These Cloverleaf Rolls are rich and buttery with a fun pull-apart clover shape. Try these dinner rolls for Sunday dinner or Thanksgiving!
Are you looking for the perfect dinner roll recipe to go with a soup or chili dinner before the weather warms up and it feels like spring is really here? Or, is it already warm where you live and you’d like a some delicious homemade bread to accompany a main dish salad? Either way, I highly recommend that you try these cloverleaf rolls. They are soft and buttery, and the cloverleaf shape is a nice touch for a pretty presentation.
Cloverleaf rolls are one of my favorite dinner roll recipes, along with these yeast rolls. I love the sweetness of the honey yeast rolls, but when I want more of a rich butter flavor I make these cloverleaf rolls.
These homemade rolls are a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. You can make these rolls ahead and freeze them to save preparation time on the big day.
How to Make Cloverleaf Rolls
- Combine warmed milk, sugar and yeast in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Whisk in an egg and an egg yolk.
- Using a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt.
- Pour the milk mixture into the mixer.
- Mix and add cubes of butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated.
- Knead the dough using the mixer’s dough hook (or by hand) for 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Let the dough rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Shape the rolls by dividing the dough into 36 pieces and rolling each piece into a ball. Place three balls of dough in each muffin cup of a muffin tin. This will create the pull apart cloverleaf shape.
- Let the rolls rise for 20 minutes.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Brush the warm rolls with melted butter.
Make Ahead Dinner Rolls
There are two make ahead options for these cloverleaf rolls:
- You can make these rolls ahead and freeze them. Thaw on the counter and then warm in a 325 degree oven.
- After shaping the rolls, the filled muffin tin can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Baking Tips for Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
- If you do not have a stand mixer, you can mix and knead the dough by hand.
- To quickly bring your eggs to room temperature, you can place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
- To quickly bring your butter to room temperature, cut it into small cubes. The smaller pieces will warm faster.
- You can replace up to half of the all purpose flour in this recipe with white whole wheat flour.
- 3/4 cup milk (heated to 110 degrees F)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons rapid rise (or instant) yeast (or one packet yeast)
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (see note)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. This will be a warm environment in which to let the dough rise.
- Lightly oil a large bowl.
- Whisk the milk, sugar, and yeast in a liquid measuring cup until the yeast dissolves. Then whisk in the egg and egg yolk.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture in a steady stream. Mix until the dough begins to form, about 1 minute.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the 8 tablespoons of softened butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth ball. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the turned-off oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- To shape the rolls: Brush a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of melted butter, or spray with cooking spray. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into thirds. Roll each third into an 18-inch long rope. Then cut each rope into 12 equal pieces and cover the pieces with plastic wrap (there will be 36 pieces of dough).
- Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place 3 balls, seam side down, in each muffin cup. Cover the muffin tin loosely with plastic wrap and let rest in the turned-off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and discard the plastic wrap. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Brush the rolls with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm.
Up to half of the all purpose flour can be replaced with white whole wheat flour.
- To make ahead: The filled muffin tin can be refrigerated, covered, for 24 hours. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
- Recipe adapted from Cook's Country Magazine, October/November 2010.
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