Our recipe for old fashioned oatmeal dinner rolls are made with active dry yeast, honey, milk, and butter for an irresistibly soft and pillowy texture. These fluffy homemade oatmeal buns are the perfect companion for holiday meals and Sunday suppers.
For another delicious homemade roll recipe, try our Braided Challah Buns!
This simple oatmeal bread recipe uses a handful of standard baking ingredients that you probably already have at home!
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats - This recipe works best with rolled oats and NOT instant or steel cut oats.
- Honey - Honey gives these rolls the perfect hint of sweetness.
- Active Dry Yeast - Using active dry yeast allows us to double proof the bread creating complex, yeast flavors and a light and fluffy texture.
How To Make This Recipe
These honey oatmeal rolls are a simple enriched yeast bread recipe that is great for beginner bread makers. The freshly mixed dough, however, is very sticky and I recommend making this recipe in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
Mixing The Dough
1. Start by adding the flour, old fashioned oats and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk to combine and set aside.
2. Next, it is time to bloom the active dry yeast. Heat milk to 110° Fahrenheit. Add honey and yeast and stir until dissolved. Set aside to allow to bloom for ten minutes, or until frothy.
Baker's Journal: Blooming Yeast - Yeast is an organism that needs specific temperatures (and food!) to properly leaven dough. Since yeast can die at temperatures above 120° Fahrenheit, I recommend using an instant read thermometer to ensure your blooming liquid is at the proper temperature. We use this thermometer from ThermoWorks).
If after 10 minutes the blooming yeast mixture is not bubbling and frothy, your yeast is likely dead. Don't bother baking, you results will be sad and dense. Start over with some fresh, lively yeast.
3. Add the frothy yeast mixture to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer and begin mixing on low speed. Stream in melted and slightly cooled butter. Then, stream in lightly beaten eggs. In the first moments of kneading, you may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to knead for 8 - 10 minutes.
Initially, the dough will be very wet and sticky. Once properly kneaded (after 8 - 10 minutes) the oatmeal roll dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a mass around the dough hook. At this stage, the dough is still very tacky but ready to proof. Use a bowl scraper to transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel.
Proofing & Shaping
4. Allow the dough to proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Once doubled, punch down the dough to deflate it of air. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface.
5. Divide dough into 20 equal portions. For the best results, I recommend scaling your rolls into pieces that weigh 60 grams or 2.1 ounces each.
6. Shape the oatmeal dough into round rolls. Use a cupped hand and a circular motion to shape the portions of dough into tight balls. Pinch the cinched bottom of the roll together and place smooth side up on a parchment lined baking sheet or a buttered baking dish.
Pro Tip: Shaping the Dough - Do NOT add any flour to your work surface. You need the tacky dough to create tension that allows you to shape the dough into tight balls. It may take a little practice, but you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. While rolling in a circular motion, press into the dough with the side of your palm while simultaneously tucking the dough under with your fingertips. The goal is to have a smooth ball of dough that will hold its' shape and trap gasses during the second proof.
7. Proof again, covered under a clean, damp cloth, for 30 - 60 minutes. The rolls are ready to bake when they have doubled in size. They should be touching (or nearly touching) and spring back to a gentle poke. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
8. Egg wash the rolls (or use a couple Tablespoons of melted butter) to brush each roll. Sprinkle the rolls with additional rolled oats and a flaky salt, as desired.
9. Bake the rolls for 18 - 22 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until golden brown and baked to an internal temperature of 190° Fahrenheit. Allow the rolls to cool on a wire baking rack. Serve warm with softened butter and enjoy!
Tips For Baking With Yeast
Working with yeast can be a bit intimidating, since there are many factors. The best advice I have received as a baker is to treat time and temperature like ingredients - carefully measured and monitored. This is especially important when baking with active dry yeast. Here are my tips for the best results:
- Use an instant read thermometer. Active dry yeast is most effective between 100° and 110° degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to ensure your blooming liquid (in this case, milk) is at the proper temperature. We love our thermometers from ThermoWorks.
