Pull-apart dinner rolls recipe

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Soft, buttery homemade dinner rolls are the perfect complement to just about any meal, and they don’t have to be hard to make. Using our Dutch oven to bake the rolls offered two benefits: First, we could easily fit enough rolls in the pot to feed a crowd; second, the Dutch oven’s high sides were able to support the dough as it rose into beautifully dramatic, tall rolls. We were surprised to find that a combination of butter and vegetable shortening in the dough offered good buttery flavor without making the rolls greasy; because shortening coats the gluten strands in the flour more effectively than does butter, a small amount ensured tenderness and prevented the rolls from drying out. Whole milk provided our rolls with just the right level of moisture and richness, and one egg contributed structure and flavor. For a hint of sweetness, tasters preferred honey to sugar. Lining the Dutch oven with a foil sling on which we placed the shaped dough balls made it easy to get the baked rolls out of the pot. Finally, brushing the dough with an egg wash before baking gave the rolls a golden color. As a bonus, this dough can be shaped into rolls and then refrigerated overnight, making our rolls not only easy but convenient, too.

  • Yield: 15 rolls
  • Total Time: 4 Hours


  • 5 cups (25 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • Salt
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon water
How to Make It
  1. Whisk flour, yeast, and 2 teaspoons salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk milk, honey, 1 egg, melted shortening, and melted butter in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until honey has dissolved.
  2. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add milk mixture to flour mixture and mix until shaggy dough forms and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Make foil sling for Dutch oven by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 7 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pot perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pot. Push foil into bottom and up sides of pot, smoothing foil flush to bottom of pot, then spray with vegetable oil spray.
  5. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to clean counter and roll into even 15-inch log. Cut log into 15 equal pieces (about 3 ounces each) and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap.
  6. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered), form into rough ball by stretching dough around your thumbs and pinching edges together so that top is smooth. Place ball, seam side down, on clean counter and, using your cupped hand, drag in small circles until dough feels taut and round.
  7. Evenly space 10 balls, seam side down, around edge of pot. Place remaining 5 balls in center, staggering them between seams of balls around edge. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled in size and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 1 to 1½ hours. (Unrisen rolls can be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours; let rolls sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)
  8. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly beat remaining 1 egg, water, and pinch salt together in bowl, then gently brush rolls with egg mixture. Transfer pot to oven and bake, uncovered, until rolls are golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pot halfway through baking. Let rolls cool in pot for 15 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift rolls out of pot and transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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