Cloverleaf Rolls

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!

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A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!Another one?  Seriously?  My mother has an innate ability to find four-leaf clovers.  In fact, I’d say it’s pretty darned close to superhero ability.  If she even walks near a patch of clover, she’ll find one (or six) four-leaf clovers in about 60 seconds.  I guess you could call her lucky, but she swears that her father (my grandfather) was even better.

They’d actually go out and have four-leaf clover hunting contests.  10 minutes.  Find as many four-leaf clovers as possible.  She claims he beat her every time…but I’m not so sure how that’s even possible.  Between the two of them, they’d come back inside with a veritable bouquet of four-leaf clovers.

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!I used to challenge my Mom to these clover contests when I was a kid.  My grandparents had huge clover patches in their yard, so we’d head out and hunt for those elusive clovers.  And I always lost.  But the other day, I was walking our neighbor’s dog for them (they were out of town) and I happened to be standing near a clover patch while Benji was doing his business.  I looked down and saw a four-leaf clover.  It was just right there looking at me!

I picked that clover and put it in a little glass bowl of water next to the kitchen window.  Granted, if my Mom had been there, she would have found that clover (and eight more) before I even realized it was a clover patch!

CloverleafDid you know that each leaf of a four-leaf clover holds a special meaning?  Sure enough!  The first leaf is for faith, followed by hope, love and luck.  After college, a friend gave me a little framed four-leaf clover with these four words carved in the frame.  I have that frame hanging near my desk, and every time I see it I think of my mother and her clover hunting prowess.

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!While my ability to find four-leaf clovers might pale in comparison to my mother’s, I can make one heck of a tasty batch of Cloverleaf Rolls.  These dinner rolls are incredibly easy to make, and I seriously think I could eat the entire batch when they’re fresh from the oven.

I know many people shy away from making homemade bread.  I get it.  Homemade bread takes time.  And no-one looks at a photo of homemade bread and says, “Woah, I can’t wait to have that!”  But seriously, this Cloverleaf Rolls recipe is worth making!

Yes, it involves yeast.  (Don’t be afraid!)  Yes, it involves time.  (Don’t be afraid!)  Yes, it involves shaping the rolls.  (Don’t be afraid!)  And yes, you may eat a warm roll right out of the oven…I give you permission!

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!With Thanksgiving coming up soon here in the States, the race is on to create a gameplan for how to tackle Turkey Day dinner.  I know it’s easy to just buy a bag of rolls from the store, but do seriously consider making your own.  These Cloverleaf Rolls are sure to impress friends and family…and plus, you get to brag that they’re homemade!

Disclosure: This Cloverleaf Rolls recipe is nearly identical to these Butterflake Dinner Rolls that I made last year.  The only difference is the optional seeds on top of these rolls instead of melted butter.  And of course the way you shape the rolls before baking.  So there you have it…one recipe, two different dinner rolls.  Both equally delicious!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be outside by the clover patch honing my skills.  My Mom will be in town soon, and I sense another four-leaf clover hunting contest will be on the agenda!

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!

Cloverleaf Rolls

A basket of these Cloverleaf Rolls would be a perfect addition to your holiday dinner table!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 10 rolls
Calories: 191kcal


For the Dough

For the Rolls

  • 1 large egg
  • {optional} poppy seeds
  • {optional} sesame seeds


  • Add all Dough ingredients to the bowl of a countertop mixer. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, and then increase speed to medium. Mix for 3-4 more minutes, or until dough is smooth.
  • Transfer dough into a large oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm (85°F) location for 55-65 minutes, or until dough has almost doubled in size.
  • Spray a standard muffin pan with nonstick baking spray; set aside.
  • Transfer dough onto countertop (or cutting board) and gently fold the dough to press out the air. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces (~2 oz. each).
  • Using a bench scraper or simply a table knife, cut each piece of dough into 3 pieces of equal size. Using a circular motion, very firmly roll each piece of dough between countertop and palm of your hand until dough ball becomes tight. Place three balls of dough into each muffin cup.
  • Spray tops of dough with nonstick baking spray and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Place pan in a warm location for 35-40 minutes, or until dough has risen about ¾”-1” over the top of the muffin cups.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Whisk together the large egg with 1 Tbsp of water. Brush the tops of the rolls with this egg wash.
  • {Optional} Sprinkle tops of rolls with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or a combination of both.
  • Bake rolls for 14-16 minutes, or until tops are golden brown in color.

