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9 Shaped Dinner Roll Ideas That’ll Make You Look Like a Pro

Twist and turn your way to beautifully shaped dinner rolls.

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When it comes to dinner rolls, the basic round roll is a classic for good reason. It’s simple. But here’s a secret: It’s not difficult to give your rolls a distinctive shape. Those crescent-shaped and knotted bakes you find at the bakery can be achieved at home. Basic bread dough can be made into any number of different shapes. We’ll guide you through how to make some of the classics.

Pro tip: Shaping is always done before the final rise, so remember to keep things loose as you don’t want to constrict the dough as it expands.

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Twist, Rosette and Cloverleaf

To get started, try one of our most requested recipes—Best Dinner Rolls—and form them into three different shapes: a cloverleaf, a rosette, and a twist.

Twist: Divide the dough into the number of rolls you want to make and roll each into a ball. Roll each ball into a 10-in. rope. Fold the rope in half and twist two or three times, holding both ends. Pinch the rope ends to seal. Let rise, top and bake as directed.

Rosette: Divide the dough into the number of rolls you want to make and roll each into a ball. Roll each ball into a 10-in. rope. Tie a loose knot in the center of the rope. Bring the bottom end up and tuck it into the center of the roll; wrap the top end around and tuck under the roll. Let rise, top and bake as directed.

Cloverleaf: Divide the dough into the number of rolls you want to make, then divide each portion into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place three balls in each cup of a greased muffin tin. Let rise, then top and bake as directed.

You’re on a roll! Check out more homemade roll recipes.

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To make the classic crescent shape, start by rolling your dough out into circles, then cut each circle into wedges. Roll up each individual wedge, starting from the wide end. If you like, you can give the ends a slight curve.

Get the recipe for Crescent Dinner Rolls.

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Simple Knots

An even easier version of the rosette, the simple knot is done in a flash. Divide the dough into the desired number of rolls. Working one at a time, roll each piece of dough into a ball, and then into a rope. Tie a knot in the center of the rope and tuck the ends under.

Try our Pumpkin Knot Rolls.

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An S-shape is as simple as rolling out Play-Dough! Divide the dough into the number of rolls you want to make, then roll each into a 10-inch rope. Shape the rope into an “S”, then coil each end until it touches the center.

Make our S-shaped Yogurt Yeast Rolls.

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Making a spiral is only slightly different than making an S-shape…you’re still going to separate the dough and roll each piece into a rope. But then, start at one end of the rope and wrap it around itself to form a coil. Tuck the end under and pinch to seal.

Grandma’s Rosemary Dinner Rolls use the spiral shape to enclose savory herbs.

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Fan shape

To get a fan shape, roll the dough into rectangles, then cut it into long strips. Stack the strips and cut the stack into shorter pieces. Each small stack goes into a muffin cup, cut side up. As the dough rises and then bakes, the vertical strips fan outward.

Try this technique with our Sour Cream Fan Rolls.

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Herbed Accordion Dinner RollsTaste of Home


A variation on the fan shape, the accordion requires more folding than cutting. Roll the dough out into rectangles, and then score the dough rather than cutting it. Fold the dough back and forth along the score lines, and then cut into pieces—again, each piece goes into a muffin cup. Add delicious herbs to your bread with these Herbed Accordion Dinner Rolls

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.

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