Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

herb rolls in a skillet

herb rolls in a skillet

These herb rolls require two rises. One for about 2 hours after you mix all the dough ingredients together. Then you form the dough into balls and let those rise for only about 30-45 minutes. So there’s actually not a lot of work time involved, just a lot of wait time. There’s a couple ways to make the dinner rolls ahead of time so you can get started the night before. It’s all in the directions down below.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

herb rolls dough cut into rolls

As for the ingredients, well those really are EASY! The dough recipe is similar to my honey butter rolls, so if you’ve ever made those before you know you’re in good hands with these. Some power players: melted butter. I love the flavor melted butter brings to bread dough. Olive oil is great as well, but I much prefer the flavor from butter. Not only is melted butter in the dough, you’ll brush the rolls with melted butter (and a sprinkle of sea salt) before that 2nd rise. Extra flavor that way. And, if you have any melted butter left, you can brush more butter on top when they’re done. It’s all very simple and it’s all very good.

Another power player is bread flour. You can make the rolls with all-purpose flour instead, but I find the rolls to be chewier and have that bakery-style taste when using bread flour. One last power ingredient? All those fragrant herbs! I used all dried herbs, but you can use fresh if you’d like. I suggest amounts for either. There’s parsley, basil, and rosemary plus a hint of garlic powder. With all of that flavor, plus the way the dough smells as you work with it– well, it pretty much guarantees something fantastic.

Real quick. See the rolls in the left picture below? That’s before they rise for 30-45 minutes before baking. On the right, you can see they’re much puffier and all up in each other’s business. Just wanted to show you the difference between the two. Allowing the rolls to rise that 2nd time ensures a fluffier roll.

2 images of herb rolls in a skillet before and after rising

And then it’s time to bake. The herb rolls will be done when they’re golden brown and when your kitchen smells like an herb garden. I prefer to bake the rolls in a skillet, but it’s just as easy to bake in a casserole dish or baking pan. Make sure you don’t break them apart until ready to serve because the edges could slightly dry out.

There’s a crunch from the sea salt on top and the centers are as soft as a mountain of cushy pillows. They’re truly out of this world eaten right from the oven and when you set them down on the table, I swear all eyes will immediately dart over their way. I know a side of rolls can be an afterthought when you’re preparing dinner, but after one taste of these homemade sea salt & herb rolls– you’ll be proud you didn’t bake rolls from a tube or package. You got this!

herb rolls

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herb rolls in a skillet

Sea Salt & Herb Skillet Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls
  • 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

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F*
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)*
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (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 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • 3 cups (390g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
  • sea salt, for topping

Instructions

  1. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the remaining sugar, egg, 2 Tablespoons butter, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and 2 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle– add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl– I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
  4. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 6 equal pieces for a total of 12 pieces that are a little larger than golfball size. Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased oven-proof skillet. Brush the rolls with remaining melted butter and sprinkle each with sea salt. (Do no discard any leftover melted butter, it’s amazing brushed on the rolls after they bake too!) Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 25-28 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm.
  6. Cover leftover rolls and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: After dough has risen for two hours in step 3, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, then remove from the refrigerator and continue with step 4. OR freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4.
  2. Milk: Do not sub low fat milk. Whole milk is key to best taste and texture. If anything, 2% may be subbed.
  3. Yeast: If using instant yeast, the rise time may be a little less. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  4. Herbs: You can use finely chopped fresh herbs instead, I would increase to 1 Tablespoon each. Play around with the amounts of herbs you use. These amounts produce a highly flavored herb roll.
  5. Special Tools: 10 – 12 inch oven-safe skillet
  6. Adapted from honey butter rolls.

Keywords: skillet rolls, sea salt herb rolls

39 Comments

  1. Can these be cooked in a regular pan such as a 9 inch round cake pan or 9×13 baking pan?

    1. Yep! Any pan large enough to hold them all works.

  2. These look delicious and I really want to make them but I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Will they come out the same cooking them in a round cake pan?

    1. Yes- just as easy in a regular baking pan. Same oven temp + time.

  3. I made these for dinner with my in-laws and they were fantastic!  I am making them again and planning to use for pepperoni rolls/bread.  I made it today (a Thursday) and put it in the fridge after the first rise because I am not making until Saturday.  My bread is still rising, perhaps even doubling in size while in the fridge.  I opened the fridge to find it had busted the lid from my container haha!   I know the yeast are still working, but will this be a problem for making my bread on Saturday instead of Friday?  I was making another batch and wasn’t sure if maybe I should just put it in the freezer instead?   Thanks for your help!

  4. Another one of your recipes that is now a regular in my home! These always bake up perfect and look so rustic baked in a cast iron. We stuffed our rolls with little cubes of mozzarella to go along side tomato soup for dinner tonight! Just perfect!

  5. I made these last night and while they were delicious, they did not look golden brown like the photo. They looked almost like they did when put them in the oven, just a tiny bit more brown. Any idea why?

    1. Hi Amy! If you find the rolls are not browning, they could have been overproofed (over-rising). Did they rise too long? If not, maybe they need longer in the oven?

  6. Erin from Queens says:

    Sally! These rolls are FANTASTIC!!
    First time I used yeast and they’re perfect!
    Thanks for being a great teacher. <3

  7. Hwy Sally – is there any way that these can be made into whole wheat or multigrain?  

    1. Hi Roxanne, I suggest subbing half of the bread flour for whole wheat flour.

  8. What’s the difference between bread flour and all purpose flour?

    1. Bread flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour. The extra protein helps with gluten development, so some recipes (like making actual bread) call for bread flour because it yields a chewy, elastic crumb.

