Homemade yeast rolls are soft, delicious, and easy to make. With no kneading required, just make this dinner roll recipe in a single bowl!
Yeast dinner rolls can take all day to make, but not with this no knead recipe! The honey and wheat flavors are a nice change from a traditional yeast roll recipe.
Homemade yeast rolls
If the thought of making dinner rolls from scratch seems intimidating, there is nothing to worry about. If you can follow directions, you’ll be fine; they are easier to make than you might think.
Of course, you can buy heat-and-eat rolls from a bakery or the market, but you get a sense of pride making them yourself. The kudos you’ll receive from family members when you serve these at a holiday dinner table will be SO satisfying.
- Flour – One common problem with whole wheat flour is that the high amount of protein in weakens the structure of gluten. As a result, whole wheat rolls are often dense in comparison to white rolls.
To solve this problem, this recipe calls for a 50/50 blend of two flours; whole wheat flour and bread flour, which has a lot of protein. The protein creates gluten, which helps the rolls to rise properly, making them fluffy and airy.
- Active dry yeast – Be sure you are using the correct type of yeast, because there are several different types, and each one has unique properties. Do not use quick rise yeast (also known as instant yeast). Again, to help create a high rise on the wheat dinner rolls, you’ll use a little extra yeast for this recipe.
Step by step instructions
To make this yeast roll recipe, you will simply combine the ingredients with a wooden spoon or mixing spatula in a mixing bowl.
1. Proof the yeast.
To activate the yeast, add it to a bowl with sugar and warm water. The water temperature should be at least 110° F., but not warmer than 115° F.
It will take about 5 minutes for the yeast to activate. After that, the mixture should be bubbling, meaning the yeast is ready to use.
NOTE: If the mixture is not bubbling after 7 minutes, the yeast may be dead. In that case, you will need to start the process over using fresh yeast.
2. Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and the yeast mixture. Stir everything to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
You should have a thick, tacky batter that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too loose and sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, as needed.
3. Allow the dough to rise.
You want the dough to almost triple in size, which usually takes about 90 minutes. To help speed the process up, place the bowl in a warm place and cover it with a lint-free kitchen towel.
4. Create individual dinner rolls
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and create individual rolls.
Flatten each dough piece with the palm of your hand. Then, pull the edges to the center, shape each piece into a circle, and smooth the top.
NOTE: You’ll be pulling the dough into a small knot at the center, similar to when you tie a balloon off in a knot.
Place each ball of dough smooth side up in a greased pan lined with parchment paper. Make 3 rows of 4 rolls each.
5. Allow rolls to rise a second time.
Place the tray in a warm place and leave for 30 minutes, until the homemade yeast rolls have almost doubled in size.
6. Bake, finish, and serve!
Bake for 16-18 minutes, but remember, these are whole wheat rolls, so watch them closely to prevent the tops from burning. After you remove them from the oven, brush the tops of each dinner roll with melted butter. For a finishing touch, add a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of sea salt flakes.
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking November 2017 and has been updated with photos and video.
Honey Wheat Homemade Yeast Rolls
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast (See Note 1)
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups bread flour (See Note 2)
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 2 eggs beaten
- 4 tbsp butter melted and cooled
- 4 tbsp honey or molasses (See Note 3)
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes (optional)
- Place the sugar and yeast in a medium bowl with water. Stir and leave for 5 minutes until yeast activates and bubbles.
- Place both flours and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine. Make a well in the middle and add milk, eggs, butter, honey (or molasses) and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a mixing spatula or wooden spoon, stir to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. You should have a thick, tacky batter. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, as needed. The dough should be tacky when you pull it away from the sides of the bowl, not loose and sticky.
- Leave dough in the bowl, cover with a light towel and place in a warm place to rise for around 1 1/2 hours or until almost tripled in size. Meanwhile line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper with overhang on sides.
- Remove towel and punch dough down to deflate. Scrape dough onto floured work surface. Sprinkle flour on top of dough as well and shape into a log. Cut into 4 pieces, then cut each piece into 3 pieces for a total of 12 pieces.
- Flatten each dough piece with the palm of your hand. Pull the edges to the center and shape each piece into the shape of a circle. (You'll be pulling the dough into a small knot at the center, think of a balloon when you tie it off in a knot). Turn the dough ball over and roll the dough ball under the palm of your hand in a circular motion until they’re smooth.
- Place the ball with the smooth side up in the pan. Repeat with remaining dough, making 3 rows of 4 rolls. Spray tops of rolls with oil then gently place plastic wrap over the tray.
- Return tray to warm place and leave for 30 minutes, until the dough rolls have almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, watching tops so they don’t get too brown (these are wheat!). Remove pan from oven and brush with melted butter and let soak in. Drizzle tops with honey and sprinkle with sea salt flakes (optional). Lift rolls onto a cooling rack using parchment overhang. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- I use active dry yeast in this recipe. There is a difference - Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved in water before using, while instant yeast can be mixed right into dry ingredients.
- You can use AP flour instead of the bread flour and these will be fine. The bran in whole wheat flour weakens the gluten, so using a flour with more gluten can help the rise on bread. Hence I did a half and half of bread flour and whole wheat, plus an added bump in the usual amount of yeast in this recipe. If dough is super sticky add enough flour to work with and make rolls.
- I also substitute molasses for the 4 tablespoons of honey and just brush honey on top of the baked rolls for a richer flavor.
- Storage: As is true with most homemade breads, it's best served on the day it's made. These no knead rolls don't keep as well as the kneaded version and tend to dry out quicker. For the day after, reheating 10-15 seconds in the microwave is all you need do to get them soft and moist again - eat immediately!
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.