Honey yeast rolls with maple butter: Impossibly soft and incredibly delicious pull apart dinner rolls with a hint of sweetness from a quick homemade maple butter.
Since we started hosting holiday dinners a few years ago, there has always been one aspect of dinner that has baffled me. It’s not the turkey, stuffing, or lord knows, not the dessert.
It’s the rolls.
See, I made these honey yeast rolls six years ago, brought them to my mother-in-law’s house, and I haven’t been able to replicate them since.
I’ve attempted that yeast roll recipe probably three or four more times in the interim years and with each try, I became increasingly impatient and frustrated. So I turned to another [and most delicious] recipe for a while with great success.
But I haven’t been able to shake those honey yeast rolls from my brain.
I suppose it was only natural that my brilliant and highly persistent friend, Annie, after introducing me to this recipe the first time around, would tweak this dinner roll recipe over the years to the point where it’s truly perfect now. It’s now a reliable and replicable roll recipe that I love dearly!
Can you ask for more in a recipe?
I also decided to up the ante a bit. So I brushed the rolls with maple butter and sprinkled them with some sea salt before baking.
Yeast Roll Ingredients
Like most yeast roll recipes, this one has a list of basic pantry ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need (keep scrolling down to the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and instructions):
- warm water – This needs to be between 105° F and 115° F. Use an instant read thermometer to accurately temp your water.
- instant yeast – If you use dry active yeast, allow the yeast to bloom in the water for 5 minutes before adding the flour.
- canola oil or another light oil, like vegetable or safflower
- bread flour
- unsalted butter
- maple syrup
- flaky sea salt
Why Bread Flour?
Compared to all-purpose flour, bread flour has a higher protein content which encourages your breads and rolls to have a chewier texture. Protein is key to gluten development in bread recipes and the more protein in your flour, the tighter the gluten development will be.
All-purpose flour is better suited for recipes where you want a tender and flaky dough, like these crescent rolls.
Let me tell you, these honey yeast rolls with maple butter make me swoon! They’re impossibly soft and incredibly delicious.
And there’s enough maple butter leftover to either brush them again before serving or to just slather on the sliced rolls at the table. Your choice!
The maple butter isn’t a requirement for greatness but why the heck wouldn’t you slather them not once, but twice with it?
What to Serve these Dinner Rolls With
Because the maple butter adds some extra sweetness, I’d recommend serving these yeast rolls with distinctively savory food.
Might I suggest roast turkey roulade with sausage, fig, and cranberry stuffing? Or perhaps caramelized onion and thyme risotto? Or maybe even Ina’s turkey meatloaf or flat roast chicken with tiny potatoes?
You get the point. Now, just go ahead and make these honey yeast rolls with maple butter. You won’t be sorry!
- 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water (105-115° F)
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Flaky sea salt
- Stir the yeast and water together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the honey, oil, salt, and egg on medium speed until well-combined. Add 3 cups of flour to the bowl and mix on low speed until the dough forms a wet and shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook and with the mixer on low speed, add up to another ½ cup of flour a couple tablespoons at a time. Continue to knead for another 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to proof in a warm space until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Lightly grease a 9- or 10-inch round baking or pie dish. On a well-floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds. Shape it into a ball and let rest, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for 10 minutes. Punch the down the dough, divide it into 10 or 12 equal-sized pieces (a kitchen scale works great for this) and arrange them in the prepared baking dish, leaving a little space between each one. Cover again with the kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for 20-30 minutes. The rolls will puff slightly but will not double.
- While the shaped rolls proof, preheat the oven to 400° F. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave and stir in the maple syrup until evenly combined. Brush the melted maple butter over the tops of the rolls and sprinkle the rolls lightly with a little sea salt.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Lay a piece of foil lightly over the rolls and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. The center of the rolls should register 190° F on an instant read thermometer. It's critical to check the temperature because the tops of the rolls may look like the rolls are cooked through, when in fact they are not. Note that the salt may brown a bit - the sugar in the maple syrup will cause this to happen but this will not affect the flavor.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush the rolls again with the remainder of the melted maple butter. Allow the rolls to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
adapted from Everyday Annie
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