Fluffy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

News flash! Whole wheat rolls don’t have to be dense and built-like-a-brick. Promise. These fluffy whole wheat dinner rolls are as light and scrumptious as their French Bread counterparts. And when I say whole wheat, I mean the real deal whole wheat. As in 100% whole wheat. None of this put a quarter cup wheat flour in a recipe with six cups white flour and call it whole wheat stuff.

For the last several years when making the aforementioned French bread rolls, I would just throw in part or all whole wheat flour in order to up the nutrition a bit. They were ok. Not as delicious as the all-white flour version, but not terrible. It’s rare that I make any bread or roll without subbing in at least part of the white flour for wheat thanks to my beloved wheat grinder sitting on the counter just waiting to fulfill its purpose in life (and the fact that white bread is like dessert to my kids – they think something extra special, like the end of the world, for instance, is happening when the bread or rolls in our house aren’t brown). No one in my family really complained about the whole wheat rolls I would make, but in my heart I knew they could be about a million times more fluffy and yummy and equally as delicious as the white flour version.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Who knew the solution would be so easy? I took a simple ingredient that I use in my whole wheat bread recipe and added a bit of it to this roll recipe along with 100% whole wheat flour. And whatdyaknow? The most amazing, fluffiest whole wheat dinner rolls on the planet. It’ll be our little secret that there isn’t a speck of white flour to be found in these babies.

If you’ve already made the French Bread rolls, you’ll know they are one of the most foolproof bread recipes out there and a grrrreeeaat place to start if you are knew to the world of making your own yeast breads. This whole wheat version? Despite a few extra minutes of kneading time, they are equally as simple. As always, one of the biggest keys to yeast bread success is to not overflour the dough. Otherwise, you will end up with little brick-ish lumps and your heart most definitely will not be singing hallelujah to the fluffy roll heavens.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

One Year Ago: Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Two Years Ago: Butternut Squash Risotto
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Pretzel and Toffee Bonbons

Fluffy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Yield: Makes 12 rolls

As with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule. Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour Iโ€™ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be. Also, here's a video tutorial on how to shape the rolls.

Vital wheat gluten is basically wheat flour that has the wheat bran and starch removed - it's low in carbs and super pumped up with protein. When added to yeast breads, particularly whole wheat breads, it helps develop the natural gluten in the wheat flour and provides a light fluffiness sometimes hard to achieve with whole wheat bread. It is very fine in texture and light brownish/yellowish in color and is easily found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores near the flour (I get mine from an organic mill near where I live so you may check your local availability for a source like that).

Finally, if you are new to using whole wheat, here is a series on the different types of wheat and another on grinding wheat. I almost always use hard white wheat berries for grinding because I like the texture and lightness of hard white wheat vs. hard red wheat.


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (see note)
  • 3-4 cups whole wheat flour, give or take a little (see note)


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt, gluten, and 2 cups of the flour. If you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt, gluten and flour.
  2. While mixing, gradually add the rest of the flour until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough by how it feels, not necessarily by the exact flour amount called for in the recipe (see a tutorial on working with yeast here). The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.
  3. Knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes in a stand mixer or 10-12 minutes by hand. As the dough is kneaded, it will continue to absorb some of the liquid and become less sticky so take care not to overflour at first as the texture will change as it kneads - and you can always add a bit of flour partway through if it seems overly sticky.
  4. If kneading by hand, try using a bit of oil or cooking spray on the counter to help prevent stickiness instead of flour - that way the dough doesn't get overfloured. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled, 1-2 hours.
  5. Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls (a video tip on shaping the dough into rolls here).
  6. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from these French Bread Rolls)

Fluffy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

116 Responses to Fluffy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

  1. Marielle says:

    Where do you buy. Vital wheat gluten flour ?

  2. Marielle says:

    Do you buy “vital wheat gluten flour ” in most stores?

  3. Rachel Russell says:

    These are the BEST rolls we have ever had- vital wheat gluten is apparently magical, We made these for Canadian Thanksgiving- ate the entire batch and re-made them again for the turkey left-overs. Think we love this recipe even more than French bread rolls? So – so so – great- THANKS!! We used 2 cups white whole wheat and 1 cup white bread flour- fab. Major thanksgiving WIN!

  4. Oh, yum. These turned out so beautifully! We used them as little slider buns and they were just right. So happy to have an all-whole-wheat bun option that is SO super light and fluffy! Thanks, Mel!

