Perfect Whole Wheat Rolls: Crafted with a Bread Machine

Sneak Preview: These Bread Machine Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls make great slider buns for your favorite sandwiches. The recipe is designed for mixing in a bread machine, but you can use a stand mixer or mix by hand instead.

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What if you could make whole wheat rolls your whole family would eat? What if you could mix them up in a bread machine? Of course, you can’t bake rolls in a bread machine, but I promise it won’t be hard to shape them and bake them in the oven.

After trying several recipes and various modifications, this is the recipe I like best. If you are into whole wheat, give these a try.  Although light, they are sturdy enough for sandwiches or sliders.

We like to use these Whole Wheat Rolls as slider buns filled with sloppy joe filling. If you make eight rolls instead of sixteen, they make good hamburger buns, too.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“I made these last week. So good and the recipe ingredient amounts are perfect. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe. My grandson loves them!”–LOIS

sloppy joes on whole wheat rollsPin

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • WATER: I like to use spring water if I have it because chlorine and yeast aren’t such good friends. Otherwise, tap water is fine. (cool to room temperature)
  • EGG: The recipe is written for a large egg. It doesn’t need to be warm.
  • SALT: Table salt or sea salt is a good choice. If you want to use Kosher salt, add an extra 1/4 teaspoon.
  • HONEY: Honey and whole wheat are a great pairing. You could substitute sugar or maple syrup.
  • OIL: A light-flavored oil such as avocado or vegetable oil.
  • FLOUR: Bread flour and whole wheat flour make a good combination. Whole wheat needs all the boost it can get from bread flour. You could sub all-purpose unbleached flour for the bread flour, but your rolls may not rise as much.
  • VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN: This will help make your rolls lighter. It’s especially helpful with this much whole grain in the recipe. However, it’s optional.
  • YEAST: I use nothing but bread machine or instant yeast (same thing). It is formulated to dissolve quickly.

How To Make Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls with a Bread Machine

Step #1: Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle. When the DOUGH cycle is done, check the dough. It should be doubled in size. If not, leave the dough in the machine with the lid down until it rises to double the original size.

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When the dough doubles, turn it onto a floured surface.
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Divide dough in half with a knife or bench scraper.
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Divide each section in half until you have 16 equally sized portions of dough. Form each section into a ball.
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Place eight balls in each 8-inch pan.
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Cover and allow the dough to rise again until almost double. These rolls are slow risers. Depending on the ambient temperature, they take 30 minutes to a couple of hours to proof.
rolls are ready to bake.Pin
These rolls are ready to bake.
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These rolls are baked, buttered, and ready to serve.

FAQ About Whole Wheat Rolls

Can I freeze these rolls?

Yes. Double-wrap the rolls after they are baked and cooled. Best if eaten within a month.

What is the best way to store whole wheat rolls?

Ziplock bags seem to work best. The second choice would be a bread box. Do not refrigerate

How do I keep whole wheat flour from going rancid?

Store the flour in your refrigerator or freezer.

Can I substitute whole wheat for the white flour and have 100% whole wheat rolls?

I don’t recommend it. You will probably end up with dense rolls.

Parting thoughts: I have removed the sloppy joe recipe from this post. You can still see the recipe here.

Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

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Yield: 8 rolls

Bread Machine Whole Wheat Rolls Recipe

These Whole Wheat Rolls are sturdy but soft and tasty, making them suitable for buns or mini-sliders. Mix the dough in a bread machine, shape by hand, and bake in the oven. Remarkably light and airy texture.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 26 votes


Prep time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours


  • ¾ cup (170 g) warm water
  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • teaspoon table or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (63 g) honey
  • 3 tablespoons (37 g) oil
  • 1 ½ cup (180 g) bread flour
  • 1 ½ cup (170 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast


  • Add 3/4 cup (170 g) warm water, 1 large (50 g) egg, 1¼ teaspoon table or sea salt, 3 tablespoons (63 g) honey, 3 tablespoons (37 g) oil, 1 1/2 cup (180 g) bread flour, 1 1/2 cup (170 g) whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten, and 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast, to bread machine in order listed.
  • Set for the DOUGH cycle and press start.
  • After 5-7 minutes, lift the lid and check on the dough. If the dough is too wet (sticking to all sides) add flour 1 spoonful at a time until the dough begins to hold its shape. If too dry, (bouncing against the sides) add water 1 spoonful at a time until dough sticks to one side at a time. (See this picture tutorial if you are new to using a bread machine.)
  • When the DOUGH cycle is complete, check the dough. It should be doubled in size. If so, remove it from the pan. Otherwise, leave the dough in the pan until it rises until double the original size.
  • Remove the dough onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half, then each half in half. Continue until you have 16 total balls for dinner rolls or slider buns. Only make 8 portions if you want larger buns.
  • Shape into balls. Fill 2 8-inch or 9-inch pans (round or square) with balls,
  • Cover the rolls with a clean tea towel (not terrycloth) and place in a warm place to rise until double. This may take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the ambient temperature.
  • Bake at 350˚F or 180˚C until golden brown–about 10-12 minutes.
  • Optional: Brush rolls with butter after removing from the oven.


Using a Stand Mixer:
  1. In a heavy-duty stand mixer, add the ingredients to the bowl in the specified order.
  2. Begin mixing on low speed until all the ingredients are moistened.
  3. Switch to a dough hook attachment and increase the speed to 2 or 3.
  4. Continue beating/kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, typically about 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place.
  6. Once risen, gently deflate the dough and shape it as directed in the recipe.
Making by Hand:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until they form a shaggy ball.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  3. Knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth and elastic, which may take around 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience.
  4. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl.
  5. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to double in size.
  6. After rising, gently deflate the dough and shape it according to the recipe’s instructions.
Please Note: You can use active dry yeast as a substitute. Dissolving it first is optional. Active dry yeast may have a slower initial rise but will catch up eventually.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 276mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. Sandra Lalonde says:

    Has anyone tried using this recipe to make a loaf in their bread machine?

  2. I made these last week. So good and the recipe ingredient amounts are perfect. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe. My grandson loves them!
    5 ⭐️

    1. Hi Lois, Don’t you love it when you find something the grandkids love to eat?

  3. Sandra Lalonde says:

    I would like to freeze the raw rolls and bake at a later date. Should I let the rolls rise then freeze?

    1. Hi Sandra,
      It’s better to let the rolls rise after you take them out of the freezer. It also takes less room in your freezer to do it that way. Be sure to allow extra time for the rolls to thaw.

  4. Amy Botticello says:

    Do you have a suggested recipe for a dinner roll for Thanksgiving meal (turkey, etc)? Thanks

    1. I will be making this one. It’s a plain dinner roll (although sometimes I add Cheddar cheese to them as I shape them) that goes with any menu. My second choice would be these rolls–also a plain dinner roll and a family fave. The latter recipe is a touch easier.

  5. John Johnston says:

    4 stars
    Great recipe ~ I use it often and very happy with the outcome

  6. Oops, I just added bread flour instead of AP flour to the wheat roll recipe! What will happen?

    1. They will still taste good but they might not rise quite as much as you hoped. I would proceed and hope for the best.

    2. @Paula, I am confused. Your recipe calls for bread flour not all purpose flour. Is this right?

      1. I like to use bread flour when baking with whole wheat–makes a lighter roll. But you could use AP flour if that’s all you have.

  7. How long would I bake this if I wanted to make a loaf of bread instead of the rolls?

    1. Hi Debi,

      Good question. I haven’t tried it. However, I would start here: Bake 30-40 minutes in an oven preheated to 375˚F. Test with quick-read thermometer and make sure the internal temperature comes to 190-120˚F. I’m guessing it will be delicious. Here is another recipe from this website that is similar and set up to be baked as a loaf.

