Family Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve been making these rolls for many, many years every Thanksgiving.

You may be wondering why I am sharing a cinnamon roll recipe right before the week of Thanksgiving. I should be sharing my favorite pie or telling you about this roll recipe that is perfect for your turkey leftovers. But instead, I am waxing poetic about cinnamon rolls. The best cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls that I have been making and perfecting for many, many years. These rolls are tender, fluffy and filled with an ooey gooey cinnamon mixture then topped with a delicious “light on the cream cheese” frosting that is absolutely amazing. These cinnamon rolls are our family favorite and I have been sharing them with family and extended family every year over our Thanksgiving holiday.

Jump to Our Family’s Favorite Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Missing this view this year! We’ll be back next year 🙂

My extended family has been going to the coast of Oregon for Thanksgiving every year for the past 50 plus years. We enjoy pot-luck style feasting for many days, lots of family time, long walks on the beach and I especially love making new and favorite recipes fit for a crowd. These cinnamon rolls are a part of our family Thanksgiving week every year. I sometimes make these rolls twice during the week…we love them so much. The dough is substantial, yet soft. The middles are gooey but baked through. The icing takes these rolls to a whole new level of glorious cinnamon rolls. Basically, our whole family loves these cinnamon rolls. 

Because of Covid this year, Thanksgiving looks a little different and my little family isn’t going to the Oregon Coast. It’s been a tough year for so many and I’ll be honest and say, writing out this cinnamon roll recipe has been hard but good if that makes sense. It’s hard to know we won’t be there to carry on this tradition this year but also good because I love looking back on the many memories I have of cinnamon rolls shared and consumed for so many years. 

Enough of the walk down memory lane…Let’s get to the details. Here are some of my pro tips for my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls.

The Dough

This dough is a dream to work with. I like to use a stand mixer (affiliate link…but check your local Costco for a good deal if you’re looking for one) or Bosch mixer but you could also make this dough kneading by hand. Just knead for about 10 minutes…until your arms are screaming at you to be done. All the butter and eggs in the dough enrich it, which can make it take longer for this dough to rise. To help combat this issue, I use instant yeast in the dough. This is my favorite yeast (affiliate link). It doesn’t need to be proofed and it helps an enriched dough rise a little more quickly.

Filling Cinnamon Rolls: Cinnamon-Sugar Paste

Throughout the many years of making this recipe, I’ve learned a few tips that have upped my cinnamon roll game. Many cinnamon roll recipes will have you spread butter over the dough and then add the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Instead, I like to mix together softened or melted butter in a bowl and mix cinnamon, brown sugar and a little bit of flour into the butter. Then I spread the cinnamon-sugar paste over the roll dough. I think this gives a more even flavor and that little extra flour helps keeps the rolls from gaping open when baked. If you want to add nuts or raisins into your rolls, you can add them right on top of the cinnamon-sugar paste and roll them right up. I sometimes top some of the cinnamon rolls with toasted pecans. Yum!

Shaping Our Family Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe makes 12 large cinnamon rolls. I roll out my dough on the counter, spread on the filling and then roll up, pinching the seam together. To cut out the cinnamon rolls, you can use a sharp knife, bench cutter or even dental floss. If you have any wispy cinnamon roll ends, go ahead and tuck them under the roll so they don’t come loose during the bake. I also prefer baking these rolls six or eight to a pan because they rise a lot on the pan and in the oven while baking. I do know that’s not always possible or ideal (especially when I’m doubling this recipe to feed a crowd), so you can cram 12 to a pan if you want, though they may not rise quite as much.

Add A Little Heavy Cream

One other tip that ups the ooey, gooey factor in a cinnamon roll is the addition of warmed heavy cream. I like to take ¼ cup of lightly warmed heavy cream and pour it over the tops of the cinnamon rolls right before baking. You want the cream a little bit warm so it doesn’t impede the rise of the rolls. This little addition keeps the rolls extra tender and gooey, while still being baked through.

Just drizzle the warm cream right over the top of the risen rolls. Yum!

Baking the Cinnamon Rolls

A word of caution on baking the rolls. Ovens all bake differently. Some ovens bake hotter in the back and cooler in the front. If you want an even bake on your rolls, rotate your pan 180 degrees after the first ten minutes of baking. This will keep half of your rolls from getting too dark and the other half being too light. Check the center of one of the cinnamon rolls once the pan is baked to make sure that the middle isn’t raw. Sometimes you need to let them go a minute or two longer just so they are completely baked through.