  5. Niem says:

    Hey Mel, what size pan do you use?

  6. Mary P says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but when you double this, or any yeast bread recipe for that matter, do you also double the yeast? I usually do just because I’m not sure, but sometimes it can turn out to be a lot of yeast. Thanks for being my personal kitchen instructor!

    • Mel says:

      That’s a good question and it really depends on the recipe. Usually I “almost” double the yeast for a double batch of rolls (so basically doubling the yeast minus 1/2 teaspoon maybe) and for a triple recipe, I usually double the yeast.

  7. Pat says:

    This is a great recipe! I have made these twice this month and my family loves them. Thank you for all of your detailed instructions. They are the key to success when making these rolls. Also, thank you for introducing me to vital wheat gluten. I used it for a whole wheat pizza dough recipe. It’s a really useful ingredient to have on hand.

  8. Malini says:

    Hi Mel, this is my first attempt making any kind of bread and it was a huge success! The rolls are soft fluffy and better than the expensive artisan rolls I buy!!
    The top is looking rather dry, can it get a egg wash before baking? Is there a substitute for egg in making a wash?

  9. Mollie says:

    Is this your go to roll recipe now? Just curious. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, well that’s a hard question since I do love me some rolls. I kind of alternate between recipes and I still like to try new ones but if I need a quick, foolproof, healthy one, I go for these. I probably make them the majority of the time especially for sandwich type things (like BBQ pork, etc.).

  10. Jocy says:

    Hi Mel, how many hamburger buns will this recipe yield?

    • Mel says:

      It depends on how big you make them but probably around 8.

      • Jocy says:

        Thanks for replying. I weighted the dough for the First Time Ever fter watching your video, i got 9 ;). Thanks for your wonderful recipes and tips. Now i can’t wait to get a cookie scoop! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Tiffany says:

    I finally tried these today, mostly because I’m a white bread kind of gal. I was very impressed. My kids loved them, and my husband made a point to tell me three times that he enjoyed them and hopes I’ll make them again. Thank you for making a random Thursday so memorable! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Liz says:

    After much success with the “white flour” version and then a 1/3 ww to 2/3 white…I finally bought some vital wheat gluten and made these today with 100% whole wheat (WheatMontana White whole wheat).

    They are wonderful!! Even as an experienced bread baker and dough handler, I REALLY paid attention to your instruction to NOT over-flour. I have read all of your dough handling posts. I truly believe than in nearly 35 years of “normal knead” bread baking … that I over floured a lot! Not horrific results, but particularly going for something like these soft and fluffy rolls – I really think it is key.

    Thank you so very much for all the info here. I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally be able to make hamburg/hot dog/hoagie buns that are exactly what I want in flavor and texture!

  13. Lisa says:

    Mel! I finally figured it out! I finally tried to make these again today and was feeling confident that things were going better than before. But then after the final rise I had the same problem I had before of not much rising and therefore not getting the light and fluffiness. Then I remembered reading about setting the dough on a warm oven if your kitchen is cold. So I turned on the oven, set them on top for another 30 minutes and BOOM! Problem solved! They are in the oven now and look beautiful! I’m so excited now about making these again! I can’t tell how how much I appreciate you taking the time to try to help me figure out how to do these right! I’m sorry I took so long to respond again after your last response, but I was feeling a little discouraged, because I felt like I was doing everything right and had already followed all of you suggestions. I also got a little busy and caught up during the holidays and just finally got the gumption to try again. I never realized my kitchen was that cold, because our house is usually around 72. The thought of putting them on a warm oven did occur to me before, but I just didn’t really think that was the problem. Thanks again for your help and advice and, by the way, I think you’re even more of a super woman now for adding the half to your already full plate! I keep wanting to do one, too, but I’ve convinced myself I can commit until my youngest is just a little older–and I only have two

  14. April says:

    I could not locate the calories for this recipe on wheat rolls. Can you please email it to me? Thank you

    • Mel says:

      April – I do not provide the nutritional information for my recipes but there are a lot of online calculators that can calculate the calories for you.