- Measure proofing by sight and feel, not solely time. There are dozens of factors that can alter proofing time. Dough temperature, kitchen temperature, drafts, humidity, sugars and hydration are just a few of those factors. It is best to check the dough for signs of proper proofing instead of just setting a timer.
- Use the "poke test". The poke test is my favorite way to determine if dough is ready to bake. When it appears your dough has doubled in size, use a floured fingertip to give the dough a good poke. It the dough springs back quickly, it is still rising and needs more time. When the dough springs back slowly and leaves a small indentation, the dough is ready to bake.
- Consider your kitchen temperature. I have found that one of the biggest factors of my proofing time is the temperature of my kitchen. On cold, snowy days when my kitchen is below 70°, the dough will rise more slowly. On bustling holidays when my oven has been on for hours, my dough will proof much more quickly.
- Keep dough covered and shape quickly! To keep yeast happy and protect the dough from drying out, keep it covered with a clean, damp towel or plastic wrap. When shaping rolls, work quickly to avoid uneven proofing.
- Test doneness with a thermometer. Have you ever broken into a beautifully golden bread to be disappointed with underbaked strands of gluten in the center? It happens to the best of us. Next time, use an instant read thermometer to determine doneness. Most soft and fluffy breads, like these oatmeal rolls, are perfectly baked at an internal temperature of 190° Fahrenheit.
Storage & Freezing
- Room Temperature: Leftover rolls can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 - 5 days.
- Freezer: These oatmeal dinner rolls also freeze beautifully! Scott and I like to make a full batch just for the two of us! We break them out for dinners, as needed. We freeze the separated rolls in freezer safe bags for up to 2 - 3 months. To reheat, we pop them from frozen straight into the microwave. 30 - 40 seconds is all it takes to heat this roll from frozen to warm and ready to serve.
- Make Ahead for the Holidays: If you'd like to make this recipe ahead of time for the holidays or a big family dinner, you can do that too. Allow the rolls to cool completely at room temperature. Then, freeze the entire tray of rolls, twice covered in plastic warp. Allow the rolls to thaw at room temperature for several hours, or overnight. When ready to serve, warm the oatmeal rolls covered in foil, for about 10 minutes in a hot oven.
Soft and pillowy honey oatmeal dinner rolls call for softened butter and flaky sea salt! We love serving these rolls at Thanksgiving, Christmas and potluck dinners. They pair perfectly will all sorts of comfort foods. Here are a few of our recipes that pair deliciously with these dinner rolls:
Old Fashioned Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
- Stand Mixer with Dough Hook Attachment
- Kitchen Scale ((Optional but recommended))
- Bench Scraper
Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
- 4 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons fine kosher salt*
- 1 ¼ Cups whole milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- ¼ Cup honey
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
- egg wash (made from 1 egg, whisked)
- ⅓ Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- Flaky finishing salt as desired
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk flour, rolled oats and salt together. Set aside.
- Using an instant read thermometer, warm milk (on the stovetop or microwave) to 105° - 110° Fahrenheit (43° celsius). Add honey and active dry yeast. Stir to dissolve and set aside to bloom for ten minutes or until frothy.
- Add yeast mixture to flour mixture in the stand mixer. Mixing on low speed, stream in butter and lightly beaten eggs. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Dough will be very sticky. Increase speed to medium speed and knead for 8 - 10 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a mass around the dough hook.
- Transfer dough to an oiled mixing bowl. Cover and let proof until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough to deflate. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface. (Do not flour.) Use a bench scraper to portion the dough into 20 equal sized pieces. I recommend using a kitchen scale and scaling each roll to 60 grams (2.1 ounces).
- Shape each roll into a tight round and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the rolls and allow to proof again, until doubled in size, about 45 - 60 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the center third of the oven and preheat to 350° Fahrenheit (120° celsius).
- Brush each roll with egg wash. Sprinkle rolls with remaining rolled oats and flaky salt, as desired.
- Bake rolls for 18 - 22 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden. Fully baked oatmeal rolls will have an internal temperature of 190° Fahrenheit (88° celsius). Transfer rolls to a wire baking rack to cool. Serve warm with softened butter.
* 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.