Hawaiian Rolls – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Hawaiian Rolls. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Seeded at the Table.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. It was originally titled (in the email she sent to me), “Crockpot Hawaiian Rolls.” Except – and this is key – when I was looking at the recipe last week, I found that there was NO crock pot involved. In the comments over at Seeded at the Table, someone asked where the crock pot instructions were, and Nikki said she’d never made them in a crock pot, so apparently somewhere, someone added “crock pot” to the title for reasons known only to them. Because I am such a nice person (YES I AM), I alerted Nance to the fact that there was no crock pot involved. Now I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t told her, because I’m sure the swearing would have been EPIC.

I was worried that this recipe was NOT going to work out for me, because no sooner had I gotten all my ingredients lined up on the counter when one of the eggs bellowed “BANZAIIIIII!” and rolled off the counter and smashed on the floor. Cleaning up broken egg with one hand while holding off kittens with the other is NOT my idea of a good time.


So anyway, your ingredients:


Pineapple juice, dry yeast, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, and a very old jar of ground ginger.

Why is it, can someone tell me, that recipes often call for “instant yeast”, but there is NOTHING on the shelf that is labeled instant yeast? There’s “active dry” and “rapid rise”, but NO “instant.” (Google tells me that rapid rise IS instant, and when I typed in “Is rapid rise”, it auto-filled in the rest for me. So either recipe posters need to get their shit together, or yeast makers need to add a line of text that says “Yes, dumbass. Rapid rise IS instant!” to the packet.)

That pineapple juice was going to be an ISSUE for me, by the way. I was at the grocery store looking for the damn stuff and ALL I could find was this tiny bottle of pineapple juice that cost almost $7. And I was like “SERIOUSLY?” and then I was like “Oh, I am going to give Nance SOME KIND OF HELL FOR THIS”, but then I saw the big-ass can of pineapple juice for less than $3, and all was well. Crisis averted!

I took no pictures of the first few steps because I am a slacker. Basically beat your sugar and butter together, add the yeast and pineapple juice. Add in 3 eggs, the vanilla, salt, and ginger that is so old it could probably register to vote. Toss in 3 cups of flour and beat ’til smooth, then stir in another 2 1/2 cups of flour to make the dough easy to handle.

Then get out your hook attachment for your mixer and knead that dough! What do you do if you don’t have a hook attachment? Well, I guess you knead that dough by hand. SUCKS TO BE YOU.

While it’s kneading, add up to 1/2 cup of flour if you need to. How do you know if you need to? Well, you want your dough to be tacky, but not sticky. Which is to say that you don’t want your dough to be so sticky that it’s sticking to your hands and making a big-ass mess. I actually ended up adding all the flour, but I was just being an impatient asshole, as I am wont to be.

Kneady dough.

When the dough is done, place it in a large greased bowl and turn the greased side up. I greased my bowl with olive oil – dumped a healthy squirt of it in there, then spread it around with a piece of paper towel. Put the dough in, then turn it over. Voila, greased side up!


Cover the bowl with a (clean!) kitchen towel and put it somewhere warm and draft-free until it’s doubled. I put my bowl in the microwave, because it tends to be warm in there – draft-free, too. Unless someone turns the microwave on (don’t turn the microwave on, dummy.)

An hour and a half later, I had this:


You know it was ready for the next step ’cause I poked it and it didn’t giggle like Poppin’ Fresh. It also stayed indented.

Deflate the dough by punching it down (also known by me as “burping the dough.”) (the dough doesn’t actually burp. But it should!). Then divide it in half and divide each half into 9 equal(ish) pieces.

Close enough to equal sizes, as far as I’m concerned.

Roll each piece of dough into a ball, and then pull the surface tight by tucking the dough in at the bottom of the ball. I am sorry to report that I didn’t take a picture of my tucked-in dough.

Place 9 pieces of dough in a greased 9-inch round cake pan (I greased mine with butter), tucked side down. Repeat with a second cake pan and the other 9 pieces of dough.


