Soft Honey Wheat Rolls

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.

12 honey wheat rolls in wooden bowl with floral tea towel underneath

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

Tastes as good as it looks. There is something so beautiful about baked goods with whole wheat flour. The browned color, the rustic look, and the flecks of whole wheat are visible inside. These rolls feel cozy and homey, and look especially nice when mixed with other rolls.

Perfect for holidays. 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 come out of the oven at certain times of the 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.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

You’ll need the following for these honey wheat rolls:

  • water 
  • all-purpose white flour
  • whole wheat flour
  • egg
  • honey
  • salt
  • softened butter
  • instant yeast
  • bread machine or stand mixer (optional)
  • cutting board
  • parchment sheet
  • plastic wrap


Step One: the secret to getting fluffy rolls

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 pieces of bread, 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.

Step Two: knead the dough

honey wheat dough in bread machine with liquid measuring cup pouring in water
this dough is not coming together and is too dry, so I added more water a tiny bit at a time

When you knead the dough, you want to make sure there is enough liquid in it. I always put a range of liquids in my recipes because it will vary depending on how you measure your flour and the brand of flour you are using. With whole wheat rolls, I find that I end up adding a greater amount of liquid a lot.

ball of whole wheat dough correctly formed in bread machine
here the dough has enough water and has formed a ball

Make sure your dough clears the sides of your bowl and looks smooth.

Step three: wait for it to rise

fluffy dough on bread mixer
the dough should look very puffy

Doughs made with whole wheat will often take a little longer to rise. It’s important to wait until the dough is really fluffy.

Step Four: shape the rolls

shaping the rolls for honey wheat rolls

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.

freshly baked soft honey wheat rolls

Make sure you bake thoroughly, they can be deceptive because they start out dark due to the darker whole wheat flour.

🥫 Storage instructions

To store honey wheat rolls, place them in an airtight container or bag and store them in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for up to five days.

🔍 FAQs

Will the honey make the rolls too sweet?

The honey will add a touch of sweetness to the rolls, but it will not be overpowering.

What type of honey should I use?

Any type of honey will work for this recipe. However, if you want a stronger honey flavor, you can use more robust honey such as buckwheat honey.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Make sure that the ingredients are at room temperature before beginning to make the dough. Room temperature ingredients will mix together more easily and will create a more consistent dough.
  • To make sure the honey wheat rolls are soft and fluffy, don’t over-knead the dough. Kneading it for too long will make the rolls tough.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place. This will help it to rise properly and give your rolls a nice texture.
  • Be careful not to overcook the rolls. You want them to be nice and soft, not dry and crumbly.

📘 Related Recipes

whole wheat dinner rolls in wooden bowl on top of floral tea towel, resting on marble counter

📖 Here’s the recipe

four wheat dinner rolls in bowl, slashed tops and dusted with white flour

Soft Honey Wheat Dinner Rolls

Soft and lightly sweetened honey wheat dinner rolls, perfect for a special dinner.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
rising time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Serving Size 12 rolls


  • ¾ cup water (may need up to 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 ¾ teaspoon instant yeast


  • Combine all ingredients and knead in the 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 the 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 a wire rack.



These rolls freeze very well fully baked. Sometimes it is hard to judge when a whole wheat roll is fully baked– you can always check the temperature, they should be 200 degrees in the middle.
Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Soft Honey Wheat Rolls

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