Finding tasty, healthy, whole-grain dinner rolls in the supermarket or even at a local bakery can be a challenge. Here's a not-too-big dinner roll you can feel good about serving for the holidays or any special occasion.

Katie Webster
Source: EatingWell Magazine, December 2006


Recipe Summary

4 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk milk, sugar, butter, oil and 2 eggs in a large bowl. Whisk yeast, whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups cake flour and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a wooden spoon. The dough will be very sticky.

  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup cake flour on a work surface. Turn out the dough onto it and knead until all the flour is incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl, coat the top with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) until doubled in volume, 1 1/4-2 hours.

  • Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat into a rough 7-by-10-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 4 equal strips (Photo 1) using a bench knife or butter knife. Then cut each strip crosswise into 6 equal portions (Photo 2). (Each portion will weigh 1 1/4-1 1/2 ounces.)

  • Working with one portion of dough at a time, gather and pinch the edges together, shaping the dough into a rough ball. The spot where the edges come together is the bottom of the ball (Photo 3). Place each ball, bottom down, on a clean work surface. With a slightly cupped hand, move the ball around in a circular motion, keeping the bottom in place while tucking the loose edges into it and stretching the surface of the dough tight (Photo 4). (If the outer skin breaks, set the roll aside and let it rest while rounding the remaining rolls. Reroll once the dough relaxes.) Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap. (If following make-ahead instructions, refrigerate the rolls now.)

  • Let the rolls rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/4 hours (Photo 5).

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, and brush the tops of the rolls with it (you'll have some left over); sprinkle with wheat germ. Bake the rolls until light brown on top, about 20 minutes.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 31/2 hours. Continue to Step 6.

Nutrition Facts

154 calories; protein 4.3g; carbohydrates 23g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 3g; fat 5.4g; saturated fat 1.7g; cholesterol 22.3mg; vitamin a iu 115IU; vitamin c 0.8mg; folate 46.9mcg; calcium 29.4mg; iron 1.5mg; magnesium 26.5mg; potassium 107mg; sodium 135.3mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
I made these rolls using salted butter all purpose flour and whole wheat flour and they turned out great. I baked them for only 18 minutes and they were perfect. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Fluffy and wonderful With practice I was able to get the hang of shaping the dough. (Oiled hands helped.) Used coconut oil in place of veggie oil. Otherwise I followed the recipe as-written Pros: These rolls turned out airy and amazing. Cons: However I found the dough very soft and sticky to work with. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
These were OK hot from the oven but once they cooled they became dry and crumbly. I could not tell that using the cake flour made them any lighter. Not impressed. I will keep looking... Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Who wrote this? Whoever wrote this should look over how the recipe is written. Read the WHOLE thing (preferably four times) if you don't want too much of things in the wrong place or really enjoy starting things over. Pros: ingredients Cons: you have to double check the recipe 4 times to not mess up Read More
Rating: 5 stars
The perfect texture and delicious taste. Healthy alternative that tastes better than a traditional white roll! My family loved them even those who usually prefer white. Anonymous Dayton OH Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I've made these rolls many times and still love them! I've made some variations -such as adding honey instead of sugar and less butter (salted/unsalted!)- and these lovely rolls always taste amazing...not to mention the incredibly smooth texture! Pros: Beautiful texture tasty healthy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Moist and tender whole wheat dinner rolls Delicious when combined with a light dinner. Pros: moist flavour healthy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very good. I have added this to my lists of breads I bake for the end of year holdays. I made these rolls for Thanksgiving along with other varieties and froze the rest to eat throughout December. Sherry-Va Fairfax Station VA Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a big hit. They were a last minute addition and after I started I realized I didn't have unsalted butter or enough cake flour. Salted butter worked fine and I cut back the salt to about 1/2 or 3/4 tsp. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour instead of 3 almost 1 cup of cake flour and all-purpose for the remainder. Even with my substitutions they turned out perfectly. Read More