  9. Keilah Whitley says:

    Wow, Sally! I made these last night while baking a meal for another family – of course saved a few for me. While making the trek to deliver, I got a text from my significant other that they were the best rolls he had ever had. I was literally daydreaming about eating it the entire journey home. Once I finally got a, still warm, bite of the roll, the flavor was outstanding! All the herbs inside the roll were incredible and the salt on the top was the perfect topping.
    These were incredible! Thanks for this recipe!

  10. Hi Sally, I’m wondering if I could make this recipe in a cast iron Le Crueset casserole dish (quite shallow – I reckon similar depth as a skillet) instead? As I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Sorry if this Q has been asked before, I couldn’t find it. Thanks!

    1. Yes, that casserole dish should be just fine!

  11. We love, love, love these rolls! They are a staple in our home and are the go-to for homemade bread (without making any changes to the recipe)! They are flavorful, soft and delicious! Once you make these, you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried them sooner! They’re on our menu for dinner tonight! 🙂 🙂

  12. Sally, I have a question. I plan to make these this weekend. Your recipe for honey butter rolls says to brush them with butter after baking, so they rise higher. But this recipe says to do so before baking, along with the sea salt. Which should I do? Can’t wait to try -these look fabulous!

    1. For these I found the best flavor was when I brushed the butter on top after the second rise. You can brush more on top after they bake if you wish!

  13. Yes! Punch it down, cover and refrigerate. Then when you take it out, punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed before using a sharp knife to cut.

  14. Can these be made using almond or coconut flour as we are gluten free/corn free?

    1. Hi Loretta, I have not tested this recipe with an alternate flour, but let me know if you do!

  15. I’m just wondering if you think it would work to sub in almond milk for the whole milk in this recipe? Thanks!

    1. That shouldn’t be a problem.

  16. Well this was fan-freaking-tastic. After a long day of cleaning up bodily fluids and dodging nerf bullets from my sadistic little children 😉 this hit the spot tonight. I needed a way to use up some left over basil and some heavy whipping cream, so I subbed the basil for herbs and mixed up the heavy whipping cream with skim milk to make it more like whole milk, and it was fragrant and delicious. Tomorrow I will make it again the way it’s actually supposed to be made (my husband went shopping for me!) and I can’t believe it’ll get better than this but here’s me, volunteering to be a taste tester! Yum yum yum yum yum. 2 of my kids were still up tonight at 10 when they came out of the oven and they were blown away by the deliciousness. Gosh I must really love my kids not to eat every last one of these myself. Thank you!

  17. Can I use 1% or buttermilk instead of whole milk?

    1. Buttermilk would be the best substitute.

      1. I ended up using the whole milk just to be safe. These rolls were absolutely amazing!! I used the 10” cast iron, the rolls pretty much exploded out of it, but oh boy they taste fantastic!!!

  18. I made these tonight and they were fabulous! I did run out of milk (I only had 1%), but added some full fat coconut milk and that seemed to work really well. Perhaps it added the extra bit of fat that whole milk would have provided. They were soft and fluffy with a delicious crust on top 😀

  19. I’m a newbie bread maker. I followed directions exactly (including slowly warming up my milk to 110!) aside from one mistake at the end (I missed the note about the 2nd rise and had already brushed them with butter).

    They are DELICIOUS. The texture is beautiful (even with AP flour) and they smelled ridiculously amazing while putting them together and baking. Whew! I couldn’t wait to taste em.

    My color came out great however, I noticed that the tops look more biscuit-like than smooth like a roll typically is. Ideas??

    1. Hi KS! So glad you enjoyed these skillet rolls. A smooth top is really all about how you roll/shape the rolls. I’m glad to help– you can see and read exactly how I shape rolls like this in my soft dinner rolls recipe post. There’s a helpful video for you to visualize it.

  20. Hi, I wanted to ask if I can make it kinda a cinnamon rolls, but inside filled with savoury stuff, like cheese and spinach? I want to try and make a spinach cheese roll but not sure how to. Like for normal cinnamon rolls, we would add more sugar (1/4 cup) but obviously we won’t do that with this recipe. And would the other steps be similar?

    1. Hi Veronica, I haven’t tested this dough as rolls so I can’t say for use. I do use pizza dough to make these pizza rolls that would certainly work with different flavors/filling.

  21. I have made these delicious skillet rolls three times now. We love them, I used Italian seasoning and parsley. They are so light and fluffy on the inside with a beautiful brown color. They are fairly easy to make too. I love knowing I can turn to your recipes and have success in whatever I make, thank you!

  22. Hi sally! LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your recipes and can’t wait to try these! A quick question- If i wanted to stuff these with mozzarella or a cheese sauce to make a gooey cheesy dinner roll, would it make a difference to the second rise in any way?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sim! We haven’t tested it but don’t see why that would be an issue. A small cube of cheese would likely work best to stuff inside the rolls, a cheese sauce may be too wet.

      1. Thankyou! Appreciate the help 😀

  23. Can I let this rest before the second rise? Once it has been rolled out into individual buns and in the skillet, can I put it into the fridge and hold it there for an hour or two? Then pull it out and have it rise a bit later? I didn’t time it well and would like them to go into the oven just before dinner time. Is it too late to do this?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, that shouldn’t be a problem. Hope you love them!

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