Soft Dinner Rolls with Caramelized Shallot Butter

Prep time
20 min
Cook time
40 min

It's hard to find a great dinner roll recipe that's also easy to make. Not anymore! This one comes together with a few straightforward steps. Best of all, the rolls come out of the oven with the perfect texture — soft on the inside and golden and lightly crispy around the edges.

First we brown the butter, then blend it with fresh herbs, a splash of lemon juice, and sweet, caramelized shallots, so it’s rich and bright. As one person who sampled it said: “It tastes just like Thanksgiving!”

Tip: Make sure you use Dinner Bell * Unsalted * Butter because it makes browning slightly easier and helps control the amount of salt in the finished butter.

How To:

To make the caramelized shallot and herb butter:

  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt ½ the butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter foams and turns a light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Immediately add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the thyme, sage, and salt. Transfer the butter to a small bowl and let cool until solid yet soft, 30 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining butter, parsley, lemon juice, and salt. Using a rubber spatula, mash everything together until well combined. Transfer the butter to a sheet of plastic wrap, form it into a log about 1 ½ inches thick, and seal it tightly. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the dinner rolls:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, and sugar.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add 1 ½ cups of the milk and heat until warm to the touch.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients on low speed and slowly pour in the warm milk. Mix until a shaggy dough forms, 1 minute. Sprinkle in the salt and continue to mix on low speed until the dough is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour, turn out the dough, and form it into a ball. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with butter. Punch down the dough and transfer it to a clean work surface.
  6. Divide the dough into 15 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange the dough balls in 3 rows of 5 in the prepared casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls are 1 ½ times larger and puffy and the dough barely bounces back when gently poked, about 45 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons milk, 2 egg yolks, and a pinch of salt. Brush the buns with the egg wash and reserve the rest. Bake, rotating and brushing with the egg wash halfway through, for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and the center reads 190ºF on an instant-read thermometer.
  8. Transfer the casserole dish to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve the warm dinner rolls with the caramelized shallot and herb butter.

Leftover butter can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, and leftover rolls can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from: New York Times Cooking

Made with love + simple ingredients