Rustic Dinner Rolls Recipe


  • 3 cups (360g) Bread flour
  • 1 cup (120g) Whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) Salt
  • 1 packet (7g) Instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) Warm water (about 110°F or 45°C)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Olive oil


  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, salt, and yeast.
    • Bread Flour & Whole Wheat Flour: Bread flour has a higher protein content, aiding in gluten development. Whole wheat flour adds a nutty flavor and rustic texture.
    • Sugar: Feeds the yeast and adds a slight sweetness.
    • Salt: Controls yeast fermentation and enhances flavor.
    • Yeast: Instant yeast allows for a quicker rise.
  2. Add Warm Water and Olive Oil: Mix in the warm water and olive oil to form a wet, sticky dough.
    • Warm Water: Activates the yeast. The temperature is crucial; too hot can kill the yeast, too cold can slow down fermentation.
    • Olive Oil: Adds flavor and tenderizes the dough.
  3. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
    • Kneading: Develops gluten, which provides elasticity and strength to hold the gases produced during fermentation.
  4. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
    • Rising (Fermentation): Yeast consumes sugars, producing CO₂ gas, which causes the dough to expand.
  5. Shape Rolls: Divide the dough into equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Shaping: Creates tension on the surface, contributing to a uniform rise.
  6. Second Rise: Let the rolls rise until they are puffy, about 30 minutes.
    • Proofing: Allows for further expansion and development of flavors.
  7. Bake: Bake in a preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
    • Baking: The high heat causes rapid yeast activity (oven spring) and browning due to the Maillard reaction. Proteins coagulate, and starches gelatinize, setting the rolls’ structure.
  8. Cool and Serve: Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Scientific Explanations

  • Yeast Fermentation: Essential for leavening. Yeast converts sugars into CO₂, causing the dough to rise and develop flavor.
  • Gluten Development: Key to the structure and texture of the rolls. Bread flour’s higher protein content enhances gluten formation, while whole wheat flour adds a hearty texture.
  • Oven Spring and Maillard Reaction: In the oven, the heat causes the yeast to have a final burst of activity before dying, expanding the dough rapidly. The Maillard reaction contributes to the golden crust and rich flavor.
  • Hydration: The water-to-flour ratio impacts gluten development and the texture of the rolls. A higher hydration leads to a more open crumb structure.

This rustic dinner rolls recipe creates hearty, flavorful rolls perfect for any meal. The combination of bread and whole wheat flours, along with the simple yet precise process of fermentation and baking, results in rolls that are both delicious and satisfying, with a wonderful crust and soft interior. Understanding the science behind the ingredients and baking process ensures successful, tasty rolls every time.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 104

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