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The Best 100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
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5 from 7 votes

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls Recipe

These are hands down the BEST 100% whole wheat dinner rolls! They're light, fluffy and incredibly delicious!
Prep Time2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Total Time2 hrs 37 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 181kcal


  • 1/4 cup warm water 100-110 degrees
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten*
  • 2 1/4-2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour white or regular
  • 2 tbsp butter melted (divided for brushing)


  • In a small bowl combine the warm water and the yeast. Allow to proof for 5 minutes or until it becomes bubbly and the yeast is dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the honey and butter for 30 seconds on medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually add the warm water/yeast mixture along with the buttermilk and orange juice.
  • With mixing speed on low, add the salt, vital wheat gluten and the flour (one cup at a time), mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.
  • If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 3 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic (you may need to add a bit of additional flour (part or all of the 1/4 c.) or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes. The dough should be tacky, if you pinch it between your fingers it should stick, but if you roll it in a ball in your hands it shouldn't. Just remember this is a soft dough and you don't want to add too much flour to it.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
  • Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it onto a clean surface (you may need just a bit of flour to prevent it from sticking) and knead it for 2 minutes. Then let it rest for 5 minutes (I cover mine up again. Cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll into circles and place into a well-buttered 9x13 pan or ¼ baking sheet (or one lined with parchment paper/a baking mat). Generously butter the tops and sides of each roll. Cover and allow to double (until the rolls touch sides), about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Place into an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 17-20 minutes or until tops are lightly golden brown in color. Just keep an eye on them, they may take a little less or a little more time. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter. Serve immediately!


*This is a key ingredient! Do not omit the vital wheat gluten or you'll end up with dense rolls. It's worth the money and you'll definitely use it up! You can find it next to the flour at almost all grocery stores.
-I like to help my yeast along, so I preheat my oven to 200 degrees and turn it off each time I let my rolls rise. Not only does this speed the process along, but it insures that your yeast thrives.
-This recipe can be easily doubled. These rolls also freeze well.


Serving: 12serving | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 233IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg