Sometimes we learn the most by doing, and sometimes that just sucks. I made a beautiful set of sweet multi-grain large buns today, and they are all going into the trash. This makes my waste-not, want-not heart cry. They would have been very yummy, if I had just remembered this: Don't Eat Spoiled Stuff, Stoopid!
Here's the recipe:
1 packet active or rapid rise dry yeast
2 cups bogus eggnog (warmed to 110º F)*
2 tsp flax, ground
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup 10-grain cereal
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups white flour**
In a largish pot or bowl, warm the nog, then add the yeast and wait for it to get fluffy. Once the yeast has proved that it is alive and happy, pour the 10-grain cereal in the nog to soak. Sprinkle the flax evenly on top, then stir the whole mess up. (If you like your rolled oats soft, stir them into the goo, too.) Set aside to soak, and keep it covered if your kitchen is cold.
Measure out the flour (and oats, if you didn't add them already), sprinkle in the salt. Give the grains in the goo bowl/pot at least 15 minutes to hydrate, then come back and stir the dry flour mixture into the goo. You can knead it a little right in the bowl/pot to combine, but be gentle. It should be a bit sticky, or very sticky. Cover it all again & set aside until it doubles. It may take more than an hour to rise properly.
Once it has doubled, punch it down. Grab a baking sheet and slap down a layer of parchment/silpat/grease. Go back to the dough and prepare to get sticky. I used a silicone spatula to almost cut the dough into 8 pie wedges, then I used my hands to wrestle out a very sticky wedge or two at a time. I kind of juggled them into something sort of ball-shaped, then dropped them off my fingertips onto the prepared baking sheet. I tried to keep the spacing even, perhaps 2.5 inches apart, perhaps more.
Loosely cover the full baking sheet and set aside in a warm place to rise, or pop the sheet in a cold oven, and turn the oven on as low as it will go. Come back in 2 minutes if your oven is like mine, and if your hand tells you that the air is pleasantly warm in there, turn the oven off and let the rolls almost double again. Check at 30 minutes, but expect that it could take even an hour for the rolls to almost double. It all depends on warmth, moisture, and yeast-happiness.
Gently brush the top of the rolls with some (not over 110ºF) warm nog if you like. It'll make them brown nicely and be a bit shiny, if you are lucky. Sprinkle on seeds or grains if you like. Then put the sheet back in the cold oven and turn on the heat to 350ºF to 375ºF. (This is a casual thing so the baking time and temp will be fudge-able. My oven is crazy, so I just keep an eye on things.) Bake for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on everything. Periodically check the bottom of the rolls for browning, and the top should brown a bit too. Take the sheet out to cool. (I flip the buns on their heads if the sheet is browning the bottoms too much but the bread seems to be not quite done inside, or toss them without a sheet back into the turned-off-but-still-warm oven to dry a little more, but I'm strange and have a crack-smoking oven.) Enjoy with a cuppa.
These would have been great with some extra spices like another pinch of cardamon, allspice, nutmeg or whatever goes in nog, but I used some nog that passed the expiration date and looked a little funny. The rolls tasted good, and the mixed grain texture was perfect, but a few minutes later my cheeks were itchy and pink. On me, this means that the nog was too over-the-hill to use for baking. I'm sensitive to fermenty stuff.
I'll be making them again, but I'll be sure to use the fresh stuff next time. Sometimes the expired stuff just needs to go down the drain.
*Warm water or any bogus-milk will do, but if you use water, you may need to add a teaspoon of something sugary to feed the yeast. Add more sugar if you want a sweet bun. Your store-bought bogus-milk may be sweetened a bit already, so read the label and see if there is brown rice syrup or something in there. Your rolls will not be as sweet as nog-rolls, but you might like them better for sandwiches and other savory applications. If you choose to avoid sweeteners altogether, just be aware that the bread may need more rising time, since the yeast won't be dancing & eating quite as rapidly. You may want to add the 10-grain cereal and the yeast together to the warm water, so the yeast has something to eat, and let it soak longer to proof the yeast.
**If you want to replace some of the white with whole wheat, I think you'll have more success if you soak the whole wheat portion in the goo with the 10-grain cereal, but you should also add some gluten to the recipe, and you may need to add a little water.