Whole Wheat Hot Rolls



Homemade, hearty, and simple foods that have been passed down for generations. Dishes like turkey n’ dumplingsbiscuits with gravy, fresh bread, and oatmeal coconut cookies are the foods of my childhood. There is a beauty in traditional recipes that connect the past with the present. 

Here’s another recipe that shows my mid-west roots. This recipe has been in my family for years. My Great Aunt Dorothy first learned how to make these when she was working at a restaurant in Bethany, Missouri. She in turn taught my Grandma, who taught my Dad, who taught me.

Growing up Dad would make these every year for Thanksgiving. He would wake up early to get the dough rising. My brother, sister and I would come down the stairs and be greeted by the smell of the rising dough and mom’s breakfast casserole baking.

Dad would let us climb up on a chair and punch the dough down and help cut out the rolls. I love that this has been passed down over the generations! About a month ago I decide to try to revamp the recipe to make it more nutritious. It’s still not the best bread for you but it is so delicious.

You could make these with all whole wheat flour but the rolls would be denser, I haven’t but I’m sure it would work. This recipe is very versatile and can be made in to hot rolls, cinnamon rolls and bread.

Hot Rolls

7 tsp Yeast
3 cups Milk (non soaked recipe) 3 cup cultured butter milk (soaked recipe)
3/4 cups Honey
1 Egg
1/2 cup Organic Palm Shortening
1 tsp Salt
8 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups Unbleached White Flour

Non Soaked Recipe

1. Scald the milk in a sauce pan, remove from heat and whisk in the yeast and half the honey.  Let sit for a few minutes until the mixture becomes frothy. In a large mixing bowl add the remaining ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix together until the dough becomes elastic. I use a Bosh Mixer.

2. Cover the bowl and place in a warm place. I like to open the oven and turn it to warm and place the bowl on the door. Let rise for one hour and then punch down. This is the part where kids have a lot of fun! 🙂 Cover and let rise for another hour.

3. Roll out dough and cut into 2 3/4 inch diameter circles. Or whatever cup or cutter you have on hand. Stretch each roll, place a dab of butter, fold over and pinch down with two floured fingers to ensure that the rolls do not open in the oven. Let rise one hour.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for fifteen minutes.

Soaked Recipe

1. In a glass mixing bowl, mix together the eight cups of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup hoeny and 2 1/2 cups of cultured butter milk or kefir. I prefer to grind my flour right before soaking so that the flour does not become rancid.

2. Cover and leave for 12 to 24 hours.

3. After the flour has been soaked scald 1/2 a cup of cultured butter milk. Remove from heat and whisk in the yeast and 1/4 cup honey. After it has started to foam (about 5 minutes) had to the soaked flour.

4. Add remaining ingredients and mix together until the dough becomes elastic. Proceed with step 2 from the recipe above.


Cinnamon Rolls

1. Roll the dough out and cover with 1/2 cup of honey and 3 tsp of cinnamon.

2. Roll up dough and pinch the ends up. Cut into 3/4 inch rolls. Let rise for one hour.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

4. While the rolls are still hot drizzle with warm honey.


1. Divide the dough into 3 equal loaves and place in greased bread pans.

2. Let rise for one hour.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

This post is part of Whole Foods for the Holidays

About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. heard great things about it both for health reasons and also that it isn’t heavy like whole wheat… I’ll try it soon and let you know.

  2. I suppose you could. I’ve never used spelt flour before. Do you like it? I think when I make it again I’m going to use 1/2 a cup of honey.

  3. perhaps you could us spelt flower instead?


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