  15. Sara says:

    I have tried these twice and both times they have come out really dense and heavy. I’m thinking maybe I overfloured the first time and underfloured the second time (after the second rising this time, they rose out more than up, just like someone else mentioned). Do you think the brand of vital wheat gluten can effect the outcome? I just bought a really cheap brand that I found at the grocery store. I’m wondering if a better brand like King Arthur’s or Bob’s Red Mill would work better? Have you noticed a difference in the outcome with different brands of vital wheat gluten? Also, have you noticed a difference between freshly milled and store bought flour with these?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sara – I don’t think the brand of vital wheat gluten would make a difference but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try a new brand. I use Bob’s Red Mill or Honeyville brand. I haven’t made them with store-bought wheat flour because I always grind my own. Make sure you are kneading them for the full amount of time – that will help.

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’m making these tomorrow for our Thanksgiving dinner at church.

  17. Katelyn says:

    Hi Mel! I love your site and I’m going to bake these for Thanksgiving this week. I would like to try putting a little spice in them, maybe sage. What do you think? Would that ruin the recipe?

  18. Helena says:

    These were so easy and the results are great! They have a real earthy wheat flavor and are light and fluffy. I used whole wheat pastry flour (white whole wheat) and the gluten. The dough was stickier than I’m used to but I resisted the desire to add more flour. I over-baked them and they still turned out great. I will definitely make them again. For Thanksgiving I’ll make the french bread rolls for my traditional family but I’ll definitely have whole wheat ones again. Thanks so much for the video on shaping rolls.

  19. Lisa says:

    Hi Mel,
    I do realize you are not my personal cooking instructor, but I have tried to make these about three or four times now, and they are just not turning out right. The first time I used the old breadmaker on the dough setting, and the next couple of times I used my new kitchenaid. They always have a good flavor, but I am never getting the light and fluffy texture. I have tried to make adjustments where I thought the problems might have been, and this last time I felt the most confident I ever had about the condition of my dough, but still no light and fluffiness. Two things I’m wondering about are the facts that I have always used coconut oil to make them and also if it is possible that I have handled them too much while shaping them. Thank you for any advice you might have, or anyone else who may have some.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lisa – I’d love to help you figure this out. I’m confident we can get it worked out. Do you think there’s a chance you might be over flouring the dough? That’s one of the main reasons that rolls sometimes lose the light fluffy texture. Are you adding the gluten called for in the recipe? Also, how long do you think you’re kneading the dough?

      • Lisa says:

        Oh Mel, I so appreciate your taking the time to help! As I mentioned before, I’m always so amazed by all you do! I have definitely used the gluten each time, and I also use King Arthur white whole wheat flour. I think overflouring was a problem in my first few other breadmaking attempts, so I tried to be cautious of that with these rolls. I have also read/watched all of your tutorials, and I have tried to get my dough as close as I can to how yours looks and is described. I thought I overfloured these the first time, but the second time I think I underfloured, because the dough was really sticking to my hands quite a bit. I also realized after about the third time that I was not spacing them close enough, so this last time I tried to get them closer, but only a couple ended up barely touching after rising. Maybe that is the problem? Also, just for further clues, the tops are a kind of grainy in texture after baking instead of smooth looking like yours. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try to give you as much info as possible. Thank you so much!

        • Mel says:

          Ok, let’s see. The first questions/things that come to mind are: what size baking sheet are you putting them on? Are you doubling the recipe or just making the standard recipe (and getting 12 rolls)? Are they soft after baking or kind of tough and dry? Are they rising at all? I’m sure you’ve already done this, but check the expiration date of your yeast. Are you using instant yeast or active dry? If the dough is under floured (and sticky enough to leave a residue on your fingers when rolling) then they won’t be light and fluffy either – in fact, they’ll have a hard time rising up because they won’t have enough structure (i.e. flour) to keep them from flattening. If you are baking them in a 9X13-inch pan, they should be definitely touching after they have risen and baked. If you are doubling for a larger, rimmed baking sheet, the same should be happening (if you are making 24 rolls out of a double batch). It is possible that you might need to increase the kneading time by a few minutes – that will help develop the gluten to make them light and fluffy as well as help with the grainy texture issue (I think).

  20. RALPH R says:

    A recent question was about bread machines.I use my Breadman to nead my dough, but beware that the ingredients need to be proportioned for the bread machine size.A 1 1/2 lb load will require. 3cups of flour and gluten at 1/2 cup,water 1 1/4 cup.I left yeast, bread machine type at same measure.I let the machine run on dough setting and keep in for first rise.punch down on counter top grease bowl let set covered buy greased plastic wrap.Then divide place on sheet pan put in oven off let set about hr.Bake at 400 for 12/15min.Get out farm fresh honey and go wild.