Cover the rolls and let rise about an hour or until they’re doubled. Back in the microwave mine went!

Here they were, an hour later:


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly beat an egg in a small bowl and brush over the rolls. Sprinkle with a pinch or two (I used two) of sugar. Bake!

Inspector Arya, inspectin’.


I didn’t get any pictures of the rolls once I pulled them apart, sorry. I was a real slacker this week, huh? Also, my pan is ugly and stained and I bet that goddamn Nance is going to use some BEAUTIFUL piece of pottery to bake hers in, damn her. Always showing me up! (Granted, it’s not hard to do so.)

The verdict? They were good… BUT. They were kind of dry. I don’t think that’s the recipe’s fault, I think it was my fault. I think I added too much flour, and I cooked them a little too long. I only cooked them for 30 minutes, but I’m pretty sure they could have come out a few minutes earlier.

We both liked them, but Fred LOVED them and even said that I should make them for Thanksgiving. We put the second pan of rolls in the freezer to eat in the future (probably with Sunday dinner!) I also froze the leftover pineapple juice in freezer-safe ziploc bags, 1 1/4 cups in each bag. I got enough to make the rolls three more times!

Also, I don’t know enough about the King’s Hawaiian rolls you can buy at the grocery store (I think I’ve only had them twice), but I think that the ones from the store are lighter and sweeter than these turned out to be (though if I hadn’t added as much flour, they may not have turned out as dense as they did!), so keep that in mind.

PS: Fred reports that the rolls are particularly good when eaten with Muscadine (grape) jelly.


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Nance’s Take:

This recipe was supposed to be for dinner rolls that were made in a crockpot. And then I got an email from Robyn telling me that my happy ass is making Hawaiian Rolls and there is no crockpot involved.  WTF?

What do you think happened?  Personally, I think Robyn changed the link because she was craving something with Polynesian flair this time. Please recall: The multitude of Asian inspired recipes on this site. Ahem.

I also think she didn’t want to go with the crockpot recipe because she’s worried about Amanda’s approval.  Trust me, this recipe should get the Amanda C. (see you next tuesday!) Recipe Award for sure.  So much time involved.  Way too much time involved. Right up Amanda C.’s alley.

Hawaiian Rolls

Peace heard there was cooking going on in the kitchen and she is all about the food. During our vet visits we have met two beagles and they were both overweight. At the time I would have loved to see Peace weigh as much as they did. Now? I’m starting to worry that she’ll eat herself into morbid obesity quicker than shit. I had to say no.

Hawaiian Rolls

She does not appreciate that word.  At all.

Hawaiian Rolls

Hey, I bet you’ve never seen butter mixed with sugar on this site before, huh? It happens.

Hawaiian Rolls

The fat chick inside my head (and on my ass) is screaming at this nonsense. Why would anybody want to destroy the beauty that is creamed butter and sugar with something like fruit juice? You might as well pour in a V-8, for chrissakes!

Hawaiian Rolls

Around here we buy our yeast in bulk. I use it to make dough for grilling pizzas and this family loves grilled pizza. We’re fancy that way. If you’re nice, maybe we’ll invite you out for one of our hootenannies. There are corn-hole games and shit-talking involved.  Be jealous.

Hawaiian Rolls

I had my doubts about this one. Juice + butter = gross.

Hawaiian Rolls

The recipe said, “Blahblahblah, whateverthefuck” so I figured this was about the right time to shut that shit down in order to switch to a dough hook and add more flour. I don’t know. I pretty much picked this time based on how loud the mixer was and when it started to get on my nerves.

Hawaiian Rolls

Just passing through and looking for a hand-out. See also: Sad, disappointed, verklempt.

Hawaiian Rolls

This is when I had enough of making this freaking bread. I went through a phase when I first got this mixer where I was making a shit-ton of bread for our family. The result? Really good bread, we all gained a lot of weight, and it turned out to be cheaper to just buy regular bread from the grocery store. Now I get pissed off at anything that has to do with waiting on bread to rise, etc. I know it’s hard to believe that I don’t have patience for this kind of stuff.  Especially when that’s pretty much what I’m known for.

