Dinner Rolls with Savory Seed Topping

Dinner rolls with savory seed topping are a perfect accompaniment to any delicious dinner. They’re easy to make and even easier to devour.

I don’t even remember where I was, but I know I was with my mother. We were eating dinner together at a restaurant and they brought out some whole wheat rolls with seeds on top and we each tried one. Oh my goodness! They were light, soft and savory. The seed topping was not only delicious but quite pretty. We were in love!

Dinner Rolls with Savory Seed Topping are the perfect accompanyment to any dinner.

We noted all the different seeds and I was determined to make them at home. I wanted them to be just as light and soft, so I opted for a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose. That gives it that nutty, grain hit, but keeps it from being heavy and dense like full whole wheat rolls.

Dinner Rolls with Savory Seed Topping are the perfect accompanyment to any dinner.

A mix of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours give these dinner rolls a whole grain taste but a light texture.


A little vegetable shortening and eggs make the crumb soft and the taste rich. The best part is they can be made a day ahead, so the oven can be free for the turkey on Thanksgiving! I bake the dinner rolls and leave them in the pans. The next day, just before serving, cover the pans with foil and heat in the oven for just a few minutes!

Seed-Topped Dinner Rolls
Work Time
40 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 45 mins
Everyone loves rolls, and these whole-wheat rolls are addictive.
Calories: 84 kcal
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp regular sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 pkgs active dry yeast
  • cups warm water 110F° to 115F°
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3½ to 4 c ups all-purpose flour
  1. Combine all seeds; set aside. In a mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, shortening, eggs and whole-wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in all-purpose flour to form a soft dough; add the extra ½ cup if dough is very sticky.
  2. Mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 min; or knead by hand 6 to 8 min. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hr.
  3. Heat oven to 375F°. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into four pieces. Divide each piece into 12 and roll into balls. Place ½ inch apart in greased baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 min. Brush with egg wash (a extra egg and 1 tbsp water whisked together) and sprinkle with seed mixture. Bake until golden brown, 11 to 15 min.
  4. Rolls can be made ahead, up to a day, and left in pans. Before serving, cover with foil and warm in oven
Nutrition Facts
Seed-Topped Dinner Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 84 Calories from Fat 14
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.5g 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Recipe Tara Bench and Megan Weiss
Photography Raymond Hom
Food stylist Sara Neumeier
Prop Stylist Penelope Bouklas
Originally published Ladies’ Home Journal Nov 2011

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