These Parker house style rolls are fluffy and chewy glazed with maple butter and a generous sprinkle of sea salt. These salted maple bread rolls are the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table and bring a little warmth and delight to any cozy dinner.
This easy bread recipe uses a touch of real maple syrup in the dough. The bread itself is ever so slightly sweet and stays perfectly fluffy for days. Served with extra maple butter on the side, this simple recipe is a real treat.
These maple dinner rolls are made with just seven simple ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- All-Purpose or Bread flour
- Salt - I like to bake with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt and then top the buttery glazed buns with a flaky finishing salt, such as Maldon sea salt.
- Active Dry Yeast
- Whole Milk
- Butter - For the bread dough and serving
- Whole Egg
- Pure Maple Syrup - I used Grade A Maple syrup, because that's what I grew up on and keep in my pantry. Grade B syrup is often used in baking and would work well in this recipe, too.
How To Make Maple Dinner Rolls
These maple dinner rolls are easy to make. When baking, I always recommend using a kitchen scale to ensure accuracy. If you must measure with cups and spoons, I encourage you to fluff the flour and measure using the spoon and level method. (Spooning loose flour into your measuring cup and leveling the to with a straight edge, like the back of a knife.)
This is a standard rich dough recipe. In baking, "rich" doesn't refer to a big paycheck - baker's rarely make those. Instead it refers to a dough that is "rich" in fats, which is good enough for me. In this case the rich dough is made with butter, egg and maple syrup, which will lend itself to a soft and fluffy texture.
Finally, don't rush the proofing process. Active dry yeast requires a "bulk" proof where the entire ball of dough will slowly rise on the counter top. After doubled in size, the dough is deflated, shaped into taught rolls and left to proof a second time, creating a light and bouncy texture.
Mixing The Dough
- Add your flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer (or medium mixing bowl). Whisk to combine and set aside. Meanwhile, warm your milk to about 105° Fahrenheit. Stir in the maple syrup and active dry yeast until dissolved. Set aside until the yeast mixture is frothy. (If it doesn't froth - your yeast is likely dead and the bread will not rise.)
- Add the melted butter, whole egg and frothy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed (or with a wooden spoon) until a dough begins to come together. The dough will be slack and quite tacky. Knead for 6 - 10 minutes or until the dough has formed a smooth ball that isn't sticking to the sides of the bowl.
Pro Tip: Knowing Your Knead
Making bread can be a bit intimidating at first, especially if you don't know what to look for. When making a rich dough, like this one, the dough often seems too sticky and gloopy. However, during the kneading process the flour becomes more evenly hydrated and gluten development helps to create a smooth, slightly-tacky-but-not-too-sticky dough.
In the photos above, you can see when the dough is first mixed it sticks heavily to the dough hook and the sides of the bowl. You will know the dough is done kneading when it is smooth, much less sticky and pulling cleanly from the sides of the bowl (as it is in the image with the green checkmark).
- On a clean work surface, shape the kneaded dough into a taught round. Place the dough in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm space, for 1 - 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- It's important that during this step, you allow the dough to rise until it has truly doubled. The timing will depend on the temperature of your kitchen - I find my dough often takes around 90 minutes to proof, sometimes longer in the Winter months.
- On a clean, un-floured work surface punch down the dough to deflate it of any air bubbles. Press the dough into a flat disk and use your bench scraper to divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Working with one section of dough at a time, shape each piece into a taught round ball. I like to shape the rolls by quickly swirling the dough between my palm and work surface. You can see a slow-mo of how I shape my rolls, below. In the video, I'm making my oatmeal dinner rolls.
Second Proofing & Baking
- Place the balls of maple bread dough in a greased baking dish (or in rows on a sheet tray). Here, I used a ceramic pie plate. They fit perfectly and I love the way they bake together into pretty golden moguls. Cover the buns and allow to rise in a warm place for an additional 30 - 60 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven.
- The rolls are ready to bake when they have puffed up, nearly doubled and have a satisfying wobble. Bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. If you are unsure if your buns are fully baked, you can temp them. The internal temperature of the fully cooked buns will read 190° Fahrenheit. While they bake, prepare the salted maple butter.
- Allow the buns to cool slightly before glazing them with some of the maple butter. (If you will be eating the rolls later, I recommend warming them just before serving, and buttering them up then).
- Finish the dinner rolls with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. We salt generously in our house and love the flaky salt crackle with the buns sightly sweet flavor. I encourage you to eat the buns warm, straight from the pan.
Salted Maple Butter
I took these photos with half a stick butter but who was I kidding, really? If you'd like to have extra butter for serving, go ahead and use the whole stick.
