The Washington Post

Pillowy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

Pillowy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls 24.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Nov 13, 2019

These soft, golden, buttery puffs are the rolls of your dreams. They bake beautifully into each other, which contributes both height and an attractive pull-apart appearance.

Even better, the dough comes together quickly and easily in a stand mixer, with only one relatively short rise after they've been shaped.

Make Ahead: The shaped dough needs 45 minutes to rise at room temperature. The rolls can be made 2 days in advance and stored in a plastic bag at room temperature. To serve, reheat the rolls, uncovered, in a 275-degree oven until warm, about 10 minutes.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 servings

  • 4 tablespoons (63 grams/1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the pan and melted for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups (643 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (one 7.5-gram/0.25-ounce packet)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs


Butter a 15-by-10-by-1-inch jellyroll pan, then line with parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the 4 tablespoons of butter, the milk and sugar to about 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together 2 cups (284 grams) of the flour, the yeast and salt on low speed just until combined. Add the hot milk mixture and mix until combined and smooth, then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, until a smooth, loose dough has formed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

With the mixer motor on low speed, add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups (359 grams) of flour and continue to mix for about 6 minutes. At first, the dough will look ragged, but it will become smooth after several minutes of mixing. The dough will be soft and will pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Using about 2 1/2 tablespoons (48 grams) dough for each roll, shape each portion (lightly flour your palms between each shaping, if necessary) into a smooth 1 3/4-inch ball. To encourage the best rise, try to form a "gluten cloak" by pulling the top of the dough down and around each ball before pinching and sealing around the bottom. Place the rolls on the prepared pan, spacing them about 3/4 inch apart in four rows of six. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes. The rolls will look puffy and will almost be touching, but most of the rising will take place during baking.

About halfway into the rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the middle.

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until the rolls are touching and fill the pan; they will turn golden brown. Brush with the melted butter. Using a spatula, slide them onto a wire rack or serve directly from the pan, warm or at room temperature.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread," by Elinor Klivans (Chronicle Books, 2010).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (43)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per roll: 140

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 3g 5%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 25mg 8%

Sodium: 60mg 2%

Total Carbohydrates: 23g 8%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 4g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle