Buttery pull-apart rolls

I devised this recipe so I could have amazing homemade buns for my carnitas pull-apart sliders recipe. But these are so good just on their own, hearty yet pillowy and light, you could just show up with these and be greeted very warmly at the door. If possible, serve warm with butter, but they still taste great at room temperature.

Don’t skip the part about lining your pan with parchment — you’ll thank me not only for how easy it is to get the rolls out of the pan in one easy step, but also for how quick the cleanup is. (I say this after having had to scrub out baked-on egg wash on what’s supposedly a nonstick pan.)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Resting time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
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Serves 20 rolls


  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 3 T potato starch
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 egg


  • Melt butter over low heat in small saucepan. When butter is melted, remove from heat. Add milk and stir to combine.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if you’ll be mixing by hand), add flour, yeast, potato starch, sugar, and salt. Insert the dough hook on the stand mixer if using, and run the mixer on low to combine. If you’re doing it by hand, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  • Add butter and milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Run the machine on low to incorporate the liquid into the dry ingredients, then increase speed to high to knead the dough. If you’re kneading by hand, stir the wet and dry ingredients together with a kitchen spoon, then turn out on a clean surface to knead.
  • Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is supple and smooth. Test the dough by tearing off a small piece and try to stretch it out paper thin, holding it up against a light source. If the dough breaks before you can see the light coming through the dough, continue kneading until the dough passes the test.
  • When the dough is completely kneaded, oil the mixing bowl with the vegetable oil. Roll the ball of dough around the bowl to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and leave in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • While the dough is rising, line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment.
  • When dough has doubled in size, divide into 20 equal pieces. The most effective way is to use a kitchen scale. Your ball of dough will be about 44 ounces, so each piece of dough for the rolls should be about 2.2 ounces.
  • Form each piece of dough into a smooth ball, pulling and smoothing one side (that will be the top) and pinching together on the bottom, as if stretching canvas over a frame. Each little ball of dough should end up slightly oblong and placed evenly in the parchment-lined pan. 
  • Cover the filled pan with plastic wrap or damp towel stretched tight over the pan, and let rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes until the balls have risen into each other. Toward the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350°F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Mix egg with one tablespoon of water and brush onto the dough.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the buns are a deep golden brown on top. Lift buns out of the pan with the parchment paper, then slide the buns off the parchment onto a cooling rack.
  • You can bring them warm and uncovered if you’re going straight to the party; otherwise, let cool completely before storing them. If you want to keep them crusty, store in a paper bag. If you’re serving them by themselves with butter or other spread, they’re best when they’re warm. If using them for sliders, they’re totally fine at room temperature.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg

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