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If you’re looking for a flavorful upgrade to ordinary dinner rolls, try these sea salt & herb skillet rolls. Infused with rosemary, basil, parsley, and garlic powder and topped with melted butter and flaky sea salt, each bite is as aromatic as it is delectable. They certainly steal all the attention from the main dish on the table! You can bake these soft and flaky rolls in an oven-safe skillet, but they’re just as tasty in a regular 9×13 inch baking dish.

rosemary garlic dinner rolls in cast iron skillet

There’s no arguing that homemade bread is delicious, but adding plenty of herbs, garlic powder, sea salt, and a brush of melted butter transforms ordinary bread into a flavorful indulgence. Let me show you how to make them so you can experience this BREAD BLISS too!


Tell Me About These Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

  • Flavor: Enjoy rosemary, parsley, basil, and garlic all at once in a buttery roll with sea salt on top. This recipe has a range of some of the BEST flavors around. If you love the garlic, salt, and herb in this recipe, try this rosemary garlic pull apart bread or olive bread next– two favorites!
  • Texture: In addition to the elevated flavor, the rolls have a wonderfully satisfying texture. Chewy edges seal in a soft and flaky roll and if you bake them in a cast iron skillet, the bottoms have a slight crisp. Don’t forget a little crunch on top from coarse or flaked sea salt. So much to love!
  • Ease: Homemade bread or rolls can seem intimidating, but the recipe below is packed with thorough details so you can be confident in the kitchen. And if you’re new to baking with yeast, review my Baking with Yeast Guide.
  • Time: Making rolls from scratch certainly takes time and they can be an afterthought when you’re preparing an entire meal. But after 1 taste of these homemade sea salt & herb rolls– you’ll realize they’re worth it. Set aside at least 3-4 hours from start to finish, but keep in mind most of that time is hands off as the dough rises. And you can get started ahead of time. See overnight instructions below.
flaky dinner roll with rosemary, parsley, basil, and garlic

Key Steps in This Recipe

  • Making the dough. The dough comes together with basic kitchen ingredients including milk, yeast, sugar, egg, butter, salt, dried herbs, garlic powder, and flour. The sugar feeds the yeast and tenderizes the dough. You only need 2 Tablespoons of sugar. You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour in this recipe. All-purpose flour is convenient for most, but bread flour produces chewier dinner rolls.
  • Kneading the dough. You can knead the dough with a mixer or with your hands.
  • 1st rise. The dough rises in about 1-2 hours in a relatively warm environment.
  • Shaping the rolls. Form the rolls into balls as if you were making regular dinner rolls. This dough recipe makes slightly fewer rolls.
  • 2nd rise. Let the shaped rolls rise until puffy which takes up to 1 hour.
  • Baking. Bake until the rolls are golden brown, around 25 minutes.
  • Topping. Brush melted butter on warm rolls and top with sea salt.

Do I Need a Mixer?

You can use a paddle attachment or a dough hook to make this dough. You can also make the dough by hand, but it requires a bit of arm muscle. After the dough comes together in the mixing bowl, it’s time to knead. You can simply continue beating the dough with the mixer for this step or you can knead the dough by hand.

If you’re interested, I provide further detail about kneading in my Baking with Yeast Guide. (Which, by the way, is a wonderful resource for all bread beginners!)

Can I Use Fresh Herbs & Garlic?

Absolutely. I usually use garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried parsley, and dried basil because I have each on hand regularly. However, you can substitute with fresh minced garlic and fresh herbs instead. See recipe details below.

dried herbs and garlic powder in small white bowls

Process in Photos: Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

When you get started, use these helpful photos as your guide.

Combine warm milk, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon sugar together in your mixing bowl. Cover and let the mixture sit for a few moments until foamy on top. In this step you are proofing the yeast to ensure it’s active (and not dead and/or expired). NOTE: I do this same step even if using instant yeast. It’s not always necessary as most yeast available these days is already active, but it takes just a few minutes and doesn’t hurt.