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  1. Hi David! There is nothing better than the smell of fresh warm bread or rolls! Well, bacon is right up there too! Your recipe sounds foolproof and is quite simple. I usually make brioche rolls for the holidays, but I think I’ll go with these for Thanksgiving.

    1. I totally agree, Dorothy! Homemade bread/rolls is still one of my all-time favorites to make in the kitchen…and I always love making homemade rolls for the holidays. These are super fun to make, and even more fun to tear apart when you eat them! Just make sure to roll each of the little dough balls until it’s tight. 🙂

  2. Dang, am the worstest ever at finding four leaf clovers – there might be one right under my nose and I’ll manage NOT to see it! And guess what? To date, I’ve yet to find one! GAH!
    I am fascinated by the meaning behind a 4-leaf clovers’ leaves – I did not know that till now-you seriously have some of the bestest tid-bits of info!
    As for these rolls – dude, I need to start baking bread again – I used to all the time when Lil Shashi was a young ‘un…time I brought it back! Besides, homemade rolls rock Turkey day or any day of the week over store bought ones! When I make these I’ll tag you or send you a photo or something!
    Happy Friday my friend – hope y’all have a wonderful weekend – Happy 4-leaf clover hunting!

    1. What! You’ve never found a 4-leaf clover!?! You’ve got to stop what you’re doing right now and go find a clover patch, Shashi! It make take a little bit of hunting, but there is something so fun about finding that 4-leaf clover. They’re out there! 🙂

      And, yes, I wholeheartedly support you getting back into bread-making! Plus, what better time than the holidays? I love making homemade rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas…and they make great “slider buns” with leftover turkey and ham. Just sayin’!

  3. This is going to make me sound like a total snob, but when there are storebought dinner rolls at Thanksgiving, I tend to skip them in order to save room for other, worthier dishes. But these?! I might even pass up on the turkey to have an extra one or two of these! The seeds on top are a nice touch.

    1. Not a snob at all! I totally get it, Mara! I actually enjoy the process of making homemade bread/rolls…but I really enjoy the process of eating them even more. I say no need to pass on the turkey. Just grab an extra roll and make a turkey sammich! 🙂

  4. Fresh baked rolls are always on our menu for Sunday roasts/Thanksgiving/Christmas. You’re right, they are worth the effort. Plus, at the end of the day, most of the time is just letting them rest. These remind me of the little buns we used to get from the local bakery as a kid. I loved breaking them apart and having three buns instead of one!

    1. Yes! Freshly baked rolls do take a bit of time and planning…but they are so totally worth it. Plus, they make amazing ‘slider buns’ for leftover turkey! Isn’t this time of the year great, Matt? I can’t wait for that roasted turkey…and even better, the leftover turkey sammiches!

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever found a four leaf clover! EVER!!! I spent days lying at my grandmother’s yard searching for clovers! I thought they were just a made up thing for years. I guess I’d better start searching for them again! These rolls are just perfect for Thanksgiving. I love pulling the pieces apart and eating the soft sides first!

    1. Say what!? Oh man, you totally need to go find a clover patch today, Kathy! They are out there. And there’s something so fun about reaching down and finding that 4-leaf clover! Also, these rolls are indeed perfect for holiday dinners…although I like to make a double-batch and then use them as slider buns with the leftover turkey. Yum!

    1. Thank you so much, Gaila! Your job today is to go out and find a clover patch…and then find a 4-leaf clover. 🙂 And then come home and bake up a batch of these Cloverleaf Rolls. Sounds like a good day, right?

