Buttery (Whole Wheat) Bread Machine Rolls

Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 18 buns

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These Bread Machine Rolls are soft, buttery rolls that are perfect every time! Use whole wheat or all-purpose flour, a bread machine or a stand mixer!

*Stand mixer instructions are included down with the recipe.

whole wheat bread machine rolls in basket with white towel

How many jokes about buns is an appropriate number in one post? These are the softest buns I’ve ever had. Generally, I like my buns a little firmer (insert an acceptable number of groans and eye rolls here).

I’ve been making/attempting to make buns for what I feel has been quite some time. My first batch of buns was at least 5 years ago. And they were similar to dry baseballs.

I’ve come a long way since then. I had come a long way before I ever tried this recipe, but this recipe knocks everything else I’ve done out of the park. These buns are, dare I say it, PERFECT. Every. Single. Time. Maybe it’s my bread machine’s incredible patience, and my inability to match the bread machine’s dedication to kneading and creating the ideal environment for rising bread dough. Good bread dough needs time. Something that I can never seem to get enough of.

My mom always had the best buns. With this recipe, I feel like we’re almost on an equal playing field, except that I leave the hard labour to my trusty bread machine while she kneads hers by hand.

It’s not like I’ve never used my Kitchenaid and a dough hook, or even my own two hands, to make bread dough before. And it’s not like those buns didn’t turn out just fine, soft and delicious. But the bread machine just makes it so easy! (*Note, since I wrote this post, my bread machine has died and now I make this recipe every time in my stand mixer!)

I first tried this recipe 3 weeks ago, and since then I’ve made them 4 times. Four. Times.

I can’t get enough.

My only beef is that I wish I had a bigger bread machine so I could make more than 18 from one recipe. Though they are quick enough that you can easily whip up a batch every week. You really don’t want to try making a bigger batch of these at one time unless you have a massive bread machine — with one recipe the dough is always busting out of the top (quite literally) by the end of the dough cycle.

The first time I made these, I had some bread flour so I used that. The second, third and fourth time I used the ingredients listed below. I don’t like to buy special ingredients if I don’t have to, and bread flour isn’t something I use regularly. I did not notice a difference between batches. The recipe turns out just as well for me with 75% regular whole wheat flour, and who doesn’t like a little extra fiber and protein?

six whole wheat buns in basket lined with white and red towel

Here’s a little visual on how I roll my buns. First, pinch off a section of dough. Making a circle with your thumb and first finger to “grip” what will be the outside of your bun, “stuff” all the yucky uneven dough into what will be the “inside” of your bun. Continue “stuffing” until the outside of your ball is nice and smooth. Pinch the end shut and roll around in your hands to smooth out the little lump left behind. Don’t add flour unless it’s too sticky to work with.

four step by step images showing how to roll a bun


  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (Or use all purpose)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, ¼ cup sugar and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the butter, eggs, and salt and beat on low for a few minutes until the eggs are mixed in and the butter is broken up (a little chunky is okay!)
  3. In the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, gradually add the flour until a smooth dough forms — it should pull away from the sides of the bowl but a little sticky is okay.
  4. Place dough ball in a large greased bowl, cover, place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour, then continue with the rolling, rising and baking.

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Buttery (Whole Wheat) Bread Machine Rolls

4.50 from 28 votes
Light and fluffy whole-wheat buns made with help from the bread machine.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Bread and Baked Goods
Servings 18 buns
Calories 170cal


  • 1 cup warm milk I put mine in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 cup additional milk or water


  • Place all ingredients in (in order given), in your bread machine. Start the Dough setting. Always check after 5 minutes to see if it needs more liquid or flour — you don’t want it too dry. Add the additional ¼ – ½ cup milk or water if the dough doesn’t seem to be coming together well. I always err on the side of it having a little extra moisture.
  • When cycle has finished, remove from the pan.
  • Shape pieces of dough into balls and place in a greased pan, leaving about an inch in between. (See photos above)
  • Cover and let rolls rise until doubled (about 30-45 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


If you are baking frozen buns, you will need to leave out to thaw completely and then rise. This will likely take about 12 hours.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 170cal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hope says

    Omg!!! These are so so good!!! Thank you so much for the recipe, question lol would you have a recipe equally as good for the same kind of bun but white??????

  2. Connie Lee says

    They look so good I’ve never made rolls before but have had a bread machine too many years to count. I can’t wait to try the bread machine version for the rolls. Can I use nut milk(almond or coconut). Can cream be used instead of milk. Thank you

  3. Penny says

    This looks like a delicious recipe but I’m wondering if I can just bake it in the bread maker. I love recipes with a high butter content but have had some trouble succeeding with them in my bread maker. Have you tried baking this in your bread maker as a loaf? Do you feel like it would succeed? I know the recipe has been up here for a few years but I just found it. Hope to hear from you! Thanks!

