Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls: share the bread – and this recipe

Good food is a passion many of us share – and recipes are how we connect.

To me, baking is ALL about sharing – not just the bread and cookies themselves, but the recipes that they come from. I’ve never, EVER been one of those cooks or bakers who claims a “secret” recipe, one she’s unwilling to share.

I mean, what’s the good of that? Just like you don’t want to go to your grave with money in your pocket, neither do you want to let a cherished recipe die with you.

Write your recipes down; send them out into the world. You never know whom they’ll touch: the daughter recognizing her mom’s peanut butter cookies; the grandson realizing that this recipe is, miraculously, an exact blueprint of his grandma’s cinnamon rolls.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

These days, as I just begin to get a glimmer of my own mortality, I feel more strongly than ever that it’s worth the time and effort to share recipes.

And I have the perfect vehicle for doing just that: this blog. Which brings us to the following recipe, courtesy of reader Sharon Daley of Harwich Port, MA.

Sharon emailed us her original recipe for Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls and Bread, with an accompanying note:

“Here’s the scoop: My youngest son came home from college this weekend, and I wanted to bake rolls for dinner, and also send a loaf of bread back to school with him. Fall seems just right for whole grains, and I decided to try a couple of the King Arthur specialty ingredients, so I just started ‘playing around.’ The result was quite tasty, and I thought you folks might be interested. P.S. College boy gobbled them up!”

Sharon’s path is the one so many of us take: baking for family, celebrating an occasion, making people happy. With so much angst and agitation in the world, isn’t it nice that one simple act – baking – is something we can rely on for peace, happiness, and sustenance?

I’ll show you how to make Sharon’s rolls and bread. And in return, I expect you to pay it forward: read the recipe, make the bread, then share both with family and friends.


3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Irish-Style Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or 1/3 cup non-fat dry milk
1 tablespoon instant yeast or active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*

*Sharon’s recipe calls for “enough warm water to make a moist dough.” I found 1 1/2 cups was just about right; you may want to use a bit less in summer (or when it’s humid), a bit more in the dead of winter, or in a dry climate.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Mix everything together in a large bowl.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Knead — by hand, with a stand mixer, or in a bread machine set to the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough. Using a stand mixer, it may stick a bit in the bottom of the bowl (above right); that’s fine.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl (or large measuring cup, as I’ve done here), cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk, 60 to 90 minutes.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Take one half, and divide it into seven pieces; each will be a generous 3 ounces. Round each piece into a smooth roll.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9″ round cake pan. (Sharon swears by our round stoneware bun pan.)

Cover the pan; a clear shower cap makes a great reusable see-through cover.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Working with the other half of the dough, divide it in half, and shape each piece into a short, fat log; or a round. Alternatively, make one large oval or round loaf.

Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment; sprinkle with cornmeal or semolina. Place the loaves on the baking sheet, and cover with lightly greased plastic.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Let the rolls/loaves rise for about 90 minutes, or until they’re nearly doubled in size. The rolls will be touching one another.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center (and a stone, if you have one, on the floor of the oven, or on a lower rack).

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Brush the rolls with 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon cold water.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Brush the loaves with the egg wash, too, then make two or three diagonal slashes; this will help them rise evenly during baking.

Sprinkle with rolled oats.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Place the rolls/loaves into the oven; the rolls should go on the middle rack, the loaves on the stone (or on a lower rack).

Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes for the rolls, 30 minutes for the loaves, or 40 to 45 minutes for one large loaf. If at any point anything appears to be browning too quickly, tent lightly with aluminum foil.

Once the rolls are done, transfer the loaves to the middle rack, so they’ll brown fully.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Remove from the oven.

Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls via @kingarthurflour

See that soft interior? These rolls are just dying for a pat of butter.

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this recipe. We’ve done our part and passed it along.

Readers, how about you? Please read, bake, review, and share this recipe for Sharon’s Whole-Grain Dinner Rolls & Bread.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. gaahonore

    Oh PJ my sister-in-baking! It’s as though you can read my mind! The best part of baking is the sharing! And not just the results of your own labor but the road you took and the map that got you there. I have shared so many of my own family recipes as well as KAF recipes. And I have often shared your wonderful and inspiring words. When I am confronted with the news of the day, I am compelled to ease the angst by baking something tasty and sharing it with others. Thank you PJ for your inspiring words AND a wonderful recipe! It just leapfrogged to the top of the weekend baking list!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Thanks so much for your kind comments – I agree, when you’re having a tough day, there’s nothing like relaxing over a bowl of dough or batter, then sharing the results. People are so happy! And your outlook immediately brightens. Enjoy the rolls this weekend – PJH

  2. Wendy

    These rolls look amazing. I may have to change what I was making for dinner to accommodate these rolls! By the way, the whole “shower cap” advice? GENIUS! I bought some for the crusty bread made in the bucket and now I use them for covering just about everything. Clingwrap often doesn’t cling and things get lost behind aluminum foil.

  3. Lorraine Fina Stevenski

    PJ, I, too, am thinking what I am going to do with all my recipes. I share whenever I can, online and with friends and family. I tried to publish in a book but no one is interested. But over 500 recipes have gotten out of hand. As a senior, I think of my mortality and wonder where all my recipes will go when I am gone. I think I will leave instructions to send them to King Arthur Flour!

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      How sweet of you to think of us first, Lorraine. You might also want to get in touch with a local historical society, I’m sure they’d love to have those tenderly curated documents! ~ MJ

    2. carolina

      Lorraine, we had to force my grandmother to hand write a recipe book for us. I think she thought we would appreciate it. Some recipes ar e bit cryptic, so I wonder if maybe she wanted only “her” version to be the best ever!! She did include whom she was thinking of regarding the particular recipe. Mom provided the pictures. This was in the days of copier machines only! All the recipes are hand written. When I miss my grandmother, I open up to one of her recipes and make it for dinner, dessert whatever.
      Regardless of what they may say, make a recipe book and gift it on a special occasion. It will be a treasure they may only realize later.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Cindy, I would recommend substituting twice the amount of potato flour, when using potato flakes (1/2 cup). Or you can use an equal amount of potato flakes by weight. Barb@KAF

  4. Monica

    This recipe looks absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately I only have honey wheat germ in the house. Could I substitute flax meal for the wheat germ, or just use the honey what germ that I have? If I want to make the entire recipe as rolls, how many do you think I should go for? Seems like a lot of flour and oats for just 14 rolls. I have always loved the idea of passing recipes on. I have two very old family recipes that are in regular use by friends. One is for my Aunt Fanny’s Biscotti, which are really what Italian bakeries call “Reginas” , and the other is for traditional Sicilian fig cookies, which require weeks of preparation and several bakers to accomplish. One friend helps me grind the fig mixture a week ahead of time, mix it with the wine syrup and let it sit for a week. Then on the Saturday after Thanksgiving five of us, (including my DIL) get together and make the cookies. We each end up with about 80 to 90 cookies, which get distributed to families, friends and even favorite doctors! We have been doing this for at least twenty years ( we started doing it with my parents, but carry on now even though they are sadly no longer with us), and when all the baking is done, and we sit around with a cup of coffee, we toast each other with a fig cookie and say ” NOW it can be Christmas!””

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Monica,
      The honey wheat germ will be just fine in the recipe, and you can absolutely make 2 pans of rolls instead of just one. Thanks for sharing the Fig Cookie story too, we know how that feels! ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pamela, yes, you could make this in a loaf pan. The size is going to depend on how large of a loaf you’re looking for. This recipe makes a lot of dough, so it’s flexible. I would suggest something standard, like an 8×4 or 9×5 pan. Bryanna@KAF

  5. Carla White

    I’d love to try making this. My problem is that I have no wheat germ in the house, and really don’t want to buy it just for this one recipe. Will this be successful without the wheat germ? Or should I add more of one of the flours, and if so, how much and which one? Or ??? And will SAF regular yeast from KAF work well? Lots of questions, I know – but my friends think I’m a bread-baking genius, and I’d hate for them to find out otherwise! Thank you for all your great products and recipes, and for your inspiration and encouragement to all of us “out here.”