  21. mangomama says:

    These turned out lighter and fluffier than any 100% whole wheat flour rolls I’ve ever made! Next time I will try using butter and honey instead of oil and sugar to add another layer of flavour. Thanks for the idea of using the vital wheat gluten– made a big difference.

  22. Alisha says:

    When I make this recipe, the end rolls taste good but they’re rather flat and therefore dense. In the final raising step, they generally grow out but not up. Do you know what I might be doing wrong?

    • Mel says:

      Usually when that happens to me (the rolls rising out but not up) it’s because I’ve underfloured and the rolls don’t have enough structure to rise up (it also helps to put them about an inch apart so when they rise their sides touch each other and help stabilize to rise up). Do you think the underflouring might be the issue? Is your dough a little on the sticky side?

  23. Jewls says:

    They’re in the oven right now. Can’t wait. The rise was fast 1 hour and the dough was ready to punch and form. My house smells like heaven ๐Ÿ™‚ NIce and easy with the KitchenAid. (best thing I ever bought)

    They’re out and delish. Super easy super yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Kira says:

    Have to add my comment to all others exclaiming how perfect these rolls are. So light and fluffy. Absolutely delicious. A Recipe we will make over and over . Thank you for figuring out whole wheat rolls Mel!!! I can cross it off my recipe wish list now.

  25. Hetal says:

    Great recipe. I tried many recipe but didn’t get satisfying results until i came across your recipe. I made dinner rolls with Organic hard red wheat flour. The results was great with yummy, moist, spongy dinner rolls. My family loved it. love your site.. I’m bookmarking it.. thanks for sharing..

  26. Linsey says:

    Hi Mel! We love your whole wheat bread recipes and would love to try this one. I am just wondering if the sugar in these could be substituted with honey and keep the consistency? And if so how much would you use? Thanks for all your help!

  27. Andrea says:

    These rolls turned out perfectly tonight, light & fluffy, but my hubby didn’t like them as much because they were “bland.” Can I up the sugar a little so they have more taste? I’m wondering if I did something wrong because everyone on here has raving reviews, but they were a little bland to me too. And I’m a paleo diet girl, so we don’t eat much sugar anyways. Thanks for any advice headed our way!!

  28. Teresa says:

    Hi Mel! Thanks for this awesome recipe! Studying nutrition right now in school and all the benefits of whole wheat! Also trying to get my boyfriend to eat a little healthier too, so this was a gem of a find!
    I couldn’t get my hands on vital wheat gluten, but found xanthum gum instead. Any thoughts on that? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    • Mel says:

      Hi Teresa – I have little to no experience using xantham gum so not sure if it could be subbed for the vital wheat gluten. Have you tried googling to see?

  29. Lisa says:

    Hi Mel,
    I don’t want to make this too long, but I’ve been coming to your site regularly for more than two years now, but this is my first time to comment. So I feel like I should at least mention the fact that I think your site and recipes and witty posts are wonderful! I have become a much better cook thanks to you. I’ve raved about you to family and friends. I am in constant awe of you and all that you do and how you make it look so easy! I really could go on, but I should probably get to my question! I’m still quite the novice at breadmaking, and I’m hoping to get a kitchenaid when the after Thanksgiving sales start, but for now, I’m using my sister’s old 16-year-old breadmaker. So I’m wondering if I could do this recipe on the dough setting and then continue with the shaping, rising and baking. If it makes a difference, the kneading time on the dough setting is 20 minutes, and the rise time is 55. Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lisa – thanks for the sweet comment! As for your question, quite honest, I’m not sure! I’ve never used a bread machine and am not sure how this recipe would fare. But I think it’s definitely worth a try (the timeline sounds about right for rising especially since I think the machine warms the dough slightly) as long as you can read the manufacturer directions and make sure the ingredient amounts will fit in the pan (I don’t want it overflowing on you!).

  30. Delia says:

    I am sixteen years old and am wanting to make these! But since I have never baked before, do you think that this recipe would be difficult for someone who is just starting? I also don’t currently have an automatic bread mixer. Would it be just as easy to do by hand?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Delia – I say go for it! Making bread is easier when using a mixer but it can definitely be done by hand (many people do it that way). Just be sure to knead by hand for quite a long time (10-15 minutes) – it will help the rolls be light and fluffy. Good luck!