After the dough comes together, it will be soft and slightly sticky.

yeast proofing in glass bowl and finished dough

After kneading, let the dough rise until doubled in size.

herb yeasted dough before and after rising

Punch it down to release the air and divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape into balls.

dough punched down in bol and divided to shape into rolls

Arrange in your desired baking pan (I always use this 10.25 inch skillet). Let the rolls rise until puffy.

herb rolls in skillet before and after 2nd rise

And then it’s time to bake.

Finish with Melted Butter & Sea Salt

The herb rolls are done when they’re golden brown… and when your kitchen smells like an herb garden. Brush warm rolls with melted butter and finish with sea salt. If you’re ever shopping online for sea salt and need a recommendation, I use and love Maldon sea salt.

rosemary garlic dinner rolls in skillet

There’s a crunch from the salt on top and the centers are as soft as a mountain of cushy pillows. They’re truly out of this world warm from the oven and when you set them down on the table, all eyes will immediately dart over their way. (Impossible to resist!)

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rosemary garlic dinner rolls in skillet

Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sea salt & herb skillet rolls are the fluffiest, softest, most flavorful homemade rolls to have with dinner tonight!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F (43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)*
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, melted + slightly cooled and divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons each: dried rosemary, dried basil, & dried parsley*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • 3 cups (390g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
  • flaked or coarse sea salt, for topping

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. *If you do not own a stand mixer, you can do this in a large mixing bowl and in the next step, mix the dough together with a large wooden spoon/rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle. A hand mixer works, but the sticky dough repeatedly gets stuck in the beaters. Mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula is a better choice.*
  2. Add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, rosemary, basil, parsley, garlic powder, and 1 cup flour. With a dough hook or paddle attachment, mix/beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the remaining flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If the dough seems too wet to a point where kneading (next step) would be impossible, beat in more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough. Dough should be soft and a little sticky, but still manageable to knead with lightly floured hands.
  3. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 3 full minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3 full minutes.
  4. 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. Takes about 2 hours. For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
  5. Grease a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet or 9×13 inch baking pan. If using cast iron skillet and it’s already seasoned, no need to grease it. You can also bake the rolls on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Shape the rolls: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. (Just eyeball it– doesn’t need to be perfect!) Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange in prepared skillet/baking pan or a couple inches apart on a lined baking sheet.
  7. 2nd Rise: Cover shaped rolls with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until puffy, about 45-60 minutes.
  8. Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It’s best to bake the rolls towards the bottom of the oven so the tops don’t burn.)
  9. Bake the rolls: Bake for 23-27 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. If you notice the tops browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven, brush warm rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle tops with sea salt. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 6. Place shaped rolls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. Once frozen, the dough balls won’t stick together anymore and you can place them in a freezer bag if needed. On the day you serve them, arrange the dough balls in a greased baking pan, cover tightly, then let them thaw and rise for about 4-5 hours. Bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked rolls. Allow them to cool completely and then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Reheat as desired. If reheating the whole pan, lightly cover and reheat in a 300°F (149°C) oven for about 10 minutes or until warm.
  2. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the recipe through step 6. Cover the shaped rolls tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 3 hours before you need them the next day, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1-2 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to about 15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. Continue with step 5.
  3. Milk: Whole milk is best. If needed, you can substitute with lower fat milk or nondairy milk. Avoid nonfat milk.
  4. Yeast: You can substitute instant yeast with no other changes to the recipe. The rise times may be a little shorter. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  5. Fresh Herbs: You can substitute the dried herbs with 1 Tablespoon EACH of freshly chopped herbs.
  6. Salt & Sea Salt Topping: Flaky or coarse sea salt is best for topping. If you’re ever shopping online for flaky sea salt and need a recommendation, I use and love Maldon sea salt. I do not recommend coarse/flaky sea salt in the dough– you need fine salt. You can use fine sea salt or regular table salt.
  7. Flour: I recommend bread flour for extra chewy and flaky rolls. You can use all-purpose flour if needed instead. Either flour is fine and there are no other changes to the recipe if you use one or the other.
  8. Baking Pan: If baking in a skillet, make sure it’s 10-12 inches and oven-safe. I always use this 10.25 inch skillet. You can also bake in a 9×13 inch baking pan or on a lined baking sheet.

