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

4.54 from 30 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. Caitlin S says

    These are my father in laws favorite buns that I make. Everytime he comes over I make some for him and he’s always looking for some to bring home after!

  2. Patti says

    I made these tonight for burger buns. They are totally delicious! Sooo good. Thank you! I don’t need to look for any more burger rolls ’cause these are perfect.

  3. Sarah says

    Hi Ashley… I tried to bake this buns for the first time and it really turns out so well! Thank you so much! My family really loves it!

  4. Deb Humphrey says

    Tried this recipe for the first time today. Yummy! I’ll definitely make them again. Wondering if it would work to bake as a loaf in the oven rather than rolls.

  5. Jessica says

    Wonderful recipe! The dough was so nice to work with and they baked up soft and lovely. Saving it to my favorite recipes.

  6. Karianne says

    I wish there was a way to give this recipe more than 5 stars!
    These rolls are unbelievably amazing! Soft and tasty and just SO good!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. ashaleahabigail@yahoo.ca says

    Absolutely the best whole wheat bun recipe I’ve ever tried! Great instructions too! It turned out perfectly for me, I’m so happy! Thank you

  8. CatD says

    Found this recipe when I was short on white flour for our Thanksgiving day dinner rolls. Normally Grandma Kitty brings the rolls, but this year we were struggling through without her – and with a high bar set for awesome rolls. These were fantastic! Easily as good as Grandma Kitty’s, though we’ll never tell her.

    Notes: TBH, the amount of butter raised my eyebrows but it was perfect. One recipe for us makes 20 dinner rolls. I can see how if you were using them for sandwiches the yield would be lower, but I like my dinner rolls on the smaller side. I used unsalted butter the first time and found them slightly bland, using salted butter corrected that deficiency. Also, I always forget how much liquid whole wheat flour absorbs in the first few minutes of kneading. I added liquid to where I thought my dough should be on my first attempt, and it ended up VERY gooey. Not so much as to be unworkable, but still. Caution is recommended when correcting dough consistency, and maybe aim for a touch drier than you think it should be? Not enough that there are dry spots, but realize that the dough will loosen up as it kneads.

    Thanks so much for a keeper recipe!

  9. Silvia says

    I tried this recipe for the first time yesterday and this is the best bread I’ve ever made! Very soft and airy with an amazing taste! Made it in the bread machine with half the butter. Very impressed ❤️

    • Lilyn says

      Hi Ashley,

      Is wholewheat flour & wholemeal flour the same? Also is 1 cup wholewheat flour = 125g, same as all purpose flour?
      Thank you 🙂

      • CatD says

        I used a gram conversion of 120g = 1 cup for both the white and wheat flours and it worked well. Not sure about the wholewheat/wholemeal flour difference. Are you in the UK? Not many people here in the US use scales for measuring flour. I converted last year to weight based measures and have never looked back – so much more consistent results!

  10. Dara says

    Ashley, I’ve made these rolls 3 times and they come out wonderfully. Tonight I made them for my son and daughter-in-law. They gobbled them up. Her bread machine only holds 1 lb loaves, so what changes do you suggest for a half recipe (9 rolls)? Thanks so much!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      hi Dara! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them! I actually don’t have a bread machine anymore so I don’t do much with bread machine recipes, but I would think you could halve the dough and it should work well!

  11. Colleen says

    These buns look great. Could I make 12 larger buns instead of 18 dinner rolls? Would the cook time and or oven temperature change?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Yes, you can make any size you want! The temperature won’t change but the cook time will. The best plan is to look for visual signs of doneness instead of relying on a cook time

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