Cookin’ with Condley

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023

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By Sarah Condley


If you follow my articles, you know my husband Brad has developed an allergy to white flour, and every time I get ready to bake something he wants me to try doing it with whole wheat flour. This time was no exception. Once again, we were going to our daughter’s for a visit and taking supper. One of the items that was part of our meal was homemade rolls. I have a wonderful homemade roll recipe, but when Brad partakes, he gets all stopped up and starts sneezing. I told him I’d try and find a whole wheat roll recipe, and we’d see how they turned out.

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Again, I checked the internet for recipes and found several for whole wheat rolls. However, the one I chose contained 100% whole wheat, not a combination of whole wheat and white flour. The recipe came from the website.

Making homemade yeast bread scares some people, but once you’ve done it a couple of times you will wonder what you were afraid of. Conquer your fear and give it a try sometime. You’ll be glad you did.

Since yeast bread takes time, mainly for the dough to rise, I started these rolls right after lunch. I put two tablespoons of yeast into 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water in a one-cup measuring cup and creamed the butter and the honey in my stand mixer. While the butter and honey were coming together, I glanced over and saw the yeast mixture was rising out of the one-cup measure, so I said, “Shoot,” and grabbed a much larger cup and poured it into the bigger one. Thank goodness I only lost a bit of the yeast mixture that spilled onto the counter.

Once that excitement was over, I added the eggs to the creamy mixture, scraping down the sides two or three times; while keeping an eye on the still-rising yeast. Next, I warmed up some buttermilk (not hot, as you don’t want it killing your yeast), added it to the butter/egg mixture, and then poured in the activated yeast. I turned on the mixer just until the two were incorporated. Remember, you don’t want to mix bread dough over or it will become tough.

After adding four and a half cups of whole wheat flour and salt, I turned the mixer on again until everything was combined. I changed to the dough hook, and after letting the dough hook go around a few times, I checked to see if the dough was still sticky to the touch – it was, so I added two tablespoons of whole wheat flour, turned on the mixer just until combined and then touched the dough again to test if it was still too sticky––it was. Also, it was still sticking to the side of the bowl pretty well. I added two more tablespoons, turned on the mixer, and tested again. The dough wasn’t sticky and was pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl. I let the dough hook go around a couple more times to ensure that extra flour was mixed in well before removing the bowl from the stand and covering it with plastic wrap.

The dough rose in a warm spot for an hour. The dough appeared to have risen nicely, and I turned it out onto a whole wheat-floured surface (my kitchen counter). After kneading the dough three times I covered it with a clean dish towel and let it rest.

After three minutes of rest, I patted the dough out into a rectangle and used a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 24 pretty equal size pieces. I shaped each piece into a ball and placed them in a 9×13 baking dish I’d buttered. I covered the rolls, and after about 30 minutes, it was time to head to our daughter’s house. The rolls continued to rise in the car, and when we arrived at our destination, it wasn’t time to eat just yet, so I just let them continue to rise.

When we were about 30 minutes away from eating supper, I put the pan of whole wheat dough balls into the preheated oven and went back to playing with our grandson.

The rolls were baked for 25 minutes, and we were ready to eat. Brad said the blessing, and everyone helped themselves to rolls.

These rolls were much denser than regular yeast rolls. I thought they tasted like whole wheat bread and not rolls. Brad thought they were ok; however, our daughter and son-in-law said they tasted too much yeast in the bread. Our daughter thought the rolls were better when she added some honey, but our son-in-law was not a fan. Our grandson, Owen, loves bread, and he didn’t object to the yeasty whole wheat rolls.

There were rolls left over, Sarah kept a few (along with some honey), and we took the rest home. The next day Brad had a couple and said they were better when he removed the middle third, and they weren’t so thick. But he said he’d rather have regular yeast rolls and suffer the consequences (sneezing) than have these again.

I’ll say this recipe falls into the Failed It category. If there is such a thing, I’ll keep searching for a light whole wheat roll recipe.

Soft 100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls


• 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (instant works too)

• 1/2 cup warm water

• 1/2 cup butter, softened

• 1/4 cup honey

• 3 eggs

• 1 cup lukewarm buttermilk or milk

• 4 1/2 to 5 cups whole wheat flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


• Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water in a glass measure.  Set aside

• Cream the butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Add the eggs and mix, scraping the sides.  Add the warmed milk along with the yeast mixture.

• Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and the salt, mixing until combined.  Change to dough hook and knead for 2-3 minutes only, just until no longer tacky, adding a tablespoon or two of flour at a time, if needed (do not add too much).

• Let sit in bowl, covered to rise for one hour.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times, then let rest 3 minutes.

• Divide into 24 equal pieces, shaping each into a ball and placing in a buttered 13 x 9-inch baking dish with the pieces touching.

• Let rise, covered for 1 hour.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.