Looking for a quicker yeast roll? You’ll love these unique caramelized onion, No Knead Dinner Rolls. NO kneading required and just 1 ½ hours of rising. Caramelized shallots make them a great addition to any meal. They are even delicious without the onions!
I think my favorite food will always be bread. I love it in any form and while I don’t eat it for every meal, I generally serve some type of homemade bread for meals with friends or family. Seriously, when Mike’s away, I’m perfectly happy with toasted bread and butter for dinner.
However, my rule is that if I’m going to eat bread, it needs to be great!, I’m not wasting my carbs on bread that is just so-so. Caramelized shallots and gruyere make these easy no knead dinner rolls a great choice when you want something other than a traditional yeast roll.
In addition, they freeze well, so you can keep a batch in the freezer to have on hand when you’re having a bowl of chili. You can make them ahead of your meal and keep them warm or reheat your dinner rolls in a slow cooker.
Since this recipe does not require kneading, it’s great for when you don’t have a stand mixer available.
Why you’ll love them
- Soft and fluffy yeast rolls!
- Perfect when you need some comfort food.
- These rolls rise in just an hour and half and don’t require kneading!
- Savory rolls are great alone but also nice for sliders.
- They’re adaptable, don’t like onions, leave them out.
- They freeze well.
What you’ll need
- Shallots – there’s no rule on which onions caramelize better, I liked these delicate onions which don’t overpower the roll. You want the onions small for dinner, so if using a regular onion, make sure you chop it extra small.
- Olive oil, butter, sugar, salt and pepper
- Whole milk – don’t skimp on fat in the milk for your recipe.
- Gruyere cheese – gruyere goes great because it’s flavorful but not overpowering. You can leave the cheese out, it you’re not a cheese lover.
- Yeast – if you purchase packets of yeast, you’ll need a little more than 1, there are 21/4 teaspoons in a packet of yeast and you need a tablespoon. You can use eithr instant yeast or active dry yeast. If using active yeast, the rise might be a little longer.
- Eggs – let them come to room temperature before adding so you don’t lower the temperature of the dough. If you forget to take your eggs out, place them in a bowl of hot water. They’ll warm up in just a minute or two.
- Bread flour – it has a higher protein content so you have a more stable bread for baking.
- Eggs, sugar, butter and salt
Onions are naturally sweet and when you take the time to caramelize them with their own natural sugars, they turn into an amazing addition to so many foods!
- Slice shallots into very thin slices and chop into small pieces.
- In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots, butter, sugar and salt and pepper.
- Cook until they begin to start to turn brown, reduce to low and cook, stirring often until they are very soft and golden, approximately 20-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- You are looking for a rich, brown color.
- You can prep these 5 days ahead and seal them in a container and place in your refrigerator, or make a large batch and freeze them.
Tips for Caramelizing Onions
- Toss in a pinch of salt as you cook the onions for flavor.
- As you caramelize the onions, you can add a little sugar to the pan to help caramelize the onions. It’s not necessary but does help provide a depth of flavor.
- Caramelizing onions takes some time, so don’t rush it. Let them cook over low heat, just stirring occasionally.
- You can use your slow cooker to caramelize onions too! Here’s an article on using this tool.
Ways To Use them
How to make no knead dinner rolls
Are you are a little nervous about making yeast breads, if so, I’m here to tell you that you’re missing out. Even if you screw up, I promise it’s still better than anything you could buy at the grocery.
This recipe is a good one to experiment with, there’s no kneading required and it only has 2 rises, one at the beginning and the second after you’ve formed the dough into rolls.
Caramelize your onions first, preferably the day before. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm milk, warm water and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
Whisk in eggs, sugar, ¼ cup melted butter and salt. Add flour, cheese and caramelized shallots. Mix to combine in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment for a minute, you are just combining, not kneading. If you don’t have an electric mixer, use a strong spoon and elbow grease. The dough will be slightly sitcky but should not stick to your hands.
Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line 2 (9 inch) baking pans with cooking spray and parchment paper.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times to get the air bubbles out.
Divide into 24 equal pieces and gently shape each into a ball. Place 12 balls in each prepared pan so that they are touching each other. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Or, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375º. Brush rolls with butter and bake for 30 minutes. Remove form the oven when they are golden brown. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky salt. You can bake these in a metal or glass pan.
Pro tip: Cover with foil ½ way through baking to prevent over-browning.
How to serve
- Onion rolls are good any day of the week!
- Grill up some hamburgers and make these your buns
- Enjoy adding an onion roll to your Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter plate!
- Hosting a party? Make a batch of Spicy Bourbon BBQ sliders with these as the buns
While you might be thinking that you don’t want to take the time to caramelize the shallots, think again. These add a wonderful savory flavor to the rolls. However, you can do this step well in advance, even days in advance.
Keep this recipe in your back pocket for those times when you want to impress but don’t have the time to wait for dough to rise multiple times. These are great to serve at Thanksgiving, you can make them in advance and just thaw and warm or make the dough the night before and bake before serving. Either way, they’ll be a sure crowd pleaser.
FAQ and tips
Whatever you do, don’t ruin your delicious yeast rolls by heating them in the microwave, it will make them rubbery. The best way to heat them is first let them thaw if frozen. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven or toaster oven at 350º for about 10 minutes.
Or my favorite way is to place them in a slow cooker wrapped in a damp towel on low for 30 minutes.
You definitely should. You’ll need to cook the shallots first whether you do it a day or two in advance or the same day because you don’t want them too hot when added to the dough.
Yes, onion rolls freeze well, you won’t be able to tell the difference. This will help take the pressure off a holiday that you’re hosting. Let the baked rolls cool completely, then place in a ziplock freezer bag.
For this recipe, you do not need to knead the dough so a mixer is not necessary.
What can you serve with onion rolls
No Knead Dinner Rolls
- 5 large shallots thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup whole milk warmed
- 1 cup water warmed
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 eggs room temp
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter melted and divided
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 ¼ cups bread flour 750 grams
- 8 ounces comte/gruyere cheese 2 cups, grated
Caramelizing Onions Instructions
- Slice shallots into very thin slices and chop into small pieces.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add finely chopped shallots, butter, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until they start to turn brown then reduce to low and cook, stirring often until they are very soft, and golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm milk, warm water and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Whisk in eggs, sugar, ¼ cup melted butter and salt. Add flour, cheese and caramelized shallots. Using the paddle, beat at low speed until well combined, just about 1 minute. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Line 2 (9 inch) baking pans with cooking spray and parchment paper.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times to get the air bubbles out. Divide into 24 pieces and gently shape each into a ball. Place 12 balls in each prepared pan so that they are touching each other. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Or, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375º. Brush rolls with melted butter. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Cover with foil ½ way through to prevent over browning. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If the yeast doesn’t get foamy, start again with fresh yeast and make sure the water is not too warm.
- Make sure the melted butter is just warm and not hot or it will kill the yeast.
- Use room temperature eggs.
- If you need a warm place for the dough to rise, try heating up water in the microwave, then place the bowl of dough in the warm microwave.
- You can refrigerate overnight after forming into balls. Let them sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking.
- You can leave out the cheese and onions for a simple delicious yeast roll.