Soft Butter Rolls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield:


    rolls at 1.33 oz each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

These Soft Butter Rolls Go Down Real Easy. It’s true that they are versatile, fun to make, use high-quality ingredients, and how often does someone show up at a picnic with homemade hamburger rolls?

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 3.3 lb 1.5 kg 1 lb, 1.6 oz (4 cups) 100%
Water 1.52 lb .69 kg 8.1 oz (1 cup) 46%
Eggs .33 lb .15 kg 1.8 oz (1 egg) 10%
Butter, Soft .26 lb .12 kg 1.4 oz (3 T) 8%
Sugar .2 lb .09 kg 1.1 oz (2 T) 6%
Dry Milk (Powdered Milk) .17 lb .075 kg .9 oz (3 T) 5%
Salt .07 lb .03 kg .4 oz (2 tsp) 2%
Yeast .17 lb, fresh .075 kg, fresh .28 oz, instant dry ( tsp) 5%
Total Yield 6.02 lb 2.73 kg 1 lb, 15.4 oz 182%


  1. Mixing: Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. In a planetary-style mixer, mix on first speed until the ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes (for production of 50 dozen or more, a full-sized spiral mixer can be used). The dough should be of medium consistency. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for about 5 more minutes, until the gluten network is moderately developed. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  2. Bulk Fermentation: 1 hour.
  3. Dividing and Shaping: If using a 36-part dough divider, divide the dough into 2 pieces weighing 3 pounds (1.36 kg) each. Don’t round or preshape the dough. If hand scaling, divide the dough into 1.33-ounce portions, trying to cut pieces that are square. Place the dough pieces on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper so that the sides of the individual pieces almost touch—during the bake they will join, and there will be a minimum of crust. Allow the dough to proof fully, until the rolls are quite light to the touch.
  4. Baking: Just before the bake, brush the top of the rolls with melted butter. Bake at 400°F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden. The sides and center should remain soft and pliable. Brush again with butter when the rolls are removed from the oven.

Little Cloverleaf Rolls

Once the dough has been divided into 1.33-ounce pieces, divide each piece into thirds—no need to use the scale for this, just eyeball it. Lightly round the little pieces and place them in groups of 3 into greased muffin cups. Proof until light to the touch, brush with melted butter, bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes, and brush once again as they come out of the oven.


Little 1-strand braids or rolls can be made with the dough, using the patterns illustrated.

Hamburger Rolls

Divide the dough into 2.25-ounce pieces. Preshape round. Let the rounds relax for about 5 minutes under a sheet of plastic. Lightly flour the work surface and, with a rolling pin, roll each piece into a disk about inches in diameter. Proof on sheet pans lined with parchment paper, and cover with plastic to prevent a crust from forming. When risen and light to the touch, bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes; the crust should be golden but the rolls should be soft when gently squeezed. Brush the rolls with melted butter while they are still hot. A variation on this is to sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top of the rolls just before the bake.

Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

Divide the dough into appropriate sizes depending on the dimensions of your loaf pans. Pans measuring 9 by 5 by 2¾ inches can take 1.125 pounds (18 ounces) of dough. Scale the dough pieces at about 14 ounces for pans measuring 8 by 4 by 2½ inches. Roll the dough into flat rectangles about as long as the loaf pans being used. Brush the surface with melted butter and then sprinkle on a layer of cinnamon sugar. On top of that, sprinkle dark or golden raisins that have been soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and then well drained. Roll up the dough into tight cylinders. Place the loaves in the pans, seams down. Proof under plastic, until well risen and light to the touch, and brush with melted butter just before the bake. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 35 minutes. Brush again with butter when the loaves are removed from the oven.