  4. Lilyn says

    Hi, Ashley
    I’ll be making the Buttery Bread Machine Rolls n would like to add some pumpkin seeds n sunflower seeds. How much of each should I add into the bread machine?
    Also do I need to adjust any changes to the ingredients?
    Thanks 🙂

  5. Laura says

    I’ve made these twice now and they are so fluffy and delicious! The dough was so easy to work with. I was worried that it would be sticky like other whole wheat roll recipes that I’ve tried but it was wonderful to work with. My family LOVED these. Thanks for sharing

  6. Patti says

    I’m about to make these for the first time for a family dinner tomorrow. Could these be partially baked, then finished tomorrow so they would be warm, or, if I need to completely bake them, should I just warm them for about 10 minutes tomorrow?

  7. Joel Strauss says

    These are the BEST whole wheat rolls I have ever had the pleasure of making! I did add two teaspoons of gluten because, whole wheat! This made a super rise (nearly popped the top off the bread machine!j, and very soft moist crumb. I formed the dough Parkerhouse roll style, so they were pull-apart, perfect for T-day dinner. I also took the liberty of brushing the rolls with ghee before I put them in the oven, again halfway through baking (along with some coarse salt), and once again right out of the oven.

    I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat flour, which has a delightful, nutty flavor. And I didn’t have rapid rise yeast on hand; the bread machine yeast worked just fine. I did add liquid during the first knead, but ended up adding a bit more flour too, just before the second knead.

    I’m gonna make some small hoagie rolls tonight, for leftover turkey sandwiches tomorrow!

  8. Corky says

    I would ike to freeze the unbaked buns, how do I go about it? As soon as they are rolled and formed out of the bread machine?

  9. Pollyann says

    I actually love how versatile this recipe is! I’ve used it several times to make cinnamon rolls, ham and cheese sticks, knots and of course buns. Super easy and delicious, thanks for sharing it!

  10. Susan Myers says

    For the stand mixer instructions do you start off with the flat beater for the liquid ingredients and then switch to the dough hook when you add the dry ingredients or do you use the dough hook the whole tome?

  11. Penny says

    I’m planning to make Lemon Monkeybread tonight and wanted to ask if the 1 cup warm milk should be whole or can I use 2% since that’s what I have? I love to bake but bread is a challenge for me so I want to make sure I have every advantage:-)

    • Ashley Fehr says

      No problem! It could really be any kind I think. I actually usually use 1% since that’s what I have on hand! 2% would definitely would just fine. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Heather says

    Wow!!!! Made these exactly as described last night, basted them with melted butter when they were hot from the oven. Heaven!!! Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe. There’s nothing as comforting as fresh baked rolls on a cold and rainy spring evening. Easy and delicious!

  13. Jessica says

    just pulled the dough out of the bread machine, rolled the rolls – now waiting for them to rise. The dough was really really easy to work with! looking forward to tasting them. Thank you for the recipe.

  14. Michelle says

    Hi there! I was actually planning on making your lemon monkey bread this week which lead me to your bun recipe. Can you use 4 cups of all purpose flour as opposed to using any whole wheat flour? Or will that throw the recipe off? And should I let it rise and punch it down once before rolling out the rolls? Just want to make sure I’m doing everything right. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Ashley says

      Hi Michelle! You can definitely use all all-purpose flour! It will be even fluffier, which is never a bad thing. Yes, I would let it rise until doubled (an hour, hour and a half) and then pinch off your balls of dough and go ahead with the monkey bread. Hope that helps!

  15. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! I make all of our bread and, yes, I cheat and let my bread maker do the work on the dough cycle! I don’t like the shape of bread baked in the machine, so I put it in whatever pan I want or shape it in the case of French bread and braided Challah. It’s nice knowing what is actually in the bread and it costs so much less for a better tasting bread! These rolls will be on our dinner table soon!

    • Ashley says

      I also don’t like the shape of the bread machine pan! It’s so tall! But yes, so great for making dough 🙂

  16. MR. K'S CAKES says

    I love this recipe, however I was wondering, can this recipe be done with the regular bread flour instead of wheat flour?

  17. Sharon D says

    Hi Ashley, love your site! Just wondering if you can re post the recipe for your whole wheat buns as it is not showing up. Thanks!

    • Ashley says

      Sorry about that! Should be good now. I have been working on a few different recipe posting methods so that could be why.

      • Ashley says

        Hey! I have a Black and Decker All-in-One — it’s nothing fancy. I think it does 1 or 2 lb loaves so it’s not huge. I’d love a bigger one someday!

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