My workplace is vegan and animal-friendly, so every day I get to work in the company of not just people committed to animal rights but also a number of furry, four-legged creatures who make coming in to work a lot of fun.
We have four cats who live in the office and dogs who come in every day with their parents. It is not unusual for me to walk into my office after a meeting and find my chair taken over by Fergie, a beautiful tabby with grave eyes, and never mind the cat bed sitting right there. Or to be pleasantly startled when Oliver, the handsome black cat, rubs against my legs while I am staring at the computer, trying to deal with a particularly tough problem.
Once in a while I’ll hear soft footsteps outside the office and look up to find Bailey the dog making his rounds. He will stop at my feet, give me a soulful look with soft, brown eyes, and then offer up his chin for a good scratch.
Of course, it takes a certain kind of dog– or cat– to be comfortable in a workplace. I cannot even imagine taking Opie, who gets inordinately stressed in strange new places (and likes to chase cats) to work. But that’s another story for another day.
Is your workplace animal-friendly? Do you wish it was?
I wanted to make bread rolls this past weekend, and the recipe I came up with sounded like a winner before I had even started: Maple Sourdough Rolls. And here’s the clincher: it’s partly whole-wheat and wholesome with the nutty goodness of flax.
Maple and sourdough might sound like a strange combination, but these rolls are neither sour, nor do they taste cloyingly sweet. They have just the lightest kiss of maple flavor and the sourdough is only there to help make these rolls tender and give them a great rise. You won’t taste it at all.
This recipe makes a lot of rolls– 24– so they are great if you are expecting guests — or an army– to feed. I shaped them in a spiral for a little cuteness, but you can just roll them into smooth rounds or in crescents. They would also make great slider buns– halve the size of the rolls and you’d get 48 slider buns out of this recipe.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, all!
Whole-Wheat Maple Sourdough Rolls
(Makes 24 rolls)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup flaxmeal
- 1 cup
- sourdough starter
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour
- 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp salt
- Mix the yeast, maple syrup and warm water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it stand 10 minutes or until the yeast starts to froth.
- Add 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Mix and let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Add the sourdough, flaxmeal, salt, oil, and baking soda. Add the flour, a cup at a time, alternating the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Continue to knead for eight minutes on medium speed or by hand. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a large, oiled bowl for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 24 pieces. At this point you can shape the rolls any way you want to. I rolled each roll into a long cylinder, rolled it, and then tucked the end underneath. But you can shape them into
- burger-like buns
- or even
- Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
- Let the rolls rise about an hour or until they have doubled in size. Preheat an oven to 370 degrees.
- Bake the rolls for 23 minutes until golden-brown. Remove them to a rack and let cool for another 10 minutes. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet and continue cooling them on a rack.
- These taste great warm from the oven, but you can also freshen them up later by popping in an oven for a couple of minutes.