These easy, buttery, pull-apart dinner rolls are the softest, fluffiest, and lightest buns I have ever eaten! They are brushed with honey butter for just a hint of sweetness.
To me the perfect dinner roll is light enough to accompany the biggest Thanksgiving dinner without filling you up before the turkey even gets to the table! These more than fit that bill AND they are absolutely delicious.
These are super simple to make, but here are some tips for success.
Tips for making the very best pull-apart dinner rolls
- Make sure your yeast isn’t expired! This probably sounds pretty obvious, but yeast must be alive in order to work properly. It does last quite a while, but once a container of yeast has been opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and tossed once it expires. This is critical for bread to rise properly, and one of the most common mistakes people make when working with yeast.
- Don’t add too much flour. The dough for these dinner rolls is very soft and quite sticky. But it is easy to work with and becomes less sticky after rising. Adding more than the recommended amount of flour will give you heavy buns.
- Use the right kind of yeast. I use quick rise or bread machine yeast in this recipe, rather than active dry yeast. You CAN use active dry instead, but it should be added to the wet ingredients and given a few minutes to bloom before adding the other ingredients. Quick rise yeast does not require blooming, and is just added in with the dry ingredients.
Can I knead this dough by hand?
Absolutely! If you don’t have a stand mixer, just turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface after step 3 below, and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth. You can add a little more flour to keep the dough from sticking, but be careful not to add too much or the rolls will be too heavy.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk, warm water, melted butter and egg.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just to moisten.
- Using the dough hook, knead the dough in the stand mixer on low speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. It should pull away from the sides but still stick to the bottom of the bowl. You can add up to a couple more tablespoons of flour if it’s too sticky.
5. Scrape the dough into a ball at the bottom of the bowl, drizzle some olive oil down the sides of the bowl and roll the ball of dough around and up the sides of the bowl until well coated.
6. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Tip: You can heat your oven to about 100F, turn it off, and put the bowl in there to speed up the rise.
7. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface.
8. Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces and shape the pieces into smooth balls by stretching and pulling the sides of the dough from the top to underneath, and pinching closed.
9. Place the balls of dough into a greased 9-inch round (or square) pan.
10. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cover with a towel and let rise another 20-30 minutes until doubled in size.
11. Combine 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of melted butter and brush half the mixture over the buns. You can also just use melted butter if you don’t like the hint of sweetness.
12. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. A thermometer should read 190 F. Brush with the remaining honey butter.
Can I make these pull-apart dinnee rolls ahead of time?
Yes. But these rolls are at their best freshly baked, so the best way to make them ahead of time is to follow the recipe through to step 9 above (where you add the balls of dough to the greased pan), cover the pan with oiled plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight to rise. Let them come to room temperature before baking as directed.
Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls
- 1/2 cup whole milk slightly warmed
- 1/4 cup water slightly warm
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon quick rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for greasing
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk, warm water, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and egg.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just to moisten. Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and knead on low speed for 4-5 minutes until the dough just pulls away from the sides of the bowl (it will still stick to the bottom). If the dough is still sticking to the sides, sprinkle in up to 2-3 tablespoons of flour while mixing.*
- Scrape the dough out of the mixer bowl form into a ball. Grease the bowl all the way up the sides with oil. Place the ball of dough back into the greased mixer bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and turn it onto a flour surface.
- Divide the dough into 9 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls.
- Grease a 9 inch cake pan and place the balls into the pan, spaced apart equally. Cover the pan with a towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Combine 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 tablespoon of honey and brush the rolls with half the mixture.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned and cooked through. A thermometer should read 190F. Remove from the oven and brush with more honey butter. Serve warm.
Hi! I’m Ann and I blog at Our Happy Mess. I’m all about fast, fresh, and family-friendly recipes. I believe cooking from scratch can not only be doable but FUN, no matter how busy life gets!
You can find more of my recipes at Our Happy Mess.