Heavenly Oatmeal-Molasses Rolls

December 13, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
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. - monkeymom —monkeymom

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 8-12
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour (up to 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops of rolls (up to 3 tablespoons)
In This Recipe
  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!
Contest Entries

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Biagio D'Angelo
    Biagio D'Angelo
  • Alex MPF
    Alex MPF
  • bailboy
  • Lesley Fagan
    Lesley Fagan
  • Shawna Lawson
    Shawna Lawson

Recipe by: monkeymom

My favorite distraction is to cook. Though science and cooking/baking have a lot in common, I'm finding that each allows me to enjoy very different parts of my life. Cooking connects me with my heritage, my family, friends, and community. I'm really enjoying learning from the food52 community, who expose me to different ingredients and new ways to cook.