I am always on the search for the best recipes out there. I know that doesn’t sound strange- who isn’t looking for great recipes? (Hopefully that’s why you’re here reading Oven Love.) But I mean I’m looking for the perfect recipes- the recipes you finally keep after months or years of looking. The recipes that you come back to again and again.
This roll recipe is the best I’ve found to date. It is exactly what I want when I think of a whole wheat dinner roll. I have tried others before- they came out too dry, or didn’t rise, or just tasted like cardboard. I eventually found this recipe through Saving Naturally and haven’t looked for another recipe since.
These rolls are soft and dense, not airy. I love to slather them with honey butter right after they come out of the oven. They are just as tasty at room temperature- I recommend using them to make sandwiches with leftovers, too. These rolls do not last long in our house.
The recipe below makes two dozen rolls (two of the pans pictured). If you only need one pan of rolls, you can freeze the second one (fully baked), you can form them into larger buns, make a loaf of bread, or even use it for pizza crust.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy roll recipe made with healthy, whole grain flour, you should give this one a try. You can feel good about feeding these to your family and I can guarantee they’ll enjoy them. This one’s a keeper.
7-9 cups whole grain flour (Whole wheat, kamut, spelt, etc. With wheat, you’ll need a little less flour, so don’t put it all in at once.)
Proof the yeast, by mixing the ¼ cup warm water, yeast and ½ tsp honey/sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes while you move on to the next step.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups hot water, melted butter/coconut oil, honey and salt. Then add 3 cups of the flour and mix well. Lastly, add the yeast mixture and mix well again.
Add some more of the remaining flour, until dough is thick enough to turn out onto a well-floured surface. Begin kneading, using more of the remaining flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Knead for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and begins to resist your kneading (a test is this– if you push the dough in with your fist or finger, it will begin to spring back out at you).
First rise. Lightly grease a large bowl (I usually use extra virgin olive oil), shape dough into nice ball and turn it a few times in the bowl, to cover it with oil. Let it sit there, covered with a cloth, in a warm place until it doubles in size. Usually takes about 1 to 1½ hours, but it’s fine if it takes longer.
Second rise. Punch the dough down gently, turn it around and re-shape into a ball, then put it back in the bowl and cover it with the cloth. Allow it to rise again until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
Punch dough down gently once again, then take out and place on counter (with flour under it) and cover with a cloth. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your pan by greasing it (a 8×8 square pan works well, but you can also use a 9×13). I like to save my butter wrappers in the fridge to use for greasing baking pans.
Shape the buns. First, divide the dough in half. Each half will make about 1 dozen buns, depending how big you make them. Smooth your dough and turn begin to pinch off small pieces of dough, about the size of a mandarin orange. Literally push the dough between your forefinger and thumb, closing your fingers until the dough is actually pinched right off of the larger piece. Continue to do this until you fill your pan.
Cover pan with a cloth and allow to rise again, until buns are just a little bit smaller than desired size (remember that they will rise again slightly with the heat of the oven). I will let mine sit anywhere from 10 minutes to another 30-40 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until just golden on the top. Remove from oven and flip buns onto wire racks to cool.
Another option if you don’t need that many rolls for your dinner is to make only half of the recipe into buns. The other half can be made exactly the same but shaped into a bread loaf and baked for 35-45 minutes instead. You can also use it as a pizza crust (see the Saving Naturally post for baking details.)