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Carla, I think it would be fine to leave the wheat germ out, and the SAF yeast will work fine for this recipe. Thank you for your kind words! We really do love to help. Barb@KAF

  6. Connie

    I want to Thank You for sharing this recipe. I am making them for tonights dinner. My family loves rolls so instead of making the bread loaves, I will make everything into rolls this time. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks again.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pamela, this could be baked in a pan and because this recipe is so large, you have a little flexibility with the pan size because it will make multiple loaves. I would suggest using a standard 8×4 or 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bryanna@KAF

  7. Nancy Mock

    These rolls and loaves look scrumptious…can almost smell the aroma in my kitchen! I will definitely be trying this recipe..Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jeanne, you could use ground flax seed in place of the wheat germ. It’s similar in texture and gives an additional boost of nutrients. Bryanna@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, you can indeed use sprouted wheat flour in this recipe. Use it instead of the whole wheat or up to a 50 percent substitution with the all-purpose flour. Bryanna@KAF

  8. Carla

    The shower cap is a great idea for a loaf pan or a single pan of rolls.

    for larger pans…like a whole sheet pan or multiple pans, I started using those XL zipper bags. the whole pan (or pans) slide right in…and there is even room for a mug of hot water to help things along. when finished, I turn it inside out and slip over my stand mixer to dry. One box of those bags will last for years!!!

  9. Karen Ripley

    This is a great recipe! Made rolls with both halves. They really are the best I’ve ever made. My family loved them. I know I’ll be making these again- I’ll bet they will be requested. Thanks!

  10. Gail

    What a great blog entry…looking forward to trying the dinner rolls. However, I’m so curious as to the photo of Beth’s carrot cake recipe. I have been on the search for years for the perfect carrot cake recipe…the note says the icing was the best part. But….the icing ingredients are cut off! Any chance you could let me know what those were? Thanks so much!

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      oooh, I didn’t even notice that, Gail. Here’s the recipe from PJ:

      2/3 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese
      4 tablespoons butter
      1 teaspoon lemon flavor
      1 teaspoon milk
      1 pound confectioners’ sugar

      Hope you love it! ~ MJ

  11. gaahonore

    Made these rolls and loaves on Monday. They are fantastic! And super easy to make! They are so light and soft. Really delicious. Will make again and again!

  12. CJL

    Sharon is such a great baker and a wonderful pediatrician too! I am touched with how she shows her love for her men with delicious treats from the kitchen. I have used her 60 minute rolls recipe for years. These look delicious too and I will try them this w/e!

  13. Karen S.

    Hi PJ,

    Many thanks for posting this recipe — it is a keeper for sure. I have a few “science” questions about the recipe, though. I’ve made this recipe twice, first as two pans of rolls and second as one pan of rolls and a 9×5 loaf in a KAF loaf pan. They all looked gorgeous and were tasty. The original rolls I shared with our pastor and family, but these are staying home with us! Why does this recipe brown so quickly when baking — the egg wash, the honey in the recipe, or the whole grain? Also, in your blog pictures it seems you’ve cut the freeform loaves a bit before baking, but I don’t see that mentioned in the recipe. Is that baker’s choice or does it keep the freeform loaves from exploding??? Sorry to be so wordy — love, love, love your site and the folks at KAF!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Karen, these rolls and loaves will brown so beautifully because of the egg wash and the honey; both help emphasize that nice color in a crust. We score the top of the loaves to keep them from breaking open, it allows a place for air to escape, but does so in a stylish way! Bryanna@KAF

  14. Dan

    The first instruction has us mixing everything together – but I note that the oats and egg are used to create an egg wash and then topping – or is that an additional egg and oats – i.e., do they go into the dough as well, or should they be kept out separately?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Dan,
      The first step refers to all of the ingredients in the dough. The oats and egg wash listed under “topping” should remain separate until step 7, once the rolls are fully risen. I hope that helps. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  15. Virginia Bennett

    I never bake bread and I rarely bake much of anything. I can make pie crust. Well, in some irrational moment I ordered 4 packages of Irish style flour. The page that day said Get Lucky! I ordered without getting the free shipping which was supposed to be offered if one purchased Irish items. Maybe I misunderstood. Now I’m in possession of four bags of this special flour. I really love the bread from Scotland, Ireland and England. Where some people bring home souvenirs of Waterford or Wedgewood I bring home loaves of bread. So I wonder, what am I going to do now? Could I make no-knead bread with it? Soda bread? Help!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Virginia, first of all, call our customer service team, 1-800-827-6836, to check on that free shipping; I’m not sure what the offer was, but they can help you. Then, check out these recipes using Irish-style flour; I highly recommend starting with the Tea Brack, which makes a lovely, dark, moist loaf. Enjoy! PJH

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