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 cute mother. We were eating dinner together at a restaurant here in NYC and they brought out some whole wheat rolls with seeds on top – 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!
We noted all the different seeds and I was determined to make them at home.
How to make light and fluffy whole wheat rolls:
I wanted these heavenly dinner rolls to be just as light and soft as the restaurant's, and knew whole wheat often makes bread heavy.
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.
There was no need for bread flour since the whole wheat flour increased my gluten and protein needs for the dough.
A little vegetable shortening and eggs make the crumb soft and the taste rich.
A mix of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours give these dinner rolls a whole grain taste but a light texture.
Make ahead dinner rolls:
The best part is, this is a side dish that can be made a day ahead, so the oven can be free for the turkey on Thanksgiving!
I bake the soft whole wheat 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!
Fluffy dinner rolls with seed topping for flavor:
These homemade dinner rolls are fluffy and light, even with the addition of whole wheat flour. That's just one step to their amazing depth of flavor.
Adding a flavorful topping is easy and takes these rolls from simple to spectacular.
- Fennel Seeds, crush them a little first to release the flavor.
- Black Sesame Seeds are colorful and unexpected.
- Poppy Seeds are a classic bread topping and look pretty.
- Sesame Seeds are a standard and great in this mix.
- Flax Seeds add delightful crunch and color.
- Sunflower Seeds are hearty and buttery.
All of these seeds add something to the mix and the super soft dinner rolls are better for it. The perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.
Seed-Topped Dinner Rolls
- 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
- 2¼ 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 cups all-purpose flour
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rolls can be made ahead, up to a day, and left in pans. Before serving, cover with foil and warm in oven
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