Savory Dinner Rolls

October 16, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 28 dinner rolls
Author Notes

I took a basic yeast dough, slathered it with compound butter, and sprinkled on some cheddar cheese to make these rolls. They freeze beautifully so you can always have a stash of fresh rolls when you need them. Great for the holidays! —Donna

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. To make the dough: In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Whisk to combine and let stand until small bubbles form. In a large mixing bowl blend together the milk, sugar, salt, and egg. Add the yeast mixture, the very soft butter, and 2 cups of flour. Beat vigorously with a whisk to make a smooth mixture. With a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon stir in another cup of flour and mix to form a dough. Add additional flour until the dough is soft and not sticky to handle.
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and springy. You will see little bubbles on the surface of the dough. Place the dough in a large, buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to rise. This will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. While the dough rises, make the garlic-herb butter: In a medium bowl, combine the softened butter, garlic paste, minced herbs, and salt. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
  4. When the dough has doubled in volume, turn it out onto a floured work surface to deflate, then divide it into two equal-sized pieces. Shape the fan-tans as follows: Roll one piece of dough to an approximately 9- by-13-inch rectangle. If the dough seems springy, let it rest a while before continuing. Spread on a thin layer of the garlic-herb butter, then scatter a handful of cheese over the dough. Cut the dough into 6 strips crosswise and stack the strips. Trim the ends of the stack, if necessary. Cut the strip into 12 even pieces and place each piece, cut side showing, in a well-greased, light-colored muffin tin (to avoid over-browning on the bottoms). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for 20 to 30 minutes. While the dough rises, heat the oven to 375° F. Before placing in the oven, brush the tops of the rolls with a little more softened butter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until handsomely golden brown.
  5. If you prefer, shape the dough into crescents: Roll out one piece of dough to an approximately 12-inch circle. Spread with a thin layer of garlic-herb butter. Cut the dough into 16 wedges and roll each, from the wide end into a crescent shape. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, with the point of each roll tucked securely underneath. Sprinkle some shredded cheese over top of each roll, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise for about 20 minutes. When puffy and light, place in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. If you have any garlic-herb butter leftover, spread it on the warm rolls when you serve them. To freeze the rolls, let them cool completely and place in freezer bags. Warm the frozen rolls in a 325° F oven to heat and refresh them.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lauren Miller
    Lauren Miller
  • Risottogirl
  • Donna
  • barbarao

11 Reviews

barbarao April 8, 2023
Confused on one of the instructions... says divide the risen dough into two equal pieces, roll one out and ...etc. What about the other equal part of the risen dough?
Lauren M. November 30, 2020
Great flavor but my dough, though gently handled, turned out dry and a bit tough. Could have been my handling or baking a bit longer than ideal. Not sure the extra time of making the fan-tan shape was worth it in the end.
Melanie December 16, 2022
I find the Most Important thing is when handling flour is to fluff the flour first. Then use a big spoon and use that to Gently fill your cup without tapping it down. Light and fluffy makes all the difference. You could have 3 Tbsp too much flour in a cup if it’s settled and heavy. That will make your recipe dry and heavy. Hope you try again! My other recipe says to refrigerate 2 to 24 hrs instead of a warm first rise. I’ll be doing half fan tans and some crescent rolls as well.
Carol November 24, 2016
This was an easy dough to work with and produced the loveliest, tasty rolls!
Thanks for the Thanksgiving showstopper!
Donna November 25, 2016
Thank you for the kind comment Carol. I am so pleased you enjoyed the rolls. Have a lovely weekend! :)
linda May 11, 2016
These sound and look great. If frozen , do you thaw them before putting them in the oven to warm?
Donna May 11, 2016
Hi Linda,
You can reheat the rolls from frozen, just be sure to wrap them in foil to prevent drying them out. As I mentioned in the previous comment, a little slick of herb butter on the warm rolls is always a good addition. Thank you for your kind comment. All the best,
Ceege May 11, 2016
Oh my goodness. These sound wonderful. I will be doing a ladies brunch in Sept. and this is going to be at the top of my menu list. How far in advance can these be made and what needs to be done to serve them as fresh???
Can't wait to try fact, I may just make a batch for myself.
Donna May 11, 2016
Thank you for your kind comment Ceege! If you want to get a head start on the rolls, make them a week or so ahead and freeze them. On the day of your party, thaw them and heat them briefly in the oven (wrapped in foil). If you reserve a little herb butter you can brush it over the reheated rolls, just to "gild the lily", so to speak. All the best,
Risottogirl May 1, 2016
I made these for a brunch. OMG. Delicious. Second time I used some homemade truffle butter I found in the freezer. Holy cow...even better. Over the top really!
Donna May 1, 2016
Thank you so much for your kind comment! Truffle butter sounds brilliant. I think I'll have to try that :) All the best,