Whole wheat dinner rolls with pumpkin seeds

Fresh and warm out of the oven, these delicious whole wheat dinner rolls with pumpkin seeds are the perfect accompaniment to most any holiday dish. Soft and buttery, with just hint of sweetness, they’re made with butter, a touch of honey, and whole wheat flour (you know, to help you get in your daily dose of whole grains).

Most people focus on the main course of a holiday meal, but we believe no meal is complete without bread! Cute and round, these buns are perfect topped with a pat of butter, some apple or pumpkin butter, or when used to sop up some good gravy.

Many people are intimidated by the idea of making bread from scratch, but it is easier than you might think.  Using just a few simple ingredients, you can have that home-baked taste!

The process of growing the yeast, making the dough and watching it rise is also a fun experience for kids, who will love to help, and can easily roll the dough into little balls which they can watch rise while baking. (It is like a very tasty chemistry experiment!)

This recipe is also a great way to use up some of those pumpkin seeds you may have saved after carving jack-o-lanterns in October.  The seeds add a nutty flavor and crispy crunch to contrast with the soft, moist interior of the rolls.

You can make the dough hours in advance, or even the night before, and just pop them in the oven before your guests arrive so they can be served hot and fresh.  Just be sure to make plenty, because everyone is going to want more!

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Whole wheat dinner rolls with pumpkin seeds




Yield 12-15 rolls


  • 1 package dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons honey, divided into 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour (may not use all of this)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds


  1. Place yeast in water and stir.  Make certain that the water is 110 degrees F when adding yeast.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.  
  2. Allow to stand for 8-10 minutes, or until the yeast turns bubbly and doubles in volume.   Set aside.
  3. Then add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of honey, butter and salt with the milk in a small pan. Heat on simmer until the butter melts.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.  Be sure to allow it to cool to lukewarm before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Stir yeast mixture into the milk mixture.
  6. Add in whole wheat flour and wheat germ, 1/2 cup at a time while continuously stirring until all is incorporated.
  7. Add enough all purpose flour to make a soft dough.
  8. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times.
  9. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  10. Place dough back on floured surface.  Knead several more times.  
  11. Divide dough in half.  Divide dough again into 12 equal sized portions.  
  12. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  13. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of rolls.
  14. Allow to rise again for 2-3 hours, until doubled in size.
  15. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  16. Bake until done, about 15 minutes.  They will be golden in color.
  17. Serve warm or at room temperature.