Heavenly Oatmeal-Molasses Rolls

By • December 13, 2010 • 175 Comments


2,911 Save

Author Notes: I wasn’t a bread maker before I joined food52. I caught the bug after trying AntoniaJames’ Buttermilk Oatmeal bread. I’ve explored many different types of breads and rolls since then. This one is an adaptation of a recipe for oatmeal bread from the James Beard Foundation website, which I checked out after Stephanie Bourgeois’ cook spotlight. When I tried it, the subtle depth of flavor from the molasses really surprised me. Even if you aren’t an experienced bread maker, don’t fear. The steps are straightforward and the dough is a dream to handle (no kneading). It is also very flexible because the 1st rise in refrigerator can go as little as two hours to overnight. One of the changes I made is to really up the butter because I love buttery rolls! Rolling up each roll helps give a nice and shred-y texture when you pull the rolls apart. And don’t pass on brushing the baked rolls with butter after they come out of the oven. The smell of the hot rolls and butter is heavenly, hence the name. - monkeymommonkeymom

Food52 Review: Monkeymom's supple, rich rolls have just a hint of sweetness to them -- they're chewy and tender and full of deep flavor from the molasses, but versatile enough to complement (rather than overwhelm) a variety of main dishes. We love the ease of the first refrigerator rise, and these are virtually guaranteed to come out looking beautiful, with their butter-slicked and oat-flecked tops. - A&MA&M

Serves 8-12

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2-3 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose or bread flour)
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops of rolls
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Let stand until bubbly. If it doesn’t get bubbly, throw it out and get some new yeast.
  2. Scald milk then add it to the butter in your mixing bowl. When butter has melted, add brown sugar, rolled oats, molasses, and salt. Blend thoroughly and cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add egg and mix well. Add the yeast and mix to incorporate it. Then mix in 2 ½ cups of the flour. Add what you need to of the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough loses its sheen. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and put it in a greased bowl. Turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. It can sit overnight as well. It doesn't rise a lot.
  5. Turn out the chilled dough on a floured work surface and knead or fold and turn the dough slightly. Cut dough into 12 balls. Press each ball into a flat rectangle with your fingers, then roll up and tuck ends under. Place seam-side down in a well-buttered 9 inch round pan. Brush all over with ½ of melted butter and sprinkle with a little of the rolled oats. Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place, about two hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned and sound hollow when you tap their tops. The internal temperature should be 190 degrees. Remove from the pans and brush generously with remaining melted butter. Let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm…with salted butter!

Tags: Holidays

Comments (175) Questions (6)

Default-small
Default-small
Stringio

about 1 month ago Valerie Delisle-gagnon

it was a success ! I made them vegan with crisco, 3/4 cup off apple sauce to replace the egg and almond milk and it worked beautifully !

Default-small

23 days ago Amanda

I am a vegan too! Would this work with whole wheat pastry flour, do you think--I use whole wheat pastry to replace almost all my all-purpose flour needs.

Stringio

22 days ago Valerie Delisle-gagnon

I don't know... maybe it won't rise as much.. I would try just 1 cup of whole wheat.. Also, because I didn't used butter, the milk needs to be really warm so the crisco will melt and it didn't melt completely.. for the butter glaze I used maple sirup. Good luck !

Default-small

about 1 month ago sandra

These are far and away the best rolls I have made to date! I love the subtle sweetness. They are the perfect breakfast treat. See my attempts here: http://meadowscooks.blogspot...

Default-small

2 months ago kayakgirl

So, for those who are inclined to make every recipe "oh, just a little bit healthier" here is my feedback for some "healthier" alterations. This is what I did: 1. used 1/2 amt of butter. 2. substituted all molasses for the brown sugar 3. used all whole wheat. This is what came out: very tasty, but not the fluffy roll the recipe intended. Def will be enjoyed, but in the future I think I would just make this recipe as is for special occasions like Thanksgiving. Plus the advantage of the multiple, slow rises is that it is something that can be prepared well in advance for multiple dish meals like on holidays.

Default-small

3 months ago Roberta

I am not using wheat so can I use almond flour instead?

Default-small

3 months ago Doris Case

I am making these right now for the second time. They are super easy to make and absolutely delicious. My family polished them off very quickly. As stated in the recipe they don't really rise much at all in the fridge. They probably didn't come close to doubling with the second rise but baked up perfectly none the less. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Default-small

3 months ago LAveny

I just made these and they were wonderful. I only had to bake them for 30 minutes, and next time I might cut back on the butter, they were a little on the greasy side. Otherwise though, the texture was great, pulled apart perfectly, moist, and nice not-overly-hearty flavor. Will be a new standby without a doubt. :)

Default-small

3 months ago Ceege

To those of you that "are going to try them", I highly recommend you doing so. These are delicious and easy to make. I have made them at least 10 times since first finding the recipe. I do have a question for monkeymom, the poster of this wonderful recipe. I would like to make these for a pot luck dinner I will attend in 2 weeks. Is it possible to make these delicious rolls "mini" style. (Kind of like "slider" size). If so, how many do you think a single recipe would make and how long would I need to bake the smaller size. I am sure this will be the hit of the pot luck dinner. Thanks for your help.

