Homemade Whole Wheat Buns

I love these buns. 

Not just because I thought they came out darn tasty.  Not just because I made them and take pride in serving my home baked goods.  Not even because they complimented me on my stylish choice in sweat pants.  (Well, they seem like the thoughtful type that would.) I love them because of all these things and the fact that they let me actually multitask, something I normally cannot effectively do.

Multitasking.  A term that typically means convincing oneself that one is being more productive than usual, when one is, in reality, experiencing an attention deficiency.


For example: eating breakfast while catching up on Days of Our Lives (someone is having an affair or an illegitimate baby, right?), and glancing at the 10 page article (that you need to read for a class today) during commercials… you might call multitasking.

If you’re folding laundry, talking on the phone, and baking scones, taking a moment to put a leash on your son and dress the dog for school, then watering the umbrella stand – right before putting on one shoe to run out the door… you might think you’re multitasking.  But you’ve actually lost it, and should probably contact a life coach.

But when it comes to baking yeast breads, we can breathe a sigh of relief, because they practically make themselves while we can go about our other activities in a sane manner.


These buns do just that.  They are not demanding.  They do not require you to stand and stir something repeatedly.  They won’t explode your house if you forget about them while talking on the phone to your life coach about The Bachelorette.

During their extensive (and worth-it) rising time, these whole wheat buns let you do what you gotta do, and then, when you remember to bake them a couple hours later, will quickly provide you with some highly delicious and healthy burger buns/dinner rolls from your own kitchen.


Homemade Whole Wheat Buns - Print Here!

Makes 6 large buns.  If you make these with white whole wheat (the color of the grain, not bleached), they will look more like traditional rolls, and picky eaters will have no qualms about them!

Recipe slightly adapted from my Cooking Light cookbook’s Challah bread recipe!


  • ½ tsp. agave syrup (or honey or sugar)
  • 1 package dry yeast (or 2 ¼ tsp.)
  • ¾ cup warm water (100 – 110 degrees)
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 c. white whole wheat flour, a little more if necessary (they sell this flour variety at most supermarkets)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Baking spray
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten (I saved the white for breakfast! :)


  1. Stir the yeast and agave into the warm water in a stand mixer bowl to dissolve, and allow to rest five minutes until yeast is very bubbly and frothy.
  2. Add canola oil and egg and stir to combine.  Mix the flour and salt in.  With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough in the mixer for about 10 minutes.  If the dough still seems way too sticky, add more flour 2 T. at a time until it is smooth and only barely sticky to the touch.
  3. Place the dough into a bowl sprayed with baking spray, and roll it around the bottom to lightly coat it in oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place for an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. *Tip – I like to preheat the oven for just 30 sec. (then turn it off - don’t forget and leave it on!!) and place the bowl in the slightly warmed (about 85 degrees) oven.
  5. After an hour, take the dough out, lightly knead and reshape it into a ball, and place back in the bowl to rise again for an hour.
  6. Once more, lightly push dough down and allow to rest 15 minutes.  Finally, shape the dough into about six 4 – 5” buns and place on baking-sprayed metal cookie sheets to rise… for YET ANOTHER HOUR!
  7. Actually, at the time, all these hours of rising didn’t bother me, since it took a while to work out the Black Bean Burgers I was trying to make at the same time!  It’s nice to make bread while doing other things around the house… feels like multi-tasking!
  8. During the last 15 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. When the rising is finally done, lightly brush the buns with the beaten egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp. water.
  10. Pop these in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bun is browned sounds a bit hollow when tapped.
  11. Turn off the oven, and let these cool on an oven rack a few minutes before cutting open for a hamburger or serving as a dinner roll!