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Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls

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Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls
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Makes: 16 servings adjust
Scratch-made whole wheat yeast rolls that are easy to make and taste great!



  • 1 12 cups Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Bread Flour
  • 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 12 teaspoons Fast Rising Dry Active Yeast

Step 1

Place all ingredients, in order, into the blending bowl of your bread machine or stand mixer with dough hook attached.

Step 2

If using bread machine, set it to the "dough" setting and activate it. Allow it to run it's cycle, then skip to step 3. Otherwise, run stand mixer on a low setting until ingredients are well incorporated. If the mixture seems dry and flaky, you may add up to two ounces (one tablespoon) of water to help with this -- some whole wheat flours are more absorbent than others. Switch to medium-high setting (that's around 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) and run mixer until the dough starts to climb the hook -- this is a sign that the gluten has formed and the dough is properly elastic. Remove dough from mixer and place in a lightly-oiled bowl of a size suitable to hold double the dough-ball's volume. Toss several times to coat with oil and cover with a clean towel. Place in a warm place to rise until it has approximately doubled in volume (usually about an hour).

Step 3

Remove dough from the machine and turn onto a clean surface that has been well-dusted with plain flour. Lightly dust surface of dough as well as your knuckles. Forming your hands into loose fists, and using the second bone of each finger to press, flatten the dough out. Think of how a kitten kneads it's paws when content. This is the correct motion. Once flattened out to about a half-inch thickness, fold the left and right sides inward, one atop the other (think of a man's wallet) and continue flattening. Then do the same thing with the top and bottom 1/3ds and flatten a little more. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough in half, then in half again to make four pieces. Divide each of those pieces in half to make 8, and those again to make 16. Prepare a 9" circular cake pan by lightly coating it with a non-stick spray. Take each of the 16 pieces and, working along the edges, tuck the dough under so as to form a tight ball (don't just roll the dough like Play Dough, you won't get a good rise when you bake if you do!). Think of making a model of a jellyfish. It's a little hard to understand at first but once you get it it's really very easy. Place each ball in the prepared pan as you complete it. They will look jammed in there, and that's fine.

Step 4

If desired, using a sharp knife, make crossed incisions on the top of each roll. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place to proof for 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Step 5

Place panned rolls in heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. At this point, they should feel hard to the touch on the outside (the crust) but not be fully browned. This is called "par baked". Remove the rolls from the pan. If you want to store these for later use, wrap them and refrigerate (for up to 3 days) or freeze (for up to 30 if stored AIR TIGHT).

Step 6

If using previously baked and refrigerated or frozen rolls, remove from refrigerator/freezer and thaw/bring to room temperature. Place in 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes. Check the rolls. The tops should be very dark brown, with very light brown showing where the rolls touch one another. If additional time is needed, do it in 2 minute increments until the desired color is reached. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool until ready to serve.

Step 7

You may, optionally, brush the rolls with extra virgin olive oil before placing them into the oven the first time, and again afterwards when they come out. You might also optionally dust the tops lightly with kosher salt. If you are cutting back on fat and/or sodium, please feel free to skip this. The rolls will still taste wonderful.
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