Keywords: skillet rolls, sea salt herb rolls

rosemary herb garlic dinner rolls

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi! The recipe looks wonderful. I was wondering if I could use all purpose flour instead of bread flour?

    1. Hi Ruba, You can, but bread flour produces chewier dinner rolls. The rolls are still soft and fluffy no matter which you use. Enjoy!

  2. These look fantastic! To bring to a Thanksgiving dinner, would you do everything before brushing with the melted butter and garnishing with sea salt (so then you would reheat the rolls and do that right before serving), or would it be fine to add the butter and then travel with the rolls?

    1. Hi Kirstin, either option will work just fine! Really depends on if you want to serve the rolls with the butter still warm or not. Hope they’re a hit!

    1. Hi Theresa, for best results, we recommend making two separate batches rather than doubling.

    2. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time and ingredients), I strongly recommend making the dough twice, separately.

  3. Is it possible to skip the machines and just hand knead the dough? I’ve never done it any other way.

    1. Hi Jeanne, yes, you can absolutely knead by hand. And if you want, you can do the mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula — just takes a bit of arm muscle!

  4. Thank you for reposting this recipe! I made these last Thanksgiving and they were undeniably a huge hit with everyone.

  5. I have high ceilings and open space any suggestions for dough rising no gas stove I have electric

    1. Hi Betty! The warm oven trick should work just fine with an electric oven – see the section titled where should dough rise in our baking with yeast post.

      1. Has anyone mentioned that the recipe as written is not complete? It doesn’t say how much flour to add when making the dough in the first step.

      2. Hi Jeanne, you add the flour in step 2. At first, add 1 cup, and then add the remaining flour as noted.

  6. These rolls are wonderful! I’ve been testing a bunch to see what I want to make for Thanksgiving and this is the winner. I used a 9×13 pan and made 16 rolls instead of 12 so I did the shorter baking time. I also added a step I’ve used from another recipe, which is to dip the bread balls in melted butter before the second rise.

    1. We haven’t tested it but can’t see why not! Let us know if you give it a try.

  7. I cut the recipe in half to test it. The bread/rolls did not rise much. Could this be from reducing it?

    1. Hi Kathy, your yeast may have been expired or dead. Did you proof it in step 1? Was it foamy on top after a few minutes? Here’s more guidance if you’re interested: Baking with Yeast Guide. Specifically, the section called What if My Dough Isn’t Rising?

  8. Hi Sally , and thank you for the recipe. I made these as a test run for thanksgiving. They came together good . The dough seemed a little dry. Not sticky at all. I did measure and level off 3 cups of bread flour. The rolls tasted delicious, but do you think I should cut the flour by 1/4 cup or more?

    1. Hi Kandi, if the dough felt dry, you can certainly try reducing the flour, even by a few Tablespoons. Were you sure to use melted butter?

  9. This recipe was super fun and easy to make. The bake was perfect and the density was very nice. I used fresh spices including fresh garlic. I was afraid I’d used too much garlic because of the smell of the dough, but they were actually quite bland. My husband said maybe I didn’t put enough salt in the dough? What do you think? I’ll be trying again!

    1. Hi Laura, thank you for trying these! Feel free to add more spices if you try them again.

  10. hello Sally,

    I will not have much access to an on the day of. Can you par bake them and if so for how long? How would your instructions look for final bake?

    1. Hi Kandie, see the recipe notes for freezing instructions. If you follow those, you’ll only need the oven for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

  11. Hi. When baking the next day you mentioned leaving them covered in wrap for the second rise. Is this corrected. Seems like they would stick to wrap when they rise. And Then be stuck to it when you took off to bake.

    1. Hi Maryann, it’s okay if the rolls start to touch the plastic wrap. They will continue to rise and the wrap should still come off easily.

  12. We love these savory rolls!
    Quick question….can I substitute buttermilk for the whole milk?

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