- In a small bowl, combine very soft butter, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Mix and keep mixing until the butter and maple are smooth and emulsified. Serve at room temperature beside the rolls.
Pro Tip: Make It Cinnamon Butter
If you have a pulse you probably love those addicting rolls from Texas Roadhouse...add a pinch of cinnamon to the butter for a made-from-scratch better-than-Texas-Roadhouse riff.
Tips & Tricks for the Fluffiest Buns
- Weigh your ingredients - While you certainly can measure your ingredients with measuring cups, scaling your flour and other ingredients with a kitchen scale will ensure perfect accuracy every time. It's the easiest way to level up your baking and see consistent results.
- Use real maple syrup - This recipe was developed with pure maple syrup. Imitation syrup in generally made with artificially flavored corn syrup, which will alter the texture and flavor of this recipe.
- Bloom the yeast in warm milk - Your yeasty mixture will become active from the warmth and fed from the natural sugars in the maple syrup. A frothy yeast mixture is a clear sign that your yeast is alive and will work to rise your bread. If the mixture is too hot, your yeast can die and become ineffective. I recommend using an instant read thermometer and warming your milk between 105° - 110° Fahrenheit.
- Take your time and let is rise - You can't rush the rise! Rely on visual and textural cues from your dough to understand when it is ready to shape and bake.
Storing & Freezing
These buns are so soft that they stay fresh and yummy for days (testing this theory nearly killed us, by the way - we wanted to eat them all ASAP!). If you will be saving the rolls, I recommend skipping the maple butter glaze as it gets a little gummy after being stored.
- Room-Temperature: 2 - 4 days in an airtight container on the countertop.
- Freezer: 2 - 3 months. These rolls defrost quickly and spring back to life with just a few seconds in the microwave.
- Make Ahead for Holidays - When baking these rolls for my Thanksgiving feast, I allow the baked rolls to cool completely. Then, I pop the whole tray of dinner rolls out of the pan and twice wrap the rolls in plastic before freezing. The night before the holiday, I allow the rolls to thaw on the countertop. You can re-warm the rolls in the oven while the turkey rests and glaze them in maple butter right before dinner time.
Salted Maple Dinner Rolls
- Kitchen Scale (recommend)
- Instant Read Thermometer (optional)
- Stand Mixer with Dough Hook Attachment
- Bench Scraper
- Pastry Brush
Maple Dinner Rolls
- 2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt*
- ½ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole milk warmed to 105° Fahrenheit
- 2 Tablespoon real maple syrup (I keep Grade A at home, but Grade B works, too)
- 4 Tablespoons butter (½ stick) melted and slightly cooled
- 1 whole egg room temperature
- 1 -2 teaspoons flaky sea salt such as Maldon, to taste
Salted Maple Butter
- 8 Tablespoons butter (1 stick) softened to room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt* omit if using salted butter
Maple Dinner Rolls
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk flour and salt together. Set aside.2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt*
- Using an instant read thermometer, warm milk (on the stovetop or microwave) to 105° - 110° Fahrenheit (43° celsius). Add maple syrup and active dry yeast. Stir to dissolve and set aside to bloom for ten minutes or until frothy.½ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole milk + 2 Tablespoon real maple syrup
- Add yeast mixture, melted butter and a whole egg to the flour mixture in the stand mixer. Mixing on low speed until a sticky dough forms. Increase speed to medium speed and knead for 6 - 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, cohesive and no longer sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.4 Tablespoons butter (½ stick) + 1 whole egg
- Transfer dough to an oiled mixing bowl. Cover and let proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (This timing of this step will vary based on the temperature of your dough and kitchen).
- Transfer the dough to a clean, un-floured work surface. Punch down the dough to deflate into a flat disk. Use a bench scraper to portion the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.
- Shape each roll into a tight round and transfer to a greased ceramic pie plate or sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the rolls and allow to proof again, until doubled in size, about 30 - 60 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the center third of the oven and preheat to 350° Fahrenheit (120° celsius).
- Bake rolls for 18 - 22 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden. Fully baked maple rolls will have an internal temperature of 190° Fahrenheit (88° celsius). While baking, prepare the salted maple butter. While the rolls are still warm, glaze the buns with a Tablespoon, or so, of the maple butter. Finish with flaky sea salt, to taste. Enjoy while warm with extra maple butter, as desired.1 -2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
Salted Maple Butter
- Combine softened butter, maple syrup and kosher salt, if using. Use a fork or small whisk to mash the butter and mix until the ingredients are fully combined. Serve with additional flaky sea salt, as desired.8 Tablespoons butter (1 stick) + 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup + 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt*
* A Note About Salt
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on The Sage Apron are developed using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It is a great all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.