These rolls are designed for my vegan and dairy-free friends out there. Not only are these Vegan Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls made with 100% whole wheat flour, but they also have no refined sugars in them! Don't worry, they are still light, fluffy, and delicious!
What Makes These Rolls So Good?
For whole wheat, dairy-free rolls, these rolls will surprise you with how light and fluffy they are! Most of us have had bad experiences with whole wheat baked goods, but let this recipe change your mind.
I have learned so much about whole grains, not just from my experiences in culinary school and in the industry, but also through trial and error in my own kitchen. I am excited to share this knowledge with you!
Make sure and read the noted section for all my favorite tips.
These are really simple to make. If you have a stand mixer, they are super easy. If not, you will get an arm workout, but it is still easy.
These are healthy carb options. I have hated the bad reputation our carbohydrate friends have picked up in recent years, let's work to dispel those misconceptions. Bread can be our friend and is an essential part of a healthy diet.
- Whole Wheat Flour- I used white whole wheat, but any other high-protein whole wheat flour will work as well. You can use kamut, rye, red wheat, einkorn, etc. I also really like to grind my own grains, if you are considering a grain mill, let me recommend the Nutrimill Grain Mill. It is awesome and has been used in my kitchen for about 15 years!
- Water- Milk is usually my choice, and you can sub in a plain plant-based milk if you like, but water works really well too.
- Instant Yeast- this recipe calls for one packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons.
- Molasses- You can use any other sweetener you like if you aren't into molasses.
- Orange Juice- I started using this several years ago as a recommendation from King Arthur Flour. You will be surpised how much even just a little bit cuts the bitterness form the whole wheat bread.
- Salt- It doesn't take much, but is really important.
- Olive oil- you can also use a melted plant-based butter if you prefer.
- Potato Flakes- just make sure it is the flakes, not the mashed potato mix. I get them at my local Winco in the bulk bin section.
- Plant-based butter- I use this to brush on the top before and after baking.
How To Make
These rolls are made with a method called a straight dough method. What this means is everything is added to your mixer at the same time and mixed together. Other recipes are a little more complicated and involve a lot of steps, but not this one.
So, add all your ingredients to your stand mixer (this can also be kneaded by hand). Start with 3 cups of flour. Turn on medium speed and mix for 1 minute.
Check your dough by pressing gently. It should feel a little sticky (tacky), but not overly sticky. If you need to, add in another ¼ cup and mix another minute, then check again.
Once the dough is good, turn on medium speed and mix for 6-7 minutes. Cover the let it rise in a warm space until the dough doubles. In my house, it took about 45 minutes. It will depend on the temperature and humidity of your house, as to how long it will take.
Once it is doubled, divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll into balls and place in your 9x9 pan. Cover and let them rise again. Once they are doubled, brush the top with your melted butter.
Place in the oven and bake. When you remove them, brush with butter again. Remove from the pan. You can serve them hot or cooled. I promise it is worth it.
You can use any whole wheat flour you like. I used white wheat, but there are so many great flours to use out there. Rye would work really well, einkorn, spelt flour, etc.
Make sure your dough is a little tacky. This is a whole wheat dough, and it will absorb more moisture. That is why it is important to have a more hydrated dough, to begin with.
Mixing for 6-7 minutes is really crucial for gluten development. Don't skimp on this time.
Rising time is really important too. Both on the first and second rise. This also helps the dough to fully develop.
The last tip and probably the most important, make sure you do not overbake these rolls! Don't do it! Stick really close to the time I recommend and remember that they are only just barely browned, don't overdo it!
Wanting to add in different spices, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, etc. Go for it!! I wouldn't recommend more than 2 cups of extra ingredients. Also, make sure and add them at the last minute of mixing.
Following my directions will really help. Also, make sure and read the notes section for more details.
If you have never tried the orange juice trick, try it! I have been adding orange juice to my wheat bread for years now!
You sure can. I love the flavor and color of molasses, plus it keeps it vegan. You could also use sugar, honey, or agave if you like!
More Whole Wheat Bread and Roll Recipes
- Cranberry Walnut Bread
- Whole Wheat Pretzels
- 100% whole wheat buttermilk biscuits
- Honey Oatmeal Bread
- Spelt Challah
- Multigrain Bread
Vegan Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- 1 cup warm water about 100 degrees, just warm to the touch.
- 2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup molasses or other sweeteners of choice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice optional, but I really recommend you try it.
- 6 tablespoons plant-based butter or olive oil Plus an extra 3 tablespoons of butter for brushing on the rolls before and after baking.
- ½ cup potato flakes optional, but really makes the rolls tender
- 3- 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour I used white wheat. If you are not grinding your own wheat flour, make sure and use the spoon to cup method. Spoon it into the measuring cup, then level it off.
- Add all ingredients (starting with 3 cups of flour) to your mixer. Turn on medium and mix for 1 minute. Check the dough for tackiness. You will want it to be just a little sticky, but not too much.
- If you need to, add another ¼ cup of flour. Then mix again for a minute and check it again. Once the dough is ready, turn it on medium and mix for 6-7 minutes.
- When the dough is smooth and well mixed, turn off the mixer. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it is doubled. Mine took about 45 minutes, but this will depend on the temp in your house.
- Once it is doubled, divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Spray your 9x9 pan with pan release or brush with butter. Then add the rolls to your 9x9 pan.
- Cover and let it rise until doubled again. At the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Melt the butter, then brush the rolls with the butter (don't use all of it, you brush them once they come out as well. Place the rolls in the oven.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes. You want the rolls to be lightly browned. Once they are baked, remove them from the oven and brush with butter again. This is optional, but is really good!
- Carefully remove them from the pan and set them on a cooling rack.
- That is it!! You can enjoy them hot or cooled, I promise they are delicious either way!