As long as I can remember, my favorite dishes at the Thanksgiving table have been rolls and mashed potatoes.  Forget the turkey, I really just want the carbs.  These honey yeast rolls will probably always hold the number one spot in my heart for perfect dinner roll, but for the sake of variety I like to serve another option at Thanksgiving as well.  Enter these multigrain rolls.  With wheat flour, oatmeal, oat bran and flax seeds in the dough, they certainly earn their title – but not in a bad way.  All these ingredients plus the seed-salt sprinkle on top combine to make these hearty rolls taste great and provide some nutritional value.  I made them this weekend in preparation for the holiday.  We taste-tested one on its own and enjoyed it, but I felt it was missing something.  Then I tried it with a dab of honey butter and my oh my, it was just the thing.  The slightly sweet and rich honey butter is an ideal compliment to this soft, earthy roll.  I am glad both the rolls and butter are already wrapped up and stored for Thanksgiving, otherwise I might be in trouble.

Note: I know because I mentioned it that someone will ask for my honey butter recipe.  Truth is, I don’t use one.  I just mix room temperature, unsalted butter with honey and a pinch of salt until it tastes delicious.  Fancy!

  • Yield about 16 rolls


For the dough:
½ cup oat bran
¼ cup flax seeds
½ cup boiling water
1 cup warm milk (105-110˚ F)
2¼ tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
¼ cup honey
2 large eggs
2/3 cup old-fashioned (not instant) oats
7 oz. (1¼ cups) whole wheat flour
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. salt
15 oz. (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour
Oil, for greasing the bowl

For the topping:
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. mixed seeds (poppy, sesame, fennel, etc.)
Coarse salt, for sprinkling


  • 01

    Combine the oat bran and flax seeds in a small bowl.  Pour the boiling water into the bowl and mix to moisten.  Let sit until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the milk, yeast and honey; mix briefly to blend.  With the dough hook and the mixer on low speed, mix in the eggs, oats, wheat flour, pepper, salt and oat bran mixture until combined.  Slowly add enough all-purpose flour, ½ cup at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.  Continue to knead on medium-low speed, about 3 minutes.

  • 02

    Form the dough into a ball.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1½-2 hours.

  • 03

    Brush a baking dish lightly with oil (I used a 10-inch round baking dish).  On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out and divide into 16 equal pieces, about 2½ ounces each.  Form each portion into a ball and place the dough balls in the baking dish, spaced slightly apart so they have room to grow together.   Cover and let rise until puffy and nearly doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.

  • 04

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and water.  Brush lightly over the proofed rolls.  Sprinkle the unbaked rolls with the seed mixture and coarse salt.  Bake until the tops are golden, about 26 minutes.  Let cool 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.