Dinner Rolls Baked in a Jar (Recipe: Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Rolls)

Dinner parties have evolved tremendously over the last few decades and that is a good thing. Hosts are more health conscious, well-traveled and embrace a variety of ethnic flavors and cuisines. The standard all-white Parker House dinner rolls are replaced by something more rustic, more substantial, if there is any bread at all.

The dinner roll once graced the side plate routinely at the evening meal, but it is now less frequently present, as carb-conscious folks tend to swap it out for a salad. However, a perfect Thanksgiving meal should include a dinner roll, a healthy, flavorful, homemade bun, with a soft interior and a solid crust.

We’ll be enjoying these Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Dinner Rolls with Rosemary alongside our turkey dinner this weekend. A one hundred percent whole wheat roll that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating, these easy buns are softened by the addition of butter, lightened with buttermilk and fun to make with the kids.

Dinner rolls baked in a jar?

Sure! Give the breadbasket a personalized touch with these cute individual dinner rolls baked in a little jam jar.
You don’t even need to set out a bread plate, simply place a warm bun-in-a-jar directly on the table cloth (above the forks is the correct place for bread) and dinner is served.

Holiday tables are always prime real estate, with the candles and the centerpiece all vying for position, not to mention the turkey platter, so eliminating the need for a bread plate and bread basket creates more space on the table. I’m sure Martha would agree that is a Good Thing.

You could even tie a ribbon around the jar with a name tag, as your own homemade place card setting. How inviting! I didn’t get that far today, but I can get you started with directions on how to make these beautiful rolls in your own kitchen. Let’s get started!

Tips to working with whole wheat flour

Whole wheat flour can not be swapped interchangeably with white; it needs a little extra TLC. With the right care, though, it yields a much more flavorful -and healthy- result.

Here are my tips for successful baking with whole wheat flour.

  • Add more liquid to the dough. White flour can be swapped with whole wheat if at least 1/4 cup of extra liquid is added per cup of liquid that the recipe calls for.
  • Don’t rush the process. Allow dough to rest for at least ten minutes immediately after the flour is incorporated, and give it a double rising if possible.
  • Allow dough to be sticky and resist the temptation to add more flour. It will all work out in the end.
  • If you must add a sprinkling of flour, for rolling or shaping dough, use a bit of white flour.

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Rolls - In a Jar!

Print Pin Rate
Course: Bakery
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Aimee


  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cane sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour (organic stone ground, if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary plus more for garnish
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 12 Bernardin Mason Jam Jars – 125 mL –


  • In a small bowl, stir together yeast, cane sugar, and warm water; let mixture stand in a warm place until yeast begins to foam, about five minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine whole wheat flour, chopped rosemary and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Make a well in the center.
  • Whisk yeast mixture with a fork until dissolved. Add buttermilk; stir in egg. Pour into the flour well.
  • With the mixer on low, combine flour and liquid until just combined. Turn off mixer and allow to sit for 10 minutes for the wheat to absorb the liquid.
  • Scrape down the sides of the mixer. With the mixer on low, add butter, one tablespoon at a time, until it is all absorbed.
  • Knead dough on low for five minutes, scraping down the mixer as needed. Dough will come together to be a smooth, elastic mass. It will be sticky, but do not add more flour.
  • Grease a medium bowl with olive oil and place bread dough in the bottom. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Place your jam jars on a cookie sheet and prepare by oiling generously with olive oil and sprinkling the bottoms with cornmeal.
  • Turn dough onto a oiled counter and divide into ten or twelve pieces. Shape dough into round balls, as demonstrated in the short video (also available on Vimeo), and place into prepared jam jars. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter and snip tops with scissors. Place rosemary sprig in the center of the snipped area and sprinkle tops with sea salt.
  • Place in a hot oven and bake for 22 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Do you serve dinner rolls on special occasions?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. These are ready to go into the oven in 10 minutes for our Thanksgiving dinner. They look great. I can’t wait to taste them :o) Thanks for the cute idea Aimee!

  2. I really love this vlog. I clicked over here from something else knowing which post it was and had to watch just because I love it that much. I also love you, dear friend, but that is besides the point. Lovely.

  3. Que buena idea!! Felicidades. Me encanta.

  4. Hi Aimee! Do you have to use whole cane sugar in the recipe or can I substitute regular, granulated sugar? I’m making these for Easter dinner since I finally found some 4 oz. jars. I can’t wait!

  5. LOVED the French music, it made this soo sweet!

  6. this is super cure idea, but how would the baking directions change if I didn’t want to use the jars?

  7. Kevin Pfeiffer says

    Couldn’t watch the video because of a music rights problem…

  8. I love this idea! I have a few jars I have set aside waiting to make something in a jar. It might have to try this!

  9. I came across this recipe a few months ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to serve them. We are having a few friends over tomorrow night…perfect time! I sure hope they turn out cause they are soooo cute!

  10. Stephanie V. says

    o my GAWDDD- I can not wait to try these 🙂

  11. Look so nice!! Do you think I can use regular whole-wheat flour instead of bread flour?

    Also, do you have any advice to do those without a stand mixer?


  12. Has anyone tried this in other jars? Like babyfood, or mason?

  13. Love the great idea, I wold love to do these for christmas about 2 weeks ahead. How well does this bread in a jar freeze?

  14. What a wonderful idea…thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Curious – would this work in espresso cups if you want really tiny ones? 400F seems a touch hot for most espresso cups, but I’d love to hear from anyone who may know more about this.

    Also, I’d imagine this would also work reasonably well with a different look in small clay flowerpots (I’m pretty sure all but the most cheaply made clay can stand 400F).


  16. Wonderful, I like it

  17. Great idea. I’ve just found this recipe, as soon as I can, I will do it!
    Thanks for sharing!I enjoy your blog a lot.

  18. So simple and beautiful. Thank you for this.

  19. Does anyone know if regular, stone ground WW flour will work in this recipe? I can’t find SGWW *bread* flour anywhere!

  20. Have you encountered any problems with the bread sweating in the jar? I would love to add these to my Easter dinner menu.

  21. stephanie says

    can you use other milk than buttermilk? I am lactose intolerant and have to use lactose free milk! Thanks

  22. Are ALL mason jars oven proof?

  23. What a great idea! I’ve made whole wheat rolls many times, especially to have with a simple soup dinner, but now they seem so pedestrian just served in a basket. Love the video too!

  24. I was wondering if you could put them in the jars and freeze them before the last rise. Then take them out and let them thaw and do the last rise before cooking. I do this with a biscuit recipe (they don’t cook in jars). I am single and would like to have an individual roll available to pop in the oven without having to make a whole batch.

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  26. I tried to read most of the comments, but didn’t see an answer to my question…hopefully I didn’t just over look…

    Does this work well as a loaf as well?

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