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cloverleaf dinner rolls

When it comes to yeast breads, I am definitely still in the process of learning how to bake them well.  I enjoy the process, and I think it’s really cool to make your own bread, but I absolutely still have some kitchen fails when trying to make some of the more complex recipes.  These dinner rolls were the opposite of a kitchen fail, and really made me feel great about making breads! The recipe is really simple, the process is short in comparison to most yeast breads, the dough is easy to work with… and they taste fantastic!  You bake them up in a muffin tin, which saves you from worrying about shaping them well.  The end product is soft and buttery, and the pull-apart sections give you plenty of surface area to slather on some extra butter :)   I actually made these way back in November for “second Thanksgiving” with Daren’s sister and brother-in-law, but now that they’re back on my radar (I tend to forget about recipes sometimes) I’m sure I’ll be making them again soon. Perhaps for March’s book club meeting, which I’m planning to have at my house… can’t wait to plan the menu for that!

Note: You may see me start to add in more weight measurements here on the blog.  I typically bake by weight, and this way when I’m looking back at recipes I don’t have to re-convert the ingredients from volume measurements.  I highly recommend measuring by weight if you’re interested in getting more serious about baking- my kitchen scale is one of my favorite and most-used kitchen tools.  This recipe also uses a different flour weight than I usually use, so I wanted to make sure to remember that.


  • ¾ cup skim milk, warmed to 110 degrees F*
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3½ cups (17½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces and softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided


In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, sugar and yeast.  Add in the egg and egg yolk and whisk to combine.

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt briefly until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture in a steady stream and knead until a dough begins to form, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and add the softened butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.  You can also mix and knead the dough by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth ball. The dough might be slightly sticky, but try not to add more flour while you are kneading.  Too much flour will make the rolls tough.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around briefly to cover the outside in oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Brush the tins of a 12-cup muffin pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently punch it down.  Divide the dough into 36 equal pieces (I did this using my kitchen scale).  Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place 3 balls, seam side down, in each muffin cup.**

Cover the muffin tin loosely with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Once doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap from the rolls.  Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  After removing from the oven, brush the rolls with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

*Do not substitute 1%, 2% or whole milk for the skim milk in the recipe.

**The assembled muffin tin can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Yield: 12 cloverleaf dinner rolls

Source: Brown-Eyed Baker; originally adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking 2012




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