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Guys. This is officially the first bread recipe I’ve shared, and I am SO excited. Bread is one of my favorite things to make, it fills the house with amazing yeasty baking smells and warm bread out of the oven is pretty much incomparable. Add a little garlic and the smell is that much better. I’ve been making these homemade garlic bread rolls for a few years, so I thought they’d be a great place to start with bread recipes. They have that perfect level of garlic flavor, the soft fluffy texture, and a perfect brown top, you guys are going to love them.
Garlic Bread Roll Ingredients
One of the best things about making bread is the ingredient list. With pantry basics you can whip up a so many different varieties of bread. The difference lies in the ratios of ingredients, how they’re combined, and your baking methods.
I could spend hours getting into that, but that’s a discussion for another day. This particular recipe is a combination of bread flour, butter, egg, sugar, yeast, salt, water, and of course, garlic. That’s really it!
While these are fairly recognizable ingredients, there are a few specific things I want to share.
If you’re not a bread baker, you may not have bread flour on hand. It’s an easily accessible ingredient, I’ve always been able to find it at any grocery, but do you really need it?
Bread flour is basically a white, refined flour that has a high protein content than all-purpose flour. Higher protein flours absorb more water than lower protein flours, producing a stiffer dough that requires more kneading to develop the gluten content. For breads this results in a chewy exterior and a beautiful rise.
I use bread flour because I bake bread weekly, if not more. If you only have All purpose, use it. Just be advised that you may need to add more flour than the recipe calls for to reach the appropriate dough texture. If your dough is really sticky, add a tablespoon or two at a time and gently knead until the dough is tacky but manageable.
I use active dry yeast in all my non-sourdough breads, it’s inexpensive and keeps remarkably well in the freezer. I’m not experienced with cake yeast primarily because it’s a little too perishable for my tastes, but if you use it and are comfortable, feel free to use it.
Instant yeast can also be used. The main difference between active dry and instant is the way it’s dried. Instant yeast is dried so quickly that it forms granules that can absorb water more easily and rapidly than active dry yeast which requires a warm water bath to allow the yeast to bloom. It’s a pricier yeast compared to active dry, but it comes with convenience. To use instant yeast, skip the step of soaking in warm water, combine the yeast, water, egg, sugar and salt right away and go from there.
Let’s Make Garlic Bread Rolls!
The process is really simple. I think bread gets a bad reputation of being too complex, so we let the stores charge us ridiculous amounts for what could cost pennies. It’s not complex, I promise, it is however, a bit of a waiting game.
If you’re a busy person, I get it, so am I. While it takes some time to wait for the rise, it’s free time. You don’t have to do that much! Just mix, wait, form, wait, and bake. That’s it. Probably 20 minutes of actually doing anything. Simple, right?
Step 1 – Proof Yeast & Mix
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to proof, or bloom, your yeast. This is basically reactivating the dormant yeast cells so they can produce carbon dioxide and give your dough the rise you need for fluffy bread. To proof yeast, let it take a bath in warm water between 105° and 110°F. Hotter and your yeast can die, cooler and the yeast may not give you good rise.
Yeast, a single cell fungus (as gross as it sounds, it’s helpful!), feeds on sugar. So sprinkle in half the sugar to the proofing water to help speed things along. It should take about 5 minutes, you’ll know when it’s ready when the water has a foamy, bubbly layer of yeast on top.
While that’s doing it’s think, prep your garlic. You’ll want two tablespoons of finely minced garlic, for me that was about 12 cloves, but it really depends on the size of yours.
Fun fact, the finer you mince garlic, the more oil is released and the stronger the garlic flavor becomes. Adding salt can enhance that release of oils even further. Simple sprinkle the salt over the garlic once minced, and continue to chop, scraping the blade of your knife over it to pulverize the salt into it and produce a chunky paste.
Once your yeast is proofed, add in the remaining sugar and the egg. Then with a mixer fitted with a dough hook, or with a spatula by hand, add in the flour one third at a time. Once your flour is all mixed in, knead in softened butter and the garlic until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky. This is about 3 to 5 minutes in the mixer, more like 10 by hand.
Then, form the dough into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Step 2 – Punch down and form
When you’re dough is ready, you’re ready to form them into rolls. Get some flour and a clean work surface ready. I also recommend a kitchen scale. Measuring your dough helps make sure you have consistent rolls that bake evenly. I use this scale, and it hasn’t failed me in over four years.
Punch down the dough to knock out all the air. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, lightly flour your hands, and divide the dough into 15 equal peices. The easiest way is to weigh the dough and divide. Mine is usually about 1.8 to 1.9 ounces per ball.
Next take each ball and form into round roll. The easiest way is to form a purse, by pulling the edges down and pinching them at the bottom. Then, using your palm, gently press the pinched side onto your work surface and rotate your hand in a circle to form a smooth tight dough.
Place each ball onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving an inch between each to allow for the second rise. This will allow them to rise into each other, then when baked you’ll have soft edges. If you prefer a crispier edged roll, use two baking sheets and allow more space between each so they don’t touch each other while rising. You can’t move them after they’ve risen or you’ll knock out the air and have flat dense rolls.
Step 3 – Second Rise & Egg Wash
Once all your rolls are formed, cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise until again doubled in size, about 1 hour. This could be faster or slower depending on the heat in the room they’re rising in, heat speeds it up. You can check to see if they’re ready by gently touching them. If the indent from your finger (be gentle) slowly fills in, they’re done.
About 15 minutes before they’re done rising, preheat your oven to 350°F. Beat one egg with 2 teaspoons of water. Once rising has finished and you’re oven is ready, brush the tops of the rolls gently with the egg wash.
Place in oven and bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Be careful not to burn your fingers!
Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack to cool. Once cool, they will store in a sealed container or bag for three days. Or, freeze for up to 4 months!
That’s it! Garlic bread rolls are ready and waiting for you and your family to dig into. Over the years I’ve made these for potlucks, bbqs, holiday dinners, and just a weekend when my husbands wants them. They’re delicious on their own, but nothing beats them warm with a nice pat of salted butter.
I really hope you enjoy these garlic bread rolls, making them as much as eating them. I really love making bread, it’s a relaxing process, and so satisfying. And the smell…oh the smell of warm yeasty bread and toasty garlic, I think I’m going to go bake a batch right now! I’d love to hear what you think, and as always Happy Eating!
- 1 cup warm water between 105° and 110°F
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 1 packet
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbs garlic, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 15 ounces bread flour 3 cups, plus extra for dusting
- 1 ounce unsalted butter, softened 2 tbs
- 1 tbs oil
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or other large bowl, sprinkle yeast into warm water with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let proof until foamy and bubbly on top.
Meanwhile, mince garlic. Sprinkle salt over garlic and continue to chop, scraping your knife over it firmly until it forms a chunky paste. Set aside.
When yeast is ready, fit onto stand mixer fitted with dough hook and add in remaining sugar and 1 of the eggs beaten. Turn on mixer or mix by hand to combine.
Add in the flour in three parts until fully incorporated. Next mix in the softened butter and garlic, kneading until dough pulls away from bowl and is smooth but tacky. About 4-5 minutes on a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
Form dough into ball and place in well oiled bowl, turning to coat. cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Pull edges of each piece and pinch at bottom. Use the palm of your hand and gently place the ball seam side down on work surface and roll to form ball.
Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F, and beat second egg with 2 teaspoons of water. Brush tops of rolls gently with egg wash and place in preheated oven. Bake 17-20 minutes.
When rolls are golden brown remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Serve warm or store in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 days. Freeze in sealed container for up to 4 months.
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