Roll Call!: A gathering of our favorite roll recipes for the holidays

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If you are anything like me, your search for last year’s holiday recipes looks a bit like this…

“Now, where it that stuffing recipe from Bob?” I think I put it under S for stuffing. Or maybe B for Bob? I’ll try B. Oh, look there’s that recipe for banana cream pie. I haven’t made that in ages. Oh, that reminds me, I need to buy chick peas. (grabs shopping list) Wait, who put red grapes on this list? We have red grapes. But we don’t have wine, oh and that means we need to buy crackers and bread to make stuffing. Now, where is that stuffing recipe from Bob?”

Easily distracted? No, I’m not easily distract… hey look! Chocolate!

Every year I think about getting a blank notebook and filling it with just holiday recipes but somehow I get errr, preoccupied and never remember to do it. Luckily for you all, when I’m writing about food as part of my job, I stay on task SO much better. Hence the idea to write some blogs rounding up holiday recipes. I’m doing a few and so is PJ, so we hope you’ll check here first when you are looking for old favorites and new ideas.

Today it’s all about the rolls. My holiday table is not complete without a big basket of rolls, and for most folks it’s the same. We’ll be 7 at the table this year (trust me, for my small family, this is a much larger crowd than usual) so I’m thinking of going all out with a variety of rolls and breads.

Below you’ll find our most popular and sought after recipes, with links and descriptions. If you are quick and don’t get all moony and bemused, make a bookmark of the page and you’ll have recipes at your virtual fingertips for good.

Let’s start the roll call!

Parker, is there a Parker House in the house?

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Parker House Rolls have been a favorite for generations, especially in New England. Our recipe makes some of the most buttery rolls you’ll ever taste.

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First up, the roll of rolls. The most popular roll recipe we have and with good reason. Golden pull-apart buns are everything you could want in a dinner roll. Soft, tender, with the slightest hint of sweetness and a rich, yeasty aroma.

The recipe includes a tip on how to make them ahead of time too, which all busy bakers know can be a godsend.

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Searching for a little more whole grain goodness to add to your bread basket?  Our Wheat-oat flax buns fit the bill nicely. With a touch of orange juice to cut the tannin taste in the grains, the wheat, oat and flax flavors shine though.

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Gluten free guests coming? Our Brazilian Cheese Buns are fast and easy and delightful. Like little airy clouds of cheese, these never last long in our tasting kitchen.

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If you are looking for a classic continental roll to add to your offerings, try our Crusty European- Style Hard Rolls. Feedback from our customers likens these rolls to those served by their Germany and Eastern European Omas and Opas for the family feasts.

Be aware that the recipe calls for an overnight starter so be sure to plan ahead when you serve these crisp, crackly delights.

 

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A honey of a recipe, our Honey Wheat Rolls are a real KAF favorite. Soft and “squishy”, they are the perfect vehicle for the obligatory Thanksgiving evening turkey, stuffing, cranberry sandwich.

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Proud parent of a sourdough starter? Why not brag about it with a round of these Butter Sourdough Buns. A light crisp exterior and a soft, slightly tangy interior will keep your guests coming back for more.

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Having quite the crowd in for dinner? Our Big Batch Quick Dinner Rolls (pictured in our main photo as well) makes 2 dozen rolls in about an hour. These are my family’s favorites, it seems like we go through a batch every other week during holiday season. They can easily be frozen before or after baking for on-the-spot goodness.

Well, I hope this helps get your holiday baking on a roll (I know, I couldn’t resist). Now, quickly go and make that bookmark before…Hey look! Kittens!

 

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. marcin

    I’m definitely taping the opening of this blog post on my fridge for the holiday! Too funny and too true! Thanks for the smile that will last all weekend!

    Reply
  2. Jack & Mary Ditlove

    Once again KAF is in the forefront for the Holidays. Product and recipes that are the best. Not for the faint of heart or waist. Fun and quality as always. Just another Thank You KAF!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      And thanks to you, for inviting us into your kitchen. We love being able to help people carry on great family (and cultural) baking traditions. Cheers – PJH

  3. Jennifer

    The Golden Pull Apart Buns are mandatory at our house for the holidays (and days ending in -y). They’re so wonderful!

