Sweet roll dough is the base of many wonderful baked goods. This dough is a pillowy soft perfect recipe for cinnamon rolls!
Sweet roll dough can be used for more than the classic cinnamon roll. While cinnamon rolls what we mostly associate with this particular dough, it can also be used to make dinner rolls, honey buns, and sticky buns! This recipe produces a velvety soft fluffy bread when baked or fried.
Softer Fluffier Sweet Roll Dough
What makes this recipe softer and fluffier that most is the use of tangzhong? Basically tangzhong is a Japanese method of making yeast dough more stretchy and soft. It’s sort of a slurry but much thicker. You make it with a mixture of hot milk or water and flour whisked together until a creamy paste forms. The texture is similar to mashed potatoes. Cooled tangzhong is added at the start of the bread recipe making the dough soft and stretchy.
So the question is, is it necessary? My answer is—I think that it’s worth it. Sweet dough recipes tend to be soft in general. Some tougher than others. I think that you can use this particular recipe and skip this step for sure. But again, I recommend it.
How to Make Tangzhong
It can be make with milk or water or a combination of both. I make mine with 1/2 cup of whole milk brought to the point of boiling then add the flour. It’s the whisked until creamy and thick. (To speed things up, I popped the milk into the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes.)
Making Sweet Roll Dough
To make sweet roll dough you need properly measured bread flour, sugar, yeast, a bit of salt, butter, eggs, and milk.
I personally don’t proof my yeast every time. But please feel free to proof your yeast in the water before adding the other ingredients. Otherwise blend the flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl and set it aside.
In a stand mixer add the remaining water, melted butter, sugar, tangzhong, and eggs. Whisk on low speed using the dough hook adding one cup of flour. Add the milk then the remaining flour. The dough will be a little tacky but it should mostly cling to the dough hook when it’s done. If you are unable to collect the dough because it's too soft, add more flour up to 1/2 cup. I suggest adding the flour 1-2 tablespoons at a time if more is needed.
Scrape down the dough into a greased bowl. Don’t dust with flour. A small amount of oil will make this dough more manageable. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to double in size. Use it as desired.
Cinnamon Rolls from Sweet Roll Dough
Once the dough has risen, punch it down then turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread with butter topped with cinnamon and sugar.
Roll the dough like a log widthwise sealing the seam. Cut the log into slices of even thickness. Layer the slices in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with your favorite glaze or try them with my Almond Cream Cheese Frosting! Also, try this dough with my Caramel Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls. Link below.
Dinner Rolls from Sweet Roll Dough
Roll the dough into 24 uniform balls (12 for half recipe) and arrange them in a baking dish. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow them to rise until doubled in size.
Brush with butter or an egg wash and bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes. Brush with more melted butter if desired.
To freeze for later use: roll into uniform balls and arrange on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with another sheet of wax paper and freeze for half-hour. Store in a wax paper-lined freezer-safe bag.
To thaw and heat: place the roll in a baking dish covered with plastic wrap. It may take 3-4 hours for them to thaw and rise. Follow the baking directions above.
Sweet Roll Dough
- 1/2 c milk
- 3 tbsp bread flour
Sweet Roll Dough
- 5 2/3 c bread flour* Properly measured
- 1/2 c sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 c milk
- 1/2 c water
- 1/2 c unsalted butter melted
- 2 eggs
- In a sauce pan over medium low heat bring 1/2 cup of whole milk to the point of boiling then add 3 tablespoons of flour. Whisk until smooth; set aside to cool completely.
- Blend the flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl and set it aside. Add to a stand mixer the water, melted butter, eggs, and tangzhong. Use dough hooks, set the mixer to low speed and add one cup of flour. Next, add the milk then the remaining flour one cup at a time. Be sure to scrape down the bowl as needed.
- The dough is sticky but holds its shape. You should be able to work the dough into a ball with traces of dough sticking. To avoid that, you will need to oil any surface the dough touches. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out into a oiled bowl. With oiled hands, shape the dough into a ball then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to rise for use.
- If the dough is more wet than tacky, add flour one tablespoon at a time until the tacky consistency is achieved; proceed with instruction.
- See the tutorials within the post for sweet roll dough uses