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Honey Rolls

Honey Rolls

Bread and I have grown close together over the years—at times, almost too close. You see, bread is one of those "dangerous friends" that your mother warned you about (except she was probably talking about those kids in high school instead of the food you eat, but the lesson is the same). Bread is the friend that is oh so fun (and tasty) to be around in moderation. But the more you spend time together, the more you'll realize that Bread also has a hidden agenda.

Bread loves to encourage you to make bad decisions (like eat moremoremore). You see, bread is insecure about her own bulky weight—she thinks she's a heavy cinnamon log when she's really just a light dinner roll—and would love to see you gain a few (dozen) pounds to make her feel better about herself.

Honey Rolls

Over breakfast, she'll hint that a fifth piece of toast might hold you until lunch. Over lunch, she'll ask if you want another helping of bread and cheese (and have you ever been able to turn that down?). Over dinner, she'll softly encourage you to grab another dinner roll to soak up that last bit of gravy.

Whenever I try to distance myself from bread for more than a week, we'll end up bumping into each other in the supermarket. She'll complain that we don't spend nearly enough time together and ask me if we're still friends because I haven't called in awhile. She'll make me feel guilty enough to plan a dinner date for the following evening (where I'll eat an entire fresh baguette with baked brie).

Bread and I have fallen into this trap before. We'll spend too much time together (like an entire week) and suddenly my pants are a little too tight. I think I need to start listening to my mother and be more careful of those dangerous friends.

Then again, maybe I'll get on that after I finish eating another one of these...

Honey Rolls

These honey rolls are soft, tender, and sweet. The rolls are sweetened with honey and coated with a layer of honey and butter. They are a little on the denser side, but no heavier than your average dinner roll. These are the perfect beginning or side to any meal. You'll definitely have a hard time eating just one or two. I caved and ate three; can you really blame me?

Honey Rolls
Adapted from A Cookie A Day

Yields 12 rolls

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup barely warm water
1/4 cup honey + 1 tablespoon, divided
1 teaspoons salt
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra if necessary
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the honey, salt and egg. Stir until blended. Add 3 cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together. If using a standing mixer, knead the dough with the dough attachment for 5-7 minutes, or until elastic. If not, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until soft and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking if necessary. Do not add too much flour! The dough will become more workable the longer you knead.

Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal portions, and shape each portion into a round ball. Place in a pan (or on baking sheets) coated lightly with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and 1 tablespoon honey. Brush over the rolls. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reader Comments (97)

OMG. Er, I mean. Oh. Yum. I too struggle with my relationship with bread. I recently found your blog, liked you on FB and the first post I get is for honey rolls? This is bad. Very bad. I've never experimented with making bread(s) - because God knows, if I perfected it, holywhoknowswhat might happen!! :) This looks "easy". Maybe I should try them for the next get together with the fam?? Of course, I'll probably need to make a batch (or three, or four) to be sure I know how to do it. Mmmhmm. This is bad. Great post! Bookmarked.
04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Going to try these with Easter dinner! Thanks!
04.3.2011 | Unregistered Commentermary clay
By the looks of these, I expected them to have way more butter than just a tablespoon! They can't be thaaaat bad for you ;)
04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Andrea-- These rolls are actually very easy to make (perhaps too easy). The word yeast can sound scary, but these would be very difficult to mess up. If you can knead bread, you can make these. Let me know if you give them a shot!

Mary Clay-- These would go perfectly with an Easter dinner!

Beth-- They aren't bad for you, but they taste so sinful...
04.3.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
these look deliciously soft and warm... like little pillows of goodness!
04.3.2011 | Unregistered Commentersweet road
The relationship I have with bread [and carbs in general] is a loving one. When you facilitate that relationship with beautiful rolls like this, it's hard to say no! Dense, fluffy, and sweet!
04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Bread and I certainly have that tumultuous relationship that you describe. Love, hate, back-stabbing...I never know what to expect. Especially from homemade bread. That's the gateway drug right there.