    Reply
  4. Mary Ellen Stites

    MaryJane you described me to a “T”! Thank you for putting some of our favorites all together in one place, ew something Shiny!….

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      hee hee, ain’t it great though? Sometimes my thoughts change so quickly it’s like my very own slapstick comedy! We can be the new hilarious duo. ~ MJ

  5. Bridgid

    I LOVE this post! I have Parker House Roll dough in the fridge right now. Ran out of time last night – it was 12:00 before I got into bed! I too, am easily distracted from time to time. Gotta get my list more organized! I have a “book” for holiday recipes & party events – after a party I write down the amount of people who attended, the quantity of food, and what was a success and what was not. The problem is I usually can’t find the book! I put it down when searching for something else…and look! A squirrel!

    Happy roll making!

    I am trying something new – will put the PHR into a cakepan shaped like a cornucopia. We’ll see how it comes out. I’ll make a second batch of dough incase it is a failure. I’ll report back.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Ah, Bridgid, that Parker House Roll dough is so delicious, I can’t imagine any bread created from it would ever be considered a “failure!” And I know what you mean about distractions; it’s hard when there are just so many interesting things to see and think about, eh? Good luck to you – and Happy Thanksgiving! PJH

  6. Kathy

    OK, no fair! I want to try all of these, and the Big Day is only 2 days away! I will stick to the Butter Rolls (or they will stick to me!) this time, but these are all getting printed. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Kathy, now you have plenty of time to think about what rolls you’ll bake NEXT Thanksgiving! And, of course, there’s always Christmas… :) PJH

    2. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      I know! Good thing winter weather cooking all goes so well with rolls, so you have plenty of opportunity to make them all! ~ MJ

    3. Abby

      The first time I tried the Big Batch Rolls was on Thanksgiving at the last minute. We’ve had them every since and often! Give them as gifts and everyone loves them. You won’t be sorry!!

  7. Toni

    What a great idea. I can totally relate to the opening of this blog. I finally started putting my “holiday” recipes in a special binder after each holiday so I can find them the next year. Love everything KAF; always great recipes, ideas and people. Happy Holidays!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      I do the exact same thing, Toni – Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter all have their own folders, so I can quickly go to them and read my notes from years past. Thanks for your kind words – and happy baking! PJH

  8. kaaryn

    NOW you send this roll roundup! I made 1 from my KA cookbook and another is rising now. Freezing ahead helps me to make it through tomorrow where I will be making 4 pies! Your pumpkin pie recipe is the best, according to my husband, and it’s nice to mix the filling the night ahead of the baking. I rely on you!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Awww, thanks Karen. Hope the Roll Call comes in handy for the rest of the holiday season, and all year round. ~ MJ

  9. Becky

    I love the Amish dinner rolls and they are now expected for every holiday. But you’ve presented so many good alternatives that I may have to mix it up this year!

    Reply
    1. Becky

      I made the Amish dinner rolls and half were gone before we sat down to eat. My sister, several states away, made the golden pull-apart butter buns. Comparing notes, these sound very similar – at least in the oohs and ahs of happy recipients. My next batch of rolls will be the pull-aparts so I can taste for myself!

    2. PJ Hamel

      Becky, I actually made both these recipes side by side yesterday morning, for Thanksgiving dinner. The result: both were equally well received. The butter buns are slightly lighter-textured; the Amish rolls are heavier/denser, though in a really compelling way; they’re also a bit sweeter. Next time I make the Amish, I’m going to increase the salt to 2 teaspoons; I thought they were a tiny bit under-seasoned. They also didn’t fit well in my 9″ x 13″ pan – kind of overflowed (though didn’t make a mess). Next time – two 9″ round pans. And there will definitely be a next time, as they’re giving my favorite butter buns a real run for the money! :) PJH

