Baking with whole grains is trendy right now, but this recipe is 50 years old. It was an entry in the 1957 Pillsbury Bake-Off. I’m not sure if Pillsbury has updated it for modern times or if they left it as is.
The recipe is easy to follow, but watch the flour. It calls for “1 to 2” cups all purpose flour. This is too vague for most people not accustomed to bread baking. You need to kind of a get a feel for the dough, so mix by hand as much as possible. I mixed by hand, then cheated a bit by using the dough hook on my stand mixer – but not until I was sure the dough felt right. In the end, I think I used about 1 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour. The dough should not be dry, just moist and stretchy.
Whole Wheat Caramel Rolls
1 to 2 cups all purpose flour (follow directions)
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeat
¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ cup chopped, toasted nuts
In large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, salt and yeast; blend well.
In small saucepan, heat milk, water and shortening (or oil) until very warm – 120-130 degrees; Add warm liquid mixture to flour mixture. Stir by hand until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in an additional 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup flour to form a stiff dough. On floured surface (or in bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook), knead in remaining 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup all purpose flour. Knead about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Set in a warm place to rise for 1 ¼ hour.
Grease a 9 inch square pan. Punch down dough and remove all air bubbles. On lightly floured surface, roll or press into 16×12 inch rectangle. (If you have trouble with this step, rub a thin layer of oil across the top of the dough).
In small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter. Spread evenly over dough then sprinkle with nuts. Roll into a 16 inch spiral/log pressing edges to seal. Cut into 16 slices (I cut mine into 9) and place cut side up in greased pan. Cover and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Cool two minutes, then turn onto a sheet of foil so that bottom side is up.