Buttery, soft rolls are loaded with fresh rosemary and sea salt, are the perfect mix of a fluffy dinner roll and flaky biscuit, and will melt in your mouth! Serve them with Easy Instant Pot Corn Chowder or Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup for an ultra cozy meal.
While we were in Hawaii for our honeymoon, we stayed at this phenomenal adults only resort called Hotel Wailea. There were approximately a million amazing things about our stay there, but one of the most memorable aspects of our trip was the food. Oh my god, the food.
It’s a Relais & Châteaux hotel with a Relais & Châteaux restaurant, so to say they have good food is an understatement. The menu is based on what is readily available from the farms on Maui and some of the ingredients are even grown right on the grounds in their gardens.
All that said, my favorite thing from the restaurant was the dinner rolls. Their soft, buttery, salty dinner rolls stuffed with fresh rosemary and an intoxicating aroma. The menu is loaded with incredible entrees and desserts, and what’s my favorite thing? The free dinner rolls.
My husband and I got a reputation for how much we loved those dinner rolls. We would be sitting at the bar, just having drinks, and they would bring us a plate of rolls. That alone makes it worth going back.
I’m only half joking.
Here’s why these rolls are so amazing…
I knew I needed to make my own when we got back, but I wanted to put my own spin on it because when I realized I couldn’t get the recipe exactly the same I’d lose my mind. So instead, I decided to make them just as buttery, salty and rosemary-y – but in a dinner roll biscuit hybrid.
- They’re a little sturdier than your standard dinner roll, so they hold up well to being dipped in soups and chili.
- They melt in your mouth with every bite, and eating them while they’re warm is completely drool worthy.
- The scent of these rolls when you’re making the dough is intoxicating, and it’s even more amazing when they’re baking. Who needs potpourri when you have these?
Making the yeast for the rolls
- In a small bowl, you’ll combine sugar and yeast.
- Heat buttermilk in a small sauce pan until the temperature gets between 105-115°F. I like to use my ThermoWorks ChefAlarm (aff link) propped on the edge of the pan with the probe just below the surface to monitor the temperature.
- If you don’t have buttermilk and don’t want to make your own, you can substitute whole milk – but the results might be slightly different.
- Add the heated buttermilk to the bowl of sugar and yeast and whisk to combine.
- Let it set for about 10 minutes – it will double in size and bubble. It’s aliiiiiiiiiiive.
Making rosemary sea salt dinner roll dough
- Beat butter in a stand mixer for about 1 minute.
- Add rosemary, garlic, salt and sugar and beat until everything is well combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Next, add egg and beat again to combine.
- Then add the prepared yeast mixture to the bowl along with 2 cups of flour and mix on low speed until it becomes smooth.
- Switch the paddle attachment for a dough hook.
- Run the mixer on low speed and add the remaining flour a little at a time until it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a bowl sprayed generously with nonstick spray or lightly oiled, and turn it to coat.
- Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let it sit in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.
- Tip: If your house is chilly, here’s a trick to create a warm environment – for the first rise, turn the oven on to 150°F then turn off. Wait a few minutes and then place your bowl of dough inside and let it rise. For the second rise, turn your oven on to preheat to 375°F and place the skillet on top of the stove. The ambient heat will be just enough to keep it warm!
- Remove the dishtowel – your dough should be doubled in size.
- Gently punch down the dough to deflate it, then turn it out onto a clean surface. I like to use a large nonstick silicon baking mat .
- Roll the dough into a 10-12″ log . Don’t worry if the dough is a little soft and spreads a bit – it won’t be a tight, rigid dough.
- Cut the dough into 10 equal sized pieces.
- Shape into loose balls. Again, they don’t need to be tightly rolled – this is what’s going to make them the perfect dinner roll/biscuit hybrid in the end.
- Spray a 10″ skillet with nonstick spray or lightly oil, then transfer each dough ball into the skillet. If you don’t have a skillet, you can use a 10″ pie pan instead.
- Position them so there are 9 around the outside perimeter, and 1 in the middle.
- Let them settle a little while you melt butter, and get your sea salt and rosemary ready to go.
- Brush the tops with a generous coating of melted butter.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped rosemary.
- Make sure you’ve got an even coating of everything across all the rolls.
- Cover the skillet with a dishtowel and place in that warm spot again to let them set for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the dishtowel – they should be almost doubled in size again.
- Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
Gaze upon your good work, and inhale the amazing smell in your kitchen.
And try really hard not to stick your face directly into the skillet.
Carefully remove the rolls from the skillet, gently tear them apart, and serve topped with a generous tab of butter. They pair perfectly with just about any dinner, but I’m partial to serving these with my Easy Instant Pot Corn Chowder and Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Soup.
Enjoy every salty, buttery bite!
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Rosemary Sea Salt Dinner Rolls
- ¾ cup buttermilk, around 110°F
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat your buttermilk in a sauce pan over low heat until the temperature reaches about 110°F.
- In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, sugar and yeast and whisk to combine. Let sit until it doubles in size and bubbles, 5-10 minutes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, garlic, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Add egg and beat again on medium speed until combined.
- Add yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour and mix on low speed until it becomes a smooth batter.
- Switch the paddle attachment for a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the remaining 1 cup flour, ¼ cup at a time, until it forms a smooth ball of dough that starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
- Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
- Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray or lightly oil the inside, and transfer dough to the bowl, turning it to coat. Cover with a dishtowel and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
- Gently punch down the dough to deflate it, then turn it out onto a clean surface coated with a large nonstick pastry mat or parchment paper.
- Roll the dough into a 10-12" log, then cut into 10 equal sized pieces. Lightly press each piece into a disk, then shape into a ball.
- Spray a 10" skillet with nonstick spray or lightly oil the inside, and transfer each dough ball into the skillet (9 around the outside, 1 in the middle).
- Brush the tops of each ball with melted butter, then sprinkle with sea salt and remaining 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary.
- Cover again with a dishtowel and place in a warm spot until the dough balls have doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and place skillet in the oven to bake for 22-27 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!
- If you don't have a skillet, you can use a pie pan.
- If you don't have buttermilk and don't want to make your own, you can substitute whole milk - but the results will be slightly different.
- Proofing the dough: If your house is chilly, here's a trick to create a warm environment - for the first rise, turn the oven on to 150°F then turn off. Wait a few minutes and then place your bowl of dough inside and let it rise. For the second rise, turn your oven on to preheat to 375°F and place the skillet on top of the stove. The ambient heat will be just enough to keep it warm!