There is nothing better than the smell of bread baking in the oven, especially when you make Homemade Sweet Dinner Rolls in your own kitchen.
The sweet aroma alone is sure to make your mouth water in anticipation of taking that first bite into the soft and pillowy rolls at dinner.
But what makes these rolls so special is the secret ingredient that is not typically found in other roll recipes. Instead of using water, this recipe calls for pineapple juice as the liquid.
It is the ingredient that adds that sweet, but subtle tropical flavor familiar to those famous Hawaiian rolls that you can purchase at the grocery store.
Sweet Dinner Rolls Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
- Pineapple juice
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Active dry yeast
- Bread flour
The first step in making homemade Sweet Dinner Rolls is to activate the yeast. Do this by adding the pineapple juice and milk in a small saucepan.
Then heat the liquid until the temperature reaches between 105°F – 110°F, checking the temperature with a digital food thermometer. However, be sure that the tip of the thermometer is not touching the sides or bottom of the pan or you may get an incorrect reading.
You want the thermometer to read the temperature of the liquid in the center of the pan, not on the sides. This will ensure that the temperature is perfect for proofing the yeast.
However, if the temperature reaches above 110°F, simply remove the pan from the heat source and let it cool until it reaches the ideal temperature.
Once the liquid is between 105°F – 110°F add in a packet of active dry yeast. Let the yeast sit in the warm liquid and activate for 10 minutes. At that time the mixture should be foamy and bubbly.
While you wait for the yeast to proof, add the melted butter, eggs, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix just until combined. Then when the yeast is activated stir it into the mixture.
Next, add 2 cups of the flour to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is just incorporated.
Attach the dough hook to the mixer and turn to medium-low speed. Gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a ball begins to form and the dough easily pulls away from the bowl.
Continue to knead on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
Dough Hook Kneading vs. Hand Kneading
Although making these sweet dinner rolls is much easier with a dough hook attachment to your stand mixer, I also realize that not everyone has that attachment.
If you don’t have a dough hook, you can hand knead the dough instead. Continue to knead by hand by pressing, folding and turning the dough until it becomes smooth and easily forms a ball.
This process should take about 10 minutes if doing it by hand.
Once the dough is ready, remove it from the mixing bowl. Then shape it into one large ball and place back in the bowl.
Cover the top with plastic wrap and set it in a dry warm place. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, which should take on average about an hour.
How To Speed Up The Dough Rising Process
If you are like me and want to speed up the dough rising process, there are a few tips and tricks that can help your sweet dinner rolls dough rise even faster.
- Oven Method – Turn the oven on 200°F. After it reaches temperature, turn the oven off. Then place the covered bowl in the oven and let the dough rise until double in size. This could take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
- Instant Pot Proofing – If you have an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker that has a yogurt button, you use that to let your dough rise in about half the time that it takes for the traditional method. Start by brushing extra virgin olive oil in the Instant Pot. Then add the dough and cover with a glass lid. Press the Yogurt button and the dough will begin to rise.
- Microwave Method – Place 1 cup of water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Heat on high for 2 minutes or until the water is boiling. Add bread dough to a glass bowl and place it in the microwave with the measuring cup. Close the door and let the bread proof until double in size.
While you are waiting for the dough to rise, grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and set it aside. Then when the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough to a clean surface.
Prepare The Rolls
Deflate the dough by gently punching down the center. Then divide the dough into 12 equal sections.
Shape each piece into a ball and evenly place in the prepared pan. The dough balls should not be touching each other at this point.
Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Let the sweet dinner roll dough rise again until doubled in size, which will take about 30 minutes.
At this point, the rolls will have risen enough to touch each other.
Next, prepare an egg wash. Do this by whisking an egg with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Then use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the rolls with the egg wash.
This will help make the dinner rolls turn golden brown and shiny once baked.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Then place the baking pan in the oven and bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the rolls sit for a few minutes in the pan for a 3-4 minutes. Then use a knife or a small serving spatula to remove the rolls from the pan
Tear them into individual sweet dinner rolls and serve warm.
Mary and Jim
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- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 teaspoons 1 packet active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 large egg for brushing rolls before baking
- Combine the pineapple juice and milk in a small saucepan. Heat until temperature reaches 105-110°F. Add in yeast and let activate for 10 minutes. The mixture should be foamy.
- In a large mixing bowl add melted butter, eggs, sugar, salt. Stir and add in yeast mixture (once activated).
- Add 2 cups of the flour to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the the flour is incorporated.
- Attach the dough hook to the mixer and turn to medium-low speed. Gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a ball begins to form and scraps away from the bowl.
- Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove dough from bowl, shape into a ball, and place back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Remove the dough and gently deflate.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan.
- In a small bowl combine the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush all over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 301mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 9g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.