Filed Under: Bread | Thanksgiving

Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
October 30th, 2019
4.5 from 2 votes
4.5 from 2 votes

Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls are bursting with amazing savory flavor and are surprisingly easy to make from scratch. They are bound to become a family favorite for Sunday dinner or any holiday!

Yield: 15 rolls

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: These rolls have all of my favorite flavors. There isn’t much better than garlic + rosemary + thyme + Parmesan. Seriously.
Texture: Soft and fluffy on the inside, slightly crunchy, chewy, and cheesy on the outside.
Ease: Even if yeast intimidates you, this recipe is totally doable.
Pros: So crave-worthy. They smell AMAZING while baking.
Cons: None!!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

I love baking bread. I’ve definitely always loved eating it.

I find creating a dough, watching it transform, then filling your whole house with that wonderful baking bread aroma quite enjoyable.

Garlic herb and cheese dinner rolls stacked on a plate

This garlic, herb, and cheese bread roll recipe is super straightforward and simple. No crazy steps, no super long processes, just a beautiful easy dough. Even if working with yeast intimidates you, I encourage you to give this recipe a try.

Garlic herb and cheese bread rolls in the baking dish golden brown and ready to eat

How to Make Perfect Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls

What’s instant yeast? Can I use active rise yeast instead?

Think of instant yeast as a sort of foolproof shortcut ingredient. It’s also labelled rapid rise or quick rise yeast and available at most grocery stores (or you can buy my all time favorite yeast on Amazon).

Instant yeast is formulated to allow you to skip proofing (aka the step where you combine the yeast with warm liquid for 5 minutes). You can add it directly into the mix with all of the ingredients and it will increase your rising time.

If you don’t have or can’t find instant yeast, you can easily use active dry yeast instead. Simply combine it with the warm liquid called for in the recipe and allow it to proof for 5 minutes before adding into the bowl with the other ingredients. Most active dry yeast these days are formulated so they usually don’t technically require proofing. But skipping will lengthen the rising period as it will take the yeast longer to get moving.

Tips for Forming & Kneading Bread Dough

This recipe basically directs you to throw everything together in the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and let the machine do the work until the dough is soft, smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky. It’s ALWAYS better to have a dough that starts more sticky and ends up light and fluffy out of the oven than to add too much additional flour and end up with dense or tough rolls. Remember, as the dough rises it will become less sticky as well.

Can I knead dinner roll dough by hand?

However, if you don’t have a mixer you can knead this dough by hand. Click here to see my step-by-step video on how to knead dough perfectly by hand.

How to Tell When Dough Is Risen

Bread dough risen and ready for shaping

A lot of factors will influence when your dough is done rising and ready to be shaped. Place two fingers in the risen dough up to the second knuckle and then take them out. If the indentations remain the dough is ready to be shaped. If not, cover and let the dough rise longer until the indentations remain. To tell if the shaped bread rolls are done rising, tough the side of one lightly with your finger. If the indentation remains then it’s ready for the oven.

How to Shape Bread Rolls

Garlic herb and cheese dinner rolls ready to be baked

Once the dough is risen, press it down to deflate it slightly. Use a bench scraper to section the dough into 15 equal pieces. Don’t worry if they’re not perfectly equal in size. However, if you’re a perfectionist you can actually weigh the entire mass of dough, divide that number by 15, then portion each piece perfectly by weight.

As you’re shaping each piece into a round, make sure to pinch the dough into one central point to create a tight ball. This will help the rolls rise beautifully. You can also get creative with the shapes. Check out my video post on 5 ways to shape bread rolls here.

Brush the dough balls with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes this time. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

How to Make Dinner Rolls Ahead of Time

Basically all yeast dough can be made ahead of time and baked later. Refrigerating dough basically slows the yeast activity and can actually allow more flavor to develop!

Make the dough all the way through to rising once and shaping the rolls. Once the rolls are shaped, cover them and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature as the oven preheats before baking as the recipe directs.

If the rolls haven’t doubled in size yet, allow to sit at room temperature until they do. Note that this can take several hours depending on the warmth of your kitchen. If it’s a cold day, preheat the oven to the lowest heat setting for a few minutes, turn it off, then place the pan of dough in the oven to help speed up the rising time.

The rolls are best served the day they’re baked. However, you can easily store leftovers at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat the rolls briefly in the oven or toaster oven at 300°F until warmed through to refresh.