Hawaiian Rolls

This is what it looked like when I knew it was ready.

Hawaiian Rolls

It said something about your finger leaving an indentation. Yes, I stabbed that bitch.

Hawaiian Rolls

I was ready to rock and roll. But then I saw something that made my brain seize right the fuck up.

Hawaiian Rolls

This is one of my biggest PET PEEVES IN THE WORLD. Someone was frying potatoes the other day and I don’t want to name names, but they damn well better cut the shit.  You know that patience I bull-shitted about up above?  Yeah, RIGHT.  I have a zero tolerance policy in effect when it comes to stupid shit like this.  Just ask my kids how I deal with peanut butter that ends up in jelly.

And please tell me that you guys have assholes at home that do these kinds of things, too.  I don’t want to be the only one.

Hawaiian Rolls

When it came down to halving that shit and then making 9 different sections and OHMYGAWD, it’s ROLLS, NOT SURGERY! I hacked through it the best that I could with a pizza cutter and called it done.

Hawaiian Rolls

I will not be shocked to find out that Robyn’s are all perfectly shaped. I hate her.

Hawaiian Rolls

I consider these to be raised high enough and ready to bake.

Hawaiian Rolls

Oh, pretty! But I have to admit that my brain could not wrap itself around pineapple and ginger being inside a roll that has been egged and sprinkled with sugar.

Hawaiian Rolls

Something went wrong here. I think I might have done too much of the egg wash and it dripped down and baked the buns right to the pan.

Hawaiian Rolls

As soon as they cooled, I threw them in a ziploc bag. The ones that I let sit out longer got hard as hell and had to be pitched. Here’s the thing. They’re not bad. I can’t taste pineapple and I can’t taste ginger. I can taste a sweet roll and I’m thinking that I might just try this recipe again, but with some cinnamon and brown sugar rolled up in it. Just a thought.

Hawaiian Rolls

I let this one wear me down and I gave her a bun. An entire bun. She paid me back by shitting in my kitchen. Not once, not twice, but three times. I’ll keep the recipe, but I won’t be fooled by this little knucklehead again.  Thank God I woke up in the early, early AM or Shirley would have stepped out of her bedroom into a steaming pile of poo. That would have ended badly for all of us.

Hawaiian Rolls - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Side Dish
Cuisine: Hawaiian, DUH
Serves: 18
  • 1¼ c. pineapple juice
  • 2 pkgs Rapid Rise (instant) dry yeast
  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • ½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 5½ - 6 cups flour
  1. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter together with electric mixer. Beat in the packages of yeast and pineapple juice (keep mixer on low or your pineapple juice will splash everywhere.)
  2. Beat in 3 eggs, vanilla, salt, and ginger until well combined. Add three cups of flour and beat until smooth, then stir in 2½ cups of flour to make the dough easy to handle.
  3. Switch to the hook attachment on your mixer, and knead the dough until smooth and elastic (around 3 minutes), adding the last ½ cup of flour IF NECESSARY (dough should be tacky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands and make a mess).
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning greased side up. Cover with a (clean!) dish towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1½ - 2 hours. You know the dough is ready when you poke it and the indentation stays.
  5. Deflate the dough and divide in half. Divide one half of the dough into 9 equal(ish) pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then pull the surface taut by tucking the dough in at the bottom of the ball. Place in a greased 9-inch round cake pan, tucked side down. Continue until all 9 pieces of dough are in the pan. Repeat with the other dough half and another cake pan. Cover the rolls and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg. Brush lightly over the rolls and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of sugar. Bake 30 - 40 minutes, until golden brown (but check them around 28 minutes, just in case!)



Hawaiian Rolls – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe — 35 Comments

  1. This recipe looks super interesting – might give it a try. Our vet recommended plain popcorn, apples and carrots as snacks for the beagles. Also ours are fed with Science Diet r/d that you get at the vet.

