Food & Craft

Wholemeal Rolls

  • Weigh and sift flour(s)Weigh and sift flour(s)
  • Yeast froths after 10 minutesYeast froths after 10 minutes
  • Mix the dough until it comes away clean from the bowlMix the dough until it comes away clean from the bowl
  • Shape the rolls to sizeShape the rolls to size
  • Freshly baked rollsFreshly baked rolls
  • Lovely open texture with minimal kneadingLovely open texture with minimal kneading


  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 500ml water at body temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½lb strong flour

With the domination of the big supermarket chains it's increasingly difficult to buy decent, baked-from-first-principles bread outside of major cities. I've often said that if I had the time I'd make bread every day, but it never happens.

If you've got a food processor with a dough hook, like a Kenwood Chef for example, this receipe takes only a few minutes to prepare, and most of the time is spent waiting for things to happen so you can put your feet up, have a glass of wine and still feel productive!

It's best made with a mix of flours. After a lot of experimentation the best combination I've come up with is a half pound each of granary, strong white and wholemeal - the rolls still retain a good, wholemeal flavour but don't suffer from the brick-like consistency using all wholemeal flour can produce.

Prep: 2 hrs Cook: 20 mins Serves: ~10


  1. Put the yeast, sugar and half the water in a jug or bowl and mix. The water should be at body temperature - you should be able to hold your pinky in it quite comfortably, but it should still feel more than warm. Put the salt, olive oil and other half of the water in another jug and mix.

  2. After 10-15 minutes the yeast mixture will have frothed up. (If it hasn't either your water was too hot or too cold, or the yeast was old or off). Put the yeast mixture, flour and oil mixture into the bowl of your mixer and mix with the dough hook very genlty, gradually turning up the speed to about half-speed. The dough should come together in a nice consistency in about 2 minutes at most. The key here is not to over-knead the dough.

  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with cling film secured with a rubber band, and leave in a warm place for at least an hour.

  4. The dough will have risen considerably. Put it back onto the mixer and give it at most a 30 second blast with the dough hook to knock the air out of it. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

  5. Tear lumps off the dough, using more flour if required to shape it into rolls using your hands, and place the rolls on a baking sheet. I get about 10 rolls from these quantities. Put into a preheated oven at 220 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Give an extra 5 minutes if you like your rolls very crusty.

    Tip: Although this describes making rolls, you can just shape the entire dough into a loaf, plait it, roll it into a baton or whatever. The cooking time should be increased accordingly, to about 30-35 minutes.

Best eaten warm with cold butter, but they will keep for months if frozen shortly after cooling.


Bella Gingell

Saturday 22 October, 2011 at 5:58pm

Just made these (didn't have any wholemeal flour so used white) to go with lentil soup. Bliss.


Saturday 22 October, 2011 at 8:54pm

Great, glad you enjoyed them!

How did they turn out using just white flour?

Bella Gingell

Saturday 22 October, 2011 at 9:03pm

Hello Dan.

The strong white flour I used worked very well. Mind you, it is hard to beat a warm freshly-baked roll slathered in butter - oops! I'm getting carried away (starting to sound like the cookie monster). I took some hints on the lentil soup from your site too.

Just right for a chilly autumn evening.

Bella Gingell

Saturday 22 October, 2011 at 9:27pm

Photo from Bella Gingell

Here's the picture.


Sunday 23 October, 2011 at 4:11pm

They look great, will have to try them. Thanks for sharing. :-)


Monday 23 July, 2012 at 5:41pm

Bella they look amazing!

ok, can I ask a question...I dont have a hook thingy so will be doing them by hand and as a bread making virgin can you tell me how to do that please? :)

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