Default-small

4 months ago ashley

What would you recommend I do to make them gluten free? Just replace the flour with gluten free flour? Thanks in advance!

Default-small

5 months ago ChefWithAKnife

I made three different pans of rolls for Thanksgiving this year, These, homemade Hawaiian rolls and regular homemade yeast rolls. Guess which ones went first? Lol.

Beaune_02_april_08_063

5 months ago enbe

These worked great (did the first rise overnight in the fridge). Quite sweet but perfect for thanksgiving. Thanks!

Default-small

5 months ago Michelle Trim

I am gonna try doing the first rise on the counter and the second rise in the fridge. We'll see what happens. At least I know the yeast is good... bloomed like crazy.

Default-small

5 months ago Michelle Trim

Can these do the final rise in the fridge? Would like to get them ready and then pop them in the oven tomorrow.

Default-small

5 months ago Betty

I can't wait to try these rolls!! I'm going to give them a try for Thanksgiving. My grandmother used to make a roll that rested in the fridge all night - they were the best. I'd be really interested in trying the potato roll recipe you mentioned too!! Thank you for posting this!!

Default-small

5 months ago Diane

Nice taste, had a few problems that maybe some other members can help me out with. Like a previous poster, I didn't get that lovely deep coffee color like the picture, they came out a bit tan. I also got almost no lift during the second rise. After about 3 hours it increased by perhaps 25%. (Brand new yeast that made a perfect baguette the day before, dough proofed in my oven, oven light on, check, check, check… :) ) I baked them anyways, the taste was wonderful, the texture just too heavy and dense. I discovered after I made them that I used blackstrap molasses, instead of regular molasses. Could two tablespoons of either/or effect the final bread so deeply? Any insight would be very much appreciated!

Default-small

5 months ago RB

Can I make these ahead and freeze them?

Me_and_fb_bw

5 months ago Angel

I have, because I always have more dough than my pan can fit. As long as you thaw it out and let it rise a bit you're ok.

That being said- I don't know if they have risen as much as the original batch.

Default-small

6 months ago Tiffany Leigh

Thank you CWaK! After making them once, I knew they'd become my "go to" roll recipe too. I was just too lazy to make them last night and am worried the all-night rise in the fridge was key to flavor development.

Default-small

6 months ago ChefWithAKnife

Tiffany they really do taste better if rested overnight in the fridge. But if you're pressed for time, just let them set on the counter and they will be fine. If you are interested, I have an amazing ice box potato roll recipe. You make the dough and it sits in the fridge. You just take out what you need, form it into rolls, let it rise and bake it. It's really great and you can always have hot fresh bread. It lasts for at least a week. But if you are like me, it won't last that long.

Default-small

6 months ago Tiffany Leigh

Well, add me to the fan club, I love these. Are they as good if made and baked the same day? Like, make in the morning and have for dinner?

Default-small

6 months ago ChefWithAKnife

Tiffany I can tell you for a fact that you can make and bake them early in the day, and they will be perfect for for dinner. If they last that long. I will usually gobble down half of the pan by then. Lol. But they stay really fresh and moist for a couple of days. But I'm not kidding, they don't last that long because you will eat them all very quickly. They are SO delicious. I make these at least 3 times a month. They are so good with a Sunday pot roast, roast chicken or just about anything for that matter. They make amazing little sandwiches with some good ham, swiss cheese and dijion mustard. This has become my go to roll recipe, and I really don't care for whole wheat bread. I can't stop ranting and raving about them. MAKE THEM. You will not be sorry.

Default-small

6 months ago ChefWithAKnife

Tiffany I forgot to add, I use one cup of whole wheat flour. So one cup of whole wheat and one and a half or so all purpose flour. It comes out really nice. I also sprinkle them with kosher salt after topping them with the oatmeal. Adds a nice sparkle, crunch and flavour to them. Enjoy!

Default-small

5 months ago Tiffany Leigh

Madame CWaK, sorry for the late reply. Yes, I would love your potato roll recipe AND any other good ones you have. Thanks for all the input!

Default-small

6 months ago jonilynn

Forgive me if someone asked this already-- has anyone tried substituting Barley Malt Syrup for the molasses?

Monkeys

6 months ago monkeymom

Hi. I haven't in this recipe but have used Barley Malt Syrup for other baking. The Barley Malt Syrup is milder than the molasses. The rolls will still turn out delicious, they will just lack a bit of the depth the molasses gives.

Image

7 months ago Chocolate Covered Marmalade

Made these delicious rolls yesterday. They were the perfect combination for my slow cooker Boston Baked Beans. Prep time worked well together, as I let the dough overnight in fridge while beans soaked. Baked them in a glass pie pan and they had a wonderful rise and spectacular color. Followed the recipe exactly, but will try the whole wheat flour combo next. This is an AWESOME recipe; delicious with beautiful texture, simple, and a family pleaser.

Stringio

9 months ago Amirah Harith

So difficult to find molasses where I'm from :( Any form of replacement?