Homemade White Whole Wheat Sub Rolls

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Enjoy fresh-baked sub rolls, enriched with white whole wheat flour. Better than a five-dollar footlong.

Homemade White Whole Wheat Sub Rolls | Good Cheap Eats

On the record: I love the five dollar footlong. I love the Capriotti’s Cheesesteak Sandwich with Provolone. I love all sub sandwiches in general.

But,  to feed my family such tasty fare, costs about $20 at the minimum. Capriotti’s would put us back even more. Making it at home is a much better deal. And baking the rolls myself? Well, that takes the experience over the top.

I’ll confess, one thing that helps me do that is my bread machine. It’s like the slow cooker for bakers. You get it started and you walk away. The mess is confined to a small box, except for the shaping of the rolls. They rise for a little bit and in the oven they go. Easy peasy.

making whole wheat rolls

Making sub rolls yourself

Like I said, making the rolls is not difficult, especially if you have a bread machine. Don’t worry if you don’t, you can make the dough by hand.

This recipe is an adaptation of one from Beth Hensperger’s awesome cookbook, The Bread-Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (affiliate link).

The ingredients contain nothing exotic, but I’ve included the addition of white whole wheat. I find this flour quite easily and cheaply at Walmart and Ralphs. It’s a whole grain with a lighter texture and color than regular wheat flour.While I don’t always use the vital wheat gluten, it does help the texture of the bread. I’ve bought it at Sprouts and Walmart in the past.

Making them cheaper

I can buy white flour sub rolls from Walmart or Sprouts for $0.50 a piece.

Here’s my price break-down for these rolls:

  • milk $0.30
  • egg $0.20
  • oil $0.35
  • flours $1.00
  • allowance for leavening $0.25

Total for a batch of 8 rolls is $2.10, which is about $0.27 each, making homemade about half the price of storebought. The purchased rolls don’t have as good ingredients as mine do, so I win. 🙂

White Whole Wheat Sub Rolls copy

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Homemade White Whole Wheat Sub Rolls | Good Cheap Eats
Homemade White Whole Wheat Sub Rolls
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade breadcrumbs, homemade white whole wheat sub rolls, sub rolls
Servings: 8
Calories: 347 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  1. Combine the milk, egg, oil, sugar, flours, vital wheat gluten, salt, and yeast in the pan of your bread machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Set on the dough cycle and start the machine.
  2. (If making the dough by hand: Place the milk, oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan and warm slightly. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the yeast. Stir and allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes. Add the egg, flours, vital wheat gluten, and the salt. Stir to combine well. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Continue kneading for 5 minutes to create a smooth, elastic dough, adding more of the all-purpose flour as necessary. Transfer to a greased bowl and turn the dough ball to coat. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.)
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. When the machine beeps or the dough has doubled in bulk, remove the dough from the pan and divide it into eight equal parts. Form each part into a long, thin oval and place equidistance apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  5. Allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or longer, until doubled in bulk.
  6. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack before serving.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on making 8 rolls from the recipe. Use within 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade White Whole Wheat Sub Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 607mg26%
Potassium 127mg4%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 91IU2%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

diy-convenience-150This is part of the DIY Convenience Foods series.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Nia says

    The interesting thing about these rolls in the picture is the color. I’m using a bucket of flour that I mixed unbleached AP flour with organic corn flour at a 3:1 ratio and my breads come very close in color to the ones pictured above.

  2. Claire says

    I am looking forward to making these. I haven’t mastered hamburger/hot dog buns yet, so this will be a good challenge 🙂 The rolls will give me a reason to make meatball subs 😀

  3. Melissa says

    Would the vital wheat gluten be with the spices or with the flour at Walmart?

  4. Thanks for this recipe. I’ll have to try it out with my Bosch.

  5. G’day Your rolls look wonderful today, true!
    I have never used wheat gluten…is that like bread improver too?
    Cheers! Joanne

  6. Ana says

    A months ago i discover your site. We love your hamburger or hot dog bread recipe. This weeked I serve my kiddos bread from the store and they refused to eat the bread. They only want homemade bread that you share in your site. Thanks for sharing these recipes

  7. Karin says

    Greetings again! I had a few questions, and hope I can pick your brain. I made these yesterday and they were delicious, but denser than i thought it would be. From the picture though, the inside texture looks very similar. I made your meatball recipe with ground turkey, and your pizza sauce, and had myself a nice meatball sub! 🙂

    I do not have a bread maker and had to do this by hand. I’m not sure if you have experience with hand kneading, but how do you know when you’re done? I feel like the dough never fully formed. I would knead, it would get sticky. I’d add flour, knead, sticky. I kept doing this (6 or 7 times), but the dough continued to absorb the flour like a bottomless pit. I just stopped at one point, out of fear of over kneading. Luckily, the bread was not tough whatsoever.

    Perhaps this resulted in a denser bread? Or does a bread machine require using less flour than when making by hand?

    • I think the extra flour is probably what contributed to the density. It’s true that hand-kneading will call for a little more. Since the bread machine kneads it in a non-stick pan, there’s rarely a need to add more flour. When I used to knead by hand, I would sometimes do it on a greased surface with oily hands. You could try that, though I have no idea if it will get you the result you want. I hope that helps!

  8. Kelly says

    What are you substituting for the sugar during your sugar fast? Honey? How much? Thanks!

    • Typically an equal amount of honey. Unless it’s a lot of honey, then I adjust the liquid in the recipe a bit. For this, 3 tablespoons of honey is fine.

  9. Amanda says

    Could you make the dough the night ahead of time and cook for dinner the next night?

    • You could. I sometimes have inconsistent results with rising when I do that. Alternatively, you could bake them the night before. They’ll still be good for a few days after baking. And you can freeze them for longer storage.

  10. Dane says

    Have you tried freezing before cooking?

    • It’s not my favorite method, but it can be done. Just don’t let it rise. Freeze on a tray as soon as the rolls are formed. Once hard, bag them up. Allow to thaw and rise on a tray before baking.

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