In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Saute onions in drippings; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring water and milk just to a boil. In a large bowl, pour boiling liquid over oats. Add the molasses, oil and salt. Let stand until mixture cools to 110°-115°, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in warm water. Add the bacon, onions, oatmeal mixture, egg, whole wheat flour, 3-1/2 cups bread flour and remaining brown sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 36 pieces. Shape each into a ball. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks.