Evergreen Recipes, Savory Pastries

Whole Wheat Crusty Rolls

These incredibly easy 100% whole wheat, no-knead bakery style crusty rolls are made with almost no effort. You can serve for breakfast, take them with you as a sandwich or enjoy them for dinner.

In case healthy, whole wheat baked goods are your jam, also check out this 100% whole wheat no knead bread.

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A bread basket of whole wheat crusty rolls and one vertically cut roll with a glass of jam in the background.

About this Recipe

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked rolls or bread wafting throughout your home, is there? 

However, the thought of baking your own rolls is legitimately a bit intimidating and daunting. I mean, it sounds like it requires quite a bit of work and time.

But don’t worry, this roll recipe is so easy that even kids can pull it off. Which is great if you have kids. Because then they can wake you up with freshly baked rolls. Well, at least in theory.

But not only are these rolls super easy to make, they’re also really healthy. 

Since we are using a whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose flour, we increase the amount of nutrients significantly. 

Like all whole grain products, this flour has the advantage of being rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. As a result, these rolls not only satisfy us better and for longer, but they even improve our digestion.


Photo of the individual ingredients, that go into this recipe.
  • Whole wheat flour: You can use either wheat or spelt flour, just make sure it’s a whole grain one. All-purpose flour won’t work here, due to the amount of water.
  • Yeast: I prefer to use fresh active yeast, which you can buy in the refrigerator section, but you can also use instant yeast instead. 
  • Honey: Since yeast needs some kind of sugar, we add a tablespoon of honey. To make this recipe vegan, you’re welcome to use maple syrup instead.
  • Water: In order for the yeast to be well activated, make sure to use lukewarm water. It’s best to measure the water with a digital kitchen scale, as this is the most accurate way of measuring, especially when it comes to baking. 

You’ll find all the ingredients and their exact quantities in the recipe card further down.

Required Kitchen Equipment

Well, this is my favorite part of this recipe, since you almost need no equipment to whip up these delicious crusty rolls. Instead, all you need is a scale (if possible), a bowl and a wooden spoon.

For baking the rolls, you’ll also need a baking tray lined with parchment paper and an ovenproof bowl. You can also use a casserole dish or any other oven-safe item that you can fill up with a little water. 

How to Make this Recipe

Step 1 – The Dough

To make the dough, first measure out the water. Since cooking is an art and baking the science, we need to be precisely here.

Then crumble the yeast into the water, add the honey and stir until both have dissolved. 

Now put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and slowly add the yeast mixture while stirring. Continue stirring with your wooden spoon until all the ingredients have combined into a very sticky dough.

Then cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise for two hours.

Step 2 – Form the Rolls

Before you start shaping your rolls, make sure to preheat the oven to 220°C or 430°F. If using a convection oven preheat it to 200°C or 400°F.

Now transfer the still quite sticky dough to a floured work surface, where you carefully shape it into a ball without too much kneading. 

Now divide the ball into eight equal parts. Then take each of these triangles, flatten them slightly and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  

Brush the rolls with a little water, add some rolled oats or seed if you like and pop them in the oven. But before you close the oven door, put a oven safe bowl filled with water on the bottom of your oven. 

Now you can close the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. When the time is up, take out the golden-brown rolls and transfer them to a cooling rack. Let them cool down for at least 10 minutes. 

Overnight Rolls

If you like to serve these crusty rolls for breakfast, you can prepare the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge overnight. 

But there is one important thing to adjust, when making an overnight dough. That is to only use half the amount of yeast indicated in the recipe. 

Furthermore, it’s best to split the rising time in two parts. First let the dough rise covered for 60 minutes at room temperature. Next cover the bowl with a plate or plastic foil and let it continue to rise in the fridge for at least 10 hours.

Finally, before you start shaping the rolls, let the dough acclimatize for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then you can continue as described above or in the recipe.

