Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls (100% whole wheat)

These 100% whole wheat dinner rolls are fluffy, stay soft for days, and make excellent sandwiches! A must-have for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Continuing on with healthier Thanksgiving recipes, I give you the gift of fluffy dinner rolls! For me, no holiday meal is complete without dinner rolls. I have to admit that I really love the frozen ones you can bake in the oven, but homemade and whole wheat is always better, right?

I can’t tell you how many 100% whole wheat recipes I tried before finding a good one. I even tried 50% whole wheat and couldn’t find a really amazing recipe. But these?! 100% and so ridiculously fluffy and tasty!

They could also be called Miracles of Fluff. Because they are. :D I’m so happy I found this recipe on An Oregon Cottage!

The best 100% whole wheat dinner rolls ever – so incredibly soft and fluffy! With a dairy-free option.

One of the best parts about this recipe is that the rolls stay soft for longer than just a few hours after baking. The rolls that other recipes I tried yield rolls that are good out of the oven, but later that night, they’re crumbly and not that appetizing. Or they’re just plain bad.

Whenever I make brisket or pulled pork, I make these. I don’t know what it is about this recipe, but these always stay soft for days after making them!

My favorite way of enjoying these dinner rolls is with honey. Just a little is enough. These rolls are already slightly sweetened with honey, but they’re not that sweet. Totally acceptable for sandwiches!

Got leftover Turkey? Put it in here and rejoice. :D Turkey leftovers won’t be that boring anymore! Or maybe that’s just me who dislikes a huge amount of leftovers?

The best 100% whole wheat dinner rolls ever – so incredibly fluffy! With a dairy-free option.

I’ve also made these into cinnamon buns. That recipe is hopefully coming soon! They’re pretty naughty. But hey, at least they’re still whole grain!

I’ve halved the recipe before but I always regret it. Since the rolls stay good for so long, there’s no need to halve it. And you can always pop them in the fridge and reheat in the microwave, if needed!

You could also freeze half of the dough and make them into cinnamon buns later, which I highly recommend doing. They’ll no doubt be the fluffiest 100% whole grain cinnamon rolls you ever have. And just like the dinner rolls, I’ve tried loads of whole wheat cinnamon bun recipes. This is the base you want to use!

By the way, I’ve tried these with whole spelt flour and that didn’t work out. If you adjusted the liquid, it’d work, but none of the formulas for converting whole to spelt recipes have worked for me. Not yet, anyway!

For a dairy-free version, use coconut oil instead of butter and homemade buttermilk. Use any dairy-free milk (except canned coconut milk) and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Pour the vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill with milk. Give it a few stirs. Let sit for 5 minutes while preparing the dry ingredients. There you have dairy-free buttermilk!

For a gluten-free version, try these gluten-free dinner rolls from My Gluten-free Kitchen.

Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls (100% whole wheat)

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Rated 5.0 by 22 readers
Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls (100% whole wheat)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 24 rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) warm water
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter or coconut oil1, softened + additional butter for brushing on top, if desired
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey
  • 3 large eggs (50 gram each, out of shell), room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) buttermilk or homemade dairy-free buttermilk2
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups (563-625 grams) whole wheat flour

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm water. Set this aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and honey until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and yeasty water and beat until well combined.
  4. Add in the vital wheat gluten and the salt and switch to the dough hook.
  5. Add in 2 cups of the flour and mix.
  6. Then add in enough of the remaining flour so that the dough just comes together. Depending on the day, you may need quite a bit.
  7. Knead for only 2 minutes.
  8. Once the dough is no longer tacky, cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I like to turn the oven to the lowest setting for 1 minute, then turn it off and let the dough rise in there.
  9. Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured surface and knead it a few times, then let the dough rest for 3 minutes.
  10. Divide the dough into 24 balls and place these in a buttered 13" x 9" baking pan (the pieces will touch).
  11. Let the rolls rise for 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  13. Bake the rolls for 13 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. It's very important not to overbake the rolls!
  14. Remove from the oven, rub some butter over the top of the rolls, and serve immediately or let cool completely and then cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Anything past that, I'd stick them in the fridge (to prevent mold).

Notes

  1. For the dairy-free version, use coconut oil. It should about as firm as softened butter and not melted! If you don't want any coconut taste, use refined coconut oil instead of unrefined.
  2. Use any dairy-free milk (except canned coconut milk) and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Pour the vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill with milk. Stir and ket sit for 5 minutes.