Soft and fluffy garlic herb and cheese bread roll cut in half on a plate with butter

More Dinner Roll Recipes

4.5 from 2 votes

How to make
Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls

Yield: 15 rolls
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Bread Rolls are bursting with amazing savory flavor and are surprisingly easy to make from scratch. They are bound to become a family favorite for Sunday dinner or any holiday!

Ingredients

For the rolls:

  • 1 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 whole eggs, at
    room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 4 cups (508) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the topping:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the oil, eggs, sugar, salt, garlic powder, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass.

  2. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, turn to medium-low speed, and gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a mass of dough begins to forms. Only add as much flour as needed to bring the dough together. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft, smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch. Only add additional flour if the dough is unbearably sticky.

  3. Lightly spray a large clean bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is big, puffy, and about doubled in size.

  4. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper, knife, or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces.

  5. Shape each piece into a tight ball and place in the prepared pan. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. In a small bowl whisk the egg then gently brush over risen rolls. Sprinkle the rolls evenly with the parmesan cheese.

  8. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: thanksgiving

This post was originally published in 2014 and recently updated with recipe improvements, tips, and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — March 24, 2014 at 3:48 am

    I’ve actually never made bread before – it’s intimidating! But with garlic and cheese…I feel like these are a must try! Gotta face the fear someday! Pinned

  2. #
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — March 24, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Garlic and cheese? Sounds amazing, I’ve got to try these.

  3. #
    Paul Scivetti — March 24, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Hey, Tessa – these look pretty darn good. I may need to give these a try this week next time I make rolls.

    A question and a couple of notes…

    Question – how big are your rolls? These look like ~2 oz each or just a tad under. Getting each roll the same size is important for a consistent, even bake.

    Notes…

    1. You CAN get fabulous bread & rolls using SOME whole grain flours without a lot of adjustments to the formula. i.e. you can sub up to 25% whole wheat or (better still) white whole wheat flour for some of the bread flour. You might need to add another teaspoon or two of water, but otherwise, the bread should work just fine. I tend to use white whole wheat on these kinds of rolls as they have less ‘edge’ than regular whole wheat and they don’t change the look of the roll.

    Once you’ve made these a couple of times with just bread flour, you can try them again with 25% whole wheat (white or red). Add just enough water to get about the same feel to the dough. Note that whole wheat will soak up a bit more water as the dough develops, so starting out just a little wetter should give you the right dough feel by the time you’re shaping the rolls.

    For those not familiar with it, white whole wheat, it isn’t a ‘marketing gimmick’ or anything crazy – it is an albino strain of wheat that is ground up just like regular (red) whole wheat. Turns out the grain compounds that produce the red color also produce that harsh ‘edge’ sometimes associated with whole wheat breads.

    2. When giving bread formulas, please consider giving the weights for the ingredients. You’ve done that for the flour, which is among the most important ingredient to weigh – the other is the salt – but really everything should be weighed.

    As you know, successful baking is first about finding the proper balance between ingredients and then using good technique (mixing, resting, shaping, baking, etc) to end up with great bread. However, once you’ve ‘gotten it right’, the second trick is being able to make the recipe again & again. Nothing is more frustrating for a new baker that making truly great bread once and then not being able to get the same great results again.

    The key to consistent results is weighing the ingredients so you have both the proper amounts and the correct proportions between ingredients. For finely ground ingredients such as flour, ‘scooping’ is about the worst possible way to measure.

    I recently did some testing on scooping vs. weighing. The results were shocking. In the most extreme case, I found ‘scooping’ put 25% more flour in the bowl than weighing. In practical terms, that is like measuring out 4 cups of flour but ending up with 5 cups. That’s huge. A difference that large throws off the entire recipe and puts everything out of whack. This is, in my experience, the reason most new bakers fail. It makes baking look like a random, hit or miss process when, in fact, it is the exact opposite.

    As it turns out, salt is another big issue with baking. The density of the crystal structure between different types and brands of salt is quite significant. This is especially true with kosher salt and flake salt. As a result, a ‘teaspoon’ of salt can have wildly different amounts of actual salt in the spoon. Weighing out the salt eliminates this issue as well.

    The good news is that digital kitchen scales are widely available and very inexpensive. These days, they pretty much all will give you readings in pounds & ounces, ounces or grams, which is all you really need in a home kitchen scale.

    I made the switch 2 years ago to weighing all my ingredients and it made a HUGE difference in both the quality and consistency of my baking. I consider my scale to be my most valuable baking tool (even more important than a good stand mixer).

    As always, thanks for yet another great post. I love your writing/posting style – very clear, approachable and inspiring.

