Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Best Wheat Rolls

Soon after I was married and I began to learn to bake bread, I began my search for a recipe for good dinner rolls. Many that I tried were dry, especially if not eaten right out of the oven.

Finally, I found a yummy and easy recipe from the 1999 Taste of Home cookbook.These wheat rolls are a winner with our family. They are light, delicious and stay soft and fresh for several days. They freeze successfully, too, for longer storage. They are easy and take less time to make than regular whole wheat bread.

On occasion, I have adapted this recipe with all white flour with good results. I also use this recipe for cinnamon rolls and hamburger buns.

Wheat Yeast Rolls
Makes 1 dozen largish dinner rolls(great for sandwiches!)

1 package(1/4 oz.) or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water(110 to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add oil, sugar, salt and whole wheat flour;beat until smooth. Add enough all-purpose flour to form soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down; divide into 12 pieces. Shape into rolls(balls); place 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

For smaller rolls- I often make about 18 rolls instead of 12, especially if used as a side to a big dinner. Just divide the dough accordingly.

For hamburger buns- I make about 8 rolls instead of the original recipe's dozen. This way they are big enough for hamburgers.

For cinnamon rolls-
Roll out dough into a rectangle. Brush softened butter on the dough then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up into a log and slice into cinnamon rolls. I use a length of thread to cut instead of a knife to help rolls keep their shape. Place rolls in greased pan and bake the same as dinner rolls; check the center to see if it is done before removing from oven. When cinnamon rolls have cooled or are still warm, frost with powdered sugar icing made by mixing hot water and powdered sugar until a nice consistency.



Anonymous said...

Mary Ann,
Can't stop drooling over here. I can't have yeast breads anymore; such a crime.

Everything you made looks so delicious. Oh, your husband is so blessed!

thehomespunheart said...

Yum! These look delicious! Love that cute tablecloth! :)

Phoebe said...

Love the rolls - especially the cinnamon ones! Love the tablelinen too! x

Valerie said...

My dough never would rise. Do you have any idea why? My only issue I could see is that it says to add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of white flour. I only added the 1 1/2 cup and it seemed to be to dry to me. I really want to make your rolls. Please help.

Mary Ann said...


First, I would make sure the yeast was fresh. I've had better success with yeast in bulk from Sam's Club or SAF yeast than the little packets from the store. Store yeast in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh.

Second, make sure the water is the right temp. Too hot or too cold can 'kill' the yeast so that it doesn't work. Measure the water, yeast and sweetener into a measuring cup or bowl and stir gently to mix. Let set for 5-10 minutes. The yeast mixture should bubble up and foam. If it doesn't, throw it out and start over. This step is called "proofing the yeast".

Third, adding some extra gluten can help the rising process and make a softer finished product that stays fresh a bit longer. I use Hodgson Mill's Vital Wheat Gluten.

Fourth, make sure you don't add too much flour. You want the dough to be soft and barely sticky, yet easy to handle without sticking to your hands a lot. Add less flour if you are kneading it on a floured board. You can always add more flour if needed and on occasion when I've added too much and it seems too stiff, I'll add a bit of water (1 tsp. or so at a time) and continue kneading until the right consistency.

Weather and humidity can affect the rising. If your house is cooler, let your dough rise in warm oven (turned off).

Hope something here helps! And happy bread making!