Adapted from Soft 100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls from An Oregon Cottage

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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156 comments on “Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls (100% whole wheat)” — Add one!

  • Angeliki says
    June 19, 2017 @ 12:38 am

    hello!
    Erin, how can we make these into cinnamon rolls ? Could you please give me some guidance for the ingredients? (e.g 1 t.s cinnamon? extra sugar??)

    I m planning to split the dough! half for dinner rolls, half for cinnamon rolls!!
    thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Angeliki
      June 19, 2017 @ 6:49 am

      Hi there! I haven’t made them in years so I honestly have no idea. I posted this healthier orange sweet rolls recipe based on the dinner rolls so maybe that’ll help! Or you could just look at other cinnamon bun recipes to see how much sugar, cinnamon and butter they used for the filling. Good luck! :)

      Reply
      • Angeliki
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        replies to Erin
        June 19, 2017 @ 6:03 pm

        thank you! yes, I m gonna use that one!!

        I made them today, and they are very nice! soft and fluffy!! Half of the dough iis n the freezer though and cinnamon rolls to be made soon!

        I have to say I didnt use the wheat gluten and I cut down a bit the butter using olive oil instead! They still turned out very tasty and I m gonna try the recipe in my bread maker in order to make a proper bread loaf… I believe is gonna be sooo fluffy!!!

        thank you!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Angeliki
          June 21, 2017 @ 9:13 pm

          I hope the buns will come out well! Great that they worked well without the vital wheat gluten. :) Good luck with trying it in a bread maker and thanks so much for your feedback! :)

  • KR says
    May 10, 2017 @ 10:59 pm

    Has anyone tried freezing the dough and then taking them out to rise and then bake them? I love the frozen non-baked rolls in the freezer section but I rarely find whole wheat!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to KR
      May 11, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

      I haven’t but if you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes. :) Good luck!

      Reply
  • Jennifer Vann
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    May 9, 2017 @ 3:51 am

    I made these today and I can say is WOW!!! I halved the dough and made 12 dinner rolls and 8 Cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon are just to darn delicious. The rolls did not rise as much as the cinnamon rolls, because I over kneaded them, but they were still good. The taste is phenomenal!!! I added 1/2 cup of honey instead of quarter, next time I will add 1/3 cup. The cream cheese icing I made for the cinnamon rolls, I used Swerve sweetner, (I’m diabetic) and it was soooo good. I use Zing Baking Blend and Swerve for all of my baking needs. You absolutely do not miss that poisonous white sugar, and white flour. My Mom is addicted to sugar and she could not tell the difference. I am so happy I can have rolls again. This will be made often. Thank You for this wonderful recipe. I am going to use this base to make Cheese Danish! Yum!!! Jennifer V

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jennifer Vann
      May 9, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

      Oooh! It’s been way too long since I’ve made these as cinnamon buns! It’s great to know that they work well with Swerve and Zing. Thanks a ton for your feedback! I’m so happy that you found a way to have rolls again. I can’t wait to hear how your danishes come out! Thanks again. :)

      Reply
  • Rosie
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    April 19, 2017 @ 10:33 am

    I was a bit nervous about making these because I never usually use egg / butter / milk in bread recipes but Oh. My. God. So fluffy! New favourite roll recipe ❤️

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Rosie
      April 20, 2017 @ 8:26 pm

      Woohoo! So happy that they came out well. Thanks a ton for your comment! :)

      Reply
  • him says
    March 4, 2017 @ 3:10 am

    Hi
    The recipe says you require 4.5v to 5 cups of flour. But we add in only 2 cups of flour . Is that correct?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to him
      March 4, 2017 @ 1:53 pm

      Hi! You add in 2 cups of flour in Step #5 and then in Step #6, you add in enough of the remaining flour so that the dough is no longer sticky.

      Reply
  • Idalene says
    January 21, 2017 @ 1:16 pm

    Can I add rapid rise instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Idalene
      January 21, 2017 @ 10:41 pm

      I’m pretty sure that’d work fine! Make sure to follow the directions on the back of the package. Hope you’ll enjoy them!