  8. Ketchup…
    We call them TOMATO SAUCE in Malaysia 🤭🤭🤭

  9. Yes. The is a normal amount of time for the DOUGH cycle. It surely wasn’t kneading all that time. Kneading and mixing only lasts 20-25 minutes. The rest of the time was allowing your dough to rise in a nice warm place. Hope you love the rolls!

  10. My Bread Machine’s dough mode takes an hour and 30 minutes is that a normal amount of time to knead the dough?
    The rolls look great and can’t wait to try!

  11. Leigh Ann says:

    Did you ever substitute anything for the vital wheat gluten? I just googled it and saw that 1 tsp Xanthan gum is equivalent to 1 Tbsp VWG, but was curious if you had ever tried it. I have the XG on hand, but didn’t find the other yet.

    Thank you,
    Leigh Ann

  12. Hi!
    Your site is great! I have been wanting to start making my own bread and was really interested when I saw that you had a whole wheat bun!
    But I just have one question, in the ingredients you use both whole wheat flour and all purpose, unbleached flour, so doesn’t that mean that the buns are not actually whole wheat? I am just wondering because I try to stick to completely whole grains in my diet and just wanted to make sure.


    1. Aila,
      Just because something is called whole wheat does not necessarily mean it is 100% whole wheat just as banana bread is not 100% bananas. 100% whole wheat rolls can be tricky for the home baker because they need longer rising times and different handling. Adding a yeast enhancer is also desirable. Since I’m not a lover of whole wheat, I have not gone down that road. If you want a recipe for 100% whole wheat, you might check King Arthurs website.

    2. i love your site! i bought a bread machine 2 years ago . we use it daily but i was a bit tired of the same mixes considering we eat that much breath. ive tested 4 recipes so far and all of them are a success! i now have a shortcut to your website directly from my phone homepage… I love it that much ❤️

      1. Silvia, You’re so sweet to say that. I’m thrilled that you are loving and using your bread machine. Thank you for coming here to say so.

    1. Jan, Thanks for the information. How interesting!!

  13. Ketchup or Catsup?
    When Heinz introduced commercial ketchup to American kitchens it became so popular that other manufacturers rushed to catch-up to the ketchup craze. Soon there were Ketchup, Catsup, Catchup, Katsup, Catsip, Cotsup, Kotchup, Kitsip, Catsoup, Katshoup, Katsock, Cackchop, Cornchop, Cotpock, Kotpock, Kutpuck, Kutchpuck and Cutchpuck. All were tomato based and bottled and vied to become a household word. Only 3 major brands remained to steal the spotlight…Heinz Ketchup, Del Monte Catsup, and Hunts, who could not decide on a spelling and bottled under the names Hunts Catsup (east of the Mississippi), Hunts Ketchup (west of the Mississippi), and Hunts Tomato Cornchops (in Iowa only). In the 1980’s ketchup was declared a vegetable by the government for school lunch menus. Suddenly Del Monte’s Catsup, because of its spelling, was not on the approved list. Shortly afterward Del Monte changed the product’s name to Del Monte Ketchup. So ketchup it is.

  14. I love recipes that I have everything already on hand for! I also LOVE bread machine dough recipes, such a time saver. Can’t wait to try these! Thanks!

  15. I made the rolls last night – they’re really good and Allen liked them! Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. Strange… I ALMOST bought a can of Manwich last weekend at the store… thinking “I haven’t had sloppy joes since I was a kid”. Glad I didn’t…. this looks exquisite (if sloppy joes CAN look exquisite)! Just making the joe mix would be terrific! I’d have to really schedule time for the rolls…. but they DO look incredible I must say! Beautiful photography and styling! Dickinson’s…. a favorite!

  17. Yum! Thanks for the recipe – I’ll have to try it soon!

  18. These look great! I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve always used the sloppy joe packet mix :-/ Might just try this!