Adapted from our incredibly popular Homemade Whole Wheat Bread recipe, these 100% whole wheat dinner rolls are soft, pillowy, moist, easy to make, and truly the BEST!
Sometimes it takes awhile for the lightbulb to go on.
When I decided to share a homemade whole wheat dinner roll recipe with y’all in time for Easter, I experimented with several batches of rolls but wasn’t completely happy with any of the results. I mean, they were fine…but not perfect. I knew I could do better. And so I kept trying…and in the meantime, my family was served lots of mini sandwiches assembled on sub-par dinner rolls.
But then one day, it hit me! Why not take my recipe for The Very Best Homemade Whole Wheat Bread (which, incidentally, has had more pageviews and rave reviews than any recipe on the blog…ever) and turn it in a dinner roll recipe?! Doing so was actually so simple that I can’t believe it took me so long to try it.
Just like my famous (infamous?) bread, the rolls resulting from the same recipe are 100% whole wheat. But because they call for white whole wheat flour, they don’t end up heavy, dense, or overly wheat-y. As I explained in my bread recipe, white whole wheat flour is unrefined, 100% whole wheat flour ground from white wheat, yielding a milder flavor and lighter texture than traditional whole wheat flour (which is made from red wheat). Despite the differences in flavor and texture, the two varieties of whole wheat flour are nutritionally the same. I buy King Arthur brand unbleached white whole wheat flour because that’s what’s available at my local grocery store, but I’m sure there are other brands out there that would work just as well. And of course, grinding your own flour is going to result in nicely textured bread/rolls whether you use white whole wheat flour or not! 😉
The Very Best Homemade Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls are fluffy but not particularly light-as-air. However, don’t think for a minute that they’re heavy. Rather, they are extremely soft and moist, like heavenly little pillows. For comparison’s sake, the texture actually reminds me a bit of store-bought Hawaiian rolls, except these homemade rolls are (of course) all-natural.
Their flavor is delicate with an undertone of wheat but nothing so in-your-face that anyone would believe they’re 100% whole wheat. There is also a very slight sweetness from the honey. One difference I noticed is that when I bake my bread recipe using coconut oil, I don’t really taste any lingering coconut flavor. On the other hand, I thought that it was slightly detectable in this dinner roll version (though not necessarily in a negative way). Dedicated food blogger that I am, however, I decided to make one more batch of rolls to see if they would turn out better with butter. And, sure enough, the butter gave them the neutral flavor I was going for. You may use vegetable oil (such as canola or safflower) in place of the butter, if you prefer.
Since these rolls are adapted from a previously posted recipe, feel free to hop over there to read more specifics about how and why it works so well. The method is actually very simple and foolproof if you take it step-by-step. But in case you’re a visual learner, I baptized my camera by flour and snapped a few pics to help you visualize how to form your rolls, and how they should look as they rise and bake.
Not only would these whole wheat dinner rolls be wonderful accompaniments to a special holiday meal (or a regular ol’ weeknight dinner…who needs a holiday to enjoy bread?!), but I think they’d make great little slider buns. Pile them with chicken salad, sloppy joe meat, pulled pork, or your favorite mini burger patties and go to town!
So do you have your Easter menu ready to go? If you’re still looking for any last-minute recipes, I’ve shared a few of my favorites just below the dinner roll recipe. But if you’re in the mood for some fresh, warm, wholesome, homemade dinner rolls? Well, you don’t even have to leave this page to satisfy that craving… 😉
More Easter & holiday recipes…
And to use up leftover Easter eggs and ham…