The Best Cinnamon Roll Frosting

The frosting on these rolls is amazing. There’s no other way to describe it. I’m not a huge fan of overly “cream cheesey” tasting frosting, and the ratios on this icing are just perfection. More butter than cream cheese, all whipped together take these rolls to an ethereal level. I also highly recommend adding in the maple flavoring that really give a unique flavor to the entire cinnamon roll. It is just divine! Whip the frosting until it is thick and creamy. Let the cinnamon rolls cool about 5 minutes before spreading a large dollop on each roll.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Ahead of Time: A Few Options

  1. Mix up the dough, fillings and frosting the night before. Stick the dough in the fridge for the first rise and let it rise overnight. The next morning, shape the cinnamon rolls, let rise and bake. This would probably be my first choice if I wanted the freshest cinnamon rolls for a special morning breakfast.
  2. Make and shape the cinnamon rolls. Place them on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge. Pull the rolls out the morning of and let them come to room temperature and puff up a bit before baking and frosting. You may have a little bit of leakage from the cinnamon sugar mixture, but they should bake up well and taste delicious.
  3. Make the cinnamon rolls completely without adding the icing on top. Freeze them in ziplock bags. Warm them up and add icing on top when serving.
  4. Make the dough and increase the amount of yeast to 1.5 Tablespoons of yeast. Shape the cinnamon rolls and freeze them immediately. When ready to use, pull them out of the freezer, let them warm up to room temperature and puff up a bit and bake. The freezer can kill off a small amount of yeast in un-baked dough, so you add more to counterbalance this.

Have I convinced you yet? You need these cinnamon rolls in your life. And your family does too. I usually double this recipe to feed a large crowd at our Thanksgiving celebrations. This year I wasn’t planning to make these cinnamon rolls but my kids looked at me with those sad eyes of “too much has been cancelled in the name of COVID” and this mama has a hard time saying no right now, so I made them. And guess what? I am grateful I did. For the memories. For the traditions. For the look on their faces. And for the amazing gooey deliciousness that is sitting in my kitchen right now. I hope you love them too! Enjoy!

Family Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

All the cinnamon-sugar goodness rolled up in a tender, light & fluffy roll and covered in practically perfect icing. These cinnamon rolls are ooey-gooey perfection and our family's favorite treat.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 2 cups milk warmed (2% or whole milk works best)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter very soft or melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream or half and half can also substitute milk in a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions
 

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • Warm the milk in the microwave (about 1 1/2 minutes full power) or on the stove. To the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, add the warmed milk and melted butter. Feel the mixture with your finger (make sure you feel in the center of the milk/butter mixture) and make sure it is not too hot. You want the temperature to feel like a baby's bathwater. If it is too hot, let it cool a bit before proceeding.
  • Add the sugar and instant yeast to the milk/butter mixture. Stir. Look for the yeasty smell that tells you the yeast is activating (should happen within 10-20 seconds) and then proceed with the recipe.
  • Add the eggs, salt and a cup of flour. Turn on the dough hook on in your stand mixer and continue adding the flour a cup at a time until you have added 5 cups of flour. Knead for 1 minute until all the flour is fully incorporated. Check the dough by rolling it into a ball in your fingers to see if you need more flour. If the dough is too sticky to roll into a ball, continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time, kneading for 1 minute after each addition. This process will make sure you don't over-flour the dough. Once you can pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball with just a little sticky residue on your fingers, you can stop adding flour. Knead for a total of 5-7 minutes.
  • Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) a large container and dump the dough in the container. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise. I like to turn my oven into a "proofing box" with the oven light turned on. This is a nice warm spot for my dough to rise and speeds ups the process a bit. Make sure the oven is NOT turned on during this process.

Cinnamon Filling

  • While the dough rises, make the cinnamon filling.
  • To a small bowl, add the softened or melted butter. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix together until fully combined and set aside.

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

  • While the dough rises, whip together the butter and cream cheese until fully mixed and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, maple extract and salt. Whip together using a mixer until light and fluffy. Set aside.

Assembling the Cinnamon Rolls

  • Prepare two half sheet pans (18 by 13 inches) and cover with parchment paper.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, move it from the bowl to a clean space on the counter. The dough will be soft and not overly sticky. Pat the dough out into an approximate 18 by 12 rectangle.
  • Spread the cinnamon filling all over the dough with your fingers, making sure to cover up to the edges of the cinnamon roll.
  • Starting with the dough closest to you, roll up the cinnamon roll and pinch together the seam. Flip the cinnamon roll over, seam side down.
  • Cut the long log of cinnamon roll dough into 12 equal pieces.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls on the parchment paper, six or eight to a pan, leaving plenty of space to rise. Full disclosure, I often cram twelve to one pan, but I think they bake up better and have a better rise if they are placed six or eight to a pan.
  • Cover the rolls again and let rise for thirty minutes to an hour (depending on how warm your kitchen is).

Bake and Enjoy

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Once the rolls have puffed up and almost doubled in size, they are ready for the oven. If you want an extra gooey cinnamon roll, warm up some heavy cream and drizzle it over the top of the cinnamon roll before sticking in the oven. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 10 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for another 8-10 minutes until just starting to brown.
  • Check the middle of one of the cinnamon rolls by using a butter knife to pry up a bit of the roll and make sure it is baked to your liking (the center will tell you if it needs more time or is perfectly baked).
  • Let the rolls cool for 5 minutes before covering with frosting.
  • Freeze any extra frosted cinnamon rolls in a ziplock bag. To re-heat, place on a plate and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds (time will vary depending on microwave) and enjoy!
Keyword cinnamon roll

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One Hour (or Less) Yeast Rolls

The other day my family really wanted burgers for dinner. I did not want to run to the store and didn’t have three hours to make burger buns, so I tried out a super-fast bun recipe. And it worked! They were yeast buns and super delicious (recipe coming soon). This success gave me the idea to try and adapt a favorite roll recipe to be made start to finish in under an hour. Did I think it was possible? Yes. Did I think they would taste good? Undecided. But guess what? They actually taste amazing. Light, fluffy, tender and absolutely delicious. There is no reason you cannot have yeast rolls with a home-cooked meal or especially a holiday like Thanksgiving. These one hour (or less) yeast rolls are knock your socks off good and they are start to finish…all in less than an hour.

Jump to the Recipe for One Hour (or less) Yeast Rolls

The Process

To make these rolls, mix up your dough as you normally would for a yeast dough. Knead the dough, by hand or by mixer for about 5-7 minutes. After the dough is kneaded, you do not need to let the dough rise. Instead, immediately shape the dough into rolls and set them in a baking dish. Give them a quick 10-15 minute proof in a warm place and then bake them for about 25 minutes. You have eliminated the first rise and most of the second rise and are relying on the fast-acting power of the yeast and the heat from the oven for some perfect rolls.

Why One Hour Yeast Rolls Work: Instant Yeast

I love this instant yeast and cornstarch adds a little bit of extra tenderness to the rolls too.

The key ingredient in this recipe is the instant yeast. I love using SAF instant yeast (affiliate link) and stock up on it from my local mill. Instant yeast is more fine than dry active yeast which means that it does not need to be proofed before being mixed into the dough. You may also find instant yeast labeled as “rapid-rise” yeast and “bread machine” yeast. All of those will work for this recipe. Dry active yeast takes longer to activate and requires a second rise, so it will not work well for these one hour or less yeast rolls. The amount of instant yeast in this recipe is a lot. This, combined with the heat from the oven, is what gives the rolls their beautiful rise. Despite the 2 Tablespoons used, the rolls do not have an overpowering yeast flavor.

Why Does Dough Typically Need Two Rises?

Almost all yeast rolls call for two rises. Typically the first rise takes place after the dough is kneaded and the second rise happens after the dough has been shaped. During the first rise, the yeast feeds off the flour and produces carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough to rise and creates the air bubbles in bread. Punching down the dough and shaping bread allows the yeast to continue feeding off the flour and produces more carbon dioxide, which causes the second rise. The longer the rise, the more chewy, flavorful and complex the bread is, which is why most recipes call for two rises. You will get optimal results with a double rise.

Time as a Factor

With all that said, I think that the time saved in making these rolls is absolutely worth it. Let’s face it, we don’t all always have the three hours to give to make homemade rolls and if we can cut a few corners and still have fluffy dinner rolls, then I think it is worth it. This roll recipe is delicious. If I made it side by side with a roll recipe that had a double rise I may be able to notice a slight difference, but I think the time saved is worth it in this recipe. If I have three hours on my hands I may choose a different roll recipe, but if I only have an hour and need rolls on the table? This is my go-to every time. 

So what are you waiting for? Add this recipe to your list for the upcoming holidays. Or check out some of my other favorite roll recipes if you have a little more time on your hands. Enjoy!

