Monday, November 23, 2009

Cracked Wheat Dinner Rolls

Yum! Don't these look delicious? They are! Soft and fluffy, flavorful and buttery- with just a bit of bite from the cracked wheat. They satisfy any craving for carbs and it's difficult to stop eating them with just one.

These cracked wheat rolls are a staple on my holiday meal table. My family expects to see them Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We make little turkey sandwiches on these rolls with the leftovers from dinner. They are so easy to make they are positively fool proof. I think that means any fool can make them, or even if you fool around you can't mess them up. Or something. They were a big hit when I brought the recipe into the cafe where I baked last year. My friend uses them in her soup business. The photo is from when I made eight dozen for a fund raising event dinner. They really are a crowd pleaser.

I cut this recipe out of a Good Housekeeping magazine about twenty-five years ago when I was making my first full-out Thanksgiving dinner. I think most of what I made then came from Good Housekeeping. I guess I'm just like Grandma because I am still using that stained old clipped recipe.
I love these rolls because they are so easy to make. Here's the recipe:

¾ cup bulgar (cracked wheat)


1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 pkg. dry yeast (or 4 teas. yeast)

about 5 cups all purpose flour


1 egg

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat bulgar and ¾ cup water to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes until water is absorbed. Stir to keep from scorching. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast and 1 ¼ cups white flour. In a large glass measuring cup, heat 2 cups water and ½ cup butter in a microwave until very warm (120°-130°) Butter does not need to melt completely.
  3. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients just until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for two minutes occasionally scraping bowl. Beat in egg and ¾ cup flour to make a thick batter; continue beating two minutes, scraping bowl. Stir in cooled bulgar wheat and 2 ½ cups flour to make a soft dough.
  4. Knead dough in mixer or by hand until smooth and elastic, about ten minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep from sticking.. Shape dough into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl, turning dough over so top is greased. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°) until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.
  5. Punch down dough. (At this point, dough can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to three days, punching down occasionally until ready to use.)
  6. Grease two 15 ½ “ by 10 ½ “ pans. Cut dough into 30 equal pieces (or smaller if desired), shape into balls and place in pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 425° F. Bake rolls 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Remove from pans and brush tops with melted butter.
I have made the dough ahead many times and refrigerated it until I wanted to bake them. When I do this the dough continues to rise in the refrigerator and needs to be punched down frequently in the first few hours. After refrigerating, the second rising in step 6 will take slightly longer.



  1. I have been looking for a perfect dinner roll recipe. This sounds like the ticket. My father-in-law will love me if I make homemade rolls for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    I also enjoyed your last post on pie crust.

  2. These are the perfect dinner roll. Score!

    Have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. Have you ever tried baking them most of the way a day before and then finishing the baking right before the meal is served? I'm wondering if it would work well with this recipe.

  4. Yes, Samantha, you could do that. I would bake them at a slower temperature, about 375, so that they don't brown until the second baking.
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks! We're cooking for a large church event and these look perfect. I just don't think I can manage it all after work the night of the dinner. I know your recipe will be reliable because I've used some of your other recipes and they've been delicious.

  5. It's so great that you are making the rolls from scratch! Not many people do that any more. I have made ten dozen of these at a time for catered events. I bake them off completely the day before and just warm them for serving. I'm so glad you've had success with my recipes. Thanks for your comment.


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