Soft Whole-Wheat Dinner Rolls

Soft Whole-Wheat Dinner Rolls

18 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, December 2006

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.

Ingredients 24 servings

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Original recipe yields 24 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1½ cups warm (about 120°) low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1 package quick-rising yeast, (about 2¼ teaspoons)
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups cake flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ


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  • Ready In

  1. Whisk milk, sugar, butter, oil and 2 eggs in a large bowl. Whisk yeast, whole-wheat flour, 1½ 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.
  2. Sprinkle ½ 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°F) until doubled in volume, 1¼-2 hours.
  3. 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 1¼-1½ ounces.)
  4. 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.)
  5. Let the rolls rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1¼ hours (Photo 5).
  6. Preheat oven to 400°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 3½ hours. Continue to Step 6.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 roll
  • Per serving: 154 calories; 5 g fat(2 g sat); 2 g fiber; 23 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 47 mcg folate; 22 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 115 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 29 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 135 mg sodium; 107 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 fat

Reviews 18

December 22, 2017
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By: GayleF
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.
January 20, 2017
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By: Sandy Duke
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...
December 24, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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.
November 21, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Tasty but a little bland and dry These turned out good enough to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, but they could have been a lot better. The wheat flour and wheat germ makes them a little heavy and dry, and the unsalted better takes away some of the flavor that usually comes with salted butter. If I make these again, I will probably make some changes to make them fluffier (not so dense) and more buttery, which will probably make them less healthy. Pros: Healthy, simple Cons: Dry, bland
September 19, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Moist and tasty rolls I made these rolls yesterday and they turned out awesome! I had to add a bit more flour than the recipe called for because the dough was a bit sticky (probably about 3-4 tablespoons all together), but they turned out great. It might not be the recipe (my oven runs very hot), but they baked up in only 10 (!) minutes, so I was glad I checked them early. Pros: Tender, soft and moist Cons: None
May 27, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
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
January 20, 2012
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By: vana.paulina
Moist and tender whole wheat dinner rolls Delicious when combined with a light dinner. Pros: moist, flavour, healthy
November 04, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
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
March 24, 2011
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Absolutely awesome! I was searching for a refrigerator roll recipe as I had an appointment to go to and had company coming for dinner. The only different thing I did was I used 1/8 cup sugar and 1/8 cup splenda. The were light, fluffy, and had a wonderful taste/texture!
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