These soft 100%-whole wheat rolls were adapted from from Jami’s recipe at An Oregon Cottage, where you will find much helpful detail and pictures. Her recipe called for 1/4 cup of honey but that was a little too sweet for us.
With all the delicious butter and honey and eggs, this dough can rise more slowly than expected. If you want it to rise more promptly, make sure the temperature of your ingredients does not chill the dough. For example, it would be a good idea to have your eggs at room temperature.
On the other hand, a slower rise can be useful. You can mix the dough the night before you want to eat the rolls and let the dough rise overnight in a bowl covered with Saran wrap in the refrigerator. If you do this, take the dough out of the refrigerator about an hour before you shape the rolls.
½ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup lukewarm buttermilk or milk
1/2 cup water
4 1/2 to 5 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-acting or instant dry yeast (1 packet)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.
Cream the butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs and mix, scraping the sides. Add the milk and the yeast mixture. It’s OK to see lumps of butter floating around.
Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and the salt, mixing until combined. Change to dough hook and knead for 2-3 minutes only, just until no longer tacky, adding a tablespoon or two of flour, if needed. We’re just trying to lose the extreme stickiness here, not develop gluten. When the dough is still sticking to the bowl but not to a finger, it’s ready to rise.
Let sit in bowl, covered, to rise for one hour. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times, then let rest 3 minutes.
Divide into 24 equal pieces, shaping each into a ball and placing in a well-buttered 13 x 9-inch pan with the pieces touching.
Let rise, covered for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter. As soon as they are cooled to just warm, pull them out of the pan and pull apart to serve.