Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

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Yield: 16 buns

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At last! The quintessential soft, buttery dinner roll. Nestled — we might even say "crowded" — into a couple of 8" round pans, the shaped buns rise into one another as they bake. The result? Soft-sided pull-apart buns, ready for melting pats of soft butter.

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

star rating (195) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 buns
Published: 01/01/2010



  • 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour or 1/4 cup instant potato flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk


  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Tips from our bakers

  • Rather than worrying about heating milk and water to lukewarm, simply combine cold milk with hot tap water. The result? Lukewarm liquid, which is your goal.
  • To make the buns the day before, then bake them just before serving, prepare them up to the point where they're shaped and in the pan. Let them rise until they've filled the pan and are touching one another, but aren't fully risen. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Next day, remove the buns from the fridge (keeping them covered), and let warm/rise for an hour or so before uncovering and baking as directed.
  • For smaller buns, divide the dough into 24 pieces instead of 16. Bake in a 9" x 13" pan (four rows of six buns each), if desired.


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1) Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large bowl, and mix and knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased container — an 8-cup measure works well here. Cover the container, and allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's just about doubled in bulk.

3) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.

4) Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, by dividing in half, then in halves again, etc. Round each piece into a smooth ball.

5) Lightly grease two 8" round cake pans. Space 8 buns in each pan. Can you use 9" round cake pans, or a 9" x 13" pan? Sure; the buns just won't nestle together as closely, so their sides will be a bit more baked.

6) Cover the pans, and allow the buns to rise till they're crowded against one another and quite puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

7) Uncover the buns, and bake them for 22 to 24 minutes, until they're golden brown on top and the edges of the center bun spring back lightly when you touch it. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the center bun should register at least 190°F.

8) Remove the buns from the oven, and brush with the melted butter. After a couple of minutes, turn them out of the pan onto a cooling rack.

9) Serve warm. Store leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.

Yield: 16 buns.


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  • star rating 04/12/2015
  • kristenrose04 from KAF Community
  • This is our favorite go-to bun recipe! I make it for all occasions and just randomly love to make a batch. Recently I was making some for work, and I ran out of all-purpose flour so I used 1/2 white whole wheat and 1/2 Whole wheat flour and added some honey because it looked a little dry. I was surprised at how much I loved the wheat flavors! Tonight, I am testing these changes on my husband, he is a very picky eater and has a sensitive palate. I just hope he loves the flavor as much as me! Serving it with slow-cooked roasted garlic and chicken stew. I can't wait for dinner!
  • star rating 03/15/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • Made these today at 6000 ft. alt. per suggestions on the community site I added flour, decreased sugar and yeast and played a little with the time and temperature. They came out just as good as usual! What a great recipe....always a crowd pleaser, even in Jackson Hole WY!
  • star rating 02/15/2015
  • Susan from Lincoln, CA
  • star rating 02/13/2015
  • GDad from KAF Community
  • fantastic, especially the 3 piece pull-a-parts. Next time I'm going to make them all like that, thanks
  • star rating 01/30/2015
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • Very simple to pull together and much enjoyed by all, especially guests who aren't fans of denser, whole grain rolls.
  • star rating 01/28/2015
  • Lisa from Sacramento CA
  • Love these rolls! They come out a little different each time but I attribute that to user error. I found that it also depended on the moisture in the air, I know strange, but when it was damp it was too wet and when it was very dry the dough was very dry. Trying it today with whole wheat pastry flour.. we will see!
  • star rating 01/21/2015
  • lakmini from sri lanka
  • star rating 01/10/2015
  • Jackie from Deer Park, WA
  • I made these a few days ago when we were expecting last minute dinner guests. They were so easy to throw together and were sooooo good. I baked one pan for the allotted time but baked the other pan for only about 10 minutes and cooled them and put them in the freezer. I'm hoping they'll be a good candidate for "brown and serve" rolls. I'll let you know.
  • star rating 12/31/2014
  • Grandma A from Fort Collins, CO
  • We all really like these. The only problem I had was I should have baked them a little longer. Not KAF fault.
    If you have a digital thermometer, bake the buns until they register 190' internal temp. If you don't have a thermometer for testing, use these three guidelines: golden brown in color, slightly pulled away from the edges of the pan and baked goods sound hollow when tapped in the center of the pan. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
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