- 3 Tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
- 1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Cup fat-free milk
- 2 1/2 Cups white whole-wheat flour, plus more for kneading the dough
- 1 Cup toasted wheat germ, such as Kretschmer Original
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Stir together the warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the honey in a small bowl until the yeast dissolves; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons honey, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and butter in a separate bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, and salt with a rubber spatula. Mix in the yeast mixture and butter mixture just until combined and a moist, sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, using additional flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free place at room temperature until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Coat 18 muffin cups with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Turn out the dough onto a hard surface and divide evenly into thirds. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch long rope. Using a sharp knife, cut each rope crosswise into 18 1-inch pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Place 3 balls side-by-side into each greased muffin cup forming a triangle. Cover the muffin cups loosely with a kitchen towel and allow the rolls to rise until almost doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.
While the rolls rise, put an oven rack in middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Just before baking, brush the rolls lightly with egg. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes.