Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls. Moist and soft Whole wheat Rolls 100% Whole grain rolls with Tangzhong starter. Use as Wheat Buns for Burgers or Sliders. Vegan Whole Grain Dinner Rolls. Soy-free Palm Oil-free Recipe
These rolls are 100% Whole grain and so soft and do not taste like cardboard or dirt! Based off my 100% Whole wheat bread, the rolls have additional help in moisture from the tangzhong (roux), Tangzong starter breads or milk breads are often the softest breads. Tangzhong along with the sponge are the secret to perfectly moist Whole Grain Rolls.
The flavor of these rolls is very dependent on the whole grain flour used. Often the flour goes rancid or is starting to go rancid depending on when the grains were processed. Breads with combination of whole and all purpose/white flour have a milder flavor. In all whole grain baked goods that are sweet or savory, the flavors take over the whole grain flavor and work well. In a bread that is just whole grain flour, water and yeast, the grain flavor comes through very strong. It is the least strong in freshly baked bread and gets stronger (bitter or rancid) as it sits. You can also use aquafaba for additional moisture in these. These rolls are best served fresh and warm.
These rolls can be made ahead (refrigerated or frozen, then thawed and baked). For soft Gluten-free dinner rolls, see these.
I generally use some whole grain spelt with the wheat or a combination of regular whole wheat which is red wheat flour, and white whole wheat which is flour of winter white wheat. Combination flours help with the flavor and texture. It looks like a long process, but its mostly rest and rise time and bake time with just 15- 20 mins active.
More breads from the blog
- Multigrain Dinner Rolls. Yeasted
- Fluffy White Dinner Rolls or Burger Buns Yeasted
- Steamed Bao buns Yeasted
- Garlic Scallion Jalapeno Buns Yeasted
- Rye almond Burger Buns Yeasted
- Yeast-free Dinner Rolls.
Also note that some active or instant yeasts have emulsifiers added to them such as Sorbitan Monostearate which are derived from palm oil. Some other emulsifiers might be derived from animal ingredients. You can use fresh yeast or use active yeast which does not contain additives. Red Star Yeast packets of 1/4 oz do not contain this emulsifier.
Step pictures below: Or Jump to Recipe
Make the sponge batter and let it sit for an hour.
Add the tangzong, flour, salt, oil and knead into a smooth soft dough. Let the dough sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Divide into 12 equal parts. Roll each part into an oval and roll the oval into a jelly roll. Place seam side down on greased baking pan.
Sprinkle sesame or oats. Cover and let rise for 35 to 45 mins or until doubled.
Bake until golden. Brush oil or vegan butter on top.
Eat some with olive oil, hummus or vegan butter.
Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls with Tangzhong Starter
- 1/4 (0.25 ) scant cup whole wheat flour a bit less than 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
- 2.5 tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener of choice i like to use 1.5 tbs mapel and 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp active yeast 1 tablespoon = 3 tsp
- 2 cups (240 g) whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup whole spelt flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) almond extract optional, adds nice bakery like smell
- olive oil or vegan butter for brushing
- In a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water over medium heat. mix well and cook until gel like, smooth and starting to get shiny, stirring frequently. Set this tangzhong starter lump aside.
- Mix the ingredients under Sponge in a bowl. Mix with a large spoon for 2 minutes until the batter is very smooth and starting to get gluten-ny.
- Let the bowl sit covered for 1 hour in a warm place. (Use a large bowl as the sponge will triple).
- In a stand mixer, add the sponge, tangzhong. Mix the salt into the 2 cups flour and add the flour to the stand mixer. Start kneading. Add in the oil, lemon juice and continue to knead for 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 2 minutes. Check the dough to see if it needs more flour or water (it should be soft and smooth. not stiff and not sticky). Add more flour 1 tbsp at a time if needed. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky, but not overly sticky or not too stiff.
- Knead for another 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should not break immediately when a small portion is pulled out. (I knead at setting 2 on my kitchen aid). You can let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes at this point.
- Divide the dough in 12 equal balls. flatten each ball into an oval then roll it up like a jelly roll. Place seam side down in the baking pan. Repeat for all rolls. Spray oil on top. Sprinkle sesame seeds or oats. * See Notes for refrigeration or freezing instructions.
- Cover the pan with a towel and let rise for 25 to 40 minutes or until the rolls double in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F/ 190ºc. Bake the bread for 20 to 22 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and brush oil or vegan butter on top. Remove the bread from the pan after 10 minutes. Wait for another 5 before serving the warm rolls with olive oil or vegan butter or as a side with anything.
- Store in a bread container on the counter for upto 2 days or refrigerate for upto a week.
Follow the recipe to Step 6. To refrigerate, cover the pan with plastic wrap or other and refrigerate overnight. Let the pan sit on the counter for an hour before baking.
To freeze, let the rolls rise for 15 mins before freezing the pan. Freeze the pan in ziplock or wrapped in wrap. Thaw and rise for 1 to 1,5 hours before baking. Use Aquafaba: Use a 1/4 cup aquafaba + 3/4 cup water in the sponge instead of 1 cup water. You can use aquafaba instead of oil, i havent tried these without oil. To make burger buns: Shape the rolls and place on parchment lined baking sheet atleast 2 inches apart. Follow the rest of the instructions to bake. Nutritional values based on one serving