    1. Oh, I bet you can find a 4-leaf clover, Dawn! It just takes a bit of practice…and then all of a sudden, you’ll start finding ’em everywhere. But you know what? Skip finding the clover and just make these rolls instead. I promise your luck will improve as soon as you take a bite! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Kushi! Yes, the shape of these rolls is super fun…and it’s really fun to pull each “leaf” off as you eat the rolls. 🙂

  6. I’ve never heard of this clover game, David! But belive me, it’s easy to find lavender rather than clover around here. Do we have the similar lavender game? And now pass me this delicious bread, please! That would be my personal game:)

    1. I could totally see you playing the lavender game, Ben! For me, I’ll just stick to the clover game. Plus, finding 4-leaf clovers brings me good luck. Finding lavender doesn’t bring me anything. 😉 Haha!

  7. Hi David, 4 leaf clovers sound pretty mystical to me, I don’t think I have ever seen one. How cool! Anyway love your rolls they look delicious!

    1. Oh man, 4-leaf clovers are so cool, Cheri! They are a bit hard to find, but not impossible. They’re out there! In the meantime, I suggest just making a batch of these rolls instead. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Oh, these rolls are so fun, Nicole! You can just tear off the little pieces (i.e. “leaves”) and the inside is just so soft. Perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner table…oh, and these make great “buns” for leftover turkey sammiches! 🙂

  8. I know someone who doesn’t eat carbs of any kind and I just can’t imagine my life without bread. There is nothing better than the smell and taste of fresh bread right out of the oven. I can’t say no to Cloverleaf rolls.

    1. I totally hear ya there, Celeste! I can’t imagine forgoing freshly baked bread…it seriously is one of my favorite things ever! These Cloverleaf rolls are fun because you can pull them apart as you eat ’em. 🙂

  9. I love cloverleaf rolls. I make them every year at least once during the holidays – except that one year I made your butterflake rolls. If you’re accostomed at all to using yeast, as you say, they’re not that hard. It can be tricky, though, to get them to be ready for dinner. They rise on their own timetable, and when they demand oven time, they demand oven time. This year, a we’re visiting a friend for Thanksgiving. He’s making the turkey and I’m making the sides, so cloverleaf rolls it is.

    1. Hey, those butterflake rolls are perfect for the holidays! I love a good tear-apart roll. All I need here was basically change up the shaping stage…2 rolls for the work of 1! But I do agree that homemade rolls take a bit of advance planning. But then again, they beat the heck out of store-bought dinner rolls. Enjoy!

  10. Been baking not for years, but only recently started experimenting with yeast dough. These rolls not only look delicious, but the recipe is actually pretty simple–at least on paper.

    Dough hook or paddle attachment? Or does it matter? Also, can the unbaked dough be frozen? When baking, I always convert recipes to metric weight, then scale batches so I have enough to freeze a portion. That way I can bake treats when unexpected company comes by, or have something homemade to take to friends and family when going for a casual visit.

    1. Hey there, Cate! I absolutely love baking with yeasted doughs. I know yeast scares a lot of people, but I find it so relaxing and even rewarding creating dough from scratch. Call me strange!

      So these rolls really are quite simple. The hardest part in my opinion is just rolling the tight balls to put into the muffin cups…and that’s only because there are so many to roll. I recommend using a dough hook here although the paddle would still work as it’s a fairly loose dough.

      I love that you use metric weight…I usually do that as well! But then I convert it in the kitchen into cups since most folks would rather see a recipe with cups than grams. As far as freezing? I don’t know. I’ve never tried it. I know yeasted doughs can be frozen, so I would think it’s at least worth a shot. I’d recommend freezing the dough before it rises. Then let it thaw at room temperature and rise from there. (It’ll take extra time since it has to go all the way from frozen to risen.) If you’re getting into baking yeasted doughs, I highly (highly!!) recommend the course “Artisan Bread Making” by Peter Reinhart. He is a legend in the bread baking world. The Craftsy course is several hours long, and it’s not that expensive (~$20). It’s totally legit. It’s like sitting in a classroom learning from Peter, and you also get to keep the course (online) forever. I’ve gone back and rewatched portions of that course a number of times.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting…I truly do appreciate it!! 🙂 Happy baking!

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