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Meet the Cutest Darn Roll We've Ever Seen: Fan-Tans!

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It only took one bite into one of these savory little buns to realize we'd been missing out on a huge category of delicious dinner rolls: the fan-tan. Folded so that each section can be pulled apart, fan-tans, often pigeon-holed as old-fashioned, are largely overlooked. This is the only recipe we have for them on the site!

Savory Dinner Rolls
Savory Dinner Rolls

In this recipe by Donna, fan-tans make a comeback in a big way. Their folds are filled with a garlicky, herby compound butter and sharp cheddar cheese. But if crescents are more your style, Donna also provides instructions for spreading the herbed butter in the center of each roll, then sprinkling the tops with cheddar cheese. And if you're pressed for time, Donna's prepared for that, too: She suggests baking the rolls in advance, then reheating the frozen rolls at 325° F. We'll take one of each, please.

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Savory Dinner Rolls

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Makes 28 dinner rolls

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) very soft, unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the garlic-herb butter:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (1/2 stick)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced, crushed to a paste with a little coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely minced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese, or to taste

Have you ever heard of fan-tan rolls? Do you have your own recipe for fan-tans? Tell us in the comments below!

Tags: dinner roll, fantan, fan-tan