Tender and soft, these fluffy whole wheat dinner rolls contain extra dietary fiber and nutrients but they don’t skimp on texture or taste!
Whole wheat dinner rolls are a brilliant accompaniment to the main meal. These fluffy dinner rolls are such a treat. They are soft on the inside with a golden tender crust.
They are made in a pull-apart style, like these pumpkin dinner rolls. Small dough balls are left to rise in a baking tray so they fit snugly and touch together. After baking, they can be pulled apart from each other. This keeps the sides of the rolls softer without creating a crust around the entire bread roll.
Find the full list of ingredients for these soft whole wheat rolls in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a run down of what you need:
- Flour – A mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose white flour or bread flour to bring texture, strength, and softness
- Yeast – Active dry yeast or instant dry yeast. The yeast used in this recipe can be instant yeast or active dried yeast. Instant yeast will rise faster than active dried yeast. Whichever one you use, it needs to be viable. Usually, the instant yeast sachets are usually pretty foolproof, but active dried yeast can sometimes lose viability.
- Milk, Egg & Butter- enrich the dough with fats and protein
- Brown Sugar – a touch of sweetness. This can be substituted with granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
- Salt – Provides structure and flavor.
- Stand mixer – This dough can be made by hand, but a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook makes things a lot easier.
- A 9×13 inch baking pan – Or similar-sized pan.
- Warm the milk until it reaches around 95-104°F / 35-40°C.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or a large mixing bowl, add the warm milk and stir in the yeast and brown sugar.
- Leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- Add the flours, egg, and salt to the yeast mixture.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and combine it into a shaggy dough.
- Add the cubed butter a few cubes at a time, and mix it on medium speed until the butter has been incorporated. At this point, the dough will be very sticky.
If mixing by hand, slap and fold the bread dough on a floured surface to create structure.
Keep the mixer on medium speed and mix for around 6 minutes, or knead by hand for 8-10 minutes until a soft dough forms and gathers strength, pulling away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be soft and still a little sticky, but it should be strong and hang off the dough hook in one cohesive mound.
- Lightly grease a clean large bowl and place dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until the dough has about doubled in size, for about 1- 1 1/2 hours depending on room temperature.
- Gently deflate the dough by punching it down, then remove it from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured bench. Roll the dough into a 15-inch length and cut it into 15 equal pieces (around 1 inch each) Shape each piece into a tight, smooth ball.
- Grease or line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. Place the dough balls into the prepared baking tray.
- Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and let it stand in a warm spot until the dough balls have just doubled in size, around 40-60 minutes depending on room temperature.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Brush the tops of the dough balls with milk.
- Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes until deep golden brown. If the top of the rolls is browning too fast, cover them loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- For extra soft tops, brush the warm baked rolls with melted butter. These whole wheat dinner rolls are best served warm.
The dough for these dinner rolls can be made on day 1 and refrigerated overnight. The next day the rolls can be shaped and risen before baking. Giving the dough a cold rise increases the flavor of the bread. Mix the dough until strong, and place in an airtight container or greased bowl covered with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise in the refrigerator. In the morning the dough will feel clammy and cold. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before shaping.
Leftover dinner rolls can store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. On the following days, rewarm them gently in the microwave to soften them.
The dinner rolls can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the rolls overnight in the refrigerator and warm them up in the microwave or a low-temperature oven before serving.
- 240g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm (95-104°F / 35-40°C)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
- 25g (2 Tablespoons) soft brown sugar
- 220g (1 3/4 cup*) strong all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 220g (1 3/4 cups) whole wheat flour
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 85g (6 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
- Milk for brushing
- Melted butter for brushing.
- Add the warm milk and stir the yeast and brown sugar in a stand mixer bowl with a dough hook. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
- Add whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, egg, and salt. Turn the mixer on low and combine it into a shaggy dough. If mixing by hand, knead the dough into a shaggy dough ball, then transfer it to a workbench and knead on there.
- Add a few cubes of cubed butter at a time and mix it on medium speed until the butter has been incorporated. At this point, the dough will be very sticky.
- Keep the mixer on medium speed and keep mixing for around 6 minutes, or by hand for 8-10 minutes until the dough gathers strength and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be soft and sticky, but it should be strong and hang off the dough hook in one cohesive mound.
- Pull the dough from the mixer bowl and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease a clean, large bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel or plate and let it stand in a warm spot until the dough has about doubled in size, for about 1 hour, depending on room temperature.
- Gently deflate the dough by punching it down, remove it from the bowl, and place it on a lightly floured bench. Roll the dough into a 15-inch length and cut it into 15 1-inch pieces. Shape each piece into a tight ball.
- Grease or line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. Place the dough balls into the prepared baking tray. Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and let it stand in a warm spot until the dough balls have doubled, around 40-60 minutes, depending on room temperature.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Brush the tops of the dough balls with milk.
- Bake the rolls in the oven for approximately 22-25 minutes until deep golden brown. If they are browning too fast, loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the rolls.
- Brush the warm baked rolls with melted butter for extra soft tops. The bread rolls are best served warm.
- On the following days, the rolls can be reheated in the microwave for 10 seconds.
* the cup sizes given are US-sized. Note that these are smaller than metric. For best results, use grams.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g