Step by Step Instructions:
First thing to be done is to make the roll dough. Here are the ingredients that are needed: Oil of your choice (Canola Oil is pictured here, but I ended up using Olive Oil…either will work great, as will butter), Buttermilk, Granulated Sugar, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, All-Purpose Flour, Yeast, Stick of Butter, 3 Eggs, Salt.
Begin by melting the butter over about medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the buttermilk and sugar and stir just until the sugar is dissolved. Then remove the pan from the heat.
Then check the temperature of the liquid and wait for it to stay steady between 100 and 115 degrees (or at least that is what my Active Dry Yeast package states as the necessary temperature to activate the yeast).
Once the liquid is at the right temperature, add the yeast and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
During this process of letting the yeast sit, I measured out my flour. The recipe calls for freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour. There is a note to it that says if you don’t have access to freshly ground flour you can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, which is what I did above. One cup of each.
Once the yeast had rested for 10 minutes, I added three eggs and the flour I just measured…
Then I stirred everything together and let it rest for about 40 minutes so that it could rise slightly.
Here is the dough after about 40 minutes. If you compare to the previous photo, you’ll see that it did rise a little bit.
At this point one teaspoon of salt and 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour get added to the dough. I found this flour at my local Hy-Vee grocery store, so it wasn’t too difficult to locate.
Then I used a wooden spoon and mixed up the dough as best as I could.
Then I dusted a clean work surface with a little of the whole wheat pastry flour and began kneading this dough until it was smooth and elastic, which should take about 2 minutes.
Grab a bowl and put a little oil (of your choice) in it to coat the bottom and sides so that the dough doesn’t stick. Then put the dough in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Then let it rest until it doubles in size. Allow for 2 hours but know that it may not take that long. Just keep an eye on it.
While my dough was rising, I took this time to make the pesto. To make this easy spinach pesto recipe, the following ingredients are needed: One bag of Baby Spinach, 1/4 cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 cup of Pine Nuts, and One Garlic Clove.
Begin by putting all of the ingredients except the olive oil in the food processor and process the ingredients until they are finely chopped.
While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth pesto is created.
Then I put the pesto in a container and refrigerated it until I was ready to use it.
After about an hour and a half, my dough had risen…
…so I punched the dough to remove the air pockets and let it sit again for about 10 minutes. I also preheated the oven to 350 degrees.
While the dough rose again, I buttered a 9×13 pan.
After the 10 minutes of resting, I turned it out onto a lightly floured surface and rolled the dough out until it was about 1/8″ thick. Now this is the part where you should do as I say and not as I do…try to make your dough as close to a rectangle as possible. I should have tried a little harder, because I ended up with rolls that were all different sizes. I know this is obvious, but I’m just highlighting that my picture isn’t a true rectangle. 🙂
Then I spread the spinach pesto I made earlier over the dough.
Next, I rolled the dough towards me and then cut the rolls into 2 1/2 to 3 inch slices. I think next time I would probably only make them into 2 inch pieces, just because the rolls were pretty big…but is that really a bad thing?!
Then I covered the rolls for about 20 minutes in a warm place. After the 20 minutes, I baked the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls were golden brown on top. I brushed the baked rolls with some softened butter and served. They were really delicious and I highly recommend this recipe. Great comfort food!
Whole Wheat Pesto Roll Recipe:
1/2 cup Butter, Plus Extra To Grease The Baking Dish
1 cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Yeast
3 whole Eggs
2 cups Freshly Ground Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
4 teaspoons Gluten Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
2-1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Plus More To Dust Work Surface
Oil, For Coating The Bowl
1 cup Pesto
1. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Add the buttermilk and sugar and stir just until sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat.
3. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let set until foamy, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, 2 cups freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour, and gluten flour. Stir in a circular motion for 2 minutes or until the dough is fairly smooth. Allow to rest until it just starts to rise a bit. At high altitude it takes about 20 minutes; if you are not at high altitude, you may want to plan more like 30–40 minutes.
5. Beat in the salt and 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour as best as you can, then sprinkle more of the whole wheat flour on a clean surface and turn the dough out of the pan.
6. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour to the counter when necessary, about 2 minutes or less should do it. Spray a clean bowl with cooking spray or coat with olive oil and place the dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until doubled. At high altitude it takes an hour, but if you are lower down, plan for longer (more like 2 hours).
7. Punch the dough down to remove any air bubbles and set aside for about 10 minutes while you prepare your baking dish. Which shouldn’t take you 10 minutes, but it’s something to do while you wait. All you have to do is smear butter all over a 9×13” baking dish.
8. After the 10 minutes, lightly sprinkle a clean counter with flour and roll out the dough so it is about 1/8″ thick and in a rectangle.
9. Then spread the pesto all over the dough.
10. Then starting at one long end, roll up, jelly roll style or like you are making cinnamon rolls. Don’t worry if some of the oil from the pesto oozes out, that just means it’s gonna be extra good. Once it is rolled into a log, cut into evenly-sized slices, about 2 1/2 – 3″ wide. Then place cut side up into the prepared baking dish.
11. Preheat oven to 350ºF, cover and let rise about another 20 minutes or till doubled in size.
12. Bake about 20–25 minutes or until lightly golden on top.
13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
Note: If you do not have access to freshly ground flour, just use half white, all-purpose flour and half store-bought whole wheat flour and eliminate the gluten flour.
Spinach Parmesan Pesto Recipe:
4 cups Raw Fresh Spinach Leaves
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, Pressed
1/4 cup Unsalted Pine Nuts
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Water
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until a puree is formed.
2. Store in an airtight jar or other container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Info per 2 Tbsp:
7 g fat (3 g monounsaturated)
3 g protein
1 g carbohydrate