Harvest Rolls

Cuisine Type: 
50 2-oz. rolls

Michael Rosenberger, director of food and nutrition services for the Irving Independent School District in Texas, says one of his most successful recipe makeovers was with the district’s rolls, which have always been made in house.

“Our bakers are very, very talented,” Rosenberger says. “We realized, however, that while our white flour roll was, and is, a huge success, we didn’t have an equally delicious roll made with at least 51% whole wheat.” So Rosenberger held a contest to see which school could come up with the best whole-wheat roll recipe. As an incentive, the winning school’s kitchen received $1,000 and the runner-up received $500.

“We organized the contest so that, eventually, the best secondary school kitchen recipe would go head-to-head against the best elementary school kitchen recipe,” he adds. “Elementary and secondary kitchens were placed into pods of four, respectively, from which one winner would emerge. The next month, pod winners went head-to-head, and so on. The best roll with at least 51% whole wheat from the secondary school kitchens battled it out with the winner from the elementary school kitchens, in a blind taste test, with the winner to take all.”


2 oz. yeast, instant
1 qt. water, heated
1 lb. + 10 oz. all-purpose flour
2 lbs. whole-wheat flour
4 oz. milk, non-fat
6 oz. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil


  1. Dissolve dry yeast in warm water. Let stand 4 to 5 mins.
  2. Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Using dough hook, blend on low speed for approximately 2 mins.
  3. Add oil and blend on low speed about 2 mins.
  4. Add water. Mix on low speed for 1 min.
  5. Add dissolved yeast and mix on low speed for 2 mins.
  6. Kneed dough on medium speed for 8 mins., or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  7. Place dough in warm area (about 90˚F) for 45 to 60 mins.
  8. Punch down dough to remove air bubbles.
  9. Form rolls from dough by pinching off 2 oz.-pieces and shaping. Place rolls on lightly oiled sheet pans.
  10. Place in warm area (about 90˚F) until double in size, 30 to 50 mins
  11. Bake until lightly browned (convection oven at 400˚F for 18 to 20 mins.; or 350˚F for 12 to 14 mins.).

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