This is the ultimate guide to creating the softest and most delicious sweet bread rolls! Rich in buttery goodness, these bread are irresistibly fluffy and delicious.
Using my fast-rising single-proof dough, you can prepare them in 90 minutes or less–making it ideal for Thanksgiving, Christmas, weekend family dinners, or any day when you craving for exceptionally good bread.
Sweet Bread Recipe
Why you'll love this quick bread recipe:
- The dough only requires one proofing and the rising time is faster than your regular dough recipe.
- The bread texture is pillowy-soft, moist (not dry!), and oh-so-delicious.
- Made of simple bread ingredients that never fail to make the best softest yeast bread!
Here's what you need to make the best sweet bread dough:
This is the same dough recipe as my small-batch cinnamon rolls only that it's double the amount. I know many of you loved it so why not make it into sweet bread rolls?
- Flour – using equal amounts of all-purpose flour and bread flour is a favorite technique of mine to create that lovely soft bread texture.
- Instant Yeast – or rapid-rise yeast is needed which helps the dough rise faster.
- Whole Milk – use whole full-fat fresh milk.
- Egg Yolks – is the secret to a luscious, plush, and pillowy soft. Don’t tell anyone (wink!).
- Butter – use pure unsalted butter, the best you can find. This will define the overall flavor of your bread.
How to Make It
A stand mixer with a large bowl makes this sweet bread easy to make. Note that this makes a slightly sticky dough but don't worry, it is completely manageable after proofing.
Here's how I make the dough:
- Proof the instant yeast in warm milk - This will help the dough rise faster. This has always worked for me and always had a perfectly proofed dough. you can use instant or active dry. Personally, I always proof my yeast no matter the type to make sure they're working before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine the dry ingredients–Flour, salt, and sugar. You can go ahead and add the 4 cups of flour in one go. Then add more later on if the dough comes out very sticky.
- Add yeast mixture and egg yolks to the flour. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Doing this will make it easier for the dough hook to start the kneading process.
- Add the cubes of butter one at a time while running the mixer at low speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl every now and then.
- Beat the dough for 10 to 12 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add flour while kneading until it becomes less sticky and smooth. I added about 5 tablespoons of more flour. Don't worry if the dough still looks a bit tacky. Scrape the sides of the bowl once in a while.
How to Shape the Dough
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air. Place on a floured surface. Kneading it a few times by hand. This will help lessen the "yeasty" smell of the bread.
To divide the dough:
- Form into a smooth ball, and make a cut through the dough to the center.
- Divide the cut dough again into two.
- Shape into a small log as evenly as possible.
- Divide into small portions. Repeat the same steps for 3 of the remaining dough until you get 22 to 24 pieces of bread.
- Shape into a roll by tucking it under to create a smooth top. Place onto a surface then rotate to smoothen the bottom. Repeat the process for each roll and place it on a baking tray.
For uniform-sized bread, use a food scale to weigh each dough before shaping. For 16 large rolls, it would weigh approximately 70g each and for 24 smaller rolls, it would approximately be 47g each.
What to Serve with
Sweet bread rolls are a delicious and versatile treat that can be served in many ways. Here are some ideas for serving or how to serve it:
- Plain: Sweet bread rolls are delicious on their own, warm or at room temperature. You can serve them as is, without any toppings or fillings, for a simple yet satisfying treat.
- Butter and jam: Spread some butter and your favorite jam or fruit preserves like strawberry and orange on your sweet bread rolls for a classic and tasty combination.
- Cream cheese: Spread some cream cheese on your sweet bread rolls for a creamy and tangy flavor.
- Honey: Drizzle some honey over your sweet bread rolls for a sweet and decadent treat.
- Nutella: Spread some Nutella or chocolate spread on your sweet bread rolls for a rich and indulgent snack.
- Sandwiches: Sweet bread rolls can also be used to make sandwiches. Fill them with your favorite sandwich ingredients, such as deli meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
- French toast: Turn your sweet bread rolls into French toast by dipping them in a mixture of eggs, milk, and cinnamon, and then cooking them on a griddle or skillet.
