A tray of baked whole wheat Hawaiian sweet rolls
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Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls made with Fresh Milled Flour – Outstanding!

I have to share how I make these Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls made with Fresh Milled Flour! They are outstanding, dare I say, even better than the name brand ones you buy in the store! And, they are so light & airy, they just peel apart. Basically, my mouth is watering as I type this!

A tray of baked whole wheat Hawaiian sweet rolls
Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls

Why You Need To Try These Dinner Rolls

These Sweet Hawaiian Rolls are a must try! They are the perfect combination of sweet with a “tang.” And, I think they are even better when I prepare the rolls the night before. Then put them in the refrigerator overnight covered. Next, get them out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before you want to bake them. Bake them and enjoy warm & fresh! I can’t explain how soft, airy, and pull apart good they are!

top shows a full tray of Whole wheat Hawaiian Roll dough before they have risen. the bottom shows a try of risen whole wheat Hawaiian rolls ready to be baked
This shows the Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls before their second rise, and after, now ready to bake.

What Is Different About Making These With Fresh Milled Flour?

The main difference between making these Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls with Fresh milled flour vs regular commercial flour is the health benefits that fresh milled flour provides. Commercial Flours are processed and in doing so, the nutrients of the whole wheat are stripped. Also, fresh milled flour requires more kneading time. So, knead until it passes the window pane test. HERE is an example of that windowpane test.

Which Nutrients Are Lost When Flour Is Processed?

Processing Whole Wheat to make flour removes the most nutritious parts of the grain. When processed, the germ & bran are removed for the sake of spoilage and a longer shelf life. The Nutrients that are lost when flour is processed include, but not limited to:

  • Protein
  • Magnesium
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
Plate of whole Einkorn Wheat Berries with hands in the shape of a heart over top
Hard White Wheat Berries (Whole Wheat before milled into flour)

So, What Is Left After Milling Flour?

After Flour is milled, only the endosperm of the wheat berry remains. The Milling process grinds the whole wheat berry, and removes the bran & the germ. The result is a soft fluffy white flour. (With little to no nutritional value)

What About Whole Wheat Flour From The Store?

Unfortunately, whole wheat flour from the store is not a whole lot better than white flour in the store. It is marketed as a healthier version of white flour, because it has some of the bran added back in. This too, is why it normally will have a bitter flavor, and needs to be sweetened to cover it up (hence, honey wheat being so popular, etc) So, when whole wheat flour is processed, it goes through the same processing steps as the white flour, completely stripping the flour of all the nutrients, then just adding a small percentage of only the bran back in.

a stand mixer mixing a wet whole wheat Hawaiian Rolls dough
You can see this is a very wet & sticky dough, but that is what makes it so light, & airy!

Ingredients To Make These Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls

  • 3&1/2 cup fresh milled flour 420g (I used hard white wheat, with a little Kamut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pineapple juice (240g) (room temperature)
  • 4 TBSP softened butter (56g)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (75g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla I love to make my own Vanilla Extract. HERE is my video how to make that.
  • 1&1/2 tsp salt
  • 2&1/2 tsp yeast
  • *optional 1 TBSP butter to top after baking
a can of Dole 100% pineapple juice sitting on a wooden table
Canned Pineapple juice seems to work better, for some reason fresh pineapple juice tends to affect the gluten development.

Instructions To Making These Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls

  1. Mill the flour
  2. Pour Pineapple juice, softened butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, & salt into stand mixer bowl & mix until combined
  3. Add flour into bowl & Mix until cohesive & smooth. It will be a sticky dough.
  4. Let mixture sit covered for 15 minutes for the flour to absorb liquids.
  5. Then, add yeast and begin kneading dough until it passes the window pane test.
  6. Spray dough with oil & cover for 1-2 hours or until doubled.
  7. On an oiled surface, divide dough into 12 pieces.
  8. Roll each piece into a smooth ball.
  9. Oil or line a 9×13 baking pan with sides.
  10. Put 12 rolls into pan & cover – Let rise for 40 minutes until nice & puffy.
  11. Preheat oven to 350*F towards the end of the second rise.
  12. Bake for 20-25 mins until internal temperature is 190*F
  13. After the rolls come out of the oven, brush with melted butter *optional
close up of a tray of baked whole wheat hawaiian rolls brushed with butter, making them shiny
After the rolls bake, brush them with a little butter to get the shine!

What Is The Window Pane Test?

The Window Pane test is a test to see if the dough is ready to rise (done kneading.) The dough should be stretchy, and you should be able to pull it gently to pull the dough so you can see through it like a windowpane. I made a very short video to show a window pane pass and fail test! You can watch that HERE

hand stretching dough out of a stand mixer dough to show a positive window pane test. this shows the dough is done being kneaded and is ready for the first rise.
So, here I am showing a window pane test, see how stretchy the dough becomes after kneading it long enough.

If You Want To Learn More About Milling Your Own Flour, I have a Fresh Milled Flour 101 post. I Recommend Starting With That Post.