These honey rolls look so lovely!
04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
Can you make the dough in a bread machine then divide them into 12 equal portions and go from there? They sound yummy.
04.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
Can't wait to try these!
04.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCookiaholic
I love how easy the method for these rolls sound! They look like a perfect accompaniment to a nice dinner or dinner in itself! Thanks so much, I will be making these soon! I bet a sprinkle of sea salt would be nice on top, too.
04.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
Maria-- I haven't done it, but I'm sure that method would work out. If you give it a try, let me know!

Joanne-- Oh, that sounds just perfect!
04.4.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
These looks so good! I'm heading to my kitchen right now to give them a try...
04.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
Wow, these look so amazing! So light and fluffy!
Goodness! My batch just came out of the oven - I made 18 instead of 12, they are still a decent size roll (then again, I tend to minimize baked goods to a ridiculous extent).

Thanks for the beautiful photos and the recipe. Now, off to eat my second one and then inevitably cave for a third...:)
04.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria
I really enjoyed reading about your relationship with bread... Much like my relations with cake.. esp the chocolate variety... Will be trying these out soon...
04.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiby
Just took these out of the oven.. Amazing!! I'm definatly making these again...
04.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTnyo
I WILL be making these. They look exactly like the type of rolls I like.

Bread is one those things I just don't care if it's bad for me. I love it too much. I just don't listen to people about moderation and all that. I can't do it.
04.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Victoria & Tnyo-- I'm glad these rolls worked out so well for you!
04.7.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Thank you so much for this recipe. They turned out so tasty i could not stop eating them.
04.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAna
I'm about to make these right now, and since I don't have a pan, I was wondering how to arrange them on a cookie sheet--touching each other? Spaced apart?

04.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTK
TK-- I would personally space them closer together because I like having soft edges when I pull apart my buns, but spacing them apart would work just fine too (especially if you like the edge pieces). The choice is yours!
04.15.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Thanks for the tip! These came out really good... So delicious with butter or jam. My sister had one and immediately told me to save the recipe. Thanks!
04.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTK
Just what I was looking for to get my bake on today. I've been a very lazy baker as of late, and this is just what I needed to reestablish my relationship with my buns!
04.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTupper
Honey rolls came out really nice. I've been requested to make them for Easter. I will happily comply, probably double the recipe!
04.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTupper
Made these this morning for Easter later (going to reheat using the damp paper bag method). Not as light or airy looking as yours but still absolutely delicious. Will be making again very soon. I know exactly where I messed up a bit, so hopefully next time they'll be a little more airy and uniform in size. :) Thanks so much for sharing. This recipe has now given me courage to try other yeast bread recipes!
04.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKels
Kels-- I'm glad this encouraged you to play with more yeast! I'm happy you thought these were good enough to try twice.
04.24.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Mmmm!!! I've never had any luck with bread products, they always disappoint But your instructions made this so easy, they turned out perfect (for once in my life! ^_^). I am so happy with these airy soft pieces of heaven <3
Here's to hundreds more perfect rolls :D

P.S. It is seriously hard to eat just 1!
04.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeagan
As promised, I made these again. As far as I know, no mistakes were made this time...still not as pretty, but there's time and many, many more batches to work on presentation. Yummy and easy once again. I took the time on my blog, to post photos from Easter; I was asked for this recipe and included a link to the site. I hope everyone makes them at least once. Although, I feel that is going to be very difficult because they're so good!
05.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKels
I just made these, and they turned out amazing!! My dad loves them too, and I can't wait to get the rest of the family to try them at dinner. Thanks so much for this recipe, I will definitely be making these again!
05.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristin C.
looks delicious.

wondering if I could reduce the amount of yeast and leave the rolls rise a lot longer?

what's your take on yeast btw? i hear its not so healthy.
05.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
John-- Reducing the amount of yeast and allowing it to rise longer will definitely work. I would only reduce it by 1 teaspoon, however. You do need enough yeast to allow the dough to rise.

