Whole Wheat Torta Rolls

A copycat whole wheat version of the popular Torta Sandwich rolls sold at Costco.

A flavorful, chewy, ciabatta style roll made with whole wheat flour. A copycat whole wheat version of the popular Torta Sandwich rolls sold at Costco.

Have you tried the La Brea Bakery Torta rolls from Costco? I’ve been buying them every week for probably the last year. We keep them stocked in the freezer. They make great sandwiches and paninis, and some times I even serve them as a roll with dinner.

Whole Wheat Torta Roll Recipe - A flavorful, chewy, ciabatta style roll made with whole wheat flour.

If I call them torta rolls, my family doesn’t know what I’m talking about. My family calls them chewy rolls, because of the great chewy texture of the rolls.

They are terrific sandwich rolls, but I’ve often found myself wishing that they were whole wheat, and wishing that they were a little smaller. So I decided for the June  recipe I was creating for Red Star Yeast I would create a smaller, whole wheat torta roll.

How To Make Whole Wheat Torta Rolls

This recipe takes a little time, but most of it is resting time, not hands on time. You rest the sponge overnight so it builds great flavor and lots of airy bubbles in the dough.

I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast. You can add Active Dry Yeast directly to dry ingredients, just use liquid temperatures of 120°F-130°F. You can learn more great tips about using Active Dry Yeast on the Red Star Website.

Whole Wheat Torta Rolls - A copycat whole wheat version of the popular Torta Sandwich rolls sold at Costco.

These rolls were the perfect size and still had the wonderful chewy texture that we love, even with the addition of whole wheat. I used whole wheat pastry flour so the rolls weren’t dense and heavy like some wheat rolls. If you like the Torta rolls at Costco, you’ll love these rolls.

Whole Wheat Torta Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls

Whole Wheat Torta Rolls


  • Sponge:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • Dough
  • Sponge (above)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 - 3 cups all purpose flour


Sponge: In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour, 1 1/2 cups warm water and 1/2 teaspoon yeast until well blended. Cover the bowl and let rest overnight on the counter.

Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine sponge that has rested overnight, 3/4 cup warm water, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon yeast. Mix on low speed for two minutes. Switch to the dough hook and mix in 2 cups all purpose flour a little at a time, add more flour as needed to make a soft, sticky dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9” x 12” rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough in three rows, each 3” x 12”. Cut each row in to four 3“ squares.

Place rolls on two non-rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrapped sprayed with non-stick spray. Let rise until the rolls have risen and indentation remains if you lightly touch a roll, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450°. Put a pizza stone in the oven to heat while rolls are rising.

Slide parchment paper with 6 rolls on to preheated pizza stone and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until rolls are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before eating. Repeat with remaining 6 rolls.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, but all opinions expressed are always my own.  You can also find Red Star Yeast on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Kay says

    Made these this morning for a 4th of July gathering later on. Love them! I sprayed the second batch with olive oil (made them a little browner when they came out of the oven.) I think next time I’ll add cornmeal to the bottoms of the rolls. Great recipe! My first time using pastry flour in a bread recipe instead of regular. I love the difference it makes.

    • says

      Hi Kay – so glad you loved the rolls. I’m sure they’ll be a hit at your gathering too. Agreed! The whole wheat pastry flour does add a great texture without weighing down the rolls.

  2. Sandra says

    Is it necessary to use all purpose flour? Could you just use the pastry flour? I like to grind my own wheat and would use soft white wheat but wondering if I would need to add something else.

    • says

      Hi Sandra – I haven’t tried it, and the rolls won’t be as light, but I think it would work well. I would add some vital wheat gluten to help the rolls rise better. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Michelle says

    I have been looking for a recipe like this! I get mine at Sam’s Club. You are amazing:) Thanks for another great recipe.

  4. Carol says

    These look so good-I don’t know how I missed them before-I sure didn’t this time around. I’m making sure to get these pinned. I can’t wait to try them in that breakfast sandwich and so many other sandwiches.

  5. says

    Do you think they would still cook well without a baking stone? I also don’t have any non-sided pans. What would you suggest for the baking? Thanks

    • says

      Hi Shae – yes, the rolls will be delicious just baked on a baking sheet in the oven. The crust just won’t be quite as crisp. Using a non-side baking sheet makes sliding the parchment on to the pizza stone easy, but if you’re not using a pizza stone, there’s no need to worry about not having non-sided pans. Also, if you were using a pizza stone, you can turn your rimmed baking sheet upside down and use it as a non-rimmed baking sheet. Enjoy!

  6. says

    Do you ever weigh your flour? If so can you give me the weight of the flour?

    I pinned this recipe so when we have a cooler day I want to make them. While I am not a vegetarian my favorite way to eat these is to grill vegetables, then with a little balsamic and add a good melting cheese. It is like they were created for this sandwich.


    • says

      Hi Madonna – I don’t weigh my flour very often just because most people don’t have scales yet. However, it really is the best way to make breads. One cup of all purpose flour weighs 120 grams. The whole wheat pastry flour is only a little bit heavier and weighs about 127 grams. So in the sponge you would use 180 grams all purpose flour and 95 grams of whole wheat pastry flour.

      Grilled vegetables with balsamic and cheese would be perfect with these sandwich rolls!