  10. waikikirie

    OK MJ…I think we are sisters-from-a-different-mister. I too get SOOOOOOOOOO distracted. Last year my adult niece and I did Thanksgiving. I wrote down ingredients and amounts into a notebook, to right out recipes to pass down to her. Well, I didn’t get the recipes written but I did FIND the notebook the other day. That, is success!!!!! Now I am working off those notes. I think I am going to write out the recipes (and probably include a recipe or two from King Arthur), put them in a folder in individual plastic sleeves and give them to her as a Christmas gift. This way she has a foundation and can do Thanksgiving next year!!! Maybe time to pass-the-torch. Or at least share it…..teehee. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Woo hoo, sisters at heart! I don’t have any sisters by birth, but I have so many other sisters it more than makes up for having been blessed/cursed with older brothers.

      I think your niece will be thrilled with the book. My DD and her roommate are both culinary students and I’d love to do this for them too. Thanks for sharing the idea! Happy Thanksgiving Sis. ~ MJ

    2. waikikirie

      I hear ya about the blessed/cursed thing. I have one older brother and no sisters. Teehee. Glad he doesn’t read this blog!!!

  11. Gwen Wallace

    Mary Jane, You described me to a ‘T’ which is why I think you should be tested for ADHD. Oh, and thanks for the great recipes! :)

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Thanks Gwen, I’m in the clear I just blame it on being interested in EVERYTHING! ~ MJ

  12. Bridgid

    As promised, here’s the report: no matter how you shape them, the Parker House Rolls are so delicious it doesn’t matter what they look like! (to me, at least) I cut them into 16, dipped them in melted butter, and placed them into my greased cornucopia pan. I baked them to perfection, and flipped them out into my platter. They looked fabnulous for about 2 seconds, and then the cornucopia came apart. So….I will keep the pan for cake and make them individual little loggy-shapes and be grateful to be able to eat them. I did them individually because I wanted that buttery goodness., and I am not sorry!

    So thank you, again, my friends at KAF. You are always there for me!

    Reply
  13. marcin

    A couple of weeks ago, I made up the butter bread rolls from the November 2011 Baking Sheet, and I made a filling of a little butter, shallots, white wine, and tarragon. The aroma was amazing. I can’t wait to see how they came out. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Well, that does indeed sound tasty – I’ve never thought of adding filling to a soft dinner roll, but what a great enhancement! Thanks for sharing, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you, too, from all of us here. PJH

  14. martibeth

    I just posted similar comments on the blog regarding Thanksgiving-Hanukkah, but since I’m on a roll, feel I should add comments here as well. A few weeks ago, I tried nearly every roll recipe of King Arthur Flour, including the Amish dinner rolls, the golden pull-apart, Parker House, honey wheat, refrigerator, big batch, and lastly, the recipe for “soft white dinner rolls.” Still the undisputed winner: The soft white dinner rolls. Everyone goes crazy over them. My sister in-law calls them “million dollar rolls.” I’ve been making them for quite a few years, and nothing can match them. The dough is a joy to work with, seriously. And to make them even better, if that’s possible, make a starter using all of the water, 1/2 of the yeast, and 1/2 of the flour, and let that sit for an hour or two (thanks, MaryJane, for that tip a few years ago). The only roll recipe that comes close is an old recipe I found in a county fair winning recipes book, that called for cottage cheese. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And here’s another hint: We smoked a turkey breast a couple of days ago using both charcoal and hickory chips, and from now on, it will be the method to use in our family for cooking turkey. Amazing taste.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I really would not suggest to use the microwave to re-heat rolls. Perhaps re-heat the rolls after the turkey comes out and is resting? It wont take longer than 10-15 minutes. Jon@KAF

  15. Katherine

    The minute I saw this blog post I thought, “Parker House Rolls better be on this list.” You did not disappoint! These are pretty demanded in my house every year since I started making them.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Being a native Boston company, Katherine (founded in 1790, not far from the future location of the Parker House), of course we treasure our Parker House rolls. I’m sure you’ll be serving them at tomorrow’s feast – enjoy! PJH

  16. Juliet

    Add the Amish Dinner rolls to the list. I can’t make them often enough for my family and they freeze extremely well.

    Reply

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