100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls (Indian Pav)

Yayy..Its Possible!! Its possible to make soft, fluffy and light Dinner Rolls with the Whole Wheat Flour without any speck of White Flour. Often, using whole wheat flour to make baked bread is kiss of death as most of the time it gives dense, chewy and dry bread like a rock. In this recipe the only flour we use is Whole Wheat with an addition of a magic ingredient, Vital Wheat Gluten. I adapted this recipe from melskitchencafe.com. As I baked it, the smell of yeasty bread filled our home. Serve it warm with a cup of tea as a snack or make burgers or Indian pav bhaji. I served it with Falafel Burgers for today’s dinner and it was a total hit. Hubby and I had two burgers in a row.

100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

After several successful attempts of making dinner rolls with white flour, I tried healthifying it by substituting half of the white flour with whole wheat, resulting in dense and chewy bread. I thought making homemade whole wheat bread is next to impossible. After some research on internet, I came to know about this magic ingredient Vital Wheat Gluten, which will help coarse whole grain flours like whole wheat, rye, oats in baking soft and light textured bread. The concept of using whole grain flour and gluten needs some explanation.

Why do we want to use Whole Grain Flours here in our recipes?? Some of us just want to add more fiber in our diet. Some of us want to make healthy lifestyle choice by embracing whole foods and decrease the processed food like white flour or white sugar.  Now, what is gluten?? It is a protein found in cereal grains(like wheat berries) that will help to maintain elasticity of the dough and binds it. Once you knead flour, the gluten should be activated to make any bread. Yeast used for baking bread, releases carbon dioxide and expands the elastic network of gluten in which it is trapped. The more the gluten the more it will raise. White Flour has adequate gluten content to make soft and raised bread. But our whole wheat flour, which actually has more gluten content needs more kneading activate because the bran present in it cuts the gluten and suppresses the bread from raising. That is why here we add gluten in the form of vital wheat gluten which is actually 70-80% protein in dried form. It is usually used commercially in bread mills but these days it is easily available in flour or baking sections of any grocery stores. Also, judging the dough by its consistency is the key rather than following the measurement of ingredients. Here is the recipe.

100% Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls


Whole Wheat Flour: 3-4 cups (given and taken a little)

Vital Wheat Gluten: 1/4 cup

Warm Water: 2 1/2 cups (may need more)

Active Dry Yeast: 1 tbsp

Sugar: 2 tbsp

salt: 1 tsp

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 2 tbsp (can use canola or vegetable oil)


  1. In a small bowl, add yeast and 1 tsp sugar to 1/2 cup of warm water and let it rest in warm place for 10 mins. (Do not stir this mixture. Do not over heat the water, because it will kill the yeast. After 10 min if you see small bubbles or foam, the yeast is activated.This whole process is called proofing.)
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer take 2 cups flour, gluten, remaining sugar, salt, oil and add the yeast mixture. Add 1 1/2 cup water mix it well with a wooden spoon or by hand till it pulls off from edges and forms sticky and wet dough
  3. Now take the dough to clean counter or kneading surface dusted with flour and knead it for 12 mins by adding few handfuls of flour until you use all the flour. Also gradually add 1/2 cup water(The dough will be sticky at first but it will gradually become soft and smooth as you knead. Keep a timer and knead it for 12 mins if by hands or 7 mins in stand mixer.)
  4. Take tablespoon of olive oil and grease a large bowl. Also grease the dough with oil by rotating the dough in bowl. Cover it with cling wrap and place it in a warm place like oven or microwave for 1-2 hours until the dough doubles in size (it may take the more time to raise)
  5. Take the raised dough on to greased surface and divide into 12 pieces and roll them into balls and place on baking tray 1 or 2 inches apart. Brush the balls with milk to let it stay moist. Again cover it loosely with towel or cling wrap and let the balls raise for 45 mins
  6. Place the baking tray in preheated oven 400°F for 12-14 mins until top is golden brown

Dinner Rolls Prep 1Dinner Rolls Prep2

Dinner Rolls Prep3Dinner Rolls Prep4



  1. The surface of the rolls may be hard at first but it will soften as they cool down. You can brush them with butter after taking it out of oven to give nice sheen
  2. You can flavor the dough by using red chilly flakes, pepper, honey or any herbs
  3. Store it covered at room temperature  for 1 week or can be freezed for 3 months

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