Troubleshooting Tips and Variations

  • To keep the recipe as simple as possible, these rolls have that funny triangle shape. However, feel free to shape the dough into round rolls if that’s more to your liking.
  • You can also use the dough to make a bun flower. Simply divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape them into small balls. Then assemble them into two flowers and bake them in the oven for about 18 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.
  • To divide the dough into eight (or twelve) parts, a sharp dough scraper can be very helpful. Alternatively, you can cut the dough with a sharp knife. 
  • We use a slightly odd amount of water for the recipe. This is because whole wheat flour requires about five to ten percent more water than white flour. Since baking is often more of a science than an art, be sure to measure the water as accurately as possible. The easiest way to do this is with a digital kitchen scale, since 340 milliliters of water also equals 340 grams. Alternatively, you can use 1 and 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon water.
  • For super healthy homemade whole grain breadcrumbs, you can also leave leftover rolls to harden and then grate them into bread crumbs with a grater.

How to Keep Leftover

As with bread, I prefer to freeze leftover rolls immediately after they have cooled completely. 

To do this, simply pack the rolls in a freezer bag and place them in your freezer. You can store them there for several months.

To defrost, simply take one or more of the frozen rolls out of the bag and place them in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, you can put the roll on your toaster, and it will taste like freshly baked again.

Alternatively, you can store the rolls for one or two days in a paper bag and a breadbasket. To soften old, already hard rolls, you can brush them with a little water using a kitchen brush or hold them under running water for a second. 

Then place the moist rolls on a baking tray and bake them in the oven at 150°C or 300°F for about five minutes until they are crispy and fresh again.

Overhead view on a plate with five crusty whole wheat rolls.

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

Are whole grain rolls healthy?

Whole wheat rolls are very healthy because they are rich in slow carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Due to the high amount of fiber, whole wheat rolls also satisfy better and longer than rolls made from white flours. They also contain plenty of vitamin B1 and B3, as well as B6 in appreciable amounts. In addition, whole-grain rolls are also rich in potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Is multigrain the same as whole wheat?

No, multigrain and whole wheat are not the same. Whole grain bread or rolls consist at least 90% of whole grain flour, whereas multigrain products are usually made mostly of white flour with a few grains added. Whole wheat products are therefore healthier than multigrain products.

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A photo of a bowl with crusty rolls and a text overlay saying "Whole wheat crusty rolls".

You might also like

I hope you like this recipe and that you give it a try soon. If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram(@julesbalancedrecipes). 

In case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do and it would mean the world to me.

And if you loved this recipe, you may also like some of my other whole wheat recipes like …

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
XOXO Jules

A bread basket of whole wheat crusty rolls and one vertically cut roll with a glass of jam in the background.

Whole Wheat Crusty Rolls

Julia Schmitt
These healthy whole wheat crusty bread rolls are made with almost no afford and require nearly no cooking or baking equipment. You can serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and easily freeze leftovers for several months.
And in case you want to start your day with freshly baked homemade bread rolls, make sure to check out the note section for a make ahead, overnight version of this recipe.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine european, german
Servings 8 servings
Calories 218 kcal


  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 digital scale (optional)
  • 1 baking sheet lined with parchment paper


  • 340 ml water (11,5 fl. oz. or 1⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 21 g fresh active yeast (equals 7g of instant yeast or 8.4g of active dry yeast)
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 500 g whole wheat flour (3⅓ cup or 17.64 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt



  • In a bowl or measuring cup, add the water, yeast and honey and stir until everything has dissolved. In a mixing bowl, add the flour and salt.
  • Slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula until everything has combined into a sticky dough. If needed add another teaspoon of water. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise for about two hours.

Bread Rolls

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C or 430°F (or 200°C or 400°F for a convection oven) and place an ovenproof bowl filled with water on the bottom of the oven.
  • Transfer the dough on a floured work surface and carefully shape it into a ball. Then divide the dough into eight equal sized pieces. Slightly flatten the triangles and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush each triangle with water and sprinkle with some seeds or rolled oats if desired. Cut the top of each roll lengthwise and transfer the tray to the oven for about 20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown on top.


  • Remove the rolls from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. 


How to make overnight crusty rolls:
Prepare the dough with only half the yeast, cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and let it rise in refrigerator overnight (or at least for 10 hours).
The next morning, take the bowl out of the fridge and let it rest, covered for another 30 minutes. Then transfer it to a floured work surface and proceed as described above.


Serving: 1rollCalories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 39.9gProtein: 7.9gFat: 1.7gFiber: 5.7gSugar: 1.7g
Keyword crusty rolls, whole wheat flour
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