Whole Wheat Maple Sourdough Rolls

Whole-Wheat Maple Sourdough Rolls

My workplace is vegan and animal-friendly, so every day I get to work in the company of not just people committed to animal rights but also a number of furry, four-legged creatures who make coming in to work a lot of fun.

We have four cats who live in the office and dogs who come in every day with their parents. It is not unusual for me to walk into my office after a meeting and find my chair taken over by Fergie, a beautiful tabby with grave eyes, and never mind the cat bed sitting right there. Or to be pleasantly startled when Oliver, the handsome black cat, rubs against my legs while I am staring at the computer, trying to deal with a particularly tough problem.
Once in a while I’ll hear soft footsteps outside the office and look up to find Bailey the dog making his rounds. He will stop at my feet, give me a soulful look with soft, brown eyes, and then offer up his chin for a good scratch.\Whole-Wheat Maple Sourdough Rolls
Of course, it takes a certain kind of dog– or cat– to be comfortable in a workplace. I cannot even imagine taking Opie, who gets inordinately stressed in strange new places (and likes to chase cats) to work. But that’s another story for another day.
Is your workplace animal-friendly? Do you wish it was?
I wanted to make bread rolls this past weekend, and the recipe I came up with sounded like a winner before I had even started: Maple Sourdough Rolls. And here’s the clincher: it’s partly whole-wheat and wholesome with the nutty goodness of flax.
Maple and sourdough might sound like a strange combination, but these rolls are neither sour, nor do they taste cloyingly sweet. They have just the lightest kiss of maple flavor and the sourdough is only there to help make these rolls tender and give them a great rise. You won’t taste it at all.
This recipe makes a lot of rolls– 24– so they are great if you are expecting guests — or an army– to feed. I shaped them in a spiral for a little cuteness, but you can just roll them into smooth rounds or in crescents. They would also make great slider buns– halve the size of the rolls and you’d get 48 slider buns out of this recipe.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy, all!
Whole-Wheat Maple Sourdough Rolls
Whole-Wheat Maple Sourdough Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
(Makes 24 rolls)
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 24
  • 1 packet (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups warm water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup flaxmeal
  • 1 cup
  • sourdough starter
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Mix the yeast, maple syrup and warm water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it stand 10 minutes or until the yeast starts to froth.
  2. Add 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Mix and let stand for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sourdough, flaxmeal, salt, oil, and baking soda. Add the flour, a cup at a time, alternating the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, until the dough is no longer sticky.
  4. Continue to knead for eight minutes on medium speed or by hand. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a large, oiled bowl for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and divide it into 24 pieces. At this point you can shape the rolls any way you want to. I rolled each roll into a long cylinder, rolled it, and then tucked the end underneath. But you can shape them into
  6. burger-like buns
  7. or even
  8. crescents.
  9. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
  10. Let the rolls rise about an hour or until they have doubled in size. Preheat an oven to 370 degrees.
  11. Bake the rolls for 23 minutes until golden-brown. Remove them to a rack and let cool for another 10 minutes. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet and continue cooling them on a rack.
  12. These taste great warm from the oven, but you can also freshen them up later by popping in an oven for a couple of minutes.

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  1. says

    I’m smiling thinking of having a furry friend to snuggle with as I sit in my chilly cubicle! My workplace is animal-friendly per se, although I’ve seen pets being brought to offices on occasion, and we are across the street from a vet school so there are cute pets all over the place.

    I wish we had an official policy that we could bring pets in on Fridays, say. A nice balance between enjoying pets and being distracted by them.

  2. says

    Hi Nupur, they definitely make the office a better place to be in. :) I just realized the other day that I never spend a moment too far from a cat or dog– and I feel perfectly blessed for that.

  3. says

    Those rolls looks super delisioso! We don’t bring our pets to work but keep dog biscuits at the counter for when our customers bring their dogs in (which we encourage). We do have pictures of our cats on the wall.

  4. says

    What a perfect work environment you have! It must be lovely to be in the presence of like minded people as well as the furry friends. I’ve been fortunate to be working from home for the past 3 years so I have my cat Monty visiting me in the study throughout the day and Ollie to take for a walk on my lunch break. I don’t think Ollie would handle being in an office environment – he has so much energy during the day!

    Your rolls look amazing – maple syrup and sourdough sounds like an interesting combination.

  5. says

    I am in the middle of making these (and don’t need an urgent response!!) but realized that going through the directions no mention is made of when to add the oil.

    I had just finished the kneading process and so I added the oil to the kneaded dough a bit at a time until it was all absorbed.. think it would have been easier I guess if the oil was added with the sour dough etc. But in case you would like to update the directions… :).

    Will be eating these for supper tonight with a nice bowl of veggie soup – we are the middle of winter here in South Africa!

  6. says

    I wish they had an office environment like that when I was working in India.. would have made it so relaxing and fun.
    Those rolls look so soft and wonderful. I wish you were my neighbor!

  7. says

    My office is extremely dog friendly and my current team has almost 4-5 dogs who come to office on a very regular basis. One of which was from ‘Raise a puppy’ program and just left for puppy college.
    It makes stressful environment very pleasant to work in. Most of my coworkers have dog treats at the desk and dogs do know who have the best treats :) and they tend to go and beg for more 😀 One of them was sitting here at my desk few minutes ago :) Of course owners know that we have treats and they are okay with that.

    I look forward to playing with them. We do take care of dogs when owners have to go to different buildings for meetings.

  8. says

    I just came across you site and am so glad that I did. Your bread recipes look especially amazing. I have been missing crescent rolls for a while. I will have to give it a go.

  9. Winnie says

    A question regarding your sourdough starter, is it a stiffer starter or more liquid one? I have two starters, a 100% hydration (equal amounts water and flour) and a 50% hydration (half as much water by weight as flour). The 100% hydration is about the same thickness as pancake batter and the 50% hydration is about like bread dough for thickness. Just wondering which one most likely compares to yours. Thanks so much.

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