How to Make the Best Dinner Rolls in the World

Pull-apart Japanese dinner rolls.

There is nothing better than freshly baked bread at home and this recipe for pull-apart dinner rolls is so good you will want to make it all the time. This bread is great because it’s quick to make, consistent and incredibly delicious. The house always smells amazing when I make these at home. This recipe uses a Japanese milk bun which has a lot of dairy but I’ve also included a tasty vegan alternative. Next time you visit friends or family for dinner bring a batch of this bread and you’ll be invite over a lot more!

What the heck is tangzhong?

What makes this recipe special is the use of a tangzhong starter. Tangzhong is similar to a roux except with milk, water and a little flour instead of butter and flour. It is then cooked just like a roux until thickened and added to the dough. This process helps to keep the buns soft longer and makes it extra tasty.

Unlike a sourdough starter which can take months to prepare and daily feeding, this “starter” takes only 3 minutes to make. Don’t be scared of the tangzhong, it’s really easy.

Vegan Version

I’ve also experimented with a vegan alternative to this with oat-milk and sunflower oil that was very tasty although not as good as the original. The vegan version will look like this:

Tangzhong starter
3 tbsp (43g) water
3 tbsp (43g) oat milk
2 tbsp(14g)  bread Flour


300g bread flour
50g sugar
113g oat-milk
60g sunflower oil
1 tsp salt
1tbsp instant yeast

I found the original recipe on King Arthur Flour but have modified a few things to make it easier at home. (I don’t like using milk powder and would rather use all-purpose flour vs. bread flour). I highly recommend this site for baking recipes!

Dinner rolls waiting to be eaten



Dinner roll dough, proofed and ready to be baked

It’s better to use a brush for this than a spoon…


Pull-apart Japanese dinner rolls.

How To Make The Best Dinner Rolls In The World

Very sexy buns that can be made in one day. Using a Japanese milk bun recipe for ultra soft and fluffy dinner rolls. Can also be made vegan.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course baking, bread, Dinner, sandwiches
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4
Calories 386 kcal


  • Brush for the eggwash
  • Baking trays
  • Parchment paper


Tangzhong (starter)

  • 3 tbsp water 43g
  • 3 tbsp whole milk 43g
  • 2 tbsp bread flour 14g


  • 380 g bread flour 2 ¾ cups
  • 50 g sugar 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried yeast
  • 113 g whole milk 1/2 cup
  • 1 large egg
  • 60 g butter melted and cooled (1/4 cup)


  • Mix all of the ingredients from the tangzhang into a small saucepan and heat gently. Whisk for about 3 minutes until there are no more lumps and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. Let this cool.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients together with the cooled tangzhang and knead until a smooth elastic dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky add a bit of flour until it is smooth.
  • Roll into a giant ball and place in a lightly floured bowl. Lightly dust the top with flour and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Rest for about one hour.
    dough ball
  • After about an hour the dough should have expanded slightly but not doubled. Lightly press the air out and begin shaping into 8 smaller balls. Attach them together on a parchment lined baking tray and lightly dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 40-50 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Lightly brush the dough with an egg wash (1 egg with a splash of cold water mixed in). Bake for about 23-35 minutes or until nicely golden on top and a thermometer reaches 87C/190F.
    Dinner rolls shaped into balls and ready to be baked
  • Transfer to a resting rack and let cool for ten minutes. These buns are amazing hot out of the oven with a little butter and crunchy sea salt. They also makes an incredible egg sandwich the next day with a little fried egg.
    Dinner rolls finished and baked to golden brown.


When measuring the yeast, sugar and salt, always place them apart in the bowl. Too much salt and sugar can actually kill the yeast. So when measuring, place them on opposite sides of the bowl.
The dough should be smooth after it's mixed. If it's still sticky, add more flour. 
Keyword baking, bread, dinner roll recipe, dinner rolls, dinnerrolls, easy, japanese, milkbuns, no-starter, quick baking recipes, vegetarian
Instant Pot Beer Braised Pork Carnitas
A solid recipe for instant pot beer braised pork carnitas. The ultimate Mexican pulled pork meat to up your taco night.
Check out this recipe
Beer braised pork carnitas with all the fixings.
The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich
A super easy recipe for the ultimate breakfast sandwich.
Check out this recipe
Breakfast sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg.



  1. 5 stars
    **Two words~ BRILLIANT BUNS!! Oh my GOODness, you wonderful, generous soul~ such a FANTASTIC recipe to share! I find it fantastically surprising that the very same ingredients~ handled differently~ can create such a dinner roll masterpiece~BRAVO, belissimo, & every other word of cooking kudos~ AND Thank You =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating