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Easy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

by Destri on November 13, 2010

Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

The first year I spent Thanksgiving with my husband’s family I was introduced to his Grandma’s pull apart rolls.  So soft, and melt in your mouth good.  The next year I tried to have her show me how she made them and it was a session of “well, I don’t really measure, I just throw stuff in until the dough looks good”.  For any seasoned bread baker, I am sure you understand that technique.  I on the other hand have failed miserably with it!

dinner roll

So with Suzanne by my side in the kitchen and a little tweaking to Maria’s One Hour Dinner Rolls, I finally had a roll that reminded me of Grannie’s.  Soft and slightly sweet, moist, light but not too light, with a little heartiness from wheat.   Melt in your mouth good.

I called my husband on his way home from work and told him to hurry, I had finally mastered “the roll”.  I watched intently while he ate it, looking for that “wow, these are so good” face, and finally it came.  He even went so far as to say they were as good as Grannie’s. Plus I was able to sneak a little wheat in there, and he thought that might have given them an edge!

I was so excited I called Aubrey and asked her to test, which she did and they passed her husband’s taste test as well.  Her hubby knows his bread, so that says something.

Aubrey used her stand mixer, but since mine is in Utah, me and Suzanne had to use our hands (you should have seen her face when I broke the news to her!).  They were still super easy and took about an hour and a half start to finish, and that was without a mixer.

I am going to write the recipe with a novice bread baker in mind, because that is what I am, and that is how I think :)

Don’t have a mixer, no problem!  Just dig in and get your hands dirty.

Yummy Easy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

3¾ cups flour – we used 2½ white and 1¼ whole wheat (if the dough is too sticky to work with you can add a little more)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp fast acting yeast
1 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • In a large bowl mix 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar and yeast.
  • Heat milk, water, and butter until very warm (120-130°).   It should be a little uncomfortable to put your finger in it, but not scalding.  Add warm liquid to dry ingredients and mix with a whisk for 2 minutes or on medium speed for 2 minutes in a mixer.
  • Add 1/4 cup flour and 1 tsp salt. Mix until well combined.  Continue to add remaining 2 cups flour, one cup at a time (after one we had to get our hands dirty), mixing until a soft sticky dough forms.  The dough will seem a little wet.  If it is too sticky to work with, add a little more flour.
  • Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface or in your mixer, knead the dough for a couple minutes.  Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 15 to 30 minutes until it doubles in size.
  • Heat oven to 350°
  • Punch down and pinch off enough dough to form about one inch balls, rolling between the palms of your hands.  Place 3 balls to a muffin cup, it might be a tight fit.  If not using a non-stick pan be sure to lightly grease or use cooking spray.
  • Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 25-30 minutes.
  • Cook for 10-13 minutes or until lightly golden on top in a 350° oven.  Brush with butter.

They will look like this before they rise…

And like this before you pop them in the oven.

clover dinner rolls

They are so good, and so easy.  Perfect for Thanksgiving. Please let me know if you try them, it’s always nice to have someone share your excitement!

Thanks to Suzanne, Maria, and Aubrey for helping me finally master the roll!

Looking for more dinner roll recipes?



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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa November 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

Awesome! I need to bring rolls to thanksgiving for a ton of people. This recipe looks great! I’m going to try to bake ahead, and freeze the finished rolls (no easy access to an oven that day). Anyone have any tips?


Kate November 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

ok so even though thanksgiving has been and gone north of the boarder I feel the need, ney, urge to try these. Mainly cos I LOVE bread, secondly cos I made some rather de-lish home made carrot and orange soup that just crys out of home made bread, and thirdly cos I have a friend flying in from the UK today for a week and soup and home made bread will be the perfct comfort food after a long and cramped flight.
thank you me dears…….


Suzanne November 13, 2010 at 9:05 am

Wow, the pictures look good and so do the rolls, you forgot to mention I had to leave before they got done baking :( so now you need to make these without me there and invite me over right when they come out of the oven :) xoxo


Admitted Fabricaholic November 13, 2010 at 11:47 am

All of the recipe posts today from everyone, my mouth is watering!!! These look FABULOUS!


Michelle November 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Oh, they’re gorgeous! I’m bookmarking!


Hannah November 14, 2010 at 8:19 am

My grandmother used to make these– but the crowning glory was the orange juice soaked sugar cube she placed on top right before making. Try it! Melts into citrusy sweet goodness into the crevices of the roll.


Laurie November 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm

When would your grandmother put the sugar cube on the roll, before baking or before serving?


Jennifer November 17, 2010 at 7:39 am

Do you use cake (plain) flour or bread (strong) flour?


Destri November 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

I used king authors unbleached all purpose. If you try in bread, let me know!


Greta November 19, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I just mixed up a double batch because I wasn’t sure how many this made and my family LOVES rolls and I think I could have been fine with a single How many does it make normally?? They are rising now and I will let you know how they turn out in a hour or so! :) Thanks again!


Greta November 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm they have been done and cooled. I made the three little pieces a little bigger than yours but they still came out ok. My pan had bigger space to fill! But in the end they are good. I would love to add some spices to them to flavor them up a bit though. I might try to make some homemade butter to use to eat them with as well.


cestyeuxbruns November 20, 2010 at 3:09 am

I randomly found your website through a cursory google search for pull apart dinner rolls! The recipe looks super-simple and the rolls themselves look DELISH! I am thinking of using this recipe for (my first time hosting!) Thanksgiving dinner – have you had any experiencing making the dough the night before and then baking them? Or do you not recommend that?



