Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

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Bread rolls are something that can be made quite easily.  I often like to eat a roll with my dinner, or with soup at lunchtime.  So I decided to make some cloverleaf dinner rolls.  These are a simple, slightly enriched dough that is baked in a muffin tin, three small dough balls to each hole of the tin so that they resemble a clover leaf when baked.  Like that they are ideal for pulling apart to eat, or to butter as you eat them. 

Of course the same recipe will work for normal round rolls baked on a baking tray too, so they don’t need to be shaped. It doesn’t affect the flavour at all if only gives them a slightly different appearance. 

For mine I also sprinkled some sesame seeds on some. Poppy seeds would be good too.  But, again, that isn’t necessary it is just an nice littel addition.

The rolls are easy to make by hand, and even easier using a stand mixer to do the kneading.  The result is nice, soft, rolls that are best eaten on the day they are baked.  Of course they can also be frozen as well, for eating later.  If some do go a little stale I am reliably informed that cut into thin slices, from the top down, and then toasted they make lovely crostini.

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls – Video


  • 440g(3 1/2 cups) strong white bread flour(plain flour would be ok)
  • 275ml(1 cup +2 tbps) milk heated to 42c/108f
  • 56g(1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter, cooled
  • 25g(2 tbsp)caster sugar
  • 7g(1 packet) active dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • extra butter for greasing
  • extra butter for brushing after baking, optional
  • extra milk for brushing before baking, optional
  • sesame seeds to sprinkle, optional


  1. Add one teaspoon of sugar to the milk and stir.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast onto the milk and stir, then leave to activate for 10 minutes(the mixture should go frothy.
  3. Add the milk/sugar/yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer(with dough hook attached).
  4. Add the butter and mix in.
  5. Add the salt and remaining sugar into the flour and stir around.
  6. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix on slow to combine.
  7. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 6 to 7 minutes.  The dough should come cleanly away from the side of the bowl and should be just slightly tacky to the touch.
  8. Take the dough from the bowl and form into a tight ball.
  9. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then allow to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size(about 60 – 90 minutes).
  10. When the dough has doubled in size tip it out onto the work surface and knock the air out.
  11. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces(mine were 66g each)
  12. Divide each piece into 3 equal sized pieces, rolling each piece into a small, tight, ball.
  13. Place 3 balls into a hole of a greased muffin tin, so they sit snugly against each other to form the cloverleaf.  Repeat for all 12 holes.
  14. Cover the muffin tray lightly and allow the dough to rise again until it has doubled in size in the holes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F.
  16. Lightly brush the top of each cloverleaf roll with milk(if you wish) to help with browning.
  17. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if you wish.
  18. Bake in the oven for between 20-25 minutes, until the rolls have browned well and are fully baked.
  19. Remove from the oven and tip out onto a cooling rack.
  20. Brush with melted butter if you wish.
  21. Serve fresh and freeze any that remain for use later.

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