Whole-Wheat Beer Rolls

September 15, 2021
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Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Yossy Arefi. Prop stylist: Suzie Myers.
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • makes 12 rolls
Test Kitchen Notes

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and pointing out all the mistakes to avoid along the way. —The Editors

What You'll Need
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Whole-Wheat Beer Rolls
  • 4 1/3 cups (520 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) beer, such as pale ale
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) honey
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
  • Neutral oil, for greasing
  • Cooking spray (optional)
  • Egg wash (1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon water), for brushing
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)
  1. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and kosher salt to combine, for 15 to 30 seconds.
  2. Add the beer, honey, and butter and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, until the dough comes together around the hook. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes more.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 1 hour, until nearly double in size.
  4. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch/33x23-centimeter baking pan with cooking spray or butter. To shape as spirals: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a rectangle about 15x10 inches/35x25 centimeters and ½ inch/1 centimeter thick. Cut the dough into 12 even strips (each about 1¼ inches/3 centimeters wide). Starting at one of the shorter ends of the strip, roll into a spiral. Arrange spiral side up on the prepared baking pan, spacing evenly; they may not touch at this stage, but will after rising and baking. To shape as classic round rolls: On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 12 even pieces (about 100 grams each). Gently roll each piece into a ball and transfer to the prepared pan, spacing evenly; they may not touch at this stage, but will after rising and baking.
  5. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until visibly puffy.
  6. Toward the end of the rise time, heat the oven to 400°F/205°C. Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sea salt, if using.
  7. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until deeply golden brown (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion should register at least 190°F/88°C). Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

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