Sour cream yeast rolls formed into elegant knots are one of the BEST homemade roll recipes you’ll find. Easy to make, they’re a showstopper and sure to impress family and friends.
Making knots are easy to do!
There are some meals that are just not complete without a yeast roll. A good sour cream yeast roll will make any meal magical. Then there are those dinners when you want the bread to be the star of the show. When that’s the case, be sure that you’re forming them into an old fashioned knot to give your guests the WOW factor every time.
You can make any yeast roll into a knot but this sour cream bread recipe is rich with flavor from sour cream and cheddar cheese and forms beautiful knots. Adding sour cream to baked goods makes them moist and tender which is what makes my blueberry muffins and cornbread so moist.
Why you’ll love yeast rolls
- They’re delicious, you won’t be able to stop at just one!
- They’re a show stopper, everyone will marvel at your baking skills.
- They’re so easy, don’t be afraid of yeast rolls!
- You can make the dough ahead of time, always a game changer.
- It’ll only take 1 ½ hours of rise time.
A hurdle to making yeast rolls can be the rising time. However, this recipe only has a total of one and a half hours of rise time. After the first hour you can refrigerate the dough overnight and let them rise a ½ hour before you put them in the oven.
This is a game changer for a holiday dinner like Thanksgiving or if you’re entertaining. You’ll know the night before if the yeast didn’t rise and will have plenty of time to start over. No last minute panic.
Refrigerating the dough after the first rise is also super handy if you need to bring something for a potluck. Take the refrigerated dough and bake for just 10 minutes when you get there, everyone will be drooling with the wonderful smell of yeast rolls.
What you’ll need
- Yeast – you’ll need 6 teaspoons or 3 packets of yeast. Each packet contains 2 ¼ teaspoons, so you’ll have a little left over if using packets. You can use active or instant.
- Sour cream – don’t use low fat. You can use full fat greek yogurt instead.
- Eggs, butter and sugar.
- Bread flour – it has more protein which allows for a higher rise and more stable dough.
- Sharp cheddar cheese – it adds a nice tangy flavor.
- Melted butter – to brush on the top.
How do you make yeast rolls
Add yeast to lukewarm water and let it sit until foamy.
Combine the sour cream, butter and sugar and microwave until melted. Let it cool to lukewarm, add eggs and then add to the yeast mixture.
Add flour and cheese and mix in a stand mixer until combined. Let rise in a warm place for an hour, until doubled.
Form into knots and let rise for 30 minutes. Brush with butter and bake. Remove from the oven and brush with more butter and sprinkle with flaky salt.
Pro Tip: Once these rolls come out of the oven, you can brush them with butter and sprinkle with flaky salt.
How to form dough into a KNOT
Now for the tricky part. The dough will be slightly sticky and the more you work with it the harder it is. If it gets to the point that it won’t stretch, let it sit for about five minutes. You can practice with a piece of string.
I had the hardest time following directions on how to make a knot the first time I tried. For you, it might be intuitive, but I just couldn’t figure it out. I’ll try to explain it with words and pictures.
FIRST make a simple knot, with the ends pointing down. One of the ends will be coming out of the back of the knot and one will come out of the top of the knot.
SECOND, take the end that is on the top and put it under the knot and into the center.
THIRD, take the other end, the one coming out of the back, and bring it over the top of the knot and into the center. Squeeze the ends together. When it rises for the second time the gaps will be filled in and you’ll have a beautiful roll.
Helpful TIPS for perfect yeast rolls
- Add lukewarm, not hot, water to the yeast. Test it on your wrist, it shouldn’t feel hot.
- Add a pinch of sugar to the water and yeast, if it doesn’t get foamy after a couple of minutes, throw it out and start again.
- Heat a bowl of water in the microwave and leave the door shut so that the microwave gets warm and steamy. Then place the dough in the microwave to rise with the hot water and keep the door shut. The warm humid air will be great for the dough.
- Don’t let it rise more then double in size and make sure you get rid of the air bubbles after the first rise.
What can you serve with sour cream rolls
While these are a great choice for any holiday meal, don’t save them just for holidays, try them with some of these dinners:
- They go great with steak marsala
- Serve with a piping bowl of chili so you can mop up the flavors from the bowl
- Try them with coq au vin
Now go out there and make the BEST sour cream rolls you’ve ever had and just wait for the compliments to start rolling in.
FAQ’s and tips
Yes, instead of shaping them into a knot, form them into a ball and place in baking pans leaving a little space between each one as they will rise when they bake.
Yes, just make sure it’s not fat free greek yogurt.
Add a pinch of sugar to the yeast water mixture. If it doesn’t bubble/foam, the yeast is dead. Start over again.
Yes, after the first rise, form them into knots and refrigerate. Let them sit on the counter for 30 minuets before baking.
They freeze perfectly, just let them cool on a rack first then place in a sealable freezer bag. When you are ready to eat, let them come to room temperature, wrap in aluminum foil and back at 350º for 15 minutes.
A stand mixer is convenient, but you’re not kneading these like you will with a bread dough so you can do this by hand.
More yeast roll recipes
Sour Cream Yeast Rolls
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 cups sour cream
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 eggs room temp
- 6 ¼ cups bread flour 750 grams
- 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- ¼ cup butter melted
- Add ½ cup of warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine sour cream, butter, sugar, and salt and cook on medium power until melted, about 1-2 minutes. (Or heat in a saucepan on the stove) Let cool slightly for about 10 minutes and add eggs, whisking after each addition. Add sour cream mixture to yeast mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add flour, cheese and pepper and beat with the paddle attachment at low speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide dough into 32 pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the rest covered. Roll into a 12 inch rope. Tie a loose knot leaving 2 inches or so of dough at the ends. Take the tail that is on top and take it under and inside the knot. Take the other tail that is on the bottom and take it over and into the center of the knot, pinching the two tails together in the center. Place on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size about 30-40 minutes. (At this point you can refrigerate overnight and when ready to bake, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes)
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Brush rolls with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, 10-11 minutes. Remove and brush with more butter and sprinkle with flaky salt if desired.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use full fat sour cream however you can substitute full fat greek yogurt.
- You can make these into regular rolls, just form into a ball and place in a baking pan.
- Use bread flour for a better rise and more stable roll.
- You can refrigerate the dough overnight after forming them into knots. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.