This vegan dinner roll recipe creates perfect eggless and dairy free buns. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, these rolls are rich, buttery and very fluffy!
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How to Make Vegan Dinner Rolls
Classic dinner rolls recipes are not vegan-friendly as they often contain milk, butter and eggs. However, with a few simple substitutions you can easily make dinner rolls vegan.
Start with replacing dairy milk with soy milk. Soy milk tends to be the creamiest dairy-free milk alternative and is the closest replacement for dairy milk.
Next, replace the butter with a vegan butter or margarine alternative. I typically use vegan margarine as it’s far less expensive compared to vegan butter. However, for those who love the flavor of butter, you may want to use a vegan butter substitute.
These dinner rolls are made without egg substitutes. Using an egg wash on the rolls is a common way to make the final product golden brown and glossy looking, but some extra melted vegan butter achieves a similar result!
Tips and Tricks for Vegan Rolls
This dough can be tricky to get right, at least when compared to other standard bread or roll recipes that simply use water and flour as the base.
Using soy milk in place of water allows for a richer dinner roll, and incorporating butter is essential for the final product to be perfectly buttery yet fluffy!
A few tips and tricks to keep in mind include:
Warm Soy Milk to the Right Temperature
To activate yeast, lukewarm liquid is essential. Lukewarm means a temperature of about 100 to 110 °F. The milk should feel warm to the touch but not hot and shouldn’t be steaming.
If the soy milk is too cold or too hot, the yeast may not activate or may be “killed”. If the yeast doesn’t bubble, it’s best to start over as the rest of the process won’t work.
Let the Dough Rise to Double in Size Twice
Dinner rolls as delicious as these take time. With milk and butter, the dough may take longer to rise compared to yeast doughs without these ingredients.
Let the dough (at least) double in size before forming the rolls, and then again once the rolls are formed. This takes time and patience!
With this type of dough, it can be very helpful to allow the dough to rise in a warm location. You can achieve this by turning on the oven (lowest temperature possible or just allow half the preheating to occur) and allow the dough to rise with the door cracked open. The warm environment can really help the process along!
How to Serve Vegan Dinner Rolls
These vegan bread rolls are amazingly rich, buttery yet fluffy! They are best served warm out of the oven but are still delicious at room temperature.
Most people serve dinner rolls with butter. I find the rolls to be buttery enough on their own and don’t need additional butter, but I’m not really a butter person.
These rolls also make fantastic sandwich buns. Load with your favorite vegan deli meat or leftover seitan along with all the tasty vegan sandwich fillings you like!
If you want a delicious and easy breakfast, these dinner rolls are lovely with butter and jam.
However you eat them, I hope you enjoy your hard work and patience!
Storing and Freezing Vegan Dinner Buns
Any leftover rolls should be kept in an air-tight container or bag so they don’t dry out. They are fine to keep on the counter for 2-3 days, but after that should be stored in the fridge for up to a week (from when they were cooked). If they won’t be eaten by then, consider freezing.