      Reply
  • Helene says
    December 24, 2016 @ 3:21 pm

    I am making these today and am out of eggs. I have unsweetened applesauce, ground flax and chick pea brine that I could use in place. Are these more savory or a sweet roll? Is Xmas Eve and I don’t want to battle a crowd for eggs. Thanks for your help! Happy Holidays

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Helene
      December 24, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

      They’re slightly sweet due to the honey. I’ve never used applesauce or chickpea brine as a sub in bread so I’m not sure how well it’d work. I’m thinking a flax egg or chia egg might work, though. Good luck and happy holidays! :)

      Reply
      • Helene replies to Erin
        December 24, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

        Used flax (3.5 eggs worth) for half and the brine (3 tablespoons) for the other for experiments sake. Both turned out so beautiful and tasty. I’m going to try applesauce next time, I think even though naturally sweet, theyd still turn out delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It’s a good’un.

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Helene
          December 26, 2016 @ 10:11 pm

          Wow! That’s great that that worked out well. Thanks for coming back to let me know what you tried! I really appreciate it. :)

  • Mary
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    November 20, 2016 @ 10:41 pm

    Can you tell me how to make this without a mixer? Also can I make these and keep in fridge until next day?mary

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mary
      November 21, 2016 @ 8:36 am

      Do you have a hand mixer? If not, then just do everything by hand. I think the only thing that will be different is that you’ll probably need to knead it longer in Step 7. I have no idea how much longer but once it’s no longer tacky, it’s ready. I’m guessing it may be difficult to make these by hand. The dough is quite sticky! I’d use a spoon to mix in the flour until it’s manageable. You can make them and even keep them at room temp for a day. :)

      Reply
      • Mary Haddox replies to Erin
        November 22, 2016 @ 3:33 am

        I do have a hand mixer. This is my first try at homemade rolls so EEEEK! I hope they turn out well. Thanks so much.

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Mary Haddox
          November 22, 2016 @ 9:33 pm

          Ah, okay! Then just use that. There’s probably a dough hook attachment that came with the mixer. :) Good luck!

  • Steve says
    November 13, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

    Why did you add vital wheat gluten? It was not in the Oregon recipe.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Steve
      November 14, 2016 @ 10:19 am

      It improves the elasticity and rise of the raw dough and the crumb and chewiness in the final loaves. It’s especially effective when baking with low-protein flours like whole wheat (which has trouble developing enough gluten). You can just omit it if you want.

      Reply
  • Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
    November 5, 2016 @ 4:17 pm

    Erin, I love a nice fluffy dinner roll, and these look terrific!

    Reply
  • Vivian E Bowdish says
    October 30, 2016 @ 4:52 am

    Where is the recipe????? Yak yak talk talk yakity yak!! NO RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!😠😠😠😠😠

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Vivian E Bowdish
      October 30, 2016 @ 10:17 am

      If you’re on desktop, just scroll down the page past all the “yak yak talk talk” and if you’re on mobile, click on the big, bright pink button that says, “Get Recipe HERE.” Hope you’re able to find it now. :)

      Reply
  • Vivia says
    October 16, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

    Hi, I just wanted to say these are incredible!! Thank you so much for posting the recipe. I normally exclusively bake gluten free & pack in as much fiber as possible, but my daughter has been swapping her pack lunch sandwiches for the worst refined white bread you can imagine. Whats the point of making optimally nutritious buns if she can’t stand the taste… These buns seem to be the answer, she loved them! :D
    I didn’t have all the ingredients at hand, so used coconut oil instead of butter & coconut milk/lemon juice instead of muttermilk, nutritional yeast instead of vital gluten. They still turned out so light & fluffy… I couldn’t resiste trying them too (paying for it now) Delicious! Thank you :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Vivia
      October 16, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

      You mean she swaps it at school? Haha. That sounds like something I would’ve liked to do. ;) The nutritional yeast sub is interesting! I’ll have to try that, too. I’m so happy that you both enjoyed them and I hope you feel better soon! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Diana says
    September 7, 2016 @ 10:23 pm

    Hi. I see your bread so fluffy and soft. I have make whole wheat bread but it looks so different because it is very very heavy an has literaly the whole grain. The flour that you use has the bran??? Or is it unprocesed flour but without the bran???

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Diana
      September 7, 2016 @ 11:06 pm

      I use literally the whole grain. I even mill it myself sometimes and it’s never a problem in this recipe! This recipe really just is special. Other whole grain dinner rolls I’ve tried have been very heavy and dense like you mentioned. I think you should try these. :)

      Reply
      • Diana replies to Erin
        September 13, 2016 @ 2:37 am

        Hi again. It is realy great! Thank you for shering… I love love love this bread!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Diana
          September 14, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

          Woohoo! I’m so happy to hear that. Thanks for letting me know how it went!

  • Alisa says
    April 4, 2016 @ 12:37 pm

    I made these rolls and after putting them in the oven, they collapsed. I used whole milk and I didn’t use vital wheat. Can you tell me what went wrong and what brand name wheat flour do you use. And I also used Rapid Rise Yeast.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Alisa
      April 4, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

      I use Bob’s Red Mill but all the brands I’ve tried in these have worked. I’ve had bread collapse, too and know how frustrating that is! Did you shorten the rising time according to the Rapid Rise Yeast packet instructions? If dough rises too long, it collapses. So if you used that yeast without shortening the rising time, then that explains why it collapsed. There are some other ideas in this thread. I hope your next try will go better. :)

      Reply
      • Gia replies to Erin
        November 18, 2016 @ 9:13 pm

        I’m just about to make these. So glad I read the string about reducing rise time.

        Reply
  • Beverly B.
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    April 3, 2016 @ 1:22 am

    I am soooooo happy that you shared this recipe! I make breads frequently, and this recipe is now my favorite for honey wheat rolls! I would love to try your favorite roll recipe for honey white rolls, if you have one. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Beverly B.
      April 4, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

      I’m thrilled that you enjoyed them so much! I don’t have a favorite recipe for honey white rolls but here’s my favorite dinner roll recipe. They’re so perfectly fluffy. :) Thanks for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Carla
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    July 20, 2015 @ 10:29 pm

    Just wanted to thank you for the recipe…we made these and loved them! I didn’t even have vital wheat gluten and ran out of milk (oops!), so I had to use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water…they still turned out great! Kids and adults thought they were awesome! :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Carla
      July 21, 2015 @ 8:58 am

      Haha. I love that they worked with half milk and half water and without vital wheat gluten! I’m so happy that everyone enjoyed them. Thanks a ton for your feedback! :)

      Reply
  • Mae
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    February 6, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

    These were amazing! I just wanted to say that for anyone reading this blog. Seriously, make them. You won’t be disappointed.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mae
      February 6, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

      Thanks for the nice feedback. :) I’m really happy that you liked them so much!

      Reply
  • teresa says
    January 24, 2015 @ 10:46 pm

    Hi, I’ve never made rolls before but would like to try this recipe. I’ve heard a lot in the media about gluten and its getting a pretty bad rep. Can you make these rolls without the wheat gluten? Is this the same gluten that the media is trying to steer everyone away from? Just curious. Thanks Teresa

    Reply
    • Erin replies to teresa
      January 24, 2015 @ 11:27 pm

      Hi, Teresa! You can leave out the vital wheat gluten but it’d be a little pointless since there’s gluten in all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and most other types of grains. People who have gluten sensitivities definitely shouldn’t ever eat gluten, but for those of us who don’t have any issues with gluten, there’s no need to avoid it (see this article and this one – be sure to read both pages of the second one!) If you want to leave out the vital wheat gluten just because you don’t have it, the rolls will still work. :)

      Reply
  • Daisy says
    December 23, 2014 @ 5:49 am

    Could I make the dough using my bread machine?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Daisy
      December 23, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

      I haven’t tried but I’m pretty sure that’d work!

      Reply
  • chhaya says
    December 19, 2014 @ 8:03 am

    Sorry i post my question again as i just seen ur reply after putting another post.. sorry once again…. Got ur reply and i will try with water and butter milk.. Thanks..

    Reply
    • Erin replies to chhaya
      December 19, 2014 @ 11:19 am

      No problem! I’ll just delete it. I hope you’ll enjoy the rolls! :)

      Reply
  • chhaya says
    December 18, 2014 @ 9:03 am

    Hi, Can I use milk instead of water or butter milk?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to chhaya
      December 18, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

      The yeast is proofed in the water and I’m not so sure about letting yeast proof in milk. I’d recommend sticking with water, just to be safe. And if you don’t have buttermilk, add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1-cup measuring cup, fill it up with milk, let it sit for 5 minutes and then you have buttermilk. I hope that’ll work for you!

      Reply
  • vanessa says
    December 16, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

    hello, do you think I could freeze these rolls?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to vanessa
      December 16, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

      Hi! Yes, I think that’d be fine but I’m not positive as I haven’t tried it. Hope you’ll like them!

      Reply

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