Whole Grain Pancakes with Roasted Pears


photo courtesy of Josh Monken

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? To me, that means doing the rest of my holiday shopping on the internet (they deliver!), staying up past my bedtime with a glass of wine, and not getting up in the morning until I’ve read a chapter or two from my latest book. I wait until J finds his way next to my pillow, finally realizing he’s hungry for breakfast and nudging me out of the sack.

There’s no question that pancakes will be on the menu on holiday weekend mornings around here, so I dreamed up a few extra-special recipes.

The December issue of Sauce features my pancake story with more recipes – pick it up!

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

The Tardy Food Blogger

A girl has to work…

For the few dozen of you who check in on my blog, I offer sincere apologies for offering nothing but the same old picture of dinner rolls. Thanksgiving seems so long ago now.

But, you’ll be happy to know that at least I’ve been keeping busy with my personal chef work, so I have that going for me.

A brief recap:

  • I “dry-brined” the turkey this year after reading a post on the Epicurious blog by Rick Rodgers, a turkey-day expert. I added some spices and a good smear of lemon-garlic butter before putting on the Weber to roast. I thought it was disappointingly dry. I’m not sure if it’s the method or simply that free range turkeys are just a bit, well, chewy. Remind me to try a different bird next year.
  • I was inspired to make big, fat cookies after looking at my friend Anna’s blog, Cookie Madness. More on that later.
  • I’ve been digesting the heated discussion about the Bon Appetit magazine redesign. I personally like the new look. Change is a good thing.

We should all be like Martha, who not only has her own blog these days, but hires people to write it for her.

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Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Whole Grain Dinner Rolls with 3 Seeds

Whole wheat dinner rolls; tender and wholesome
I don’t know about you, but when I’m planning what to prepare for my Thanksgiving table, bread tends to be one of the last things on the list; it might be that this most traditional of all meals is already packed with bread and starchy foods, from the stuffing right down to the multiple sides of potatoes, sweet potato and squash.

Admittedly, I avoid stuffing if at all possible. I just don’t see the point of eating turkey-scented bread cubes when I can save room for the main event.

That’s why I totally approve of dinner rolls for Thanksgiving – small rounds of fresh, warm bread to sop up your gravy is just perfect. You don’t need to overcommit to a large pile of stuffing.

I got a little ahead of myself this year (yes, and also because I wanted to post this recipe before the big day) My recipe is based on one from the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (they’re called “Health Rolls” in the book; I think we can do better than that). I made the dough in my bread machine, which I highly recommend, if you have one. You can even shape the rolls ahead of time, put them in the pan and refrigerate up to one day ahead. Just let them come to room temperature before baking.

Whole Grain Dinner Rolls with 3 Seeds

Makes 16 rolls

1/2 cup bulgur wheat

1 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 -3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
1 tablespoon EACH sesame, flax, and poppy seeds
1 tablespoon flaked sea salt

Cook the bulgur in 2 cups boiling water in a medium saucepan until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Place the milk, eggs, honey, oil, whole wheat flour, 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, oats, cooled bulgur, salt and yeast in a bread machine in the order given. Process on the “dough” mode, adding more flour if needed.

Remove dough from bread machine pan and from into 16 balls. Arrange in two 8-inch round oiled cake pans. Brush tops with oil, cover and let rise 20 -25 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle roll tops with the seeds and salt; bake until dark golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool in the pan 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve warm.

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