One Hour (or less) Yeast Rolls

Light, fluffy, tender and absolutely delicious. These one hour (or less) yeast rolls are knock your socks off good and they are start to finish…all in less than an hour.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/3 cup milk warmed
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk (make sure this is the temperature of a baby's bathwater…so as not to kill the yeast), melted butter, sugar, yeast and salt.
  • Add the cornstarch and 3 cups of flour to the center of the bowl and knead using the dough hook. Alternatively you can mix the ingredients together in a bowl and knead the dough on your countertop by hand for about 10 minutes. If using a dough hook, knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes, adding the extra half cup of flour as needed. You should be able to pinch off a chunk of dough, roll it into a ball in your fingers with just a little sticky residue left behind. You can check out this blog post for how to check for readiness of dough if you need some guidance.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Move the dough to your countertop and cut into twelve equal pieces.
  • Shape the dough into rolls one at a time. Pull up the sides of the dough into the middle while rotating the dough in your hand to form a ball. Then roll the ball on the countertop before placing on a baking sheet or dish. Watch the process here.
  • Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm spot for 10 minutes.
  • After ten minutes, the rolls will have puffed up just a bit. If they don't look puffy, that's okay. Continue on with the recipe and bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about 22-25 minutes depending on how brown you like your rolls. For lighter rolls, bake in a glass pan. For a darker crust use a dark pan.
  • Once rolls have finished baking, top with melted butter and enjoy warm!

Notes

I always use SAF instant yeast in this recipe and in almost all my yeast breads. 
Keyword quick rolls, rolls, yeast rolls,
Watch this video for a roll shaping tutorial

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Masa Butterhorn Rolls

I love making dinner rolls. As a kid I was always partial to butterhorn rolls, usually a dough enriched with milk, butter and eggs and then more butter added on top of the dough before rolling up in a crescent shape. What’s not to love about a really buttery, delicious dinner roll? It even made me look forward to eating my vegetables, so I could have another roll. These masa butterhorn rolls are made in the same way as my childhood originals, but with the addition of a masa pudding that gives the rolls a little more depth and makes for a little bit sturdier roll…perfect for dunking in soup, eating with some leftover Thanksgiving turkey or sopping up the gravy from your leftovers. Now I just have to decide which roll recipe I’ll be making for Thanksgiving…these are definitely in the running! Masa butterhorn rolls are sure to be a hit at your next family gathering. 

Jump Directly to Recipe for Masa Butterhorn Rolls

Masa: What it is?

Masa flour is a finely ground corn flour that you can usually find in your local grocery store. It is a very soft flour that is traditionally made from dried corn that has been pre-soaked. Masa flour is traditionally used to make corn tortillas, tamales, sometimes to thicken soups and even make special drinks in Mexico and Central American countries. If you have some masa flour (I’m liking it here, but I recommend buying it from your local grocery store for much cheaper) lurking in your pantry, now is the time to pull it out and use it in this roll recipe. 

Make a Masa Pudding

The way the masa flour is incorporated in the rolls is a little unique. You begin by warming up milk and adding the masa flour to the milk. Continue heating the milk and masa mixture together until it thickens and forms a pudding-like texture. I liked doing this process in the microwave, though you could also warm it on the stovetop. If you are using a microwave, heat the mixture about a minute at a time until you notice thickening happening around the edges of the bowl. Then mix the rest of the ingredients in with the pudding except for the yeast and flour. Make sure the mixture is warm to the touch (not hot) before adding the yeast, so it doesn’t kill the yeast. Then add the flour and knead to form the light and airy dough.

Shaping Masa Butterhorn Rolls

One of the unique things about these rolls is the addition of butter before rolling up crescent roll style. Please don’t skip this step. It adds a delicious buttery flavor to the rolls. Shaping the rolls couldn’t be easier by rolling half the dough out into a circle and then using a pizza cutter to cut the dough into eight slices. Roll the dough up from the edge of the dough to the center to form a beautifully shaped crescent roll. If you want to make them as a standard roll, that is also possible with this recipe. Forgo the extra butter, cut the dough into 16 pieces and shape into small rolls. Bake for about 14 minutes.

Perfect for a Family Dinner

Masa butterhorn rolls are the perfect roll for a special occasion. They are substantial enough for the leftover turkey sandwiches from your Thanksgiving meal but are just as good with a little schmear of jam. We like to eat a more traditional Sunday dinner and these would be great to add to our lineup of bread recipes that grace our table. This recipe makes 16 rolls. It doubles well for a larger group and these rolls freeze well after baking. I like to let them cool, then transfer to a ziplock bag and freeze. When I want to serve them again, I’ll defrost a bit and warm them in the microwave. However you choose to eat them, I hope you love them as much as we do! Enjoy.

