Honey Wheat Rolls

star rating (88) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed, whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 rolls

Recipe photo

You'd never know these tasty dinner rolls are made mainly with whole wheat flour. Soft and moist, honey gives them just a touch of natural sweetness.

Our Guarantee: These rolls will rise about 2 1/2" high, and will have a soft (not crunchy) crust and moist, tender interior. Their flavor is pleasantly mild whole wheat.

Honey Wheat Rolls

star rating (88) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed, whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 rolls
Published: 01/01/2010


Tips from our bakers

  • Don't bother heating the orange juice to lukewarm; you can use it straight out of the fridge. The orange juice won't add its own flavor to the rolls, but will mellow any potential bitterness in the whole wheat.
  • Brush hot-from-the-oven rolls with melted butter, if desired, for a soft, buttery crust.
  • For a shiny crust, whisk together 1 large egg white + 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush on rolls just before baking; sprinkle rolls with quick-cooking oats as a garnish, if desired.
  • When making yeast rolls or bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.


see this recipe's blog »

1) If you're using active dry or "highly active" yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

2) Combine the dissolved yeast with the remainder of the water and the rest of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 5 to 7 minutes at second speed. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, till it's quite puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

4) While the dough is rising, lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, or two 9" round cake pans.

5) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into 16 pieces, or 24 pieces, depending on whether you want larger or smaller rolls.

6) Shape each piece into a rough ball by pulling the dough into a very small knot at the bottom (think of a balloon with its opening knotted), then rolling it under the palm of your hand into a smooth ball.

7) Place the rolls in the 9" x 13" pan, or put eight rolls in each of the round cake pans, spacing them evenly; they won't touch one another.

8) Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. They'll become very puffy, and will reach out and touch one another. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

9) Bake the rolls for 15 minutes then, if they appear to be browning too quickly, tent them loosely with aluminum foil. Continue to bake until they're mahogany-brown on top, but lighter colored on the sides, an additional 10 to 13 minutes.

10) Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. They'll be hot and delicate, so be careful. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 roll (53g) Servings Per Batch: 16 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130 Calories from Fat: 30 Total Fat: 3.5g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 190mg Total Carbohydrate: 22g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 5g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


1 23456789  All  
  • star rating 04/05/2015
  • member-stanleyd from KAF Community
  • They just came out of the oven - I used the round pans and sprinkled the top with black sesame seeds - they look and smell great. They are very delicate turning them out of the pan, be careful.
  • star rating 01/23/2015
  • Michelle from Winston Salem, NC
  • Good texture but not a lot of flavor.
  • 01/03/2015
  • Marieke from
  • Is there a substitute for the dry milk?
    You may omit the dry milk and replace the 1 cup of water with fresh milk, soy, almond or rice milk. Enjoy! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 12/23/2014
  • cynthia20932 from KAF Community
  • These rolls are soft and as light as a feather. Just fabulous. Actually, I made sandwich buns. They may just be my favorite now, and I've tried a lot of great KAF recipes. I can't wait to treat everyone I know with these rolls.
  • star rating 12/11/2014
  • Linda from Regina Canada
  • They were neither dry not heavy. In fact they were very light. and tasted ok. But the rolls baked up very small because they didn't rise properly. I used Canadian bread flour which is hard wheat. I never use all purpose flour in breadmaking. I notice in most recipes for whole wheat rolls two packages of dry yeast are normally recommended. That may have made a big difference.
    You may need to add one tablespoon extra water per each cup of bread flour substituted, as the higher protein flour will absorb more liquid. It may also be helpful to allow this dough to sit for 30 minutes after mixing the ingredients but before kneading. This will give the bran in the whole wheat flour time to fully hydrate and will lead to a more productive kneading process, which should help with the rise. For more tips troubleshooting this recipe please give our Baker's Hotline a call at 855-371-2253. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 12/10/2014
  • Linda from Regina Canada
  • I made these rolls today and did not find that they rose well. I used very fresh traditional dried yeast yet the rolls baked up not much bigger than they were as dough balls. Very disappointed as I intended to freeze them for Christmas dinner.
    I am sorry this recipe was a disappointment. If the dough felt dense or heavy there could have been too much flour. And if that is the case the dough will not rise well and the texture will be heavy and dry. Please take a look at our site on our Recipe page>Online baking resources>Measuring flour. If you need some further assistance please call our Baker's Hotline, 1-855-371-BAKE. Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 07/16/2014
  • Ching from KL
  • Just gave this recipe a go with some modifications: Added an extra 2 tbsp of honey as I didn't have orange juice on hand, and topped up the water to make up for the liquid volume of the orange juice. I also subbed 1/4 cup of the wholewheat flour with buckwheat flour (for fun I guess haha). They came out of the oven so soft that they broke apart as I was transferring them onto the rack to cool.. Evidence that these rolls are SOFT indeed! Love this recipe. Thank you so much!
    Nice work, Ching! The orange juice helps temper the bitter flavor of the whole wheat that some tasters detect. Thanks for sharing your take on this roll recipe - happy baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/29/2013
  • SuSu from Asheville, NC
  • I made these whole wheat rolls for the first time for Christmas dinner. Everyone loved them. The best comment that I received was that one of my guests said that he did not even need to use butter because the rolls were so tasty and moist standalone. Yay! Easy recipe resulting in fabulous results. Thanks, KAF!
  • star rating 12/20/2013
  • BonnieMc from KAF Community
  • Best wheat rolls I have ever tried, easy to prepare, bake, freeze and reheat. I am a novice baker, used a bread machine to mix and rise the dough. Tried first with another brand of all purpose flour and were ok, got KA flour and it made a big difference and have turned out well every time. I keep them in my freezer and use the defrost setting on microwave to reheat.
  • star rating 11/29/2013
  • Unewsuzy from Benicia, CA
  • Made these for Thanksgiving dinner but put them in the refrigerator over night after shaping them in the pans as some other readers suggested. I took them out and let them warm and raise for 4 hours. They did double and had good oven spring. Par baked them 20 mins and then finished them in the oven for another 10 mins at dinner time brushing with butter. Nice, soft and slightly sweet.
1 23456789  All  

Related recipes