes.
Whisk whole wheat flour and salt into yeast mixture. Whisk in 1 cup unbleached flour. Using flexible rubber spatula, stir in 4 cups unbleached flour. Mix in enough unbleached flour by 1/4 cupfuls to form sticky dough.
Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead until smooth and only slightly sticky, adding more flour if very sticky, about 8 minutes.
Coat inside of another large bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Add dough and turn dough to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Punch down dough; shape into ball. Cover with plastic and let dough rise again in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Toss dates with 1/3 cup unbleached flour in medium bowl to coat. Scatter dates over dough. Knead dough in bowl to distribute dates evenly. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Divide each piece into 6 equal pieces about the size of small lemons. Using floured hands, shape each dough piece into small ball. Transfer dough balls to prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Cover with kitchen towels and let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Position racks in bottom third and top third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Brush tops of rolls with egg glaze. Bake until rolls sound hollow when tapped on bottom, reversing sheets once, about 20 minutes. Transfer rolls to racks; cool completely. (Date rolls can be prepared up to 4 days ahead. Wrap in foil and freeze. Thaw rolls in foil.)
This recipe yields 24 rolls.