Five pre-teen boys at the house for an overnight birthday party? These rolls will earn rave reviews guaranteed.
In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften.
Add the milk, honey, shortening, lemon peel, all the whole wheat flour, and 1 cup of the unbleached flour. Beat vigorously for two minutes.
Gradually add flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide into thirds, then divide each third into half. Divide the pieces in half two more times to make 24 pieces. Leave half the pieces covered with a towel n the work surface. Roll each of the first 12 pieces into an 8-inch rope. Coil the ends in opposite directions to make S-shaped rolls. Arrange rolls about 2 inches apart on a well-greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper).
Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, after the first batch has risen for about 15 minutes, shape the other 12 pieces of dough as directed in step 6. Cover to let rise.
About 15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Just before baking, lightly brush each roll with egg wash, taking care not to let any drop onto the baking sheet. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown (the internal temperature should reach 190 degrees). Repeat with the second batch.
Remove the rolls from the baking sheet and cool on racks.