100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

Whole wheat flour can be so uncooperative. It doesn’t want to rise, or stays heavy and dense.

Problems solved. And whole wheat never tasted so good.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Using whole wheat flour is often the kiss of death in bread-making. It’s like adding lead to your dough. It’s just weighs it down and can cause bread to taste like a hockey puck.

Whole wheat has less gluten than white so it doesn’t want to get puffy, fluffy, and rise as well. Or rise at all.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Sure, it’s healthier than white all-purpose flour, but I don’t care how healthy something is if it doesn’t taste good.

After lots and lots of trial and error, and lots of bread that was only good enough to feed to the birds, I finally have whole wheat bread that I am 100% proud of.

And it’s 100% whole wheat.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Many times whole wheat bread is a blend of 50/50, wheat and white. Many recipes suggest tossing some white all-purpose or white bread flour in with the wheat so the dough will rise better. And it will.

But I wanted 100% whole wheat, and now I have it.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The rolls are so easy to make. It’s both a make-ahead and a no-knead dough, adapted from my No-Knead Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls.

They’re practically work-free because there’s no kneading. I don’t even use my stand mixer and simply stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon in a bowl.

I make the dough and let it rise, then form 16 balls. I  bake 3 to 6 balls per day and keep the rest in the fridge. We have a family size of 3 and we don’t need 16 rolls all at once.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The recipe is perfect for anyone who’s never worked with yeast because it’s almost impossible to screw up, which is saying something because whole wheat is involved.

If you can dump ingredients in a bowl and stir, you can make these.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

I love the flexibility of knowing I have dough waiting in the fridge. I can just grab a few balls, put them on a baking tray, let them come up to room temperature and rise for maybe an hour, and bake. Instant dinner rolls, and instant happy family.

I brush the tops with honey-butter before baking because it makes them even more scrumptious. Honey and wheat just go together. I serve them with honey butter, too.

Or skip the honey and use garlic butter. Or sprinkle with sesame seeds and use them as little slider or sandwiches buns. Form the dough into pretzels or bake as a loaf. So many possibilities.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The whole wheat adds heartiness and nuttiness, without tasting too healthy or earthy, which can sometimes happen with whole wheat, and I know it’s a turnoff for some people.

They’re soft, fluffy, light. And healthy. And they’re make-ahead and no-knead.

I couldn’t ask for anything more from a dinner roll.

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - You'd never guess they're made entirely with whole wheat flour based on how soft, light & fluffy they are! If you've been searching for a whole wheat roll recipe, this is the one!

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100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

These 100% whole wheat dinner rolls are soft, light, fluffy, and so easy. They're practically work-free because there's no kneading. If you can dump ingredients in a bowl and stir, you can make these. You can make the dough ahead of time, refrigerate it, and when you're ready for fresh bread, bake off only what you need. You can use the dough for more than just dinner rolls. Try breadsticks, pretzels, or bake as a loaf; skip the honey and use garlic butter or add sesame seeds for hamburger buns. So many options and knowing you have dough in the fridge waiting makes having fresh rolls at any time an easy and do-able reality.

Yield: 16 medium rolls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: about 5 hours, mostly downtime

Ingredients:

Rolls
3/4 cup water, warmed to packaging directions (about 125F for Red Star Platinum yeast, about 105 to 115F for most other yeast)
3/4 cup milk, warmed
1/4 cup honey
2 to 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon molasses
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum)
3 cups whole wheat flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Honey Butter
1/4 cup (half of one stick) unsalted butter, very soft
2 to 3 tablespoons honey

Directions:

  1. For the Rolls - Combine first 5 ingredients (through molasses) in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl and warm it to manufacturer's directions on yeast packet, about 1 minute on high power. Take the temperature with a thermometer. If you don't have one, mixture should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Err on the side of too cool rather than too hot because you don't want to kill the yeast.
  2. Pour liquid mixture into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top; wait 5 to 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy. This means it's alive and will work. (This is proofing and technically with instant dry yeast you don't have to proof it, for active dry yeast; you should. I do it regardless)
  3. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Then stir for about 1 more minute, mashing the dough around (this is as much 'kneading' as this recipe requires).
  4. Stir dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plasticwrap, and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 3 hours. Whole wheat rises slowly so don't be surprised if it takes a long time. Tip - Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off.
  5. At this point you have a choice... If you plan to bake now (through step 11) punch dough down, remove it from bowl, and turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Knead it only so much as necessary to shape it into balls for rolls (I divide the dough into 16 rolls and they're just a bit bigger than golf balls). Or form desired shapes such as a loaf, pretzels, breadsticks, etc. Use only what you need and save the rest for later in the refrigerator.
  6. Place balls of dough in a cooking sprayed round baking dish or pie plate, or in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan; size depends on how many you're making. They can be close to each other, but not squished, or they'll rise and bake into each other.
  7. Cover baking dish with plasticwrap, and allow rolls to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for about 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. I use the preheated oven trick again.
  8. In the final minutes of rising, preheat oven to 350F.
  9. For the Honey Butter - Stir to combine the butter and honey. Generously brush or spread the mixture with a knife over the top of each ball of dough before baking. Reserve remainder to serve with rolls after baking.
  10. Bake rolls for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly golden and puffed. Baking time will vary greatly based on how many rolls you're baking, or if it's another shape such as a mini loaf, the size of the pan, and personal preference. Watch your bread, not the clock. Don't overbake; they will dry out.
  11. Allow bread to cool momentarily in baking dish and serve as soon as it's cool enough to handle. Rolls are best fresh, but will keep airtight for up to 4 days at room temperature or may be frozen for up to 4 months.
  12. If you plan to bake later - Take dough that's risen for about 3 hours from step 4, punch it down, keep it covered, and refrigerate it. I prefer to portion the dough into 16 balls before refrigerating it so I can easily grab what I need over the next few days. Dough may be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days before baking.
  13. When you plan to bake, pick up at step 5 and follow through step 11.

Recipe adapted from No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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Do you make dinner rolls or bread? What’s your favorite recipe?

   

96 Responses to “100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter”

  1. #
    51
    Bianca — December 28, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I really want to make these, but I don’t like molasses. Could I substitute something else, like honey or maple syrup, that could work too? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — December 28th, 2013 at 6:25 am

      Yes you could use either of those things or just omit. Even if you don’t like molasses, it doesn’t make the rolls taste like it, but instead just gives a richer taste to them and balances the wheat taste, but sub/omit as desired.

      Reply

  2. #
    52
    Simsim — January 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Amazing recipe! Can not ask for better. Just made these soft buns and having them with cheese. Too yummmyyy… Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe :)

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Andrea — February 8, 2014 at 6:14 am

    WOW!! truly the best bread I ever made! thank you so much for sharing. This recipe is going in my binder for keeps.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 8th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks for trying it & glad it’s the best bread you’ve ever made – and 100% whole wheat at that! Fabulous to hear!

      Reply

  4. #
    54
    Allie — March 28, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Can’t wait to make this! Question, I’m running low on wheat flour (maybe 2.5c available now), will it matter if I add a bit of AP flour to get the dough to the right consistency?

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Jessica — April 23, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Have you tried freezing the dough after you roll them into balls? I prefer fresh baked bread but love to make large batches of dough at once. I was thinking after rising, punch it down, then freeze the raw rolled balls on a cookie sheet then put them into a bag? That way I could take out however many I wanted, thaw them and let them rise then bake. Just curious if you had tried this with this recipe. Thanks! I’ve been searching for a good whole wheat roll recipe for a while.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — April 24th, 2014 at 9:37 am

      I think your method could work and I haven’t tried it with these per se but I do that with other dough. I feel like that method is 90% as good as if you do it without ‘cheating’ as I will call it. The problem otherwise as you say if you don’t cheat and freeze, is that you end up with a dozen rolls++ and unless you’re having an event, you likely don’t need that many, all at once. So yes, try freezing and see what you think using the method you outlined; that’s exactly when I freeze my dough balls.

      Reply

  6. #
    56
    Linda — July 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Have you ever used Sucanat for this?

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    :( — October 18, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Averie I was so sad these did not turn out. I followed the recipe exactly but the dough was insanely wet and sticky. After the 3 hour rise when the dough doubled I added even more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and unfortunately it did nothing. I added an additional almost 2 cups and left the dough to rise again. To shape I had to coat my hands with oil because it was so sticky. I allowed these to bake and they were semi-fluffy, however, flat and the only flavor was whole wheat flour.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 18th, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Sorry that these didn’t work for you. I’ve never had any trouble so can’t exactly speak to what happened for you. Sounds like your climate must be much more humid than San Diego where I’m at. With bread-baking, it’s very hard to troubleshoot where someone went wrong but for you, I think adding flour in the BEGINNING before you even let them rise, that was the time to do it, not halfway through adding all that additional flour. That was one issue. I use King Arthur brand flour and Platinum yeast; I swear by both of those brands and if you used other brands, you will get different results. As for the taste, yes they’re very! wheaty since they’re made with 100% w.w. flour. The honey butter is a nice balance though I think.

      Reply

      • :( replied: — October 19th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

        Thank you for the feedback! I will give them a go one more time and let you know how it goes. Either way, your recipes are fabulous and just because this one (out of hundreds) did not work for me doesn’t mean it is a bad recipe :)

  8. #
    58
    Yel — November 2, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Hi Averie, i make these buns a few time, the dough is extremely sticky and i manage to make into dinner buns. They came out soft and fluffy but the top is brown but bottom feel underbake. I wonder is because the dough too wet or i chose a nonstick tray? I not from America and they don’t sell king arthur flour here in Singapore. I have been using white wheat flour. Do i still stick to 3 cup?
    Is possible to give the recipe in grams?
    The buns became a bit flat and dense on the 3rd day when we took out from fridge. Is that normal?
    Sorry i am very new in bread making.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — November 2nd, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      To your questions…
      First, I would say do NOT keep rolls/bread in the fridge. They will not taste their best, and that said, bread is always best the first and second day so by the 3rd day, no matter where you’re storing it, it’s not going to be as light and soft. And the fridge is making it worse.

      You should bake these in a pan rather than a baking sheet/tray, that may help the browning situation on the bottom.

      If the dough is way too sticky, add more flour. It will be climate dependent and ingredient-dependent so it’s impossible for me to say for sure exactly how much to use.

      Reply

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