  31. These are delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  32. Teresa says:

    I finally got around to making these yesterday after I bought the vital wheat gluten. Oh, they were just delicious. My recipe took exactly 3 1/2 cups of flour and they were tender, fluffy, and just yummy. I froze the rest to keep on hand. As much as I love the original french rolls and will continue to make them, these are just divine with the white whole wheat flour. Thanks so much for another excellent bread recipe, Mel.

  33. Martha says:

    Has you tried making loaves? I’m on the search for a good sandwich bread the kids will like. Any suggestions?

  34. Sara H. says:

    I have made these rolls three times and they are amazing! I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical the first time I made them- I thought they would be dense like other whole wheat rolls that I have tried. No so at all. They are so soft and fluffy. No one believes me when I say that they are 100% whole wheat! I love the french bread rolls but I dare say these are a bit superior. Thanks so much!

  35. nosh says:

    Hi i have tried most of your roll recipes and they are all just perfect !!! Best ones i must say. Please share croissant recipe and oatmeal bread and other wholemeal variations of baking. Keep em comin !! โ™กโ™กโ™ก

  36. Christine Hull says:

    I normally don’t comment, because I usually just grab the recipe and make the food….rude huh! But WOW. These rolls were insane. I have never had such chewy, soft bread in MY LIFE! And I am a chronic bread recipe “tryer outer.” This is hands down the best. We had them for Easter. Thanks so much. Who knew wheat gluten was so amazing? Ps….I ended up adding much more water than the recipe calls for, but maybe that’s because I live in Wyoming?!?!

  37. Sheila says:

    I made a double batch of these whole wheat rolls a couple of days ago. And they are everything you claimed them to be — light, fluffy, flavorful, healthier. We will not be able to give up the indulgence of the French Bread rolls (our favorite and on the menu for Easter) but these will be adorning our lunch and supper table most of the time. Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Diane says:

    I haven’t invested in a wheat grinder yet and I can’t seem to find ground hard white wheat (though, interestingly, I have a good source of soft white). Have you tried these with hard red? Are they still fluffy? I rather enjoy the flavor of hard red, but I didn’t love using it in your French bread rolls (half white/half wheat).

  39. Ashleigh M says:

    I’ve made many of your yummy rolls in the past, including your delicious French bread rolls today, and I just can’t get mine to brown as beautifully as yours. What’s your secret? I’m at ~4,500 feet elevation, does that have anything to do with it?

    • Mel says:

      Hey Ashleigh – sometimes it depends on where you position your oven rack and it really depends on the oven. In some houses I’ve lived, my rolls brown better at the bottom of the oven and this house, it’s definitely in the top third of the oven where they brown the best so you might want to play around with that. I’m not sure if high altitude has anything to do with it – might be worth googling though. Good luck!

  40. Barbara Ostergaard says:

    I have made this recipe 3 times now, and never have any left to save for later, and I at least double it! My guys turn into pigs with these. There were 6 of us at dinner tonight with 24 rolls. I didn’t even eat one, and they are all gone. None for lunches tomorrow even. The company we had chose these with butter and jam over the quick no-bake cookies I made for dessert. Greeeeaaaaaat recipe. I used to always make the French bread rolls, and they were great. These knock it out of the park!! Thank you!

  41. Penny says:

    Mel. Will this recipe work with a bread machine? I am unable to hand knead any more due to arthritis so I rely heavily on my machines. (yes I run 2 all day when I make buns and I feed an army).

    • Mel says:

      Penny – I don’t have a bread machine so I can’t be certain but if you compare the ingredient amounts to other recipes you put in the bread machine, it should knead just fine. My concern is more overflowing if the amounts are different. Good luck feeding your army!

  42. Mel says:

    Mel would you use this recipe for wheat hamburger buns or stick with the french bread roll recipe using half white whole wheat flour?

  43. Caroline says:

    So good, Mel! I was sweating it for a minute because the dough seemed to be way too dry but wow they turned out fabulous! So soft, so fluffy, I dare say even softer and fluffier than the regular french bread rolls. Thanks so much! Will be using this recipe forever!

