Sweet Hawaiian Dinner Rolls

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been bitten by the bread bug. During the past month I’ve spent most of my free time on Sundays making sweet rolls, dinner rolls or loaves of bread. I can’t seem to get enough! Having homemade bread throughout the week is well, kind of amazing. I think the hubby and the babe agree too :) My latest experiment was with some unusual ingredients that just happened to give these rolls the most incredible flavor! If you’ve ever had Hawaiian sweet rolls, you can probably guess where I’m going with this…

Sweet Hawaiian Dinner Rolls

… because these are very similar to those tropical tasting rolls in the orange packaging. I wouldn’t call my version an exact copycat. I mean, is there really such a thing? These rolls however, are probably the closest thing to them. They’re light, fluffy and bursting with that distinctively sweet flavor. Speaking of that unique flavor, it comes from pineapple juice, brown sugar and a combination of vanilla and coconut extracts.

Sweet Hawaiian Dinner Rolls

These rolls require a little more TLC then your standard dinner roll. Since they have lots of sugar (form the pineapple and brown sugar) you’ve really got to be careful not to kill the yeast. What I like to do is heat the butter, buttermilk, pineapple juice and brown sugar in a 2 c. glass measuring cup in my microwave until the butter is mostly melted and the mixture is 110 degrees. Then I add my extracts (always do it after heating so they don’t evaporate) and mix everything up nicely. I combined the dry ingredients which include the flour, instant yeast, salt and ginger into the bowl of my stand mixer and then pour the wet ingredients in. With my paddle attachment on, I’ll mix it together and add the eggs & egg yolk until a sticky dough forms. And by sticky, I do mean sticky. You may end up needing to add an additional ¼ c. of flour in the end, but these rolls have a very tacky base! Once the dough has been kneading (I use my dough hook for this), place it into a large buttered bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Now it’s time for the interesting part. This dough usually requires at least 1½ hours for each rise (2 rises total). I’m impatient and I want to make sure that my yeast gets activated and that the dough does indeed rise. So I like to turn on my oven to 200 degrees, turn it off, then place the bowl inside for about an hour or until it has doubled in size. You may need more or less time depending on how humid it is where you live or the altitude.

Sweet Hawaiian Dinner Rolls

Repeat the process but first divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, smooth it out and place into a parchment lined 9×13 pan or a quarter sheet pan. Cover with a towel, turn on your oven to 200 degrees, turn off and place your rolls in to rise again. Once you see that the rolls have puffed nicely (not necessarily doubled though) you can remove them, turn on the oven to 350 degrees and bake them! I prefer to butter the tops before they go in the oven so that they get evenly browned on top. They should look like the rolls pictured above around the 22-25 minute mark. When the rolls have finished baking, remove them, cover with additional butter and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before eating!

Sweet Hawaiian Dinner Rolls

If you want the rolls to be extra soft on top, cover them with a piece of aluminum foil after resting and the moisture/steam created will work its magic! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, our family LOVED it! Stephen said they were some of the best rolls he’s ever had! I loved that sweet flavor and how fluffy they were! Seriously sooo good! Enjoy & happy baking!

Sweet Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Light, fluffy and full of tropical flavor. These sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls are perfect for any occasion!
Author:
Yield: 12 large rolls

Ingredients
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ c. buttermilk
  • ¾ c. pineapple juice*
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. coconut extract
  • 3¾ c. – 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (2¼ tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk, room temperature

Directions
  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a medium size microwave safe bowl (or a 2 c. glass measuring cup), combine the butter, buttermilk, pineapple juice and brown sugar. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is hot and the butter is almost melted (it took about 1 minute 40 seconds on HIGH in my microwave). Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes on the counter until it cools and reaches approximately 110 degrees, then add the extracts.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 3¾ c. flour, yeast, salt and ground ginger. Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixing speed on low and slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Continue mixing while adding the eggs and egg yolk. A sticky dough will begin to form. Switch to the hook attachment and knead the dough for 7-8 minutes, adding ¼ c. more of flour if necessary. Do note that this is a very sticky dough, so don’t add any more than 4 c. of flour total! Once the dough has been kneaded, form into a ball and place in a large metal or glass bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover with a clean towel, turn OFF your oven, place inside and allow to rise for 1-1½ hours or until doubled.
  4. Once the dough has doubled, remove and gently deflate. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into circles and place in a parchment lined 9×13 pan or ¼ baking sheet. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Generously butter the tops and sides of each roll. Place a clean kitchen towel over top. Turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise for 1-1½ hours or until doubled.
  5. Remove the rolls from the oven and turn ON your oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, bake the rolls for 22-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown in color.
  6. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter. (SEE NOTES)

Notes
*I used an 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits and just pureed it.
-These rolls, like any, will have slightly crunchy tops. As they sit on the counter while they cool they will soften, especially with the butter on them. But… if you want them to be extra soft, after cooling for 20 minutes, cover with foil and allow to sit for an additional 20 minutes. The warmth of the rolls will circulate and help soften the tops.

Recipe source: adapted from food.com

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