Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls

$0.98 recipe / $0.10 per roll
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.69 from 16 votes
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Bread lovers beware! These Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls are dangerously delicious and slightly addictive. These rolls come to you courtesy of my friend Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra’s Kitchen and her new book, Bread Toast Crumbs. I met Alexandra last year at the Saveur Blog Awards and have been so impressed with her blog, recipes, and photographs ever since. I was beyond happy when she gave me permission to share one of the recipes from her book with you, but I have to admit, it took a few hours of pouring over this delicious book before I could decide which recipe to share!

A round bread pan full of Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls with a dish of salt on the side

About the Book, Bread Toast Crumbs

To give you a little background, the entire book Bread Toast Crumbs is designed around one simple recipe for no-knead peasant bread that Alexandra’s mother prepared with almost every meal. The first section of the book, Bread, provides several tasty variations on the simple peasant bread, including things like Brioche, Oatmeal-Maple Bread, Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread, Pumpkin Harvest Bread, and even an Gluten-Free Peasant Bread.

The second section, Toast, features recipes that utilized the already baked bread, like Vinaigrette Toasts with Soft-Boiled Eggs (you know I’m going to make that one!), Cabbage Soup with Gruyère Toasts, and Grilled Chocolate and Crème Fraîche Sandwiches.

Inside of the book Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford

The last section of the book, Crumbs, features recipe where you can put your leftover bread into use, like Panzanella (three ways), Green Gazpacho with Tomato Salsa, Baked Pasta with Mushrooms, Fontina, and Crumbs, or Brioche Bread Pudding. The message is simple: homemade bread is easy and versatile, so don’t waste a single crumb! The structure of this book is so creative and useful, and the flavors sophisticated yet simple. I seriously want to make every. single. recipe.

Simple Yet Incredible Rolls

Everything in this books looked so delicious, but I decided to try something simple and versatile in hopes that it would be useful to most of you. Dinner rolls sounded safe, but what I wasn’t prepared for was how incredible a simple dinner roll could be. Despite using a no-knead dough, these Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls are extremely light and delicate. The extraordinary texture almost reminds me of a potato roll or Hawaiian roll. I’ve never seen a no-knead recipe produce something so light and airy. I was sincerely blown away. You simply have to try them.

Note: The recipe in the book yields two pans of 10-12 rolls each. I’ve divided the recipe in half below because the last thing I need is two pans of rolls in our house of two. ;) I also made the mistake of cutting my dough into only 8 pieces, but I definitely suggest 10-12 as they’ll fit in the pan better and be a more reasonable size.

Melted butter being brushed onto Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls in the baking pan
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Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls

4.69 from 16 votes
These incredible light and delicate Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls couldn’t be easier thanks to a simple no-knead dough.
Author: Alexandra Stafford // Bread Toast Crumbs
These incredible light and delicate Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls couldn't be easier thanks to a simple no-knead dough. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 8 rolls
Prep 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 2 hours 55 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ($0.12)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar ($0.02)
  • 1 1/8 tsp instant yeast ($0.10)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water ($0.00)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk* ($0.30)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter, divided ($0.40)
  • Pinch of flakey salt ($0.02)


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour salt, sugar, and instant yeast.
  • In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, pour the boiling water over the buttermilk, stir to combine, and let cool for 10 minutes. The buttermilk may look curdled, but this is okay.
  • Pour the buttermilk mixture and 2 Tbsp of the melted butter over the flour mixture. Stir until a sticky ball of dough forms. Cover the dough in the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
  • Grease an 8-inch circle or square baking dish. Using two forks, deflate the dough by releasing it from the sides of the bowl and pulling it toward the center. Rotate the bowl quarter turns as you deflate, turning the mass into a rough ball.
  • Liberally flour a work surface. Use the two forks to lift the sticky ball of dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 10-12 pieces. Using well floured hands, shape each piece roughly into a circle. It’s okay if each piece is a little misshapen. Place the dough balls into the prepared pan, spacing them evenly apart.
  • Begin preheating the oven to 375ºF. Let the dough rise, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough pieces have puffed to almost fill the pan.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and immediately brush the surfaces with the remaining 1 Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle a pinch of flakey salt over top. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto cooling racks and invert onto a plate. Let the bread rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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*I highly suggest using real buttermilk for this recipe instead of a milk and vinegar substitute. If you’re concerned about having leftover buttermilk, follow these instructions for freezing your buttermilk for later use.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 131.65kcalCarbohydrates: 20.38gProtein: 2.97gFat: 3.73gSodium: 267.24mgFiber: 0.92g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up of one Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls broken in half

How to Make Pull-Apart Rolls – Step by Step Photos

Bread Dry Ingredients in the bowl

In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1 1/8 tsp instant yeast. Make sure they’re very well combined.