  44. Lorrie says:

    Just pulled these out of the oven and they are heavenly…by far the best whole wheat bread or rolls I have ever made! Light and fluffy and not heavy at all. I wanted a smaller dinner roll so made 2 dozen using 2 9×13 pans and they turned out beautifully! I am in Canada and purchased “gluten flour” at Bulk Barn and it worked perfectly.

    • Charleen says:

      Thank you for your comment. I go to Bulk Barn also. After I saw that Mel used gluten, II wondered if it was possible to use BB gluten. You answered that!

  45. Courtney says:

    If you’re using instant yeast why do you have the first rise?

    • Mel says:

      Courtney – you don’t necessarily have to with instant yeast but for these rolls (and other bread recipes) letting the dough rise in a big batch at first helps develop flavor as well as make the dough much, much easier to work with when rolling out because the gluten has had time to relax.

  46. Katherine says:

    Hi Mel… I recently started following you and I am addicted! My daughter now calls me “chef-Momma”! I love trying your roll recipes – I had never made a single roll until I found your blog… But I have a question: What machine do you use for mixing your dough? I have a 5 qrt Kitchen Aid, and I find after 5 – 6 cups or so of flour, it has some difficulty – and when I have made a way too large a batch, I have even started to smell the burn of the motor! I would love to always double or even triple my batches as they get eaten so quickly, but have to be careful. I would love to know what machine and size you use so I can start leaving not-so-subtle hints for my husband

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katherine – so glad you are enjoying the recipes! I use a Bosch mixer for all my bread making. I’ve never really used a KitchenAid much (I don’t own one) but I have several friends who have them and they usually cut down bread recipes in half to make smaller batches in their KitchenAid so it doesn’t burn out the motor. The Bosch is a workhorse – it can easily fit 15 cups or so of flour and I can’t imagine making bread without it! Having said that, I think KitchenAids work as long as you use small bread/roll recipes and/or knead by hand so the mixer doesn’t get worn out (and of course all this depends on what size motor your KitchenAid has – I’ve heard the ones with 500 watts or more do just fine; the Bosch has an 800 watt motor). I’d be fully supportive of you leaving hints to your husband for a Bosch. Your life will never be the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. bluebaker says:

    Hi Mel- yes they did rise some.but not what i would have liked . I think there were three problems: 1. overflouring 2 underkneading 3. my overly talkative sister was on the phone, but I was so excited to be trying these that I wanted to keep going, so I had the phone kinked up in my shoulder while listening to her and trying to finish what I was doing. #3 may have caused 1 and 2. next time I will try it without the distraction..

  48. kandi v says:

    Just a tip: I have a measuring spoon from King Arthur that measures yeast. It is equal to the amount of yeast in one packet. Makes life easy peasy. I bought vital gluten quite awhile ago and have never used it, but since I am making rolls for the broadcast dinner tomorrow, I will finally use it. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  49. Kelly says:

    At my local Wal-Marts (I shop at the Layton, Utah area Walmarts) the Vital Wheat Gluten is located on the aisle next to all the canning supplies, which is also the aisle with can openers, etc. AND the same aisle of the wheat berries. I don’t know if there is a “food storage” aisle at Walmarts outside of Utah, but just a tip for anyone looking for it in Utah.

  50. bluebaker says:

    Mel- just curious how do you measure 3/4 Tbsp. yeast? Is is equal to one commercial “packet”, which is 2 1/4 tsp.? I made these just now and they are very good but I didn’t get the fluffy rise, I think I may have overfloured, and I think the amount of yeast may have been off. I am getting a little better about troubleshooting these things. These taste delicious, even though they are a little ‘heartier” than your picture. I am definately going to give it another shot on my next baking day.

    • Mel says:

      bluebaker – well, three teaspoons equals a tablespoon so while I haven’t figured it out precisely, I do think the 2 1/4 teaspoons in a packet of yeast is about the same as 3/4 teaspoon. How much did you use? If you used 2 1/4 teaspoons and the yeast was active and not expired, that’s probably not the reason for the dough not rising. I’m guessing it’s probably an overflouring issue. Did the dough rise at all?

  51. Michelle says:

    Thank you Mel!! We just had these for dinner along with some soup, and we LOVED them!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Amazingly fluffy, flavorful, and just perfect in every way. I’m passing along this recipe everywhere I can!

