four fresh baked rolls, one covered in blueberries with a fruit syrup

Make Ahead and Freeze

Dinner rolls make a nice addition to almost any meal. The dough for these rolls can be mixed by hand, or use a bread machine on the dough cycle; we give instructions for both. Their tender goodness can be enjoyed plain or with a little tahini or nut butter, avocado, or jam. Make a batch and keep some in the freezer for entertaining. Sharing a good meal is a great way to showcase how delicious healthy food can be! 

Prep Instructions

  • Yield: 15 (1 roll) servings                                           
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes                                              
  • Passive Time: 60–90 minutes                                   
  • Baking Time: 25–30 minutes                                   
  • Total Time: Approximately 2 hours                           
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate 

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon barley malt flour
  • 4 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons liquid sweetener
  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons lecithin granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon citric acid, one crushed vitamin C tablet, or 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour

Cooking Instructions

  1. INSTRUCTIONS FOR BREAD MACHINE: Combine all ingredients in the bread pan of your machine. Turn to “dough” cycle and start. 
  2. When mixture has formed a ball, check to see if it is sticking to the sides of the pan. If so, add another tablespoon or two of flour. If mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. Dough should be nice and soft; the ball should be easily indented when pressed with a finger. 
  3. When dough has risen to top of pan, start mixing cycle again and let it reduce the dough to a ball. 
  4. Pour dough onto lightly floured counter, roll into a log, and cut log into 15 pieces (or as many pieces as will make the size rolls you desire).  
  5. Roll each piece on the counter with your palm and curled fingers until it makes a nice, smooth ball. Place each ball in a large glass dish that has been prepared with nonstick cooking spray. 
  6. Cover rolls with a lightweight cloth or piece of parchment paper (not cling wrap, as it will stick to the rolls). Set in a warm place to rise. Make sure rolls do not form a crust; if one is forming, mist them with water from a spray bottle. 
  7. Put a pan of hot water on the bottom shelf or floor of your oven. Turn oven to 375°F. 
  8. When dough has risen fully double, poke it carefully with your finger. If your finger leaves an indentation, dough is ready for baking immediately; over-proofing will cause it to fall. 
  9. Mist top of rolls with water and place in the oven. In 3 minutes, open the oven door and quickly mist again. Bake for 25–30 minutes. After 20 minutes, if rolls are brown on the top but not on the bottom, cover with a piece of parchment and cook another 5–10 minutes.  
  10. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. 
  11. INSTRUCTIONS FOR MIXING BY HAND: Combine first three ingredients in a large mixing bowl and let stand 10–15 minutes until yeast is bubbly. 
  12. Add all remaining ingredients except the last two cups of whole-wheat flour. Mix well with a whip or a hand mixer for 2–3 minutes.  
  13. Add remaining flour, and mix until dough is not sticky, adding another tablespoon or two of flour if needed. The stiffer the dough, the drier the rolls will be, so use just enough flour to knead the dough without it sticking to your hands. Remove from pan onto a lightly floured counter and knead with the palm of your hand, folding the dough in as you knead and turning the ball of dough each time. You want this to be a nice, soft dough; the ball should be easily indented if pressed with a finger. Continue kneading about 40 times until dough is smooth and elastic. 
  14. Cover the ball with a tea towel and let rise until double in size. 
  15. Punch down lightly and roll into a log. Cut the log into 15 pieces (or as many pieces as will make the size rolls you desire).  
  16. Roll each piece on the counter with your palm and curled fingers until it makes a nice, smooth ball. Place balls in a large glass dish that has been prepared with nonstick cooking spray, or into a silicone nonstick pan. Place rolls three wide on the short side and five on the long side. 
  17. Cover rolls with lightweight cloth or a piece of parchment paper (not cling wrap, as it will stick to the rolls). Set in a warm place to rise. Make sure rolls do not form a crust. If a crust begins to form, mist the rolls with water from a spray bottle. 
  18. Put a pan of water on the bottom shelf or floor of your oven. Preheat oven to 375ºF. 
  19. When rolls have risen fully double, check if they are ready by poking carefully with your finger. It should leave an indentation, showing they are ready for baking immediately. Over-proofing will cause them to fall and be heavy instead of nice and light. 
  20. Mist the top of the rolls and place in the oven. In 3 minutes, open the oven door and quickly mist again. Bake for 25–30 minutes. If, after 20 minutes, they are brown on the top but not on the bottom, cover with a piece of parchment and bake another 5 minutes or until golden on top and bottom.  
  21. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Once they are completely cooled, store in a plastic bag to retain moistness. 

Nutritional Data

Calories: 144.34
Fat: 0.97 g
Saturated Fat: 0.08 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 168.44 mg
Carbohydrates: 29.78 g
Fiber: 4.65 g
Sugars: 0.91 g
Protein: 5.02 g
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Eat Plants Feel Whole

Learn how you can improve your health prospects by adopting a simple plant-based lifestyle.