1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. or one package yeast
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp. gluten flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 to 2-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. vegetable oil, any kind
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup hot tap water, 1 tsp. sugar and yeast. Let stand until frothy, about 15 minutes.
Place butter, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over and stir until butter is dissolve. Let cool to lukewarm.
To butter mixture, add yeast, egg, gluten flour and whole wheat flour. Stir enthusiastically. Add 1/2 cup white flour and stir about 25 strokes. Repeat three times, although the third time it might be impossible to stir that much – stir until there aren’t any flour streaks.
You should now have what’s called a “soft dough”. It should be all one color and texture, and if you make a dent or peak it should hold that shape pretty well. If it’s way too soft, add up to 1/2 cup more flour until you’re satisfied. If it’s not all one color and texture, keep stirring!
Put the oil in a large bowl, at least twice as big as your dough lump. Scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover loosely with foil or plastic wrap and put in corner of the kitchen free of drafts. (Inside the microwave is actually a good place. Just don’t use the microwave!) Leave it alone for two hours.
Your dough should have risen to about twice the size it was. Punch it with your fist until it subsides.
Grease muffin pans. Take lumps of dough in your hands (better if your hands are still greasy) and roll them into balls. They don’t have to be perfect. Drop one ball in each muffin hole. This makes 18 rolls, so try to get 1/18th of the dough in each ball. Cover muffin pans with a towel and let rolls rise about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. When rolls are about twice the size they were, put them in the oven and let them bake about 20 minutes. Let them stand 5 minutes after you take them out of the oven, then serve.
Tricks: You can make this dough the day before. Put it in a big, oiled plastic bag and put it in the fridge. Check it after 6 hours or so, and punch it down if it’s doubled. Take it out of the fridge two hours before you want to bake, and punch it down. Leave it on the counter until it’s doubled, then punch it down, shape it and bake it as above.