  52. Britany says:

    I made these rolls tonight for dinner and they are awesome! Best whole wheat rolls I’ve ever had! They were super light and fluffy and really easy to make. We had them with your loaded broccoli cheese soup which was equally amazing! Keep the great recipies coming ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Diane V says:

    Add me to the list of people who are seriously excited to try these! But, I do have a question – We have church at 1pm on Sundays, so I like to put something in the crock pot so it’s ready when we get home. So I really want to figure out how to have fresh homemade rolls to go with it. How could I make these rolls so that they can go in the oven right when I get home? Or maybe just rest/rise at room temp for 1/2 hour? Is that possible? I was thinking maybe they’d rise slower in the fridge and then I could take them out for a bit and then put them in the oven, but I really don’t know if it would work and I don’t want to ruin them! The other thing is that I can’t make them *right* before I leave, because I have 4 young children, and I’m sure you can understand how that goes before church. And my husband’s in the bishopric ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I’d probably be mixing up the dough around 10am. Thoughts??

    • Mel says:

      Hi Diane – your life seems very similar to mine so I totally get it. ๐Ÿ™‚ If it were me, I’d make them on Saturday afternoon or evening. Let the dough rise, punch it down, shape it into rolls and place on the baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator. Take them out right when you get home and try to let them rest at room temp for 30 minutes or so. They should have puffed a bit in the fridge. Put them in the oven while you preheat it if they need a bit of extra oomph for rising. Then just bake like normal. Good luck!

  54. Mmm these rolls look like perfection. And whole wheat?! Love it. I want one right now!

  55. Scott says:

    Barley malt flour is another must for light fluffy rolls, and it adds just a hint of sweetness. It is especially wonderful with recipes using whole wheat. There are specialty places that sell it, but I’ve found it to be cheapest here:

  56. Tammie says:

    I did a year long study on making Wheat bread “Just because” and after several hundred different changes I discovered I hate vital gluten I feel it leaves a taste I just don’t like . What I did find is this. I add an egg to my bread it help with taste and gluten also I have found that if I add 1 cup of blended oats to my bread that it makes the most soft bread without the added gluten

  57. Andrea Donaldson says:

    I just made your French Bread Rolls for dinner, 100% whole wheat, and added the vital gluten as I always do for my bread. They were fabulous! Then I saw this recipe, and had to laugh. We both had the same idea! These make you not even miss white rolls.

  58. Hilary says:

    Oh my, oh my!! These are UNBELIEVABLE!! My 4 kids were asking for “another roll” for dessert- seriously!!! This recipe is a keeper!!! THANK YOU!!

  59. susanj says:

    These look delicious.

  60. Lyndsay says:

    Your French bread rolls have changed our life! Never again will I eat a burger on a store bought bun. I’m excited to try these! Is vital wheat gluten different than just gluten flour?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lyndsay – as long as the gluten flour is 75% protein, it should be interchangeable with vital wheat gluten. I’ve used both with similar results (the only confusion comes because sometimes bread flour or other high protein flours are labeled as “gluten flour” – that isn’t what you want – you want the light brown/tannish, fine wheat gluten).

  61. Regina says:

    I buy my vital wheat gluten at my local health food store.

  62. I look forward to trying these. Our school system down here in Louisiana has switched over to only making whole wheat rolls. So instead of those awesome old-fashioned school rolls, they have little whole wheat hockey pucks. It’s nice to know that just because they are whole wheat doesn’t mean they have to be that way. Thanks for sharing!

  63. Ali says:

    Have you played around with freezing them in dough form? If not, how would you attempt that?

    • Mel says:

      Ali – I have done that a time or two. I roll the dough into the cute little balls, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, I take them off the pan and place them in a freezer ziploc bag (kind of like a bag of frozen Rhodes rolls!). When I want to bake them, I take out however many I want from the bag, place them on a lined baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let them defrost and rise at room temp for 6-8 hours, really depends on the warmth of your kitchen. The rolls have a slightly yeastier taste (not in a bad way) but otherwise, it’s a great option. Have fun if you try it!

  64. Emily says:

    Is it possible to make them without the vital gluten stuff? Is there something to sub in it’s place?

  65. Bridget says:

    Can’t wait to make these! I have been looking for a good Whole Wheat Roll recipe for some time. An actual 100% wheat roll, using 1/4 Cup of wheat flour does not make them wheat!! Thanks!