Masa Butterhorn Rolls

Tender, buttery and delicious, these Masa Butterhorn Rolls use masa flour in the dough and are rolled with extra butter to form the perfect roll for dinner.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
rise time 2 hrs
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup masa flour
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus 4 Tablespoons softened and reserved for shaping
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 3/4- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Instructions
 

Roll Dough

  • Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove (medium heat) until bubbles form around the edges but the milk is not boiling. If using the microwave method, use a large liquid measuring cup (my favorite is this one, affiliate link), and microwave for 1 minute, check for bubbles around the edges. Continue warming in 30 second to 1 minute increments to check for readiness.
  • Once the bubbles have formed, add the masa flour to the milk and whisk together. Continue warming the masa and milk together in the microwave (one minute at a time), whisking in between minutes. If using the stove, stir continuously until the mixture thickens and forms a pudding-like texture.
  • You are looking for the mixture to thicken around the edges in the microwave. Once this happens (usually after a minute or two), whisk the masa/milk together until it forms a thick “pudding-like mixture.” If mixing on the stove, continue heating over medium heat and whisking until it forms a pudding-like mixture.
  • Cut the 3 Tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add to the warm masa pudding mixture, whisking it in until fully dissolved. Reserve 4 Tablespoons of butter and let it come to room temperature on your countertop to be used when shaping the dough.
  • Add the sugar and salt. Whisk together.
  • Add the egg. Whisk quickly to make sure the egg tempers and fully incorporates.
  • Pour the masa mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • At this point, check the temperature of the masa mixture (I use my finger…if it feels cooler than a baby’s bath water, you are good to go. If not, whisk a bit more and allow to cool down a bit). Once the mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast.
  • Start the dough hook and add a cup of flour at a time, reserving the last half cup of flour to add in increments as needed. You will know to stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer and you can take a pinch of dough and roll it into a ball in your fingers with just a little bit of dough sticking to your fingers. It’s okay for the dough to be a little bit sticky. See how to check for readiness of the dough here.
  • Knead dough for about 5 minutes. Then cover and let rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Shaping the Dough

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour a countertop.
  • Pour the dough out on the countertop and cut it into two pieces.
  • Roll the first piece of dough into a large circle. Cover completely with 2 Tablespoons of softened butter.
  • Using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife), cut the dough into 8 pieces, pizza-slice-style.
  • Starting with the largest part of the dough, roll it up until it forms a crescent-style roll. Continue rolling the rest of the rolls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat this process with the other piece of dough.
  • Cover the rolls and allow to rise for about an hour until doubled.

Baking

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake rolls for 11-14 minutes (we like ours around the 11 minute mark, but you may want yours a little darker on top). Eat immediately while warm. Enjoy!

Notes

Shaping: You can also shape the dough into traditional rolls. Cut the dough into 12-16 equal pieces. Shape into a ball, let rise and bake 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees
Keyword rolls

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Sourdough Cheddar Biscuits

This recipe is specifically written to use sourdough discard. I keep discard in my fridge specifically for discard recipes.

Quick, easy, melt-in-your-mouth and only takes 25 minutes? Sign me up please! I like to serve these biscuits in place of a dinner roll, or we dunk them in soup or serve with a salad. Sometimes you just need a little something extra to go with dinner and these are my new go-to, savory dinner biscuits.

Sharp, cheesy, flavor In these savory biscuits

Sharp cheddar cheese provides the cheesy flavor in these biscuits. Use a good quality sharp cheddar that you already love. If you have another type of sharp cheese you want to try here, you can do that too. I have found that cheese will often mellow in flavor when you bake with it, so I like to use a sharp flavor to start which will translate into the perfect cheesy flavor in the biscuits. The cold sourdough discard gives these biscuits a little tang that marries so well with the cheese flavor. I think cheese and sourdough are just meant to go together. Check out these crispy discard crackers that marry that same cheese and sourdough flavor if you love the combination.

How do these biscuits get their rise?

The combination of the baking powder and cold sourdough discard give these biscuits a beautiful rise in the oven. The heavy cream and light hand when mixing results in a tender and fluffy biscuit. What more could you ask for in a quick addition to the dinner table? 

Grate the cheese and then mix it in with the dry ingredients before adding the cold sourdough discard and the heavy cream. I find it easier to use a light hand when mixing if I’ve already added in the cheese and it makes the cheese more evenly dispersed throughout the biscuits. 

Shape the biscuits into a circle before cutting like a pizza

Shape the sourdough cheddar biscuits into one large circle and cut them into slices with a bench scraper (affiliate link), as you would cut a pizza or a pie. Keep the dough about an inch to an inch and a half thick and pat into a circle. Using the bench scraper, make one swift move to cut the biscuit for a better rise. These biscuits are a little dangerous because you can have them on your table in just about 20 minutes and they taste amazing straight from the oven.

