(UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed.)
“Everything” Homemade Rolls Are Irresistible!
It was on one of our precious date nights at a quaint, local cafe that my husband and I tasted one of the most irresistible mini loaves of bread we had ever had.
The server brought a small baguette, crusted beautifully with an array of seeds and flavorings—poppy, sesame, minced onion, coarse salt, and a particularly unique one, fennel seed.
And it was just a little touch of fennel seed, mind you, not too overpowering because too much would create too strong of an anise flavor; this was just a hint, and with the other aromatic bits, created a delicious flavor and texture to the bread that we found utterly divine, especially when we dipped it in the rich, silky olive oil that accompanied it.
And ever since tasting that glorious bread, I've longed to re-create the flavors of that crisp, aromatic topping.
So when the folks at Wolf Gourmet sent me one of their amazing countertop ovens of my very own to review (and offered to send a second one to one of our lucky readers) I knew this would be the perfect chance to create a simple recipe of my own for “everything” homemade rolls, and to put this countertop oven to the test.
(Find out how to enter the giveaway below!)
The Countertop Oven That Tops All Others
We've used a small toaster oven in our home for quite a few years now, the kind that we could make toast in, as well as warm up various other little odds and ends in.
And while this old toaster oven claims to be able to bake, broil, toast, and warm, I would never dream of actually using that gadget in any way other than toasting some bread or lightly warming a slice of pizza, or chicken strips, or something similar.
There's no way I would trust it to actually bake up beautiful, even cookies, or to roast vegetables or meats to caramelized to perfection, or to bake a pie with a juicy and tender filling and a crust that is golden and flaky, or to bake these delicate and pillowy “everything” homemade rolls, for sure.
That little toaster oven is just too darned flimsy for those types of preparations—I find it's best used as a very basic toaster/food warmer.
I've been pining for a real countertop oven for a while now, one that could take on some serious food preparation, take on the overflow and bake or roast things off like a boss when my regular oven is already filled to the brim during times like the holidays; or one that could simply be my go-to when I'm looking to bake something like a casserole or pasta dish, or a sweet, homemade dessert like cookies, pie, brownies or even these “everything” homemade rolls, quickly and conveniently, and not have to go through the hassle of heating up my large oven for these slightly smaller tasks.
This Wolf Gourmet countertop oven is just the countertop oven to take on all of those tasks, and then some, blowing my old little toaster oven out of the water (or off the countertop, I should say)!
Super Cool Features, Ideal For “Everything” Homemade Rolls
Besides having a sleek, stainless steel finish and being compact enough to fit under most standard size cabinets, this cool countertop oven has six cooking modes that'll make preparing one's favorite recipes a snap:
- "Proof", to help homemade, yeasted doughs to proof and rise (this came in very handy for my rolls)
- “Warm”, to keep prepared foods warm before serving; “bake”, for preparing these “everything” homemade rolls and other baked goods
- "Roast", for preparing vegetables, chicken, or roasts to perfection
- "Broil", to create a crisp, caramelized top (ideal for salmon)
- "Toast", for making up to six slices of toast all at once
There is even a “Convection” setting where a powerful fan continuously circulates the air around in the oven preventing hot spots, which is a perfect setting when roasting veggies and other items that do well in a convection setting.
It even has a “Probe” attachment feature which allows for the digital thermometer (included with the oven) to be attached to the inside of the oven and then inserted directly into roasts, chicken, turkey, etc., providing an accurate read of the internal temp of the meat while it roasts—no guessing!
And as far as my rolls were concerned, this Wolf Gourmet countertop oven worked amazingly well.
I used the “proof” mode right off the bat to maintain a low, 80° temperature—ideal for yeasted dough to rise and double in size.
I was able to bake off all the rolls at once using the 9x13 baking sheet (which is included) to even, golden-brown perfection, with a tender and yielding inner texture that melts in the mouth.
I love that this Wolf Gourmet countertop oven now replaces our little old toaster oven, and gives me so much more freedom to prepare all the recipes I'd like to prepare at the touch of a button or two, and without the use of my large oven.
Tips & Tidbits for “Everything” Homemade Rolls:
- All-purpose flour for soft, tender rolls: I like a soft and fluffy texture for these homemade rolls, and all-purpose flour will yield that over bread flour.
- Active dry yeast that's not expired: Always make sure you're using a fresh packet of active dry yeast—check the expiration date on the packet to make certain it's not expired.
- Substitute sugar for honey: If you don't have honey available, you can substitute granulate sugar instead.
- All-in-one “everything” seasoning: I like to have separate containers of the ingredients that go into the “everything” seasoning, so I can control the amounts of each seasoning; however, I know that Trader Joe's has an “everything” seasoning available—just make sure to have (or purchase) fennel seeds separately, since those are not included in the mix.
- To make the rolls ahead: You can make these rolls the day before by following the recipe up to the point where you shape the rolls and place them onto the parchment sheet to proof for the second time. Instead of proofing, wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap really well, and place the rolls into the fridge over night. Then, the next day, when you're ready to bake them, allow them to come to room temp for 2 hours until they double in size, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- How to store the rolls: These are best eaten within the first two days of baking. Easy to re-heat on 325° for a few minutes. You can also freeze prepared rolls by allowing them to completely cool—store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer, and thaw at room temp.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe, or jump to the giveaway details:
“Everything” Homemade Rolls
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes 15 rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes*
Cook time: 22 minutes
(*There is a 1 hour and 20 minute initial dough proofing, then a secondary proofing of 40 minutes for a total of 2 hours of proofing.)
• 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110°)
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 packet (1/4 ounce / 7 grams) active dry yeast
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 whisked egg, for egg wash
• 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
• 3/4 teaspoon dried minced onion
• 3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
• Sprinkle coarse salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
-Whisk together the flour and the salt, and set aside for a moment.
-Add the warm water to the bowl of an electric standing mixer, along with the honey, and using a fork, mix to dissolve the honey; sprinkle in the yeast and gently mix with the fork, and allow the yeast to foam up and activate, about 8 minutes.
-Add 2 cups of the flour into the water/yeast/honey mixture, along with the tablespoon of olive oil, and using a wooden spoon, mix together to combine; add in the remainder of the flour, and fit the mixer with a dough hook, and mix/knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes (you can also do this by hand on a work surface).
-Lightly oil a large bowl, and add the kneaded dough in, turning to coat it in the oil; loosely cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and place into a warm, draft-free environment (I used the “proof” mode on my Wolf Gourmet countertop oven for this), and allow the dough to double in size for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
-Next, punch down the dough to deflate it, and portion out pieces about 2 ½ ounces each, and form each into a ball and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap again, and allow the dough to proof once more for 40 minutes.
-During this time, prepare your “everything” seasoning by mixing together the fennel seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, and sesame seeds in a ramekin, and set aside; also, preheat your oven to 375°.
-After the second proofing of the rolls, brush each very lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with the “everything” seasoning, plus the sprinkle of salt; bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden color, then remove from oven and allow the rolls to rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
-Enjoy warm with butter, or dipped in oil and balsamic!
(*In exchange for my honest review of their product, Wolf Gourmet provided me with my own countertop oven, plus the opportunity to offer a second one as a gift to one of our readers. All views and opinions expressed are solely my own. You can shop for this countertop oven at Williams-Sonoma, where you can find out more details about the product as well.)
(UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed.)