Play Dough

I need to make more bread. Not because I need to stuff my pie hole with even more carbs than I already do (definitely not because of that) but because, get this, bread is FUN!

See, growing up, I always had a lot of heart when it came to art class but never a lot of talent. I could color inside the lines with the best of them, had that down pretty good. But my drawing never progressed past the square house with the little puff of curly smoke coming out the chimney and a couple assorted stick figures. I made the most mangled and lopsided clay pots. Bless the heart of my dear mother, who displayed them quite proudly, even though they were far from impressive.

Hey, I tried hard. And it would be pretty heartless to fail a 9 year old in art class.

Bread dough is kind of like clay for the slightly domesticated. You can smush it. You can smash it. You can toss it in the air. You can mold it into pretty shapes. Even if you nearly failed art with your sad excuse for a pot like I did, you can turn a ball of yeast, flour and water into something pretty amazing.

Seriously, if I can make these lovely rosette-shaped dinner rolls, ANYONE can.

These easy dinner rolls are a snap to put together. If you’re nervous about yeast, this is a great starter recipe. The dough is easy to work with and although the shaping is a bit time consuming, I had a great time turning balls of dough into long thin ropes and twisting them into flower shapes. I may or may not have squealed with delight a few times. I do that. Squeal when I’m cooking. Don’t you?

Anyway, these rolls are kissed with a light onion and herb flavor which make for a soft, flavorful treat. The perfect accompaniment for everything from a bowl of chili to a roast chicken. Eric was ready to forget the rest of meal and just eat these bad boys for dinner last night. I don’t blame him, that would be this carb-lover’s dream come true!

HERB ONION ROSETTE DINNER ROLLS (Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)


  • 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon your favorite dried herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, Italian seasoning, etc.)
  • 1 beaten egg


1. Stir together 1 1/4 cups of the flour and yeast. In a medium saucepan heat and stir, milk, sugar, butter, salt, onion and herbs until just warmed (120 to 130 degrees) and the butter almost melts. Add to the flour mixture along with the egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the side of the bowl and then beat on high for 3 minutes more. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (about 6 to 8 minutes – just eyeball it. It should feel smooth in your hands and no longer be sticky.) Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray, turn once to coat all sides of the dough. Cover and let rise inΒ  a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

This is my dough-coverin’ towel. It looks like a towel that would cover dough doesn’t it?

3. Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly flour surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest of 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet.

4. Divide each portion of the dough into 12 to 16 pieces depending on how many rolls you want.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 12-inch long rope.

6. Tie each rope into a loose knot, leaving two long ends.

7. Tuck the end on the top under the knot and the end on the bottom into the top center of the knot.

This is the part where I squeal. Look how cute they are!!

8. Place two to three inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size (about 30 minutes)

9. Brush rolls with a little milk, beaten egg or melted butter for a shiny crust, if desired. Bake in a 375 oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until rolls sound hollow lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Makes 24 to 36 rolls.


One Year Ago: Slow Cooked Sesame Country Style Ribs
Two Years Ago: Tomato Soup with Pasta and Basil


Filed under bread

27 responses to “Play Dough

  1. ju

    Hi! I was taken by the photos, i want to try these “bad boys” πŸ™‚ They look amazing!
    Can you please, give the quantity of the yeast in grams?

  2. brannyboilsover

    Looks professional!

  3. Wow, nice and shiny! Those look fabulous!

  4. I love baking bread, the rolls look so good!

  5. These are on my immediate “to make” list! Thank you! And what a lovely job you did. πŸ™‚

  6. You inspired me to play with the dough. I’ve just finished making these lovely bread knots. Mine are with garlic and mahlab. Very nice form πŸ™‚

  7. Oooooh… had to rush over after spying your photo on foodgawker. Stunning!! Love, love, love! Can’t wait to give them a try.


    PS – stop over, I’m hosting a $65 giveaway.

  8. onlinetutor1

    These rolls look lovely. Thank you for the instructional photos.

  9. I am sure gonna try this bread, i agree to you they look so cute i would squeal too πŸ™‚

  10. Wow, great pic on how to shape them.

    These sound wonderful, must add to my list of breads to try, thanks.

  11. hopefully can make these delicious beauties soon. it’s been too long since my fiancΓ©e and i have made rolls!



  12. Oh, I SO want to make these!! They look so good, and I love bread recipes using butter and milk. Don’t know if I can shape them that well, though!

  13. Those rolls look beautiful and if I hadn’t already made a triple batch of lepinje (Bosnian pita bread) this morning, then I would have made them today. It’s definitely on my list to try soon though! πŸ™‚

    I just wanted to tell you that I’m like you. I LOVE baking and having my hands in the dough. It’s fun and it makes me happy. πŸ™‚

    I also love nothing more fresh bread from the oven. It smells magical and comforting while it’s cooking, and eating bread straight from the oven that’s smothered in butter…well…it doesn’t get much better than that. πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to explore your blog some more. You and your milkman look like down-home kind of people I can relate to. πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend, sheila

  14. Rebecca

    These just looked sooo good, I had to try them out tonight. One thing – you list sugar as an ingredient, but I can’t seem to find it in the recipe itself!

    • themilkmanswife

      Rebecca – thanks so much for letting me know! Typos – yikes! You are right, where to use the sugar is not in the recipe. I apologize. The sugar is heated with the milk mixture. I’ve updated the recipe to include it. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  15. They’re so pretty!
    My crappy attempts at making rolls look pretty leave me with lumpy knots of dough. Tasty, but so unattractive.

  16. sharon

    I had to write to you. We made these last night. We never tried rolls/bread before. Hubby did most of the work, I just knotted them. They were wonderful. And you were right. I did say “Oh how cute” after they were knotted. Thanks!!

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  18. Liz

    Thanks for posting such nice step-by-step pictures. I decided to make these as my first ever attempt at homemade bread, and I giggled the whole time. They came out great!

  19. I was planning to make this, but I don’t know how many grams is there in 1 package active dry yeast as i think packets varey in different countires.

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