These sourdough cheddar biscuits are gobbled up by my family every time I make them with everyone begging for seconds. Somehow they always seem to be the star of the show…no matter how much time I’ve spent on the rest of the meal. We like to eat them plain, with a little butter or even jam (is that weird?!). I hope you love them too!

Sourdough Cheddar Biscuits

Yield: 8 biscuits

Time: 10 minute mix, 13 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (5 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 overflowing cup (about 4.5 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup (about 9 oz) sourdough discard 
  • ½ cup (5 oz) heavy cream 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. 
  3. Shred a little over 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and add to the flour mixture. I always shred my own cheese because I think it has a better flavor and texture but you could use pre-shredded cheese too.
  4. Add 1 cup of cold sourdough discard and ½ cup of heavy cream. Gently mix to combine. If the biscuits are too crumbly to hold together, add a little more cream.
  5. Flour your counter and gently dump biscuit dough on the counter. Knead once or twice, being careful not to overwork the dough. Form into a circle about an inch to an inch and a half thick.
  6. Using a bench knife (affiliate link) or a sharp knife, cut the biscuits into eight wedges.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set each biscuit on the paper spread a little bit apart.
  8. Bake for 13 minutes at 425 degrees until lightly browned and baked through. Enjoy!

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Brioche Burger Buns

You know those nights. The nights when you get that first whiff of summer…your neighbor’s grill is going and you can taste the watermelon, grilled burgers, hot dogs, chips and ice cold lemonade. I have a feeling we will be grilling a lot this summer with more time spent at home than ever. With all of our summer plans cancelled and replaced with activities that will keep us closer to home we’ll be spending a lot of our evenings grilling in our backyard. This year our afternoons of burgers and lightning bugs, firepits and watermelon is calling for a really good burger bun. Not just any run-of-the-mill, pick it up at Walmart burger bun, but a bun that you would order at a fancy burger joint. A brioche bun that holds itself up to the meat, cheese and all. the. toppings. No soggy buns here!

This bun makes any burger taste good

Brioche Buns usually SPEND the night IN THE REFRIGERATOR BEFORE BEING SHAPED

This burger bun takes 12-24 hours to make. Yes, you read that right. But don’t write it off just yet. Most of that time you won’t be doing anything and the dough will be developing on its own in the refrigerator. It just takes a little bit of planning and a stand mixer to bring these buns from this page to your plate. The extra time spent on these buns is completely worth it.

What makes brioche special?

Brioche is an enriched dough. It is filled with butter, eggs and milk. The combination of these rich ingredients mean that this dough will take more time to develop. The time will create a beautiful dough and a beautiful, sturdy yet light burger bun. It’s this combination of bread that can stand up to a ⅓ pound burger and buttery goodness that really makes these rolls unique. I’ve made a lot of homemade burger buns and these buns are definitely some of the best. 

Let the dough rise in the fridge for six hours or up to 24 hours

The dough begins with a long mix in a mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe until you can find one. The dough should knead for about 15-20 minutes and then be set in the fridge to rise overnight or throughout the day. You may be tempted to add more flour as you mix up the dough because it looks so soft. Don’t do that! The chilling time in the refrigerator will help solidify the butter and make this dough easier to work with. 

Brioche Burger buns can be made the same day if you start early enough

Sometimes if I wake up early enough in the morning I can make these buns in the morning, set the dough to rest in the fridge throughout the day and then shape them an hour or two before dinner. Once you pull the dough out of the fridge it has transformed and becomes workable. Be careful of your hands being too warm (don’t want to melt any of that butter) and work quickly to shape and then press down the buns to flatten them into a burger shape.

Once my burger buns are baked I like to let them cool completely and then toast my bun for the perfect bite or burger. I will sometimes double this recipe because the extra buns freeze beautifully and I always like to have some on hand for pulled pork sandwiches or a quick grilled cheese. These buns are versatile and absolutely delicious. They would make a perfect accompaniment to the burgers you’ll be grilling this summer. 

These buns hold up so well to pulled pork and coleslaw too…or anything you want to put on them.

