Herb & Onion Rolls

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dairy free
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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 12 to 24, depending on size

Recipe photo

Dried onion adds a pleasantly mild hit of flavor to these soft, buttery herb rolls. Shape them as stand-alone rounds; as soft-sided pull-apart rolls; as cloverleaf rolls, or bake them in a muffin pan for extra height. The dough is extremely versatile and easy to work with.

Herb & Onion Rolls

star rating (17) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 to 24, depending on size
Published: 10/11/2011


  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm potato cooking water (water in which potatoes have been boiled)*
  • *Reduce the salt in the recipe by 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon if the potato water tastes salty. No potato water? See tip below.

Tips from our bakers

  • For stuffing-flavored rolls, perfect for Thanksgiving, substitute 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or Bell's seasoning for the herbes de Provence.
  • No potato water? Mix 3 tablespoons potato flour or ½ cup dried potato flakes with the dry ingredients, and use 1 cup lukewarm water in place of the potato water.
  • If you'd like to top these rolls with seeds (flax, or your favorites), add the yolk of 1 egg to the dough, and mix the white with 1 tablespoon cold water; brush on the rolls before sprinkling with seeds. This "wash" will make the seeds adhere. Or, knead 1/3 to 1/2 cup flax or other seeds right into the dough, for through-and-through crunch.
  • Want to give your rolls a dark-gold, shiny crust? Whisk 1 whole egg until yolk and white are thoroughly combined. Brush atop rolls before baking.
  • To make these rolls in three 6" round bake-and-give pans, divide the dough into 18 pieces. Shape each piece into a round, and arrange six pieces in each pan. Place the pans on a baking sheet, let the rolls rise until puffy, and bake as directed.


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1) Combine all of the ingredients, and knead to make a smooth, soft dough. Use your hands, a mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle. The dough will be quite sticky, and probably won't clear the sides of the bowl; that's OK. It'll firm up a bit as it rises.

2) Cover the dough, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's almost doubled in size.

3) Gently deflate the dough. Decide what shape and quantity of rolls you want to make: divide the dough into 24 pieces (for small rolls); 16 pieces (for medium rolls); 12 pieces (for large rolls), or 36 pieces (for cloverleaf rolls).

4) For large stand-alone rolls: Shape the 12 pieces of dough into rounds, and space a couple of inches apart on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

5) For medium pull-apart rolls: Shape the 16 pieces of dough into rounds, and place in two lightly greased 8" round cake pans.

6) For small pull-apart rolls: Shape the 24 pieces of dough into rounds, and place in a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan, in six rows of four.

7) For cloverleaf rolls: Shape the 36 pieces of dough into rounds. Place 3 rounds into the bottom of each cup of a standard-size, 12-cup muffin pan.

8) Cover the pan(s), and let the rolls rise for about 90 minutes, until they're puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350°F.

9) If you're topping the rolls with seeds, combine 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water. Gently brush over the tops of the risen rolls, and sprinkle with seeds; the egg wash will keep them in place. If you're not topping with seeds, brush the rolls with melted butter, if desired; this will help brown their crust, and add buttery flavor.

10) Bake the rolls for 22 to 24 minutes for cloverleafs, or small or medium-sized pull-apart rolls. Bake 25 to 30 minutes for larger rolls. The finished rolls will be a light- to medium-dark brown, depending on what you've brushed them with.

11) Remove the rolls from the oven, and brush them with melted butter, if desired; this will give them great flavor, and a satiny finish.

12) Remove the rolls from the pan, and serve warm. Or cool on a rack, wrap tightly, and store at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 12 to 24 rolls, depending on size.


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  • star rating 11/05/2014
  • Cathi M from Nampa, ID
  • I just test drove this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, 2014. My husband was out and when he came in and smelled the rolls in the oven his first impression was that our home smelled like Thanksgiving and then he tasted them and gave his seal of approval. The only thing I had to do differently was add some water as it didn't have enough moisture to bring the dough together or it could just be that we live in a very dry region of the country. Either way this recipe is a hit and it is delicious.
  • star rating 08/10/2014
  • 1nickali from KAF Community
  • These are fantastic. Made them for dinner but I don't think they'll be any left! Definitely a keeper. Half were basted with a garlic butter prior to baking but I think I prefer the non buttered half a bit more. They are very soft and the herbs and onion add a nice subtle flavour. Great warm with some butter melted inside. Thanks KAF for another great recipe. Love this site.
  • star rating 12/26/2013
  • hubblecat from Baltimore
  • These smelled unbelievably good from oven to table. Made 24 small dinner rolls in a disposable aluminum pan for a Christmas Eve party and they came out perfect. After rising I gently brushed them with butter and was concerned when they deflated somewhat in the oven, but they were soft and savory and just plain yummy. I'll make these again soon.
  • star rating 11/29/2013
  • joyce from Huntington Beach, CA
  • I used the poultry seasoning and followed the recipe except I had to use regular dried milk. The rolls were enjoyed by everyone (our niece said it was the best rolls she's ever eaten!) we couldn't really taste the onions. Maybe my dried onion wasn't as "fresh" as it could have been? Anyway, the rolls are going to be added to our Thanksgiving menu!
  • star rating 11/14/2012
  • TT from Florida
  • as we are just a week away from Thanksgiving, i found myself like so many other times during the year, here at the KAF recipe site. NEVER disappointed, i found this recipe to my liking... just baked a batch of these HERB & ONION ROLLS, the Thanksgivng version with the poultry seasoning. the flavor of the poultry seasoning in these rolls will make this a wonderful addition to the this years THANKSGIVING FEAST, it will enhance the Turkey with all it's dressing, trimmings and glory! HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all
  • star rating 11/09/2012
  • Janet Potts from Orlando, Florida
  • I knew something was wrong while kneading dough in mixer ingredients seemed dry and clumped into marble size pieces. Too new at baking to know to add more water as one person suggested. I did add an egg as other recipes I have had success with called for. Still the dough was not pliable just one big lump but I carried on. The preparation was easy, the taste seemed lacking in something; thought perhaps salt, and the presentation was ugly as I made cloverleaf balls and they did not adhere to each other very well. I was sorely disappointed but my husband ate anyway!!!...I will go back to the recipe I have had success with in the past and add the herbs.
  • star rating 09/22/2012
  • alphill from KAF Community
  • I made them last night for our dinner party and they were delicious! I used dried basil leaves and had to do the potato flour substitute. For high altitude I reduced the yeast by 25% and added a little extra water and it worked like a charm. I will definitely be making them again.
  • star rating 02/18/2012
  • loves to bake from KAF Community
  • I was trying to reconcile the description of these rolls as buttery with the ingredients since there is no butter in the dough. However, these rolls did have a "buttery flavor" which I can only attribute to the butter I brushed on the tops after baking (and I think I only used about 1 tsp for the 12 clover leaf rolls). Great texture and wonderful flavor. I used potato water and the only substitution I made was to use Fines Herbs instead of Herbs de Provence, because that's what I had. I sprayed Pam on the muffin tins and had no problems with sticking. I think apparent versitility of this recipe is one of the things that will bring me back to it again for a variety of occasions.
  • star rating 12/05/2011
  • thewheelman84 from KAF Community
  • Great recipe. Although in lieu of the herbs de provonce blend I used just thyme, rosemary and marjoram. Tasted just as great.
  • star rating 11/25/2011
  • MichaelG from KAF Community
  • Phenomenally easy and delicious. I threw in some fresh red onion and the flavor was amazing. I had friends over while they were rising and they asked to stand nearby and smell the dough while I worked it! The long rises mean they're not an impulse bake but they are totally worth the time investment.
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