  66. Oooo, I love rolls. I’ve been wanting to make 100% whole wheat rolls. I must try your recipe. Thanks!

  67. Amber says:

    I make your french bread rolls all the time and am seriously stoked for this all wheat recipe! Honestly, so far in my bread making career your french bread roll recipe is the only one I have had success with time and time again. Thanks for sharing awesome recipes!!

  68. Hilary says:

    Already have the dough rising! Will let you know how much we all loved them after supper- thanks again for another stellar recipe!!

  69. Anne says:

    This may be a silly question, but in the picture you’ve obviously doubled the recipe. Should I be baking a single recipe in a 9×13 baking dish or can I still bake them on an 11 x 17?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Anne – yep, I did double the recipe (I usually double it or triple it when I’m making it) but if you are making a single recipe you can bake them in a 9X13-inch pan or just use half of a large sheet pan – either option will work just fine.

  70. N says:

    Okay so the vital wheat gluten, is it necessary when baking with whole wheat or is it a preference?

    I’m new to whole wheat baking and just ordered berries for the first time. I’m hoping I can find It at my local grocery store but I do live in a small town so not always can I find those things..our decision to move to whole wheat is the health reasons but making my own bread will help eliminate HFCS and all the junk used in commercial products.

    • Mel says:

      N and Emily – the vital wheat gluten is really important for the fluffy lightness of these rolls. As far as I know, there isn’t a sub. Some people say you can put nonfat milk powder in the place of gluten but in my experience, it doesn’t benefit the roll dough in the same way as gluten. N – I live in a very small town too (less than 2,500 people) and I’m able to find it so I’m hopeful you will be able to also. I’ve made these rolls lots and lots of times (like I indicated in the post) without the gluten and they are just ok. But the gluten helps them achieve a light fluffiness that is amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you really don’t want to use the gluten, you can try doubling the kneading time to see if that helps.

    • Jami says:

      I just made these rolls today and made a batch with and without vital wheat gluten. I subbed in coconut oil in the no v.w.g. batch (I used avocado oil in the other batch.), and added an extra dallop of coconut oil. Coconut oil acts as a dough enhancer in bread making recipes! I kneaded it for several extra minutes as Mel suggested. Make sure you knead until the dough passes the “Window Pane test.” I was generous on both rise times. The rolls turned out great! Hardly any difference between the two except perhaps a slight increase in chewiness of the v.w.g. containing rolls. Hope that helps!

  71. I love rolls. I suppose I should love it even more if they’re whole wheat. Regardless, I love rolls. I don’t care what flour is used.
    So pretty, Mel! Have a beautiful day!

  72. Teresa R. says:

    Another great recipe! We love the French bread rolls and I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!

  73. Jen T says:

    Where do you get your hard white wheat now that the cannery doesn’t sell it in bulk? Do you just buy it from them pre-canned?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jen – I have a local, organic mill that I’ve been getting my white whole wheat from but I also order it online from store.lds.org, too, since it’s free shipping. I’ve seen several sources on amazon, too, but it’s just expensive to pay for shipping. I’m still scouting out good resources!

    • Kam says:

      Jen, look on Walmart’s website. You can buy both white and red hard wheat berries . Not sold in stores. Great stuff!!

    • Tanya says:

      In Utah, Costco sells hard white wheat (Lehi Roller Mills Turkey Brand, 45# bucket… ~$18). Also, it’s more expensive, but you can buy it from Peterson’s Bosch. I’m interested to compare the store.lds.org price… does anyone know how much it is? It make wonderful, delicious, and of course nutritious breads.

  74. Heather says:

    I love using vital wheat gluten in my bread recipes. I’ll definitely be trying these rolls out. Made me laugh: “None of this put a quarter cup wheat flour in a recipe with six cups white flour and call it whole wheat stuff.” You’re a woman after my own heart! Thanks for sharing another great recipe.

  75. Kim in MD says:

    Your French bread rolls are a go to recipe for me whenever I am craving fresh baked bread! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Now I have to find me some vital wheat gluten!

  76. Sheila says:

    Oh . . . .wow . . .seriously โ€“ a rival for the beloved French Bread rolls claiming to be fluffy, light, low in carbs, and pumped up with protein? Never heard of โ€œvital wheat glutenโ€ but just placed on my next task to accomplish finding. Excited! Your skill level and talent are simply amazing!

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