Brioche Burger Buns

Yield: 8 burger buns

Time: 25 minute mix, 6-24 hour cold rise, 10 minute shape, 1-2 hour room temperature rise, 15 minute bake

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon yeast instant
  • ⅓ cup slightly warm milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 ¼ cups (about 16.5 oz) flour
  • 12 Tablespoons room temperature butter cut into small chunks
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Directions

Making the Dough/Rising

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (this dough requires a very long knead time, so I do not recommend making this by hand), add the yeast, slightly warm milk and sugar and mix together. Add in the eggs and salt and mix together. Add in the flour a cup at a time until a dough forms. 
  2. Once the dough is formed and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, begin adding the chunks of butter into the center of the bowl and dough with the mixer running. Continue this way until all the butter has been added.
  3. Knead the dough with the dough hook for about 15-20 minutes. I like to set a timer to make sure I’m kneading the dough for the right length of time. This dough is enriched with a lot of eggs and butter which means it will take longer for the gluten to activate and requires a long kneading time. The dough will be very shiny and still look and feel a little sticky, though it should clear the sides of the bowl. There should be no clumps of butter. Everything should be well incorporated. You can check the dough using the windowpane test for a clearer picture if the dough is ready to rise.
  4. Grease a bowl or dough tub with a little oil and transfer the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for the first rise. This rise will take a minimum of 6 hours. You can also leave the dough in the fridge up to 24 hours if this helps your schedule.

Shaping ANd baking

  1. After the first rise, take the dough out of the fridge. Working quickly, turn the dough onto your countertop. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. If the dough is sticky, add a pinch of flour to each roll. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down on the tops of the dough balls to flatten them out a little (this helps widen them to give you a better burger shape).
  2. Cover the dough and let rise for 1-2 hours. Because the dough is cold, the buns may take longer to rise. Your burger buns are ready when they have almost doubled in size. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Crack an egg in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Beat the egg and water together. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the buns with egg wash before baking for 15 minutes. 
  4. Allow the buns to cool completely before slicing, toasting and making a delicious burger!

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Sourdough Discard: Soft White Rolls

This recipe uses a full cup of sourdough discard

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for another delicious dinner roll recipe. And I am always looking for creative ways to use up my extra sourdough discard (check out a few of my other favorite discard recipes, here, here and here). It’s one of the “hazards” of baking with sourdough I guess…always being on the lookout for somewhere to use that extra! I think especially right now in our current climate, it is important to find uses for as much as we can and waste as little as possible. These soft white sourdough discard rolls started out as a recipe to reduce waste and now…they are a reason I want to keep my starter fed. Just so I can have discard to make these rolls!

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Tender with a slight Sourdough Tang

Super soft, tender, light and a slight tang for the sourdough discard, these rolls are sure to be a hit in your family as well. My kids were all begging for seconds when I pulled these out of the oven and popped them on our dinner table a few weeks ago. And I couldn’t blame them. I may have sneaked another one as I was putting the leftovers in a ziplock bag and sticking them in the freezer. I love freezing my bread because it keeps it fresh and I don’t have to see it staring me in the face, begging me to just have one more pinch!

Smooth, Light and Slathered with Melted Butter

The dough for these rolls is very smooth and light. It may take a little longer to rise because it is often made with cold sourdough discard directly from the fridge, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this recipe. Once they are baked, these rolls are slathered with melted butter. I like to take my cold stick of butter and gently run it over the top of the hot rolls. This saves me from having to wash my pastry brush and an extra bowl (can you tell I’m all about saving on the dishes around here?!).

However you choose to eat these rolls: with your dinner, for breakfast with some jam and butter spread on top or as a mini turkey sandwich for lunch, you will love them. I hope you give them a try!

Sourdough Discard Soft White Rolls

Tender, light, fluffy and filled with sourdough discard, these soft white rolls are perfect for dinnertime!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 2/3 cup milk lightly warmed
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sourdough discard about 8 oz
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour about 12.5 oz

Instructions
 

  • To a stand mixer (or a bowl if you are kneading by hand), mix together the yeast, sugar and warm milk. Let it sit for a minute and use your nose to see if the yeast is working (It will smell very "yeasty" once the sugar and warm milk are mixed in. Technically using instant yeast you can omit this "proofing" step and throw the yeast in the with the flour, but I like to double check that my yeast is working so I do it anyway).
  • Add the room temperature melted butter. Make sure it is not too hot so it doesn’t kill the yeast. 
  • Add the sourdough discard, salt and cornstarch. Begin mixing with your dough hook as you add in the flour a cup at a time. Reserve the half cup of flour to mix in toward the end as you look for readiness of the dough. If the dough is pulling away from the sides, you may not need to add more flour. If the dough is still very sticky, add a little more flour until it is tacky, pulls away from the sides and rolls up into a ball in your fingers (a little stickiness is okay!). This post may help you to check for readiness of dough.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes in the stand mixer or 7-10 minutes by hand. I like to set a timer and let the dough hook or mixer do the work for 5 minutes or so.
  • Add a drop of oil to a bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and place into the bowl. Roll the ball around until it is completely covered in the oil. (The oil keeps the dough moist as it rises and makes it easier to handle once risen). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size. If your sourdough discard is cold, it may take longer for the dough to rise. You may want to turn your oven light on and let the dough rise covered in the oven (just make sure not to turn the actual oven on during this process).
  • Cover the bottom of two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Alternatively, prepare a half sheet pan (affiliate link for my favorite pans) with parchment paper.
  •  After the first rise, turn the dough out onto the counter and punch it down. Using a bench scraper or a knife, separate the dough into 16 equally-sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and place eight dough balls into each pan, for a total of 16 rolls. If you are baking on a half sheet pan, place all the rolls on the same pan. Cover and let rise again in a warm place for about an hour until just about doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 22-25 minutes until lightly browned on top. Cover the tops with melted butter (I take a stick of cold butter and lightly touch it on the tops of all the rolls). Enjoy warm or freeze for later!
Keyword dinner roll

