Print Recipe
4.67 from 9 votes

Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls with Tangzhong Starter

Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls. Moist and soft Whole wheat Rolls 100% Whole grain rolls. Use as Wheat Buns for Burgers or Sliders. Vegan Whole Grain Dinner Rolls. Soy-free Palm Oil-free Recipe. Makes an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 inch square pan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Side, Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 176kcal
Author: Vegan Richa



  • 1/4 scant cup whole wheat flour a bit less than 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup 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 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 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/ 190Âșc. 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.


Make ahead:
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


Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1.2mg