Soft wholemeal rolls

This recipe is adapted from a recipe for ‘Barm Cakes’ in the Paul Hollywood book ‘How To Bake‘.  Paul’s version uses 100% white flour and makes large flatter rolls, but I wanted to make a version with wholemeal flour (as it’s better for you)!  I also cut down the quantities to make 6 rather than 12 rolls and reduced the amount of sugar and butter in the recipe as I’m trying to watch my waist! Have a go and see what you think – personally I thought they were super yummy and great with a grilled chicken breast and some salad.

Soft wholemeal rolls

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These rolls are really yummy and super quick to make.

Credit:Paul Hollywood, How to Bake


  • 200g of wholemeal bread flour
  • 50g of strong white bread flour (you need to add this otherwise the rolls will be dense and not rise as much)
  • 5g of salt
  • 10 – 15g of caster sugar (it seems a lot still but it makes the rolls lovely and light)
  • 5g of instant yeast (the fast acting stuff is best – you can use fresh, if you do use about 8 – 10g)
  • 10 – 15g of soft butter (you could also just use a slug of oil)
  • 160 – 170ml of water (I like to use water that is slightly warm to the touch – I find it helps absorption rates – but it’s up to  you).


  1. Pop all the ingredients (except the water) into a mixing bowl (or you can use a stand mixer).
  2. Give them a little stir.
  3. Add the water.
  4. If using a stand mixer mix on slow for a few seconds then increase the speed to about 4 and mix for about 5 mins.
  5. If not using a stand mixer, bring the dough together (it will be quite sticky at first) in the bowl until it cleans the bowl. Then tip out onto the work surface and knead like the clappers for about 10 mins.
  6. In either case, you may want to add a touch more water – it depends really on how your flour absorbs the water.
  7. At the end of the knead you should be left with a really nice shiny dough that’s quite elastic and only a bit sticky.
  8. Make a ball with the dough and pop into a bowl (you can use the same one you measured in) in a warm place covered for an hour until it’s about doubled in size (mine rose really fast, but it was a warm day). I don’t bother oiling the bowl anymore, but you can add a drop if it makes  you feel better.
  9. After it’s risen, tip it onto a very lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 pieces. I’m a control freak so I weighed mine, each ball weighed just about 70g except 1 which was a bit bigger.
  10. Pop some parchment onto a baking tray and pre-heat your oven to about 200 fan or 210 non fan.
  11. Flatten each ball out and then bring the edges into the middle to make a ball – pinch the ends together to seal. Flip it over and roll it under your palm a few times to make a smooth ball (this is degassing the dough and making a nice roll shape).
  12. Place each ball on the baking sheet so that it’s not quite touching.
  13. Cover and leave to rise for about 20 – 30 mins. You’ll know when they are ready as if you press lightly the dough will spring back. They’ll also be touching each other now.
  14. Pop in the hot oven and bake for 10 mins (yes that’s right only 10 mins). You can bake longer if you want a crusty roll – but I wanted soft ones.
  15. After 10 mins they should be baked, but if you think they need longer, then you can leave them in. You can do a little test by pulling one off the batch (but mind your fingers). You can see below that even after 10 mins of baking they are super light.
  16. Leave to cool if you can stand the wait and enjoy!

For other recipes on my site, please click here.

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Bread, Baking and More

Lover of bread, baking and growing my own veg.

3 thoughts on “Soft wholemeal rolls

  1. […] We are off to a friends anniversary BBQ today and I’m on a bread making duty.  As my friends all know that I LOVE making bread I’m always tasked with making the bread rolls. I just love it. I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning (I’m always an early riser).So far I’ve got 7 batches on the go, 5 plain white and 3 wholemeal.  Hopefully I’ll get 72 rolls! I’ll update later with the finished batches.  If you’d like to know how to make the rolls you can find the recipe for my soft wholemeal rolls here. […]


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