Whole Wheat Eggplant Rolls
- 3 C. whole wheat flour, plus more (as necessary) for handling dough
- 2 ¼ tsp. quick rise or rapid rise yeast
- 1 ¼ C. warm water
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more if necessary
- 1 medium eggplant, diced (about 4 cups)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- ¼ C. water
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (I like this one from Trader Joe’s)
- 1/8 – ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on your spice preference)
- 1 tsp. freshly chopped oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- whole wheat flour for rolling, as necessary
- 3 Tbsp. grated romano cheese
- 1/3 C. crumbled feta cheese
- 1 egg
- splash of water
Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour, 1 ¼ tsp. of the yeast, and all of the water. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes pass and the mixture begins to show some air bubbles, mix in the remainder of the flour, yeast, as well as salt and olive oil until combined (use your hands if necessary). Knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Let sit covered for 60 minutes, until doubled in size.
Make the filling: While the dough is rising, make the filling. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add a drizzle more olive oil to the pan if necessary, then add eggplant, salt and pepper. Cook for 8-12 minutes until tender. Reduce the heat to low. Add tomato paste and water, stir until smooth. Cook for a minute, then add in balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, until all of the water is evaporated and the eggplant is coated in sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in oregano. Set aside and let cool.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a heavy-bottomed baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Turn your attention back to the dough. Punch down the dough, knead a few times. Flour the dough, the work surface, and your hands. Roll out the dough into a 15×10 inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with the romano cheese. Top with eggplant mixture, being sure to spread out to an even layer. Sprinkle on feta cheese, again being sure to distribute evenly. From the wider side of the rectangle, begin to roll the dough tightly into a pinwheel, being sure to keep the filling in its place as you roll. Once the dough is completely rolled, set it seam-side down and slice into 8 even pieces. Carefully transfer each piece to the prepared sheet pan. Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and the splash of water. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crusty. Once done, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.