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Bea's Buttermilk Rolls work for both Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers

Fluffy, butter-brushed Thanksgiving dinner rolls.
Fluffy, butter-brushed Thanksgiving dinner rolls.
Jana Stocks Brown

For many, Thanksgiving preparation may be all about the turkey, but for me, Thanksgiving dinner is all about the rolls. A soft, warm roll elevates this holiday feast and provides the perfect base for Thanksgiving snacking.

This buttermilk roll recipe is simple and straightforward, even for the novice roll maker. It utilizes the leavening power of a buttermilk-and-baking soda reaction as well as yeast. This makes for a roll that has a light, fluffy rise and only needs to rise once before being shaped. These rolls keep well, provided they are kept in a plastic bag, so make a big batch for turkey and cranberry sandwiches through the weekend.



Yield: 24 medium rolls

1 tablespoon yeast dissolved in ½ cup warm water

1 cup buttermilk

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons sugar or honey

3 tablespoons butter, soft

1 teaspoon salt

2½-3 cups bread flour (a combination of part white and part wheat may be substituted)

Heat buttermilk to lukewarm — about 60-75 seconds in the microwave, or a few minutes on the stovetop. Pour into a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Add baking soda, sugar and butter. Beat well to combine and add 1 cup of flour, continuing to mix until flour is completely absorbed. Add yeast mixture and salt and continue mixing.

If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. Add additional flour until a stiff, slightly sticky dough is achieved.

Place dough in a large bowl, lightly greased or sprayed with nonstick spray, and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.

Shape rolls as desired and place on a lightly greased sheet tray. Rest for 10-15 minutes. Bake at 400 F (375 F for a dark pan) for about 15 minutes until tops are golden brown and rolls sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and brush with butter while still warm.

Let sit for 10 minutes before tipping out onto a cloth. Serve warm.

— Bonnie Kemp

Jana S. Brown is a writer, wife and mother. She is an excellent cook and loves a good cranberry turkey sandwich. She blogs at and tweets at janastocks.