  4. #
    Gaby — March 24, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I want these for breakfast, lunch and dinner! So gorgeous!

  5. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — March 24, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I love garlic + rosemary together, especially infused in fluffy rolls. Tessa, these look amazing! I’ve gotta try.

  6. #
    Dulce de Andrade — March 25, 2014 at 6:36 am

    It is lunchtime here in Portugal, so opening this post right now was simply a killer… So gorgeous and promising!

  7. #
    Edward Antrobus — March 25, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I’ve always steered clear of doughs, aside from quick-breads. But lately I’ve been attempting my own pizza dough and it hasn’t been too bad, so maybe this is next.

  8. #
    Clever Hen — March 31, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Boy, these rolls look yummy! I have got to try them. My husband loves garlic so it will be a nice surprise for him.

  9. #
    Nicole Olender — November 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    what can you use instead of milk?

  10. #
    Victoria McMullen — December 20, 2014 at 8:47 am

    These sound amazing!
    One question, would you be able to freeze/refrigerate these before baking them?
    I want to try doing these for rolls with Christmas dinner but with everything else there is to do, it’d be a lot easier if I could premake them!

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Sure, I would refrigerate or freeze the just-shaped rolls. Bring them to room temperature before baking and allow them to get a little puffy. Merry Christmas!

  11. #
    Brenda — January 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I tried these the night before our family Christmas–almost didn’t want to leave any for the the next day! I used ~ 1 tsp dried rosemary and thyme and they still tasted great. Thanks for the help with the finishing touches for our holiday meal 🙂

  12. #
    Karen — January 9, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I’m new to your blog and happy to have found this recipe. I’ve been looking for a recipe to re-create a childhood memory: garlic rolls served at a local pizzeria. Most recipes I read today have butter and herbs poured on top after it’s baked so this recipe looks like what I need to create my “memory.” Question: does this roll taste like sourdough bread? I hope so ‘cuz that’s what I want…sourdough rolls with garlic. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  13. #
    Joan St. Marie — January 24, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Thanks for allowing me to join….

  14. #
    shan — August 12, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    What is bread flour ?

  15. #
    Lyn — January 25, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Oh, my goodness!!

  16. #
    Cara — February 28, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Just made these and it is so fluffy and and delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  17. #
    Gretchen — May 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Higher-protein bread flour helps all loaves—from soft white sandwich bread to whole-grain loaves—rise their highest. You will notice that bread flour has a finer texture. I use it when I make rolls. Eggs and milk in bread recipes offers a more protein enriched bread and heavier. French and Italian breads do not use eggs and milk and you will notice they are lighter in texture.

  18. #
    Kerry — May 28, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Could I use a bundt tin when the rolls have proved? I would like to make shaped rolls to pull apart.

  19. #
    khaleduz — July 22, 2016 at 3:23 am

    lovely will try to make it later…thank you

  20. #
    Karen — July 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a delicious yet fuss free recipe. My family loves it. The dough is perfect! So soft and fluffy even on the 3rd day, especially after warming them up in the oven. The only tweek was I added filling.I pan fried some grated garlic n mixed them with soften butter, spreaded a dollop on each after the 1st proof plus adding some ham inside each of them. Its yummmy! Best part about this bread is that it doesn’t have the smell of yeast like some homemade bread recipes. Definitely a keeper!! Thank u!! 🙂

  21. #
    Phoebe — March 20, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Thank you so much for such a delicious and easy recipe. The texture was so soft and fluffy!

  22. #
    P Topasna — September 16, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Hi, I found your site recently and tried&bought your cookie book. These look amazing and can’t wait to try. I searched through your recipes looking to see if you had one that incororates herbes, veggies and cheese in a bread. When we lived in Seattle years ago there was a bread we bought that had these items in them. I can’t find a receipe or it anywhere. Could you please come up with one or if anyone knows where one is point me in that direction. Love your videos, recipes and am gong to be making my way through them. I think I will be taking your cooking class soon also! : ) Thank you for the receipts.

  23. #
    Jane — March 4, 2019 at 1:33 am

    Thanks Tess – just came across this page and made a 1/2 batch to go with our dinner tonight. Easy to make and yummy to eat. Will definitely be trying more of your recipes.

  24. #
    kae — November 3, 2019 at 7:16 am

    The beginning of the directions say “water” but water is not in the ingredients list. How much water should I put in the bowl? Thank You!

  25. #
    Krystal — November 3, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Can this be made with wheat flour?

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