Easy Dinner Rolls

Soft pull-apart buns are a classic dinner accompaniment. Known for their tender texture and delicious taste, they are a favorite for both adults and children alike. The whole wheat version of our recipe found in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day gives you a slightly healthier spin without compromising the great, buttery taste. While they are easy enough to make any night of the week, these dinner rolls can also find their way to your entertaining table.

Easy Dinner Rolls
4 cups white whole wheat flour (we use the white whole wheat for its lighter color and flavor)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup honey
5 large eggs
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing on the top of loaf

Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a5 -quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food storage container.

Combine the liquid ingredients and mix the wet with the dry ingredients using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor or a heavy duty stand mixer with paddle. The dough will be loose, but will firm up with chilled. Cover (not airtight) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before using. The dough can be stored and used over the next 5 days.

On baking day: Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by generously coating with butter.
Take a 1 ½-pound piece of dough out of your bucket and divide it into 8 equal pieces.

Roll into small balls. They should be about the size of small plums or golf balls.

Place the dough into the prepared pan.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the buns to rest about 40-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Paint the tops of the buns lightly with egg wash using a pastry brush. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size. They should be golden brown. Immediately brush the top with butter to keep the crust soft. Allow to cool slightly and serve.



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25 thoughts on “Easy Dinner Rolls

  1. Just made these a few days ago from the Healthy Bread in 5 cookbook! OH MY GOSH they are AMAZING!!! I’ve never had such fluffy and tender whole wheat rolls. Whole family loved them!

  2. Your Brioche recipe made me a hero in my mother in law’s eyes. Thank you. I don’t get vital wheat gluten in India. Is there a substitute or can I make do without it?

  3. Just made my first Gluten Free boule from your Gluten Free Artisan book and wow! Best gluten free bread I’ve had in over 14 years being gluten free. I’m lucky enough to live not too far from a great gluten free bakery but my homemade bread using your main recipe turned out better than what they offer at the bakery. I’ve always considered myself a poor baker because gluten free baking is so tricky and hard but even I was able to get this bread to taste great on the first try. My kids are going to love this! Thank you so much!

  4. Love The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. I’m working my way through it. I have a question. A few of the recipes ( like the dinner rolls pg 111) say to preheat baking stone but then says to put rolls on baking sheet and after resting put baking sheet in oven with no mention of what to do with the stone?
    Thank you.

    1. Well… the stone is optional if you’re using a heavy-gauge baking sheet, but it does nicely even out the oven heat. It doesn’t much matter whether the sheet is right on the stone or not.

  5. Can one bake a double batch of these rolls in a larger pan? Perhaps a 9×12 pan. How long would i cook them?

    1. Sure. A lot depends on the relationship between the dough-amount and the pan-size–if they happened to bunch up more and be higher, this would require a longer baking time. Same oven temp though.

  6. So I made these the other night using the challa dough from the New Artisan Bread book, and while they tasted good, they were pretty dense. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but maybe you can help me. I got the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a while while I did other dinner prep (our house is very cold, so I wasn’t too concerned about the eggs in the dough). Then I formed the rolls, and let them rise a good hour or so. Again, our house is pretty chilly, so I did put them in a warm oven for about 20 minutes maybe to help them rise, but mostly they were just sitting on the counter. THey didn’t really seem to have much if any oven spring, which I thought was odd. The only other thing I can think of is that the dough was on its fifth day, so could the yeast have been a little overspent? Also, I kneaded the dough a couple times before forming them like it says to do when making the cinnamon rolls, but maybe I shouldn’t have done that for these? Any advice is appreciated!

    1. I think it’s two things: you can skip the kneading, and second–on the final day of a batch-life, you will have increased density.

      Your cold ambient temperature is also part of the problem, sounds like the 20-minute warm-oven attempt didn’t help.

  7. Just tried the master recipe. Made it last night and let it sit overnight on the counter. Unfortunately my container wasn’t big enough and in the morning the lid was up two inches above the rim and there was a big pile of dough circling the container. I threw away the tough bits. But baked the remainder as usual. Does this over-rising the container affect the finished product? If so, how? My loaves today stayed small and never browned on top and I’m trying to figure out why. I did find out that my oven doesn’t trap steam well, but the crust is so light it feels like there’s more to the problem. (I baked in a convection oven preheated for an hour and I used an over thermometer to check temperature).

      1. From the New Artisan Bread in 5. I’ve made a few more loaves. How much oven spring is it supposed to have? I’m going to measure my dough next time before baking, but my loaves have been tiny.

  8. Are you using a baking stone? That helps with oven spring.
    But exactly how much spring, that I’ve never measured. They definitely expand, but a one-pound loaf is smaller than most people are using to working with.

    If the hole structure is nice, and it’s not overly dense, then it’s expanding; that’s what matters. You may also be getting sideways spread–could “gluten-cloak” more aggressively. Or bake in a loaf-pan.

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