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Whole Wheat Hawaiian Roll Video – Copycat King’s Hawaiian Rolls Recipe

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A tray of baked whole wheat Hawaiian sweet rolls

Whole Wheat Hawaiian Rolls

These Sweet Hawaiian Rolls are a must try! They are the perfect combination of sweet with a "tang." And, I think they are even better when I prepare the rolls the night before. Then put them in the refrigerator overnight covered. Next, get them out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before you want to bake them. Bake them and enjoy warm & fresh! I can't explain how soft, airy, and pull apart good they are!
3.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 22 minutes
rise time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 2 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 3&1/2 cup Fresh milled flour 420g I used hard white wheat, with a little Kamut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pineapple juice 240g (room temperature)
  • 4 TBSP softened butter 56g
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 75g
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1&1/2 tsp salt
  • 2&1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • *optional 1 TBSP butter to top after baking

Instructions
 

  • Mill the flour
  • Pour Pineapple juice, softened butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, & salt into stand mixer bowl & mix until combined
  • Add flour into bowl & Mix until cohesive & smooth. It will be a sticky dough.
  • Let mixture sit covered for 15 minutes for the flour to absorb liquids.
  • Then, add yeast and begin kneading dough until it passes the window pane test.
  • Spray dough with oil & cover for 1-2 hours or until doubled.
  • On an oiled surface, divide dough into 12 pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a smooth ball.
  • Oil or line a 9×13 baking pan with sides.
  • Put 12 rolls into pan & cover – Let rise for 40 minutes until nice & puffy.
  • Preheat oven to 350*F towards the end of the second rise.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins until internal temperature is 190*F
  • After the rolls come out of the oven, brush with melted butter *optional

Video

Notes

*Canned Pineapple juice seems to work better, for some reason fresh pineapple juice tends to affect the gluten development.
Keyword fresh ground flour, fresh milled flour, hawaiian rolls, pineapple juice, whole grain, whole wheat

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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20 Comments

    1. They are on the sweet side, but not sweet like dessert, if that makes sense. Our favorite way to eat them is as a bun for Sloppy Joe’s! The rolls complement savory very well! If you would like them slightly less sweet, you can decrease the amount of sugar. Enjoy!

  1. If putting in the fridge overnight is that before the 40 mins proofing? I’m not familiar with putting things in the fridge, but I like the ease!

    1. You make them, let the dough rise the first time. Then, shape them, cover them, then put them in the fridge overnight before that second rise. Then the next day pull them out. Set them on the counter (still covered) for 1-2 hours, or until they are room temperature. Then, bake as the instructions say. I love having this as an option!

  2. Would you do anything different if you made this recipe into a sandwich load. My son loves the store bought version for his sandwiches?

  3. 5 stars
    while the taste is fab – I have yet to get them to rise to fluff. I didn’t use my KA as I have a dough kneader. But this dough was extremely wet/sticky – what did I do wrong.

    1. It is a very wet and sticky dough, yes. This kind of dough would be very hard to hand knead to get them soft and fluffy. I would recommend to let the dough sit, all ingredients except the yeast for 2 hours, then add the yeast, and start the kneading process. This will allow more time for the fresh milled flour to soften and absorb the liquids. Hope that helps!

      1. First I used 110 g sourdough starter instead of yeast. I had to let my dough bf about 8 hrs, then put them in the fridge over night. I got them out and let them dough warm up about 30 minutes then shaped them into rolls. I left these rise about 3 hours in my proofed set to 79 degrees. They were much fluffier this time.

  4. I was so excited to try this and prove to my family that fresh mulled can be as good or better than the processed stuff in the store but my first attempt was an epic fail 🙁 The dough was still more like a batter than a dough after I put all the flour in so I added little bit by little bit and it still wouldn’t hold together like in your video (I used hard white wheat berries and ground them fresh before mixing) – by the time it formed a dough that would hold together and be kneadable, I had probably doubled the amount of flour! I let it rise for two hours and it had hardly changed at all. When I picked it up to pull on it, it didn’t stretch at all, it just tore/broke apart. Ugh. It smelled so good – what did I do wrong? Yours looked so lovely! I know I can do it if we can figure out what’s going wrong 🙂 Thank you in advance! ❤️

    1. Oh no! I am sorry to hear this. When I work with this dough it is a very wet dough. It takes a long time of kneading (like 15-20 minutes sometimes) before it will come together into a ball. It sounds like way to much flour was added. I recommend making them again, and if you can measure the wheat berries by weight it will give you more accurate results. Just go with the wet dough, and try to resist adding more flour. Keep kneading it, and you will see the dough change. Let me know how it goes! You can do this!

  5. 5 stars
    I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out because the dough was sticky like you said. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT, THEY WERE DELICIOUS 😋!! I have yet to try one of your recipes that weren’t! Please keep posting recipes👍❤️

    1. Yay! I am so happy you loved them! Yes, the dough is sticky, but if you trust the process, you get amazingly soft and tender results! Nice job! Thanks so much!

  6. 1 star
    I have tried this recipe 2 times and all I get is a runny mess. When I add all the liquid then the flour it does not look like what it does in the video. I even measured ingredients by weight!

  7. I’ve made this 2 times and there is no possible way to make it into a ball. It is so wet and runny. I also watched the video and it says 2 tbs of butter and the recipe print out says 4. Not sure which one it actually is. Also did the kneading for 22 min and got a tiny window pane but it was just so much like cake batter. I used everything to a T in the recipe. 😭

    1. Hmmmm, it sounds like you might be using a soft white wheat or a wheat that doesn’t develop much gluten. It is a very wet and sticky dough. It is also possible if you are in a very humid climate that you may need to add a bit more hard white wheat. I just made these 2 days ago again, and they turn out so soft and fluffy. this is because it is a wet and sticky dough. to shape, it does need quite a bit of surface tension. I hope that helps!

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