Megan November 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Those look SO delicious! I will have to give them a try!!


SnoWhite December 7, 2010 at 7:20 am

ohh!! I love a good roll. These look wonderful.


Cherry December 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Coming over from Tasty Tuesday … these look so delicious! And they remind me of rolls my mother used to make … maybe will have to give them a try. Thanks for sharing!


Pam December 10, 2010 at 6:58 am

Great recipe! They look delicious and are a must try.


Erin December 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

Wow I used these for an assignment at school, but I used a full cup of sugar (it was for a Tudor England project) and the class loved them, they’re delicious.


Abby December 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I found these through an internet search and LOVED them! Just what I was hoping for! I took some pictures and will post them on my blog and link back to you! Thanks for the recipe!


Borislava @ Sharemykitchen March 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

I don’t even remember how I get to your site and this lovely rolls, but I’m happy about it! I already made them 3 times. Have to admit I’ve tried to change few things (like I used a bit more whole wheat flour; I needed 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour; and I definitely like them more with a bit less sugar), but the recipe is perfect. Thanks a lot, Destri!


Destri March 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Thanks so much for letting me know, totally makes my night! I have to add more flour too sometimes, just depends on the day. Actually, I haven’t made these in awhile, just about time :)


Lyndy November 11, 2011 at 8:36 am

I am still laughing about the “no mixer.” Totally love these and KA flour is the only way to go. My family may mutiny if I change our holiday rolls, but these will make a great ADDITION to the table :>) As always, I soooo enjoy your site.


Destri November 13, 2011 at 5:37 am

Thanks Lyndy :) Made my morning!


simone November 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Yummy! Would love if you added this to our Thanksgiving Recipe Blog Hop and we are offering a prize to the recipe with the most votes!


Trina@Craft Anyway! November 24, 2011 at 8:37 am

I am making these as we speak! I’m waiting for the dough to rise for the first time, but it’s taking quite a bit longer than your recipe suggests. I’ve got plenty of time though, so I’m not worried yet. Thanks for the recipe!


Trina@Craft Anyway! November 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm

So they were good, but not great and it was totally MY fault. I used the wrong type of yeast and it took super long to rise. I was limited on time, so I rushed them. I’m gonna give them another go sometime, though.


Destri November 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Oh shoot! I made them at my mother-in-laws yesterday and they have all requested I make some more today. So you have to try them again!


Jacinta March 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I made some last night … I used my own bread recipe, but shaped my rolls using your muffin tray method. Worked fanstically!!! Thanks so much for sharing. I blogged about it with pics here:


Destri October 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Pull apart is the best, right? So easy to get the butter on the perfect bite size pieces!


Jacinta March 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I mean *fantastically* …(obviously I can’t spell, lol)


Allie March 31, 2012 at 7:59 am

Please help! I only found “Instant Dry Yeast – Quick Rise” at the store today, and I am completely unsure if it the same as what the recipe calls for. Any suggestions?


Destri March 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

That should work great!


Miranda July 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Fabulous! So easy to make and so very delicious!! I make them now everyone I need a bun/ bread for a meal!! I have shared them with friends and family and everybody agrees they are to die for! Moist and dense with a hint of sweetness buttered right out of the oven!!! Mmmmm!


Destri October 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Yay! So glad you like them, thanks for letting me know!


theresa eldridge August 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thank you for sharing this! I can not wait to try this, they look delicious!!! God Bless!


Niky October 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I made this yesterday but had to half the recipe because my daughter had an incident with the flour abd I was limited. Afteruying more flour I am making another batch tonight, a whole one this time. These are quite possibly the best buns Ive ever had. whch is great, because my hubby is very competitive over who is a better cook. Even he was dipping his fingers in for more when he finished his first!


Destri October 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

See, if I can help someone one-up the hubby in the kitchen..:) Kidding, but really so glad you’re family likes them!


Laura October 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm

These were absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for posting the recipe, I’ll be making these a lot!


Destri October 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

You’re welcome! I need to make me a batch – something about fall makes me crave them!


Jocelyn November 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. My sweet, sweet mother (God rest her soul) used to make these rolls every Thanksgiving, and I’ve been trying to find the recipe (in various cookbooks) for 3 years now. When I saw the picture on the site…well, memories. Thanks again for giving me more than just an awesome recipe. You gave me nostalgia as well.


Destri December 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Oh I love that story! Thanks so much for letting me know, and I am glad you like the rolls!


Cyndi November 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm

These are delicious and very easy to make. I will be making another batch tonight because they don’t take a long time and anybody can have hot fresh rolls for dinner. Also tried with some butter and honey……OH MY!!


koomelin December 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Just made these. And delighted to say they were amazing, soft, airy, light – like marshmallows. I had tears in my eyes. So happy I skipped to my neighbour and handed her 3 delicious still hot buns for her to enjoy. Thanks for sharing!


Amber January 11, 2014 at 11:38 am

Love these!!! Thank you for the recipe!


Holly P February 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Just tried this recipe on this past Tuesday with a baked chicken, asparagus and quinoa. This was perfect. I did the same white, wheat blend that you did and it was perfect. Light, airy, fluffy, reminded me of Thanksgiving. I will also add that for a family of 5, we did not finish all of them so I froze the remaining rolls, defrosted enough for me and my kids last night, warmed them in the over and they were perfect still. Definitely a keeper. On a side note, I think the dough needed a tad more salt but otherwise perfect! Thank you for sharing.


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