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Fan Tan Rolls

Fan Tan Rolls
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Total Time: 1.45

Yield: about 20 rolls

These slightly sweet rolls, a.k.a. "New England buttermilk rolls," are the match of any bakery dinner roll. The shaping is easy but looks fancy, and the texture is moist and firm.

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Fan Tan Rolls
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey


  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 packages (scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, soda, and yeast. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat buttermilk and 1/2 cup butter until buttermilk is warm (butter does not need to melt), around 120°. Add to flour mixture. Blend with mixer at lowest speed until moistened, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size (about 1-1/2 hours). Gently deflate dough, then turn onto a floured board. Roll out dough to a 15-inch square, brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and cut dough into 1-1/2-inch-wide strips. Stack 5 strips together and cut into stacks 1-1/2 inches long. Place 1 stack cut-side down in each greased muffin cup.

Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Updated Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

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