I brought a brioche pan with me from vacation a few years back; a round fluted tin with sharp edges that I am yet to use. I envisioned a lot of bread making that year, and there was this brioche recipe I wanted to try so badly, it justified getting the pan.
Years earlier, I got a bread machine, it felt like an adult thing to do; I baked a few loaves, which made me so very proud to be making my own bread.
I weave in and out of this bread making cycle; lately it looks like I’m back on the wagon. I’ve been baking a lot of bread recently, averaging one a week in the last month or so.
I reserve my Sunday evenings for this – I love the slow pace of measuring, prepping, kneading and waiting… I end my day with the comforting smell of freshly baked bread, and a meditative heart. It sets a gentle mood for the rest of my week.
These whole wheat cardamom rolls are an adaptation of that brioche recipe from long ago. A generous dash of cardamom gives the rolls a spicy sweet flavour, and there’s a little bit of almond essence, which I think adds a nice rich balance. It’s a little like Pulla, the buttery brioche-y cardamom Finnish bread.
I make the dough in my bread machine. It’s minimal work this way. Then it’s portioned into pieces afterwards, rolled into balls, and transferred into a deep baking pan for the second rise.
The rolls come out fragrant, fluffy and soft with tender crumbs; excellent and hearty textured from the whole wheat. These are great at dinner; with salads, stews and soups. We love them at breakfast too, lunch or as a snack, split open and slathered in butter.
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup almond milk, warmed to 110 degrees f.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar, divided
- 3oz (85 ml) coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour, or white whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Olive oil for brushing
- Mix ground flax seed and water in a small cup or bowl, set aside and let mixture thicken for at least 5 minutes
- Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast in warmed milk, stir and let mixture sit and proof for 5 – 10 minutes, until it gets foamy and fragrant
- Add flax, coconut oil and almond extract, mix well to combine
- Combine remaining sugar, flour, cardamom, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl and mix
- Make a hole in flour mixture and pour in yeast mixture, use a wooden spoon to mix until dough becomes wet and shaggy
- Knead dough in the bowl until it comes together roughly
- Turn dough on to a lightly floured work-surface and knead dough until it comes together completely, and becomes smooth and elastic
- Dough is ready if it bounces back when you stick a finger in it
- Form dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour
- Meanwhile, butter a large baking pan (eg.13×9-inch pan), set aside.
- Punch dough down and turn it back on to the flour dusted work-surface, roll dough into a ball and use a knife to cut and divide dough into 12 – 16 equal pieces, and shape into balls
- Place the balls of dough into prepared baking dish, rolls should touch barely.
- Cover loosely with a clean towel or plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour, until it doubles in size
- Brush rolls with olive oil and bake in a preheated 375 degrees f. oven for 17 to 20 minutes, until crust is golden brown and rolls are baked though
- Let rolls cool in pan for about 5 – 10 minutes before removing by gently turning it onto a cooling rack (you may need to gently loosen the edges with a table knife)
- Let them cool completely before serving, enjoy!
- Alternatively, you can use your bread machine or stand mixer (using dough hook) to prepare and knead the dough
- For bread machine, follow the machine’s instruction, and add ingredients in the suggested order per the instruction e.g. wet ingredients first then dry ingredients or vice versa.
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