Soft, fluffy, tender whole wheat dinner rolls are a wonderful addition to your next meal or holiday dinner! If you’re new to bread baking, this is an easy to make dinner roll recipe that won’t disappoint!
This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post on 11/17/2014.
If you’re like me and only bake yeast bread or rolls a few times a year, it can be intimidating. There’s a lot riding on the yeast activating and doing it’s thing when combined with the flour. Don’t even get me started on the stress waiting and hoping that the dough rises!
Today I’m here to help ease your stress when it comes to baking with yeast. In particular, to ease your stress so you can make the most fluffy, tender, whole wheat dinner rolls. Below are some of my best tips and tricks to ensure that these rolls are the perfect side dish for all your holiday meals or whenever your in the mood for some fresh baked dinner rolls.
Ingredients For Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- low fat milk or whole milk
- unsalted butter
- active dry yeast
- white whole wheat flour
- all purpose flour
- fresh herbs (optional)
How To Make Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove until it reaches 110° – 115° F. Whisk in the honey and melted butter. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top of it. The yeast will need about 10 minutes to activate in the milk mixture. It will be foamy looking when it’s ready.
While the yeast activates whisk together the whole wheat and all purpose flour and the salt. Don’t forget the salt! I’ve done this a couple times and the flavor is very disappointing. Once the yeast activates add in the egg yolk and pour in 2 1/4 cups of the flour mixture.
Beat everything together using the paddle attachment until the dough forms. Switch from the paddle to the dough hook and beat the dough on low speed for about 10 minutes until the dough has pulled away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
If the dough is still really sticky and stuck to the bowl add the leftover flour mixture one tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is formed, remove it from the bowl and either grease the bowl it was in with oil or grease a separate bowl.
Place the dough in the bowl and cover with either a piece of plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Put the bowl in a warm dry area and let it rise for 60-90 minutes. The length of time it takes depends on how hot, cold, dry, or humid it is. The dough will be doubled in size when it’s ready.
Once the dough has risen remove it from the bowl and divide it into 12 equal sized pieces and form them into balls. I find that the easiest and most accurate way to do this is with a kitchen scale. Each of my dough balls were approximately 1.8 ounces.
Put the dough balls seam side down into a greased 8×8 baking pan. I used metal, but glass or ceramic will work too. Place another piece of plastic or the kitchen towel over the pan and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes.
During the second rise, preheat your oven to 350° F. Place the risen rolls onto the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they’re golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan. You can also use a thermometer inserted into one of the center rolls to check for doneness. The internal temperature should be 200° F.
Remove the rolls from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle them with coarse sea salt.
Tips For Making The Best Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- Heat the milk to 110° – 115° F. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove. Use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature is correct. If the milk is too hot you run the risk of killing the yeast and if it’s too cold it may not activate.
- If you have a kitchen scale I recommend weighing the flour rather that using measuring cups. A scale will give you the most accurate amount of flour.
- Allow at least 1 hour for the first rise of the rolls and 30 minutes for the second rise. The dough needs to be double in size before you form the rolls and again before you bake them. Keep the dough in a warm, draft free area covered with plastic wrap and/or a clean kitchen towel.
- Make your rolls the same size to ensure that they bake evenly. Again, I like to use a kitchen scale for this.
- These particular rolls take 20-25 minutes to bake. Check them at 15 minutes to make sure they aren’t getting too brown on top. If they are, loosely tent them with a piece of foil. When checking for doneness, always check one of the center rolls.
- Brush the rolls with butter and top them with a little sea salt as soon as they come out of the oven. This gives them a nice sheen and delicious flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. These rolls freeze beautifully. Let them cool completely and remove them from the pan. You can break them apart or just leave all 12 connected. Wrap them in plastic wrap and then store them in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.
The rolls will be domed and golden brown on top. They should also be pulling away from the sides of the pan. If you want to be extra sure they are done, use a thermometer and insert it into one of the center rolls. The temperature should read 200° F.
Yes. If you do this you may find that you don’t need as much flour. Hold back about 1/4 cup of what the recipe calls for and add more as needed.
Yes. Canola, vegetable or another flavorless oil can be used to replace the butter
Yes. Use 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to replace the honey.
Dinner Roll Flavors
Rosemary – Add a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary.
Mixed Herbs – Add a tablespoon of whatever combination of fresh chopped herbs you like. For these rolls I used thyme and rosemary. Sage and rosemary would be a great combination as well.
Garlic Herb – Again use a tablespoon of whatever herbs you like best and 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder depending on how much garlic you like. You can also add fresh chopped garlic or an additional 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder to the melted butter you brush on top of the rolls after they bake.
More Favorite Bread Recipes
- 1 cup low fat milk, warmed to 110 -115° F.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (162 grams)
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (150 grams)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Melted butter and flaky sea salt for brushing over the tops of the baked rolls
- Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove until it reaches 110° - 115° F. Whisk in the honey and melted butter and then pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit untouched for 10 minutes while it activates. It will be foamy looking when it’s ready.
- In a bowl whisk together the whole wheat and all purpose flour and the salt.
- Once the yeast is ready add in the egg yolk and pour in the flour mixture. Beat everything together using the paddle attachment until the dough forms then switch to the dough hook. Beat the dough on low speed for about 10 minutes until the dough has pulled away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- If the dough is still really sticky and stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl, add additional flour one tablespoon at a time until it's no longer sticking. If the dough appears too dry add an additional tablespoon of milk. Once the dough is formed, remove it from the bowl and either grease the bowl it was in with oil or grease a separate bowl.
- Put the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Put the bowl in a warm dry area and let it rise for 60 minutes or until it's doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen remove it from the bowl and divide it into 12 equal sized pieces and form them into balls. Each of my dough balls were approximately 1.8 ounces.
- Place the dough balls seam side down into a greased 8x8 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. then place the rolls onto the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they’re golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan. If using a thermometer the internal temperature should be 200° F.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle them with coarse sea salt.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.