Cooked rolls can be cooled and kept in the freezer for a couple months. Allow them to thaw either in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple hours. If possible, warm the rolls before serving – they can be placed in a warm oven for a couple minutes or use a microwave’s lower setting to heat through.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Dinner Rolls (100% Whole Wheat)
- Kitchen towel
- Cooling rack
- 1 cup soy milk (or plant milk of choice; unflavored, unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ½ cup vegan butter (or margarine)
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour (to knead dough)
Grease Pan and Brush Rolls
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter (or margarine)
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (or margarine)
- Warm soy milk to lukewarm temperature (100-110 °F) either in a small pot over low heat or in the microwave using 15 second intervals (stirring between each interval for even heating). The soy milk should feel warm to the touch but not produce steam.1 cup soy milk
- Place the warmed milk into a large mixing bowl along with maple syrup and active dry yeast. Lightly stir this mixture and set aside until the yeast has activated (foamed); about 5-8 minutes.1 tablespoon active dry yeast, 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Once the mixture is foamy, add vegan butter, more maple syrup, salt and beat the mixture together (with a hand held electric mixer or fork to break up the butter). The mixture won’t be fully blended or smooth (flecks of butter will be suspended in the milk).3 tablespoons maple syrup, ½ cup vegan butter, ½ teaspoon salt
- Next, stir in whole wheat flour until a ball of dough begins to form. Switch to using your hand to form a ball of dough.3 cups whole wheat flour
- Sprinkle ⅛ cup of whole wheat flour onto your counter and dump dough onto the flour. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes. The dough should be very smooth and easy to knead. It shouldn’t stick to your hands or the counter at all (if it’s sticking, add up to ⅛ cup of extra whole wheat flour).¼ cup whole wheat flour
- Lightly oil the mixing bowl and place the dough back in it, lightly oiling the top of the dough as well. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, prepare a 11x7" baking pan by coating the pan in a thin layer of vegan butter, margarine or oil (can use oil spray but I like to use vegan butter).1 tablespoon vegan butter
- Punch the dough and cut into 12 evenly sized pieces. Form each piece into a sphere by pulling the edges down and tucking them on the bottom.
- Place each formed roll into the prepared pan, spaced evenly. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to double in size again, about 1 hour.
- Once the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Remove the kitchen towel from the tray of rolls and bake (uncovered) for 18 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven and brush additional vegan butter on top. Using melted butter works best (I melt mine in the microwave for a few seconds).2 tablespoons vegan butter
- Return the rolls to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Once cooked, allow the rolls to cool for a couple minutes in the baking tray, then remove and place onto a cooling rack (to prevent edges from getting soggy) or serve straight from the oven!
More Vegan Bread Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.
Solid recipe! I made 8 larger rolls... I like to be able to say I only had one but it is giant so I also get to eat a lot of bread. Anyway, these have a perfect soft texture, nice raise, perfect saltiness. I will be making these all the time. I am making black bean burgers for dinner tomorrow and so will get to test them as a burger bun.
Hi, thanks for taking time to publish this recipe. I want dinner rolls but my dad is allergic to cow milk so it's usually vegan baking. I have had to always add a little bread flour to get them to rise, the gluten in the whole wheat resists rising.
I've never had an issue with these rising nicely so I hope it works for you!
detailed and clear instructions
Thank you; glad you found the article helpful!
You are welcome. I did find it helpful. I used avocado oil, reduced the syrup (sugar), and added garlic powder at the final shaping. Loved it.
Happy to hear it worked out for you!
Is it possible to use whole wheat pastry flour and if so what would be the new flour amount? Thank you.
I've never made this with pastry flour which tends to be lighter/ less protein (less gluten) than regular flour. I'm not sure how well the recipe would turn out but I'd guess you'd need extra flour and possibly extra kneading, to develop more gluten for a good texture. Hope that helps.
Sandra Taylor Hain
Hi can I make this recipe in a bread maker please ? thank you
I have never made this in a bread maker and don't know if it would work - I would guess it's not the best option for a bread maker because of the high butter/ fat content. If you decide to try it, I'd love to hear how it turns out!
I don't know what I did wrong hahaha. They look so funny and clumpy. Definitely not round lol. They are still in the oven because they haven't baked within the suggested time. Definitely a me issue hehe.
Maybe they needed to be kneaded for longer; or needed more time to rise either for the first or second rise (or possibly both). It may have just been how you shaped the rolls; it can be tricky to get the tops smooth. Hopefully they still tasted okay!
I just made these and they are great! Lovely texture and so buttery and nice. My vegan hubby loves them too! The only thing is that I had to bake them for an extra 15 min- so just bear in mind that every oven is different ☺️
So happy you and your husband enjoyed!
Can't wait to try these!
Enjoy and let me know how it goes! They're so soft and buttery!
These are delicious and fluffy! Perfect dinner roll or as a small sandwich bun. Your step-by-step instructions are so helpful as well. Keeping this recipe in my index. Thank you!
I'm so happy you liked them! I can't wait until I make them again later this month 🙂