Hefeweizen Honey Rolls

 I have wandered into a complete obsession with making bread. It started slowly, and really, rather timidly. When I first started, I was afraid of yeast, and a wee bit convinced that it hated me.

I threw several mounds of fail dough in the trash after it refused to rise. I learned a few things long the way that I am more than happy to share with you and save you from the “What the EFF is wrong with this damn bread!” frustrations that I suffered.

First, check the expiration date.  Yeast expires in a biblical sense, it actually dies. Yeast is a bit of a living beast, and once it reaches it’s expiration date, don’t even think about it. It’s not like that bottle of Ibuprofen in your  cabinet that expired last year but is probably still going to cure your headache. If the yeast has been in your cabinet a while, throw it out.

Salt kills yeast too. Don’t let inactive yeast come in contact with salt. I learned this the hard way when adding salt to the cream before microwaving it.

Yeast will rise between 40 and 120 degrees. Any higher than 120 and it will be killed by the heat (unless you use rapid-rise which will work until about 130), stay away from the high end of the scale in case your thermometer is a bit off. If the yeast is colder than around 90, it will take a long time to rise. At 40 degrees, it will still rise, but it will take days. 110 seems to be a bit of a sweet spot, but I live in LA, and even when the East Coast is being ravaged by Frankenstrom, it was still 85 degrees yesterday. Bread rises faster when it’s warm, slower when it’s cold. Yeast types are not interchangeable without major recipe modifications. Use the yeast the recipe calls for.

Dry milk powder is a bit of a secret weapon when it comes to bread making. I discovered this in the Secret Ingredient section of King Arthur Flour, it may be to blame for my bread making fixation.  Your bread will be softer, taller and more tender. Buy a bag just to keep on hand for Thanksgiving and Christmas rolls, because if you are going to all of the trouble to make homemade rolls, you should really pull out all the tricks in your bag.

Beer. Of course, the beer. Bread is my favorite thing to make with beer. Even if you aren’t a beer kind of girl, it gives your bread a lighter, slightly more leavened quality that makes it a perfect baking liquid. And because it’s bread, a wheat beer is a natural choice.



Hefeweizen Honey Rolls


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 envelope dry active yeast
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup wheat beer, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • To Brush On Top:
  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • Makes 16 rolls


  • Add the cream to a microwave safe dish. Heat for 20 seconds, test temperature and repeat until cream is about 110 degrees. Add the yeast, set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. If the yeast does not foam, it isn't good. Discard it and try again.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, salt and dry milk powder, mix until well combined.
  • Add the cream and the beer, mix until combined. It will look dry and shaggy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between additions.
  • Add the honey and butter and allow to mix until the dough forms a smooth and shiny ball that isn't sticky, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Coat the inside of large bowl with oil. Form the dough into a ball and add to prepared bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm room until doubled in size. This will take between 1 and 2 hours depending on the temperature of the room.
  • Punch the dough down, and knead lightly for about 1 minute.
  • Cut the dough in half, then cut each half in half. You will now have 4 equal size pieces. Cut each piece in half to create 8 equal sized pieces. Cut each of those in half to give you 16.
  • Roll each piece of dough into balls, place into a baking dish with a bit of space between each roll (you might need two baking pans to accommodate 16 rolls).
  • Cover and allow to rise until about doubled in size.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine the melted butter and honey. Brush the top of the rolls with honey butter mixture, sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.



31 thoughts on “Hefeweizen Honey Rolls

  1. These look so perfect! I bet the honey and hefeweizen complement each other perfectly.

    I’ve only made one loaf of bread, otherwise my experience with bread and yeast is with pizza crust. Your advice about not burning the yeast to death is a tip I’ve learned all too well :)

    1. You should totally try rolls. They are so good homemade. I’m seriously considering making these for a lunch I’m going to this weekend.

    1. I got a sourdough started from Nicole @ Pinch My Salt a YEAR ago and I’m still too scared to make it. I don’t want to waste a perfectly great starter if I screw it up!

  2. Pinning this! But love them!

    So the white honey dinner rolls I made the other day are totally different in terms of the ingredients but the result, the photos of what they look like, are remarkably similar. 4c bread flour, 1 c water, 1 packet yeast, etc… no milk and no beer. But I love that you put it in them!!

    And the dry milk powder being a secret weapon. So I have heard. You HAVE to try the Platinum Red Star. night.and.day to anything else Ive tried. And you heat it hotter, like 120-130. I had trouble with other yeast. 90-100 wasnt hot enough, 110-115F seemed too hot. Unless I hit it RIGHT on the money at like 105ish and prayed, it wasn’t really great. The Plat is wayyyy more forgiving!

    1. I just used it the other day, totally loved it. Such a great product. But I used it the same way I normally do, and it was still amazing.

  3. These rolls look so fluffy and delicious! Since I’m not lucky enough to live in LA, I always turn my oven on while I’m waiting for my bread to rise. I’m going to have to try the milk powder though, I’ve never even heard of it!

    1. It’s correct. I’ve made these about 6 times. They make generous sized rolls, perfect for making sandwiches with Thanksgiving leftovers. With a half batch you could probably get 12 averaged sized dinner rolls.

  4. These were absolutely delicious! I only had a half because there was so much food and I could not eat more (I think Andrew ate the other half:), but they are definitely going on my “to make ASAP” list!

  5. Ok so I have tried to make these rolls three times. All three times, my kitchenaid seizes up because it is such a dry dough. It will not mix into a nice ball as what you describe. It looks more like a pie crust dough rather than a bread dough. Halp! What am I doing wrong?


    1. Really? That’s so strange. I’ve made this about 6 times, always with the same ratios and it’s always a bit of a lose, soft dough. Is that after you put in all the eggs, beer, cream and the butter? Do you sift the flour? Unsifted flour can be up to 50% more dense than sifted flour. That’s the only think I can think of is that your flour is really dense and compact.

      1. Yes that is after the cream, beer, and butter. I used King Arthur bread Flour. I did not sift it.. It’s wouldn’t even mix in my Stan mixer though. It was way denser than the pie crust dough I made. I tried this with active dry and fast rising yeast. I got the cream to 109 and added yeast. I stirred it and let it set. It never got “frothy” so to speak. It didn’t expire until may 2014. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong because I really want to try this bread. I measured to a T every ingredient. The dough still seems as if my ratios were off because of how incredibly dense.

  6. I’ve fallen in love with your site. I started to pin this recipe and then, the next recipe and then, the next. I only keep beer in the fridge during the summer. But you may have just changed my cooking style 4EVR.

  7. I’m planning on making these for thanksgiving. If I want to prep ahead of time how far can I go? Should I just make them entirely on Wednesday and reheat? Or can I go as far as forming the balls the chill overnight? Thanks!!

    1. There are two things you can do. First, you can do what’s called a “fridge rise” which basically means the last rise, that usually takes place in a warm room for about 30 minutes, can take place in a cold fridge (lower than 40 degrees) over 12 hours. Take the rolls out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them and let them come to room temperate.
      Second you can partially bake them until they have just started to turn golden brown but aren’t fully baked (about 8-10 minutes) cover them well and then finish baking them the next day.

  8. These rolls have become a solid staple at our holidays. This year while prepping a Thanksgiving beer pariring with a local brewry, I used their wit, and added a touch of orange zest and corriander to the honey glaze. The brewmaster raved about them! Thank you!

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