Buttermilk and Boiling Water combined in measuring cup

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over 1/2 cup buttermilk, stir, and let them cool for about 10 minutes. The purpose of this step is to bring the buttermilk up to the right temperature for the yeast. She goes into a little more detail about this in the book. It works like a charm. The buttermilk might look a little curdled, but don’t worry about it. ;)

Add Wet ingredients to dry ingredients in the bowl

Pour the buttermilk mixture and 2 Tbsp melted butter over the flour mixture.

Sticky Buttermilk Dough

Stir them together until it forms a sticky dough and there is no dry flour left in the bowl. Cover the dough in the bowl with a damp tea towel or plastic and let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until it’s double in volume.

Fluffy Proofed Dough in the bowl

This is what it looks like after it has risen.

Collapse Dough in the bowl using a fork

Use two forks to deflate the dough by scraping it off the side of the bowl and pulling it toward the center, giving the bowl a quarter turn, then repeating the process. It’s a bit like the motion you’d make when folding in whipped cream, but using forks and a sticky dough. There are really great photos of this process in the book, if you end up checking it out. The goal here is to just deflate the dough and create a ball out of the sticky mass.

Divide Dough into Rolls with a bench scraper

Liberally flour a work surface, then use the forks to lift the sticky dough out of the bowl and onto the surface. Use a sharp knife or a dough scraper to cut the dough into 10-12 pieces (I accidentally only made eight pieces, but they were definitely too large once baked).

Shaped Rolls in the Round Bread Pan

Using well floured hands, shape the dough pieces roughly into balls. They don’t have to be perfect and they probably won’t be, because the dough is rather sticky. Place the dough balls in a greased baking dish, spaced equally apart.

Risen Buttermilk Rolls

Begin preheating the oven to 375ºF. Let the rolls rise, uncovered, near the heating oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are double the size and filling up the pan (there will be less negative space in the pan if you do 10-12 rolls instead of eight larger rolls).

Baked Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls with a dish of melted butter on the side

Bake the Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they’re golden on top.

Melted butter being brushed onto the Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls with a silicone brush

Brush the top of the rolls with the remaining 1 Tbsp melted butter…

Overhead shot of the Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls in the round baking pan

Then sprinkle a pinch of flakey salt on top. OMG SO GOOD.

Close up side view of Buttermilk Pull-Apart Rolls in the round baking pan

I die.

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  1. These are really delicious and very easy for somebody like me who doesn’t bake much.

    However, you need to factor in the cost of Alexandra’s book into the recipe costs, because of course I immediately went out and bought it! :)

  2. I think this is a little overly complicated, which Budget Bytes usually isn’t (I blame the book, sorry). After pouring the boiling water into the buttermilk, it was at a perfect 95 degrees. I didn’t wait ten minutes. Also, the fork thing is unnecessary. All it did was dirty two forks—  I ended up switching to a rubber spatula since it wasn’t pulling away from the bowl nicely. 

    That said, this was my first time making rolls like this and they turned out well.

  3. My family LOVES these rolls. They are so easy and delicious. I was wondering if it was possible to freeze the dough for later baking use…or even to use in monkey bread recipes.

    1. While I haven’t tried it, bread dough usually freezes beautifully, so I would guess yes. :)

  4. I made these as part of my mostly Budget Bytes inspired Thanksgiving and they turned out great.  I’ll be making another batch today, Black Friday.  My timing was such that I needed to bake these rolls while the turkey was still in my oven so I slid a 9 inch cast-iron skillet into my toaster oven.  Turning 90 degrees half-way through cooking and they turned out perfect.  Thanks!

    1. Remaking the recipe again today there are two points:  1)  Could you provide a weight for the 2 cups of flour?  One of the many things I love about Budget Bytes is that the recipes are easy to throw together and I get how using a kitchen scale takes time and an extra appliance.  Still, flour density can vary greatly based on how much it’s compacted.  You could say something like “200 grams or 2 about 2 cups.”  2)  Would you consider switching the order of the first 2 steps?  As written, the baker finishes step 2 and has to wait 10 minutes for the buttermilk/water to cool.  10 minutes is time it takes to collect and whisk the dry ingredients and melt the 2 Tbs of butter.  Consider changing the order and then adding “As the buttermilk and water are cooling…” in front of the new 2nd step.  

      Thanks for everything! 

  5. This recipe is ridiculously easy and results in rolls that are super delicious. This is now my go to recipe for making rolls. Making bread used to be a special event because of all the kneading required, but with this recipe, it’s so much easier to get started.

  6. Over the years I have tried many different roll recipes. This recipe is not only the easiest, but it produces the most delicious rolls ever!