This copycat recipe for Homemade Hawaiian Sweet Rolls is insanely soft, fluffy, and perfectly sweet; topped with a salted honey glaze. You’re going to love how easy these are to make!
This post is sponsored by Fleischmann’s® Yeast. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help make ‘Mike Bakes NYC’ possible!
I have a lot of traditional sweet roll recipes on my blog, but no plain dinner rolls. And after today I still won’t have plain dinner rolls on my blog because who wants a plain dinner roll when you can have a warm, honey-buttered, golden brown, soft, homemade Hawaiian sweet roll?!
These rolls were made with Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast (also known as instant yeast). I actually use Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast in most of my baked goods because it makes the rising time much, much faster without sacrificing any quality AND yields super soft, fluffy, and great-tasting dough every single time. Can you say win-win?!
Now, I know a lot of people are nervous when it comes to making yeasted bread at home, but I’m telling you that you have nothing to worry about! It’s not as complicated as you think! If you’re still nervous, the Fleischmann’s® Yeast website is an amazing resource for tips and tricks to help you get started and to ensure that your baking turns out great!
Hawaiian rolls are sweet, soft, small round rolls that are infused with pineapple juice and a bit of honey; they have a very subtle sweet flavor which is what makes these rolls unique. And in the case of these homemade Hawaiian sweet rolls, they’re brushed with a healthy amount of honey-butter right out of the oven… YUM! Hawaiian rolls first came to popularity in Hawaii in the 1950s, but the roots of these rolls can be traced back to Portugal by way of the Philippines.
The honey butter glaze is simple to make as well! Literally just requires you to melt butter and honey together and then brush all over the freshly baked rolls. The honey butter soaks into all the cracks and crevices and the flaky sea salt makes that honey flavor pop.
Prep: In a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, milk, honey, and butter and place over medium-low heat until warmed (120°F/48°C to 130°F/54°C).
Combine: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast, and salt. Add in the warm mixture, followed by the egg, vanilla, and vinegar. Stir until combined and a shaggy dough forms.
Knead: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough forms a soft, smooth ball.
Rest: Place the dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before shaping.
Spray: Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Divide and Rise: Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 15 equal portions. Form the dough into balls and place in the prepared pan. Cover again with the towel and allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Egg Wash: Whisk together the egg and water. Lightly brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash.
Bake: Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve: Brush baked rolls with honey butter while warm and sprinkle flaky sea salt on top, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
HOMEMADE HAWAIIAN SWEET ROLLS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use active dry yeast instead?
Technically, yes! But you’ll need to add the yeast to the warmed pineapple juice and milk mixture and let sit for 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. Also, your rolls will require two longer rises instead of just one; one rise will need to be done after kneading the dough and one after shaping the dough!
Can I make these Hawaiian sweet rolls with bread flour instead of all-purpose flour?
Sure! Just note that using bread flour will yield a slightly chewier dinner roll due to the higher protein content!
What’s the best way to shape these Hawaiian sweet rolls?
To shape the dough into balls, I use the pinch and claw method. You basically pinch and fold the seams of the dough inwards to make a rough ball shape, then use your hand in a claw shape to roll the dough into a perfect circle. You can see an example of me doing this in the recipe video below!
Can I make these Hawaiian sweet rolls ahead of time?
Absolutely. You can let the shaped rolls rise overnight in the fridge. Just let them sit at room temperature for about an hour, until puffy and not so cold, before baking as the recipe directs.
Can I freeze these Hawaiian sweet rolls?
Yup! You can freeze the fully baked rolls in an airtight container. Thaw to room temperature overnight before reheating in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes. You can also bake straight from the freezer at 300°F for 20 to 25 minutes, though this method may produce dryer rolls.
HOMEMADE HAWAIIAN SWEET ROLLS: TROUBLESHOOTING
Help! My dough isn’t rising! What’s wrong?
Yeast has a “use by” date. As it moves beyond that time, it loses its oomph. Check the date printed on the package to make sure it’s within its usable life.
If your yeast hasn’t expired, then you likely accidentally killed it by adding liquids that were too hot. The ideal temperature of the pineapple juice/milk/honey/butter mixture is between 120°F (48°C) and 130°F (54°C); I recommend getting an instant-read thermometer to ensure you don’t waste your ingredients!
Help! My Hawaiian sweet rolls are tough! What did I do wrong?
Are your dinner rolls not as soft & fluffy as you’d like? Sounds like too much flour was the problem! If you used cup measures as opposed to weight measures, your ingredients were probably a little off. As weird as this sounds, measuring cups aren’t as accurate as you think and it’s easier to use too much or too little of an ingredient when using volume measures. This is why I list ingredients by grams first and why you should really be measuring by weight with a kitchen scale instead—it’s much more reliable and completely eliminates any inconsistencies.
If you used weight measures and are STILL experiencing issues, then you might be adding and incorporating too much flour when kneading and shaping the dough, so just keep an eye on it! A sticky dough can be tough to work with, but the higher moisture content is what makes for super soft and tender dinner rolls.
Help! My Hawaiian sweet rolls are pale! What did I do wrong?
Did everything right but your rolls look dull? You may have forgotten the egg wash! Egg wash gives baked goods a golden shine If they’re already baked and they look pale and dry, a drizzle of melted butter can help shine them up right before serving.
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