The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

janhusinger's picture

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

Looking for a great Cloverleaf dinner roll recipe.  Can anybody help?

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Quick and easy lucky cloverleaf dinner rolls

I made this recipe for Thanksgiving and shared it with the "Mike's Weekly Baking Tips" mailing list.  You can get more information about the mailing list at  Each page has a subscription form.

These rolls are pretty quick, especially of you use a mixer. Just a few minutes of interaction here and there. However, they are very nice rolls, better than you'll find in most fancy restaurants. They are modeled on the Parker House Rolls, as served in the Parker House.

We'll start by making a sponge. Mix together:

Volumetric Ingredient Grams Bakers Percentage
1/2 cup warm water 120 grams 25%
2 cups Warm whole milk 480 grams 100%
1 / 2 stick Butter 65 grams 15%
2 TBSP Instant Dry Yeast 19 grams 4%
1 TBSP Sugar 18 grams 3.8%
2 tsp Salt 9 grams 2%
4 cups All-purpose flour 480 grams 100%


Make sure the liquids are under 100F, add the solid ingredients (yeast last), mix until smooth, cover and allow to stand until it has more or less doubled (until it is nice and foamy), about an hour. This really helps revitalize the yeast and develops the flavors of the roll. A straight dough just can't compete!

Yes, you can use low fat milk, skimmed milk margarine, soy milk or whatever. Just don't tell me they didn't turn out well. Butter and whole milk give you the best rolls. It's Thanksgiving day for crying out loud! Go work off the excess calories tomorrow when you're shopping.


4 cups All-Purpose flour 480 Grams 100%

Mix this in, then knead until the dough is nicely developed, smooth and very lively. This will be a soft dough. If you have trouble with wet doughs, you might use a stand mixer for this.

Cover and allow to rise again.

When the dough has risen, fold it down, cut into 27 pieces for two ounce rolls or 54 pieces for one ounce rolls. Roll the pieces into balls, and put each ball into a cupcake or muffin tin. Brush the tops with butter and then use a pair of kitchen shears you have cleaned and dipped in melted butter to cut each ball into 4 pieces. This is BY FAR the fastest way to make cloverleaf rolls.

Cover the rolls, allow them to rise. Preheat the oven to about 375F, and bake for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them if you make smaller rolls - the cook faster!

Serve with jam or ham, honey or gravy, or whatever you want to have these with. They'll pull apart easily and you and your guests will be delighted!

While these rolls use a sponge, a sponge doesn;t give you as much shelf life as other preferements, so these rolls have the same shelf life as yeasted rolls.  On other words, a very short shelf life.  I would not make them more than a day ahead, and they are much better the day they are baked.

Sure, you can make these with sourdough. But they won't be the same rolls, and these rolls are pretty wonderful the way they are!



janhusinger's picture

That recipe looks perfect.  I'll give it a try and let you know how they turned out.

thanks mike.