Honey Sage Milk Bread Dinner Rolls

This recipe from Rosanna Pansino, YouTube baker and cookbook author, is so soft, light and fluffy, it has earned a permanent seat at every holiday table. Bring this tradition to your table too!

Honey Sage Milk Bread Dinner Rolls

Honey Sage Milk Bread Dinner Rolls

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10 rolls

Prep Time

50 minutes

Rise Time

25 minutes

Bake Time

25–28 minutes

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Milk Bread Starter

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons bread flour

Honey Sage Butter

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 medium sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Milk Bread Dough

  • 1 packet Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast
  • 2-½ cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm whole milk (120°–130°F)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil, for greasing pan
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


For the Milk Bread Starter (Tangzhong):

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the water, milk and flour and whisk until well combined. Place over medium heat and whisk constantly until it thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, let it cool completely and set aside.

For the Honey Sage Butter:

  1. In another medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry for 2–3 minutes until crispy, flipping halfway through cooking.
  2. Remove from heat then drain the leaves on paper towels.
  3. Chop the leaves finely and set aside 1-½ teaspoons of leaves.
  4. Add the remaining chopped leaves and 3 tablespoons of honey to the melted butter and mix well.
  5. Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely.

For the Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Add the warm milk and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the egg, Milk Bread starter, 4 tablespoons of the honey sage butter mixture, 1 tablespoon of honey and chopped sage. Mix well until a dough forms.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3 minutes. The dough should be soft but not too sticky.
  5. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest for 5 minutes.

For the Rolls:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9" round pan.
  2. Divide the dough evenly into 10 pieces and roll into balls.
  3. Place the balls in the baking pan and brush the top with the melted butter.
  4. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for 20 minutes.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25–28 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and brush the top with the remaining honey sage butter.

The Tradition

The milk bread, or tangzhong, process is widely used in Japan and China to give breads and rolls an amazing, light and fluffy texture. It does this by kickstarting hydration in the flour.


A great feature of the milk bread rolls is that they stay moist and fluffy longer than traditional rolls. Try using any extra rolls for the best holiday slider sandwich ever.

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