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Easy White Dinner Rolls

Did you grow up eating a special weekly dinner with your family? Maybe every night was a home-cooked meal. In my family we would look forward to the weekly Sunday dinners my dad cooked. It usually consisted of meat and potatoes or “rice-a-roni” (my childhood favorite). We would sit at our big dining room table and pass around plates of steaming hot food, family-style. Green beans, cheesy broccoli, pan fried pork, salmon, steak, the list goes on. Every Sunday was a little bit different but always delicious. When I started contributing to the meal I’d often make crescent rolls or bake some bread using our ancient bread machine. If only I’d had the recipe for these easy white rolls, I’m sure they would have made many appearances at our dinner table.

These rolls are fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness and one of the simplest recipes you can make. If you’re looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe to start with, make these! They won’t disappoint. You can even make them into hamburger buns (my favorite is with pulled pork and coleslaw on top) or with a dab of butter inside. Whatever way you choose to eat them pull out these simple SIX ingredients and get baking. 

Notes: I always double this recipe and make a big batch of these rolls because my kids gobble them up. They are easy to freeze, a big crowd pleaser and let’s face it…when I don’t know what to make for dinner and can pull these out to put with some fruit, nuts and meat my kids think my kitchen skills are top notch 🙂 I also portion my rolls fairly small. You can change the portion size depending on your preference. If you do, you may need to adjust for baking time.

Yield: 24 small rolls

Time: 15 minutes mix/knead, 2 hours rise, 10-12 minutes bake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar (honey, or other sweetener)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 -4 cups all purpose flour (I’ve made them with whole wheat flour before too, they won’t be quite as fluffy…half whole wheat and half all purpose will yield best results and adding a little vital wheat gluten helps with the tenderness)

Directions

1. Mix together water, instant yeast, sugar, olive oil, salt and 3 cups of flour. Use a mixer or your hands. As you add in your final cup of flour, check the dough. If it’s overly sticky, keep adding flour. The dough should be able to roll into a ball in your hand but should still be a little sticky. That’s the feeling you are looking for. Continue mixing the dough (mixer with dough hook or attachment) 3-5 minutes OR turn it out on a floured surface and knead about 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed (it should still be a little sticky but form a ball).

2. Put a teaspoon of oil in a bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Coat the dough with the small amount of oil (this keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl). Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place about an hour or until doubled in size. 

3. Turn risen dough out onto your workspace and portion into 24 pieces. I eyeball the dough and use my dough cutter (or a sharp knife). If you use a kitchen scale each ball should be about 1.4 ounces.

4. Shape each piece of dough into a round ball and place on parchment-lined (this keeps the bottoms from burning) baking sheet. Your baking sheet should be able to fit 24 of these rolls. Check out my Instagram tutorial “Easiest Rolls” for shaping help.

5. Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel and let rolls rise until doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once rolls have doubled in size bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through if possible. Once the rolls brown on top, pull them out of the oven and brush melted butter on the tops. For convenience I take a stick of cold butter from my fridge and lightly touch the tops of the hot rolls for the perfect shine.

7. Enjoy warm, at room temperature or freeze a few for later. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a simple recipe to start with, don’t hesitate to make these delicious rolls. They are a sure-fire crowd-pleaser and a great way to get your feet wet in baking with yeast. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions so shoot me a message or let me know in the comments if you give them a try. Yum!

Recipe Source Notes: Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (if you don’t follow her, you should…she’s an inspiration with all of her amazing recipes). I’ve made these so many times that I’ve upped the salt, altered the baking time and size of the rolls I bake.