  2. Robyn, why didn’t you just let the kittens eat the egg?? it’s good for them! (probably because they would trounce through it and not actually eat it because THEY ARE KITTENS! – oh yeah.. )

    • I was more worried about them eating a small piece of shell and then CHOKING AND DYING, but them tracking egg everywhere is probably a more valid concern. 🙂

  3. OK, I so don’t have the patience to bake. sheesh that is a lot of work.

    BTW – my first thought at the first picture. “there’s vodka in this? awesome” then I realized it was the vanilla….. drat

  4. I have never in my life made home baked bread. honestly – just too much work! and sitting and waiting and I’d forget and it would be rising all over the whatever it was sitting on being warm and out of drafts, and yeh. no thanks. 🙂 But if I were to make this I think I’d have to mix an orange glaze and pour it over it. Mmmm….. Orange and sugar and butter melted together.

    • As much as I bitch about making bread and what a hassle it is, I do have plans to make a starter for sourdough bread. I just need to find the right size container with a lid for keeping it in. And I don’t know how dedicated I will be when it comes to feedings and making sure I take so much out and bake with it, blahblahblah. The thing is, I do have a commitment to eating sourdough bread so hopefully that will carry me the whole way through. I might actually make it a DCEP thing if I figure it out and it works. Could happen. Ignore Robyn if she says that I won’t do it. She’s an asshole. 🙂

  5. Oh, and Nance’s kids: how does she deal with peanut butter that ends up the jelly? and is it a different reaction to jelly in the peanut butter?


    • The reaction is always a bad one. I am a freak about shit like that and my kids, if they were ever to support their mother and actually read this site, could verify this fact.

  6. I love Peace in the kitchen too!!! You know those crumbs in the crisco can? or the Peanut butter in the jelly jar, or the crumbs from toast on the butter.. i call them TOASTICLES! and they gross me the F-out!! lol oh yeah… Food Porn… i love it!

  7. Lurve that look Peace is giving you! That photo should be used for anyone who pisses you off with a dumb question!

    And, I’ve tried to make Hawaiian/Portuguese sweet bread for many, many times and it never comes out right. Just buy King’s.

  8. I’m glad that Arya got to inspect one last time before taking over Hermes household — and thrilled by how great Peace is looking. And Nance, that “something went wrong here” photo and analysis made this fun-, fact-, and profanity-filled post even more perfect.

  9. Gotta love Kamikaze eggs! And Robyn, don’t feel bad about your old ginger. Remember when McCormick came out with the ad a couple of years ago that said if you still have our metal containers, your spice is, like, over 100 years old? I think I went in my pantry that day and tossed spices that I had taken from my mom’s house when I was in college! (I kept the containers, though – folks collect that shit!) So now if the containers don’t have expiration dates on them, I try to be good and write the purchase date on them.

    I have never baked with yeast, since it kinda intimidates me, so thank you for answering the “instant” versus “active” question!! I may just be brave enough to try now… 🙂

    • Never listen to those fellows that tell you to toss out everything in your fridge or spice cabinet every month or so. If you are really worried about it, use more spice when you have to.

  10. Ok, my curiosity has become stronger than my embarrassment about my ignorance. What, pray tell, are “corn-hole” games? Also, I’m insanely jealous of your yeast skills – I can’t get a rise out of yeast even after insulting its mother.

    • Your last line made me snarf at work! I’ll have to use that the next time my husband tries to bake bread. He can never get yeast to rise either!

    • It is a game where you throw bean bags (or something simmilar) at an angled ply wood board that has bean bag sized holes. There are two boards about opppsite each other. It is basically horseshoes but with boards and bean bags instead of stakes and bean bags. I would never want to Google Corn hole. Way too scared.

    • Cornhole is a game where you throw beanbags through small holes in a box, preferably while drinking heavily.

      It isn’t as cool or lethal as lawn darts used to be, but same concept.

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