- Bread pudding: Use your sweet bread rolls to make bread pudding. Cut them into cubes and mix them with eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, and then bake them in a dish until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Dessert: Sweet bread rolls can also be used as a base for many desserts. Top them with fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or any other dessert topping you like.
Overall, there are many ways to serve these sweet bread rolls, so feel free to get creative and try different combinations of toppings, fillings, and serving ideas.
Storage and Shelf-life
These baked loaves stay soft longer than most bread. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. If using a large zip bag, push out excess air before sealing. Like any other yeast bread, flavor and taste may change if stored for longer than 5 days.
Love baking? You MUST TRY these recipes!
- Small Batch Soft Cinnamon Rolls
- Tres Leches Cake
- Banana Chocolate Marble Bread
- Moist Banana Muffins with Oatmeal Crunch
- Easy Chocolate Cake
- Cornbread Muffins
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Beetroot Powder
- Carrot Banana Muffins
Sweet Bread Recipe (Soft and Buttery)
- Baking Pan
- 1 ½ cup fresh milk + 1 teaspoon sugar (lukewarm, note 1)
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast (or rapid rise yeast)
- 2 cup bread flour (note 2)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour (note 2)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (softened, slice into cubes)
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 2 large egg yolks (room temperature)
- 1 egg, whisked (for optional egg wash)
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Place milk and 1 teaspoon sugar in a microwave-safe cup. Heat for 30 seconds. Check if the temperature is LUKEWARM by dipping your finger or a kitchen thermometer. If it's still cold, heat for another 10 seconds until it reaches 40c/104f.
- Add yeast, stir and let it proof for 10 minutes until it froths.
Prepare other ingredients
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Set aside.
Knead the dough
- Add proofed yeast and eggs to the flour mixture. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed. Add the cubes of butter one at a time while running the mixer at medium-low speed. Beat for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 10 to 12 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every now and then. While beating, add flour as necessary until the dough becomes less sticky. Start with 2 tablespoons and go from there. I added about 4-5 tablespoons more bread flour.
- Scrape the dough on a work surface dusted with flour. Form into a smooth bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Divide, Shape and Rise
- Line baking tray with baking paper.
- Divide the dough into 16 large rolls (approx 70g each) or 24 smaller rolls and shape into a smooth ball. For an evenly sized dough, use a kitchen scale. Mine was about 47g each to make 24 rolls. Adjust based on your preference.
- Place the ball in the tray. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 30mins up to 40 mins depending on room temperature.
- Preheat oven at 180c/356f, 20 minutes before the dough rolls finishes rising.
- Gently brush the top of each roll with egg wash. This is optional.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the top turns light brown. If you're using two racks, switch the trays after 12 minutes so all the rolls will brown evenly.
- Brush with a mixture of melted butter and honey while warm. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Milk temperature should be 30c/86f to 40c/104f. If it's too hot the yeast will die. If it's too cold, the yeast will not froth. You can use low-fat or full-cream fresh milk. I used 2% milk.
- Flour - I find that combining 2 types of flour makes a soft yet chewy bread. You can use pure bread flour or just all-purpose flour if one or the other is not available.
- Proving dough in colder months: Place a heatproof dish on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Put the dough in the middle or top rack and shut the door. The steam and heat from the boiling water will create a warm environment to help raise the dough. You can also do this in an empty kitchen cabinet/cupboard so you can start preheating the oven while the rolls are rising.
- For a smaller batch of dough - follow my Small Batch Soft Cinnamon Rolls dough recipe.
- Reduce the yeast amount to 2 ¼ tsp. Follow the same recipe up until the kneading.
- Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it in a bowl greased with vegetable oil.
- Cover the dough tightly and place it at room temperature for 10 minutes then place it in the refrigerator overnight. The cold temperature will slow down the rise but still allow the flavors to develop.
- In the morning, take the dough out, let it come to room temperature.
- Divide and shape the rolls, and continue with the final proofing and baking steps as usual.