If you want to make the perfect dinner roll, look no further. Buttermilk dinner rolls are soft, buttery, light and luscious.
This recipe was created all because we’d bought a couple of salmon burgers at the farmer’s market one Saturday. I decided to make my own burger buns because I wanted the perfect, soft bun for the delicate burgers. It was early enough in the day that I had time to put the dough together for dinner that night.
Use Buttermilk for the perfect soft roll!
I had some buttermilk (one of my favorite ingredients!) in the refrigerator and used that as the base for the buns. When I want bread with a softer texture I use milk instead of water as the base for the dough (as I did for my white sandwich bread recipe.)
The butterfat in the milk interferes with the development of gluten in the dough for a softer texture and the fat also makes a richer dough. Acidic buttermilk softens the gluten in the bread even more for an extra tender crumb and great flavor. One egg contributes a nice flavor and color.
I used a portion of the dough to make a couple of salmon-burger buns, and the remaining was turned into a sandwich loaf.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I’d already baked a few dozen biscuits to bring along to my sister’s house, but I decided to make dinner rolls as well. Because, well, you know, enough is never enough…
I started with the same recipe as the burger buns but wanted an even richer dough. A pinch of sugar added just a whisper of sweetness and a little butter upped the richness and flavor. Melted butter brushed onto the rolls before baking keeps the tops soft and a little more brushed on as soon as they come out of the oven is the perfect finishing touch.
The recipe makes 16-24 rolls depending on the size you want. You could also bake the dough in a loaf pan for a tasty sandwich bread.
Buttermilk Dinner Rolls
- 16 oz buttermilk (2 cups, room temperature)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
- ½ oz granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
- 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 20 oz bread flour (4 cups)
- 2 oz butter (softened)
- 2 oz butter (melted for brushing)
- Combine 16 oz buttermilk, 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast, ½ oz granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons table salt and 1 large egg in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Add ½ of bread flour and mix to combine. Switch to the dough hook if mixing on a stand mixer.
- Add the remaining bread flour until the dough gathers on the hook and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on medium for 3 minutes then reduce the speed to low. If mixing by hand stir in as much flour as you can with a wooden spoon, then knead the remaining flour in by hand.
- With the mixer running on low, toss in the softened butter a tablespoon at a time. If working by hand, knead in the butter.
- Mix on medium for 3 minutes, if the dough is still very sticky add a little flour. The dough will stick to the bottom of the bowl but should gather on the hook. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead to form a smooth ball. The dough should be soft and smooth.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the surface, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½ - 2 hours.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll the dough to form a long log shape. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper cut the dough into 24 even pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough under your cupped hand to form a smooth ball. Place the rolls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with melted butter. Set aside in a warm spot to rise until nearly doubled in size and the dough springs back slowly when poked (about 1 hour).
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Bake the rolls until they are golden brown and feel light when picked up. About 10-15 minutes.
- As soon as the roll come out of the oven brush the tops with the melted butter. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
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