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Hawaiian Rolls – Sweet and So Soft

Hawaiian Rolls have their origins on the Big Island of Hawaii. They are so soft and flaky. Brown and white sugar, along with pineapple juice, give them that delicious taste that makes it so hard not to eat the whole pan. If you can resist and save some for later, they make the best Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders  you will ever have. Perfect for dinner, sliders, or a midnight snack. 

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What Makes These Hawaiian Rolls So Light and Soft?    

If these rolls were any lighter, they would float right out of the pan. What’s the secret? Air and water! The stand mixer adds air with an extended mix time. Then the envelope fold technique adds even more air. The dough also has high moisture to flour ratio. The potato flour in the dough absorbs more moisture than regular flour, adding extra moisture to the dough. Once the rolls are baked, the result is a soft, pillowy, light as air roll.

hawaiian roll

How Do I Make Hawaiian Rolls. 

A stand mixer is a necessity for making these rolls extra soft and light. Add all the dry ingredients to the stand mixer. Add the wet ingredients. Unlike a baguette, with water as the sole source of moisture, these rolls receive moisture from water, pineapple juice, eggs, and butter. All that moisture makes for a heavy dough initially. Use SAF Gold instant yeast instead of the regular SAF instant. The GOLD yeast was designed for dough with high sugar and moisture levels. Mix the dough for 7 minutes in a stand mixer.
Once the dough is mixed, stretch and fold/envelope fold the dough 3 times at 5-minute intervals to fold extra air into the dough.

Hawaiian Rolls

Shaping and Baking the Hawaiian Rolls

Once the rolls are mixed, time to let them rise. The rise time can be as long as two hours after mixing and another two hours after shaping. Be patient as the long rise times make for light as air rolls.
Shaping – split the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape into balls. The rolls are coated with melted butter both before and after baking. All that butter soaks into the top of the rolls, keeping them extra soft. Bake the rolls until the center of the pan is 190 degrees F. Usually, about 20 minutes. Once baked, the delicious aroma and shiny buttery top will be almost impossible to resist. So go ahead, have one or two, or three. ENJOY!

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Hawaiian Rolls

Hawaiian Rolls

These lightly sweet and pillowy soft rolls are my version of the Original Kings Hawaiin Rolls that made there way from the Big Island of Hawaii. They take longer than traditional rolls to make because they are slow at rising. But so worth the extra time.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
rising time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hawaiian Rolls,, holiday rolls, soft and sweet rolls
Servings: 15 rolls
Calories: 190kcal


  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you


  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (21 ounces)
  • 4 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp yeast 2 packages, SAF Gold is best if you have it.
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • 2 tbsp potato flour If you don't have potato flour use 1/4 cup of instant potatoes.
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice canned
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • cup water mix water with pineapple juice and warm to 110 degrees.
  • 2 large eggs


Make the Dough.

  • Put the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and potato flour in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add together the warm pineapple juice and water and melted butter. Mix and add to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, then mix on low to combine.
  • Increase the speed to medium, mix for seven minutes more. The dough should be smooth and very soft. It will stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl.
    dough for soft dinner rolls
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball. Use a little flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the counter.
  • Put the dough back into the lightly floured mixing bowl and cover with Plastic Wrap. Let rise for two hours. At the end of the two hours, the dough should be more than double in size.
    dough after doubled

Shaping and Baking The Rolls.

  • Once the dough has more than doubled in size, turn it out onto the counter and divide it into 12 rolls.  Gently shape the pieces into balls and place them in a parchment-lined 11 x 13-inch baking dish.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place for another hour, or until very puffy.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees during the last 30 minutes of rising.  Brush the rolls with melted butter and bake for 20 - 30 minutes.  The middle roll should be 190°F in it's center. Check with an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter once more.  These Hawaiian rolls can be made the day before and rewarmed just before serving. 
    soft dinner roll
  • Freeze in a ziplock bag for up to 2 weeks.  During thawing remove from the ziplock bag to keep the rolls from getting soggy.
    soft dinner rolls


The rising times may vary depending on the temperature of the kitchen.  On warm humid days the times can decrease by 50%.  If the kitchen is below 68 degrees the rising times will increase.  


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg

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