Pull-Apart Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Bread

October 24, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes 24 small rolls
Author Notes

Stuff your Thanksgiving leftovers into bread dough and surprise your guests the next day with these pull-apart rolls! I used a simplified version of Two Red Bowls' milk bread recipe for the bread dough. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Joy Huang is no stranger to our contests, with one win and 12 Community Picks!
WHAT: Pull-apart rolls stuffed with whatever Thanksgiving leftovers you have.
HOW: Make a yeasted milk bread dough, then stuff a heaping tablespoon of Thanksgiving leftovers into the middle of the dough. Bake the rolls until golden brown and serve with butter and leftover cranberry sauce or gravy.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you want to completely transform your leftovers, this is the recipe for you. They happily accept any and all leftovers, making them very adaptable to what you have on hand after the big meal. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups Thanksgiving leftovers (cubed turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing, etc.)
  • olive oil, for brushing
  1. To make the tangzhong, whisk the water and 2 tablespoons of flour together in a small saucepan until there are no lumps left. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the mixture just starts to gel. As soon as lines start to appear in the mixture when stirred, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Heat the milk to about 110°F by heating in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set aside to allow the yeast to activate, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Sift or whisk together the rest of the flour (2 ¾ cups), salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. When the yeast is ready, add the tangzhong and egg and whisk to combine. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until the mixture forms a loose, shaggy dough, then use the dough hook of the stand mixer to knead until the dough forms a semi-smooth ball. Add the butter to the dough, one tablespoon at a time, kneading after each addition. Knead until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a large bowl with plenty of room and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours in a warm, draft-free area, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator; the dough should be fine for up to 24 hours. Line a round cake pan or square brownie pan with parchment paper.
  5. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into 24 even pieces. You can either use a food scale or divide the dough in half three times and then into thirds (2 x 2 x 2 x 3 = 24). Working one a a time, roll out the dough into a flat circle about 3 inches in diameter. If you can, try to make the edges thinner than the middle, but it's not super critical.
  6. Drop a heaping tablespoon of Thanksgiving leftovers into the middle of the dough. Bring the edges of the dough together and seal. Roll the ball a bit in your hands to reform a sphere.
  7. Arrange the stuffed dough balls seam side-down in the prepared pan just so they touch each other. You may run out of room in the pan (I could only fit 19 balls, so I set the remaining in a smaller baking dish). Brush the top of the rolls with olive oil and let the dough proof again until they are almost doubled, about another hour or so. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Bake the rolls for about 25-35 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with butter and any leftover cranberry sauce and/or gravy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nicole Bonuso
    Nicole Bonuso
  • augustabeth
  • simplycooking101
  • inpatskitchen
  • Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
    Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

17 Reviews

Sophia_L November 30, 2020
I was able to fit 24 rolls in a 9 inch cake pan. I weighed out my dough to be 28 grams/1 ounce each. Hopefully this info is helpful to some other recipe users. This was fun to make and eat! Definitely using it again and sharing this recipe with friends
Nicole December 2, 2016
Apparently I heated my milk too much and killed the yeast. It only took three patches of dough to figure that out but man, it was worth it! Best. Leftover. Recipe. Ever!!!
Joy H. December 2, 2016
Yay, glad it eventually worked out for you!
Nicole B. December 1, 2016
Refrigerator method didn't work for me. The dough never rose or maybe my yeast is dead. Trying again today
Joy H. December 1, 2016
Sorry it didn't work for you! You should be able to tell if your yeast is alive when you sprinkle it on the milk and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. If it gets bubbly your yeast should be fine. If your dough still doesn't rise in the fridge overnight, maybe try letting it come to room temperature the morning of? Good luck today!
Nicole December 2, 2016
Apparently I heated my milk too much and killed the yeast. It only took three patches of dough to figure that out but man, it was worth it! Best. Leftover. Recipe. Ever!!!
Nicole B. December 3, 2016
Third time was a charm but it was well worth it. Turns out I killed the yeast. My milk was way too hot. Entire family loved them. Thanks for sharing
Joy H. December 3, 2016
You're welcome!
augustabeth November 29, 2016
Joy, this is so delicious! Thank you for saving us from turkey tetrazzini and other usual leftover turkey dishes. I tossed dark meat in some gravy and stuffed it into the batch of yeast rolls I had by mistake left in the fridge for 5 days when we went out of town. When they came out of oven they were finished with butter and coarse salt. Such a great change of pace!
Joy H. November 30, 2016
Yay, I'm glad you liked it!
Jusika November 27, 2016
Using AP flour worked well too--only for some reason I ended up with around 20 rolls rather than 24 (not that I'm complaining, they taste delicious!). I like the dough recipe enough to try it out with other non-thanksgiving-stuffing!
Joy H. November 27, 2016
Awesome! Glad it worked out for you!
simplycooking101 November 23, 2016
Congratulations, I can't wait to try them!
Joy H. November 23, 2016
simplycooking101 November 18, 2016
Congratulations and good luck to you as well. I love your recipe it looks great!
inpatskitchen October 25, 2016
What a terrific idea!! Thanks!
Joy H. October 25, 2016
You're welcome!