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Sage Brown Butter Dinner Rolls

Sage Brown Butter Dinner Rolls
Soft and savory, with a delightful dose of caramelized and nutty brown butter, these sage dinner rolls are a flavorful upgrade to ordinary dinner rolls. Serve with your favorite cold weather meals or on the holiday dinner table… and prepare for zero leftovers!
Yield 14 to 16 rolls



  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3/4 cup (187g) whole milk or buttermilk, warmed to 110°F (43°C)
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 3 tablespoons (63g) honey, divided
  • 1 large (50g) egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) table salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage leaves, plus a little more for finishing
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups (390g) bread flour, plus more as needed (spoon and level method)
  • Sea salt, for finishing (optional)


  • Brown the butter: Set out a medium heatproof bowl because you’ll need it at the end of this step. Place the sliced butter in a light-colored skillet or saucepan. A light-colored interior is crucial for determining when the butter begins to brown. Melt the butter over medium heat and stir or whisk constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Continue stirring/whisking, keeping a close eye on it. After about 5–7 minutes, the butter will begin browning and you’ll notice lightly browned specks forming at the bottom of the pan. Once it’s a light caramel-brown color, remove from heat immediately and pour into the bowl, including any brown solids that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon honey together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Loosely cover and allow to sit for 5—10 minutes until foamy and frothy on top.
  • Add the remaining honey, the egg, 6 Tablespoons (90ml) of the slightly cooled brown butter (reserve the rest for brushing on top of rolls in step 11), the salt, sage, thyme, and 1 cup bread flour. With a dough hook or paddle attachment, mix/beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the remaining bread flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If the dough seems too wet to a point where kneading (next step) would be impossible, beat in more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough. Dough should be soft and a little sticky, but still manageable to knead with lightly floured hands.
  • Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 3 full minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3 full minutes.
  • 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or two 9-inch square or round baking pans.
  • Shape the rolls: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into 14-16 equal pieces. (Just eyeball it– doesn’t need to be perfect!) Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange in prepared baking pan or a couple inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  • 2nd Rise: Cover shaped rolls with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until puffy, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It's best to bake the rolls towards the bottom of the oven so the tops don't burn.)
  • Bake the rolls: Bake for 23-27 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. If you notice the tops browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil.
  • Remove rolls from the oven. Heat remaining browned butter to melt it since it has likely solidified and mix with a pinch of fresh chopped sage. Brush mixture all over warm rolls. If desired, sprinkle tops with coarse sea salt. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 7. Place shaped rolls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. Once frozen, the dough balls won’t stick together anymore and you can place them in a freezer bag if needed. On the day you serve them, arrange the dough balls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, then let them thaw and rise for about 4–5 hours. Bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked dinner rolls. Allow them to cool completely, and then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired. If reheating the whole pan, lightly cover and reheat in a 300°F (150°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warm.
  2. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the recipe through step 7. Cover the shaped rolls tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 3 hours before you need them the next day, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1–2 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to about 15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. Continue with step 9.
  3. No Stand Mixer? If you do not own a stand mixer, you can use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough together with a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon. It will take a bit of arm muscle. A hand mixer works, but the sticky dough repeatedly gets stuck in the beaters. Mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula is a better choice.
  4. Milk: Buttermilk or whole milk are ideal for the best, richest flavor and texture. Keeping that in mind, feel free to substitute with a lower-fat or nondairy milk.
  5. Herbs: If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dried instead. Simply reduce the amount by half, so 1 teaspoon dried sage and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. (Add more if you want extra flavor.)
  6. Flour: If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is convenient for most, but bread flour produces chewier dinner rolls. The rolls are still soft and fluffy no matter which you use. Either flour is fine and there are no other changes to the recipe if you use one or the other.
Recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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Sage Brown Butter Dinner Rolls recipe

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