Savory Herb and Bacon Yeast Rolls

Savory herb and bacon yeast rolls in a basket

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Rise Time:: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 23 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
133 Calories
7g Fat
15g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 469mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 4g
Calcium 56mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rolls that you can make relatively quickly for dinner are in and of themselves a pretty attractive kitchen project. But once you add other ingredients into the mix, such as herbs like rosemary and thyme, and bacon, it becomes downright irresistible. These savory herb and bacon yeast rolls are a mouthwatering combination of bacon and herbs; they are incredibly delicious. They can be put together in the afternoon and will fill your kitchen with the most comforting aroma.

Bake the herb and bacon rolls for a holiday meal or a Sunday dinner, or shape them into buns for lunch or breakfast sandwiches. They're excellent alongside a roast chicken or a flank steak with mushrooms.

If you've never made rolls before, no worries. The key thing to remember when making any kind of yeasted bread is to pay attention to the temperature of your ingredients, which will ensure the dough rises properly and the rolls bake up nice and fluffy. Before they go into the oven, they're brushed with a simple egg wash of an egg and a tablespoon of water to help give the rolls a nice shine and color.

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 F)
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crumbled rosemary
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter (for the bowl)
  • 6 to 8 strips bacon (about 1/3 cup, cooked, drained, and crumbled)
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a cup or small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup of warm water; set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the milk, sugar, salt, garlic powder, celery salt, melted butter, thyme, rosemary, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Add the yeast mixture. Beat until smooth using a whisk or the paddle attachment of a mixer. Stir in the remaining flour and the bacon.

  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or, use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. 

  4. Generously butter a large bowl. Gather the kneaded dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn to coat all sides with butter.

  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

  6. Punch down the dough and cut it into 24 uniform pieces. A kitchen scale is an excellent way to keep them even in size. Shape the pieces into smooth, taut balls. Arrange in the greased baking pan. Cover with a lightweight kitchen towel and let the rolls rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until nearly doubled in bulk.

  7. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Heat the oven to 400 F.

  8. In a cup whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon of water together to make an egg wash. Lightly brush some of the egg wash mixture over each roll just before baking.

  9. Bake the rolls for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. The rolls should register about 185 F to 190 F when done.

What Makes Dough Light and Fluffy?

Practice is definitely something that helps when it comes to working with yeast, whether it's dinner rolls like these or using a sourdough starter; so many things can go awry with bread making. But the rewards are great. A good knead and a good rise develops the right conditions to help the dough develop enough gas. If it looks puffy and soft when it goes into the oven, your odds are pretty good that your rolls will come out light and fluffy.

Recipe Tip

If you usually fry bacon, try baking it instead. There's less mess and spatter and the bacon typically cooks much more evenly this way. It's a completely hands-off process which means you can work on other aspects of putting together this recipe while the bacon cooks. Turning to the oven for this task is smart, too, because it enables you to make a lot of bacon at once without worrying about crowding the skillet with too many pieces.