We’ve been eating a lot of stir fries lately. It’s my go-to dish for when we’re inundated with green beans from the garden. I love throwing a mess of veggies in a pan with some olive oil, soy sauce… oyster sauce… hoisen sauce, what ever sounds good, and ladle it over a pile of rice! It’s a great, fresh, homemade alternative for Chinese take-out.
Now, everyone has their favorite Chinese take-out. You narrow in on your favorite egg roll, favorite plum sauce…weigh the saltiness of one won-ton soup verses the place down the road. You find the best version of that mystery fluorescent orange sweet and sour chicken…and finally you choose THE place. And it’s from this place that you compare all other Chinese take out.
The Chinese take out of my youth is still number one in my mind. I’ve yet to find Almond Chicken that’s better, but besides the excellent main dishes, this place always served Hawaiian sweet rolls with every meal. It was just such a perfect combination. The salty MSG laden food with the sweet Hawaiian rolls…ugh, divine! I remember peeling off that gold foil from those little plastic pats of butter and spreading the measly helping on each half. The bun sort of matted into your mouth, filling you with a wonderful sensation of sweet-carby overload.
This recipe is not quite the same as a Hawaiian sweet roll, but it’s very similar in flavor and it has the added benefit of using 10 eggs! Along with our abundant green bean harvest, the chickens have been laying eggs like crazy. So any recipe where I can use almost a dozen eggs is a keeper.
The original inspiration for this recipe was found on All Recipes.com. But I’ve changed quite a few things after making it several times so my new take on the recipe is below.
Recently I’ve switched from all-purpose flour to whole wheat in everything I bake. It took me a while to find a flour that would give me similar results without changing the texture and flavor of our favorite homemade baked goods. This Prairie Gold brand made by Wheat Montana has given me the best results so far. It’s a lighter, sweeter whole wheat that rises well in breads. The overall color of your recipe will be slightly golden and maybe a tad bit dense. It’s non GMO, fairly inexpensive and it’s easy to find in most grocery stores.
Proof the Yeast
2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and stir until yeast dissolves. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast foams and thickens slightly.
Once the yeast has activated add:
6 egg yolks
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour + 1/2 to 1 additional cups
Mix well with a spatula.
Knead the additional flour a little at a time and stop adding when the dough comes together easily and forms a ball.
Let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled. About 2 hours.
I like to let my bread rise on our front porch in the summer away from the air conditioning.
(Optional) Once dough has risen, punch it down, knead it a few times and let it rise for a second time. About an hour. I find this second rise gives the bread a lighter texture, but it does taste slightly yeastier.
Punch the dough down again and divide into two halves.
These can be baked in loaf pans, or you can divide each half into thirds and braid.
Brush the dough with the 10th egg, beaten and sprinkle with sugar.
Allow the dough to rise a third time and then bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.