Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

If you’ve been scouring recipes for the most perfect, soft, and sweet dinner rolls ever…look no further.


I like to think of myself as somewhat of a bread connoisseur. Whenever we go to restaurants I always help myself to piece after piece of the freed bread – and more often than not, I ask for seconds. Up until now, I would have said my favourite dinner rolls were at The Lakehouse or Brava Bistro (their old pumpernickel bread), but upon testing out this new recipe, these homemade ones are by far my favourite.

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

They are so light, soft, and buttery. Each tiny piece breaks apart so simply, and the powdered milk and honey adds a sweet flavour. They taste a little bit like a Yorkshire pudding, but much healthier since they aren’t cooked in a bowl of oil. If you want, you can break them in half and spread a little butter before eating, but you really don’t need to. They are honestly so delicious on their own.

Plus, this cloverleaf shape is too cute!

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

I started my rolls around 10:30am and they were ready by 6. However, you can easily have them done quicker.

Note: I used 50% unbleached flour and 50% all purpose and they seemed to turn out just fine.

If you choose to do the cloverleaf patter (which I totally recommend) you will make 18 rolls! If you choose to make a basic ball, you will make about 12 rolls.



Dough Starter

– 1 cup + 3 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

– ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons water

– 1 Tablespoon + ½ teaspoon honey

– ¼ teaspoon instant yeast


Flour Mixture

– 1 cup + 1 ½ Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

– 2 Tablespoons dry milk (skim is best)

– ½ teaspoon instant yeast

– 4 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)

– 1 1/8 teaspoons salt



– 3 or 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)


Step One: Whisk the dough starter ingredients in a large bowl for about 2 minutes. The starter will be the consistency of a thick batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Step Two: In a separate bowl, whisk together the following flour mixture ingredients: flour, dry milk, instant yeast. Sprinkle this mix over top of the dough starter (do not stir) and then re-cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for a minimum of 1 hour at room temperature (up to 4 hours).

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

Step Three: Add the butter and salt to the dough, and knead with a dough hook (Speed #2) for one minute. A rough dough will form. Scrape the sides down and cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

Alternative: Knead the dough with a wooden spoon until moistened, then knead by hand for 5 minutes on the counter. Cover.

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

Step Four: Knead the dough with a dough hook (Speed #4) for 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour (I added about 3 Tablespoons more). The dough will come apart from the bowl in the last minute or so. It will be quite sticky. Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl and then cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1.5 hours.

Alternative: Knead the dough by hand for 5 minutes until it is sticky. Let rise.

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

Step Five: Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. It will be quite airy. As soft as possible (be sure to maintain as many air bubbles as you can), flatten the dough out into a rectangle, and give it 2 “business letter” turns.  Place back in your bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.

Note: a business letter turn is when you fold the dough into thirds (like folding a letter), and then fold it into thirds again. This is one “turn”. Flatten it out again and perform another set.

Step Six: Remove the dough from the bowl and gently roll it into a long log-shape. Cut the dough into equal pieces. If you are doing the cloverleaf method – cut the dough into 6 equal sections, and then cut each section into 3 more pieces. Select a piece to work with, and then leave the rest covered. Each piece will be about 1 Tablespoon big.

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

Step Seven: Use your hands to roll a piece into a smooth ball. Then, cut the ball into three. (Note: when cutting, use a knife instead of ripping it apart. This will preserve the gluten.) Next, roll each tiny piece into a smooth ball. Brush each tiny ball with the melted butter, then place them together in a greased muffin cup. Repeat until you have all 18 muffin cups completed.

Step Eight: Brush the top of each of your “rolls” with the melted butter.

Step Nine: Cover the rolls and let rise for 1.5-3 hours.

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

Step Ten: About 30 mins – 1 hour before baking, preheat your oven to 400F and add your baking stone to the middle rack (if you are using one).

Step Eleven: Gently place the muffin tins on your baking stone. Pour ½ cup of ice cubs onto a baking sheet, and place it on the lowest rack (below the stone/muffin tins). Close the oven door and bake for 20 minutes.

Step Twelve: Remove the buns from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, and then remove them from the muffin tins and let cool on a wire rack.

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

And that is it! Serious restaurant-quality dinner rolls. Pair them with steak, chicken, pork, pasta…anything really!

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

Comment below if you have any questions. Can’t wait to see how they turn out 🙂

homemade white bread cloverleaf dinner roll recipe

One thought on “Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

  1. You brought such a yummy dish to our party! Thank you. I love rolls! Pinned and tweeted. We feel honored that you take the time to stop by our party. I hope to see you on tonight at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

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