The softest, fluffiest Hawaiian bread can be made at home! Deliciously sweet homemade Hawaiian bread rolls are the perfect addition to any dinner.
Hawaiian Bread Rolls
Many of you don’t know that I went to college in Hawaii. Yes, I did my homework on the beaches of paradise!
Hawaii is everything you dream of and then some. Living in Hawaii I got to experience a whole new world of foods and cultures.
Most people are familiar with Hawaiian rolls – they’re soft and sweet and melt in your mouth!
What most people don’t know is that they’re based on a Portuguese sweet bread called Pão Doce that immigrant workers brought to the island.
What you get are Hawaiian bread rolls so sweet and fluffy you could eat them for breakfast with butter, but they make the best dinner rolls.
It’s taken me several tries to get this recipe just like I remember.
It’s a simple dough and no mixer is even needed, although you can use your KitchenAid if you wish.
The trick to keeping these rolls tender is not to add too much flour. The dough will be a little sticky and that’s what you want.
How to Make Hawaiian Rolls
Dissolve yeast in warm milk along with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Let it set for about 10 minutes or until it begins to bloom and foam.
Add the remaining sugar, salt, butter and eggs, beating vigorously to combine.
This can be done in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Next, stir in the flour until a stiff dough forms.
Turn out on flour surface and gently knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
You may need to add additional flour if it’s too sticky, but kneading should do the trick.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely.
Let it rise until doubled, then punch down and form into balls.
I shaped them into 12 rolls for this recipe, which is the perfect size for sandwiches.
But if I was making these for a dinner party (like Christmas or New Year’s) then I would make them into 18 smaller rolls.
You can also bake large round loaves in two pie pans. It makes an excellent bread bowl for dips!
Whatever size or shape you choose, place them in your baking tray and let rise until doubled again.
Brush with an egg wash for color and shine and bake until golden.
The last secret to keeping these Hawaiian bread rolls soft is to brush them with butter after baking. Enjoy!
For the dough:
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted**
- 2 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Warm the milk to 100-110°F in the microwave or on the stovetop, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Let rest until the yeast begins to bloom and foam, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the 3/4 cup sugar, salt, melted butter and eggs, beating well to combine.
- Stir in the flour until a stiff but sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Try not to add additional flour; dough should be sticky.
- Place the dough in a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover lightly. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and form into 18 tight balls [see notes]. Place in a greased 13x9 dish and cover lightly. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl, beat egg and water together for egg wash. Gently brush rolls with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Let rolls cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter and serve.
*For a less sweet roll, reduce sugar to 1/2 cup.
**If using salted butter, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Dough can also be mixed and kneaded in a stand mixer.
Dough can be shaped into 12 rolls for larger buns.
Can also be shaped into 2 large rounds and baked in pie pans for Hawaiian bread.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g