These rolls are ttruly some of the best you'll ever taste. They're not great for just holidays---they're great ANY TIME! I know---they're our favorites.
Recipe By : Rod Shepherd
Yields 12 rolls

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups warm water 105-115 degrees
2 tablespoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
All of the sponge
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil (2 oz.)
1/4 cup honey (2 oz.)
1 cup whole wheat flour -- divided
3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
Melted butter -- optional

SPONGE: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour yeast and sugar. Add the warm water and mix well to remove any lumps. Let this stand on the counter about 20-30 minutes or until it becomes a bubbling mass.

Into a separate bowl, combine egg, salt, oil and honey. Stir these up with a fork to make a yellow ugly paste. Pour into the bubbling sponge and stir. Then add the 1 cup whole wheat flour and stir. Add 3-1/2 cups of white flour and mix well (use the paddle attachment of stand mixer) keep adding flour slowly until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky.

Gently turn out onto floured surface and knead until dough gives back some ‘spring’, 8-10 minutes (if using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead 4-5 minutes, then finish kneading by hand.) The dough should be tacky but not sticky) . Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until the dough doubles in size (30-40 minutes). Punch the dough down, fold or knead the dough in the bowl, re-cover with the plastic wrap and let the dough rise again (about 30-40 minutes).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface and give it a light kneading. Divide the dough into 12 pieces (more if you wish smaller rolls), Roll pieces of dough into balls a little larger than about the size of a golf ball (smaller than the golf ball if you want smaller rolls). Place on a baking sheet, cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap or under a proof box and let dough rise about half an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove rolls to a rack and brush tops with a little melted butter. Cool completely

To freeze, wrap in heavy duty foil and then in zip bags. Can be frozen up to 3 months.

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