I haven't heard anything about yeast being bad for you. Yeast is used as as leavening agent in baking. Once baked, the yeast die off. I suppose you are eating the yeast bodies, but I can't imagine that could be considered unhealthy. Where have you heard about this?
05.18.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Looks delish... I'd love to have one with nuts and cheese!
06.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Stumbled across this recipe online yesterday and made them today. This recipe is perfection! It reminded me of the filipino sweet buns I used to buy at the asian market when I lived in Vancouver BC. I served them with Korean braised short ribs and vegetable fried rice. My buns were extremely soft with just the right amount of sweet. Thanks! :)
07.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlyn McFadden
Do you think you could substitute whole wheat for half of the flour required? It would be that much more healthy.
09.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Michelle-- I have no reason to believe that wouldn't work just fine! The rolls will be slightly more dense, but that's simply because that's what whole wheat flour does. Go for it!
09.7.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I love love love these!! I have always had such a hard time baking bread, but your recipe is the first that I've ever tried that actually came out edible. Well, so much better than edible. I felt like a true baker for once in my life. I even took them a step further and stuffed the dough balls with cheddar cheese. They make awesome cheese biscuits, I plan on making a couple dozen in a couple weeks that I will pack out for a four days camping trip on the Outer Banks of NC they are sure to be a hit!
09.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebeccaRyan
There is no butter, oil, or any fat in the recipe. Is that right?
09.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamara
RebeccaRyan-- I'm so happy these worked out for you! Stuffing the buns with cheddar cheese is brilliant. The saltiness of the cheese must offset the honey just wonderfully.

Tamara-- Correct! The only fats in this recipe is the butter, which is combined with honey and spread over the finished rolls.
09.25.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Didn't anyone else have a problem with these?? Question: I actually used my KitchenAid with the dough hook for the first time ever. Am I supposed to run it on the slowest speed? You mentioned 7-9 minutes and it seemed so easy so I tried it. Both times they came out very sticky. Am I supposed to definitely add more flour?? Help! I so want to make these look like the ones in the pictures!! Also what size pan is being used for best results???
09.26.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjan
Jan-- With the Kitchenaid mixer, you should only need to work it with the dough hook for 5-7 minutes (9 minutes is fine, you just don't need to run it that long). You should ALWAYS use the dough hook on the lowest setting, never higher. If the dough is sticky, throwing in a little flour until it isn't sticky will completely solve the problem.

You can bake them in a 10 inch pan, or place them an inch apart on a baking sheet to produce similar results. I hope this helps!
09.26.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I just tried these and the dough was too sticky to roll into balls. Should I have added more dough at the first mixing? I used my dough hook and I *think* I had it on the next-to-low setting, so that might have been an issue as well. I grabbed handfuls of globby dough and just sort of let them drop on to the cookie sheet-definitely no high and fluffy rolls here. What went wrong?
09.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen Hasseld
Jen-- It sounds like you did not have enough flour. If the dough is too sticky to do anything with, simply adding more flour until it is less sticky and manageable will solve all the problems. Yeast dough is fairly forgiving so adding a little extra flour here or there won't change the final product but will make the dough much easier to work with. I'm sorry to hear they didn't turn out on the first go! Hopefully they will work better the second time around for you.
09.29.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I made these this evening and they turned out beautifully. The smell alone is worth the effort! They remind me of Grandy's rolls (a restaurant I use to go to when I was growing up that has long been closed). This recipe is a perfect confidence builder for bread baking newbies like myself. Thanks for sharing it!
10.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Beth-- So happy you liked these! I'm happy they reminded you of rolls you ate growing up. I love little surprises like that. :)
10.18.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Can you make the dough for these in a bread machine?
10.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTonya
Tonya-- I have no reason to believe you couldn't!
10.29.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Hey I found your recipe via Pinterest! The rolls sound yummy. Do you think you could freeze them after shaping them for later use? Thanks!
11.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
I would think so. Most bread freezes well if you seal it carefully.
11.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTonya
Cheryl and Tonya-- You're right! Freezing the rolls after shaping them and then letting them thaw/rise before baking will work just fine!
11.3.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
These look amazing!!!! I think i'm going to make them tonight!!!!! :)
11.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJo

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