These whole wheat rolls are fluffy, stay soft for days, and make excellent sandwiches! A must-have for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. With a dairy-free option. Check out the reviews if you need convincing!
Continuing on with healthier Easter recipes, I give you the gift of fluffy whole wheat 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?
If you’re like me and don’t like your whole wheat recipes to actually taste of whole wheat, then try my whole wheat chocolate cupcakes! They’re every bit as delicious as cupcakes made with all-purpose flour.
The same is true of this whole wheat healthy carrot cake. And this whole wheat banana bread!
Your whole wheat roll search is over!
But back to today’s recipe. These whole wheat rolls could also be called Miracles of Fluff. Because they are. :D I’m so happy I found this recipe on An Oregon Cottage!
I can’t tell you how many 100% whole wheat roll 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!
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.
What to serve them with
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! These rolls would also be great alongside this Paleo Pot Roast from Noshtastic! And if you’ve got an Instant Pot, try this Instant Pot chuck roast. These pork chops with apples also look wonderful.
My favorite way of enjoying these whole wheat 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?
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 wheat rolls stay good for so long, there’s no need to halve the recipe. 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!
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!
I’m quite confident using a gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour wouldn’t work for this recipe. So for a gluten-free version, try these gluten-free dinner rolls.
Dairy-free whole wheat rolls
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!
If you give these rolls a try, let me know how they come out. I love feedback. :)
Photos updated 3/2020. Here’s an old one.
Whole Wheat Rolls - Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls!
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 24 rolls
- 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) room temperature or slightly warm buttermilk or homemade dairy-free buttermilk2
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups (563-625 grams) whole wheat flour
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm water. Set this aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and honey until well combined.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, and yeasty water and beat until well combined.
- Add in the vital wheat gluten and the salt and switch to the dough hook.
- Add in 2 cups of the flour and mix.
- 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.
- Knead for only 2 minutes.
- 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.
- Turn the dough out onto a slightly floured surface and knead it a few times, then let the dough rest for 3 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 24 balls and place these in a buttered 13" x 9" baking pan (the pieces will touch).
- Let the rolls rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bake the rolls for 13 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. It's very important not to overbake the rolls!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
269 comments on “Whole Wheat Rolls (soft and ultra fluffy!)” — Add one!
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I have a question on freezing 1/2 of the dough for later use. Do I allow the dough to rise before freezing or do I divide the dough and freeze immediately and rise after I thaw ?
I haven’t tried it but I found this: “After preparing and kneading the dough, shape into rolls or flatten into a disk and wrap airtight. The dough can be frozen up to four weeks. When ready to use, thaw at room temperature or slowly in the refrigerator. Once thawed, shape, let rise, and bake as directed.” I hope that helps! :)
I need to do low sodium. Can I leave out the salt?
You can but I don’t think they’d be very tasty. But if you’re used to bread without any salt at all, I guess it’d be fine. :)
Your recipe doesn’t say if the buttermilk should be cold, room temperature or warm?
Hi Deb! Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve always used cold buttermilk with success but room temperature or just slightly warm would actually be better. I’ve updated the recipe. Thanks again!
I use powdered buttermilk because I don’t use buttermilk often. The buttermilk powder gets combined with the first portion of flour to be added to the bowl. Whatever amount of buttermilk the recipe calls for is substituted with water. I made these rolls (for the second time) yesterday. I make them large to use as sandwich rolls. Anyway, as I am waiting for the dough to rise I realized I forgot the buttermilk powder. OMG!!!!!! I was calling myself all kinds of derogatory names and I thought, you have just wasted all of these ingredients. They looked great coming out of the oven and AMAZINGLY enough they tasted great too. WHO NEW? So for all of your followers out there that may not have, or use, buttermilk these come out great with just plain tepid water.
Thanks for the tip on using water! Was there any difference at all in the final product? And it’s great to know that the powder method works well, too. Thanks a ton for your feedback!
Nope. They looked just like the previous batch that had the buttermilk powder added.
Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr!
So interesting! Thanks for the reply and the feedback. Ein gutes Neues Jahr for you, too! :)
I am interested in making a batch of these rolls, but splitting the dough for 1/2 batch of rolla and 1 batch of your orange cinnamon rolls. The only difference between the two is that the cinnamon rolls have orange zest. When would I would be the best time to add it in?
Hi! For the orange rolls, you’d usually beat it with the honey and butter and then add the yeast mixture. This ensures you get out all the good orange flavor. But if you’re dividing up the dough for cinnamon buns, I’d personally just add it after the dough has been split in half and before you knead it. It’d save a ton of time and I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference. I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Can instant yeast be used in this recipe?
I haven’t tried it but I’d assume so. Just adjust the directions according to what it says on the package.
Have you ever tried soaking the flour in the buttermilk overnight before continuing with the recipe? I have a good recipe for soaked wheat bread, but not rolls, and these sound delicious.
I haven’t, sorry! I’ve never soaked flour (only whole grains and nuts) so I have no idea. Sorry about that. :(
These sound great. 2 questions: Can you use Egg Beater egg substitute instead of whole eggs? Also can you substitute olive oil for the softened 1/2 cup butter or does the substitute have to be semi solid?
I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! I’ve only ever used chia and flax seed eggs as egg replacements so I’m not sure. We don’t have Egg Beater here in Germany so I’ve never gotten to try it. So I’m super hesitant to recommend it. One commenter used olive oil but I haven’t tried it myself, so I really can’t say for sure. I’d just hate for you to waste time and ingredients by telling you the wrong thing. Sorry that I can’t be more helpful!
Thanks….I went ahead and tried it using 1/2 cup light olive oil and 3/4 cup EggBeaters (commercial liquid egg substitute made from egg whites).
It took a bit more than 5 cups of flour…maybe because the oil was more of a liquid than softened butter. But they came out great and taste terrific!
Oh, wow! I’m so glad that they came out well. Thanks a ton for coming back to let us know how it worked. I’m sure that’ll help someone else out. :)
I love these rolls. Do you have any suggestions for making this into a loaf of bread?
Hello! I’m sorry to say that I don’t. I’ve never tried converting a roll recipe to a loaf pan so I really have no idea if it’d work. Sorry I can’t be more of a help. I’m glad that you enjoyed them in roll form!
I made and LOVE these. Any idea approximately how many calories is each bun?
I’m so sorry for just now seeing this! I just found it with a ton of comments mixed in with the spam. :( I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. I’m glad you enjoyed the rolls! Sorry again.
I live at 7000 ft. Sometimes a problem with baking bread. Thesecame out great. I just followed you directions. Very delicious. Thank you
I’m so glad that they came out well! Thanks for your feedback. :) It’s great to know that they work well at high-altitude!
CANI REPLACE THE BUTTER WITH OLIVE OIL – HALF CUP ?
I haven’t tried it but I think it’d work. But it’s just a guess. Sorry I can’t give you a definite answer!
Thks for replying j
2 TBS of AD yeast seems like a lot. Did you mean 2 packets?
Nope. That’s how I and all the commenters made it.
Hi, may i know if i halve the loaf, do i halve the time for proofing as well? Because i let itvrise for 1 hour, but it seems to be overproofed.
I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! The bread still needs the full rising time. I hope they worked out!
Hi. Any substitute for eggs? My kid is allergic to eggs.
I do mostly egg-free baking these days but haven’t found a good sub in bread recipes. :( Sorry about that.
That’s ok. Thank you
Hi, Erin, Can I use wholemeal bread flour if I don’t have wholewheat flour?
Hi! Do you maybe live outside of the US? We don’t have wholemeal bread flour in the US so I’ve never used it and have no idea how it’d work in this recipe. Sorry about that! Maybe do a test half batch? :)
I made them , my husband just loved them 👍
Yay! I’m glad to hear that. I hope you did, too! Thanks for your comment.
I TRIED THESE ON THE FIRST DAY OF CORONA VIRUS LOCK DOWN IN SOUTH AFRICA 27 MARCH 2020.
THEY WERE SO DELICIOUS, I HAD TO HIDE THEM AWAY FOR SUPPER, BEFORE WE ATE THEM ALL. LOVELY LIGHT AND TASTY.
I USED THE YEAST AS SUGGESTED, BUT WE HAVE DRY YEAST SO WILL ADD THAT TO THE FLOUR MIXTURE NEXT TIME.
I ALSO MADE THEM AS LONG ROLLS TO HAVE A PREGGO ROLL. THEY REALLY ARE A WINNER.
I’m so glad that you enjoyed them! I can understand needing to hide them away. ;) They’re addictive! Thanks a ton for your feedback.
Can I mix bread flour instead of wheat gluten and if so what proportion of wheat and bread flour should I use
You can omit the vital wheat gluten. Don’t use bread flour, though. If you want to use that, it’s best to find a different recipe.
These are really delicious rolls! Thank you so much for this recipe!
I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! It landed in spam for some weird reason. I’m so glad you liked the rolls! Thanks for your feedback. :)
Do you have to use dairy free milk in this recipe or can I use low fat milk?
I’m sorry for just now seeing this! You can use whatever milk you’d like.