This recipe helps you make soft honey wheat rolls you can be proud to serve for company or for a special family dinner. They are beautiful in a bread basket.
There is something so beautiful about baked goods with whole wheat flour. The browned color, the rustic look, and the flecks of whole wheat that are visible inside. These rolls feel cozy and homey, and look especially nice when mixed with other rolls.
The deeper color of these rolls gives them a fall feeling, and I make them every Thanksgiving. They are one of those things that only comes out of the oven certain times of year, even though we like them. They just go with soups and cooler weather to me. So when that first chilly morning hits, pull out this recipe and get baking.
Getting fluffy rolls with whole wheat flour
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The first time I tried baking with whole wheat, it was a big flop. The rolls were dense, didn’t rise well and were too tough and chewy. It took me a lot of tweaking to get this recipe right and get the fluffy roll I wanted with real wheat flavor.
Let me tell you a secret about getting fluffy bread with whole wheat flour: stop using all whole wheat flour. I know, terrible advice. But if you are trying to get soft, light, and fluffy breads, it will be much easier if you mix in white flour. This recipe is 2/3 white flour and 1/3 whole wheat, but you can tweak and adjust this, adding more whole wheat flour as necessary.
Honey wheat rolls step by step
If you have never made a yeast bread before, please check out my beginners guide to yeast bread baking, which will go over the basic steps and different methods you can try.
When you knead the dough, you want to make sure there is enough liquid in it. I always put a range of liquid in my recipes because it will vary depending on how you measure you flour and the brand of flour you are using. With whole wheat rolls, I find that I end up adding the greater amount of liquid a lot.
Make sure your dough clears the sides of your bowl and looks smooth.
Doughs made with whole wheat will often take a little longer to rise. It’s important to wait until the dough is really fluffy.
When you are shaping the rolls, handle them as little as possible. Don’t squish it down and don’t roll them into balls. Divide it with a sharp knife and pinch the bottoms to shape.
I always dust with flour and slash, THEN let them do their final rise. Once they have done the final rise I like to keep my hands off as much as possible to keep them fluffy.
Make sure you bake thoroughly, they can be deceptive because they start out dark due to the darker whole wheat flour.
Essential bread making tools:
Other dinner rolls you may enjoy:
Sourdough rolls are always popular
Brioche buns can be shaped into more of a round shape for serving with dinner.
Here’s the recipe:
Soft Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls
- 3/4 cup cup of water (may need up 1 full cup)
- 2 cups all purpose white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- Combine all ingredients and knead in bread machine, stand mixer, or by hand. Start with the lesser amount of water and slowly add additional water if needed. The dough should be smooth and clear the sides of the bowl.
- Allow to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
- When dough has risen, turn out onto cutting board and cut into 12 equal pieces using a sharp knife. Gently shape into round rolls by pinching the bottom of e each piece to smooth out the top. Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Rub the tops with white flour and slash using a sharp knife or lame.
- Cover with heavily greased plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown, and cool on wire rack.