Saturday, June 18, 2016

King's Hawaiian Rolls

You know how some grocery store delis have meal options that include a 4-pack of King's Hawaiian rolls? Back when my brothers and I lived at home we'd occasionally get the chicken meals, complete with chicken tenders for me. Since there was 5 of us and I'm a bit of a white bread-aholic, I made sure to grab my roll ASAP and hoped that there was one left. Because those commercials aren't lying: these things are sweet and soft and delicious.

So I was delighted when I moved out and discovered that you can get these rolls in packs of 12. A sweet and soft side, even when frozen and defrosted? Yes please! Which is why when I ran out of the Butter Rolls I figured I'd make one of the many King's Hawaiian copycat recipes I've saved on Pinterest. I chose a simple one from La Petite Brioche.

King's Hawaiian Rolls (source)


  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice (since I don't like pineapple I did Google search for substitutes and found an alternative: 1 part lemon juice to one part orange juice)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes yeast 
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick) melted 


  1. Beat the eggs. Add the pineapple juice, sugar, salt, ginger, vanilla, and butter. 
  2. Place 3 cups of flour in a large bowl. Stir in the egg mixture until well-combined. Sprinkle in the yeast, one packet at a time, and mix. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix in. If dough is sticky and difficult to handle, add more flour (personally, I didn't need to. The initial 6 cups was enough). Dough should be slightly tacky, but not wet. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it forms a smooth ball (mid-way through I added flour to the surface. Not sure it helped). Place dough in a greased bowl and set aside to rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  3. Punch dough down and either divide into three equal parts for bread loaves or 24 balls for dinner rolls. Place in greased loaf pans or shape into rolls.
  4. Cover and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. Note from blogger: The secret to light and airy rolls is making sure they've risen enough....this is an exercise is patience
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or golden brown.
  6. Brush tops with melted butter (decided not to do this. Didn't seem to matter). Serve warm

Something definitely went wrong. I don't know if I kneaded it took long or use flour to knead when I shouldn't have or didn't let it rise enough the first and/or second time. The perfectionist in me is bummed that these don't look remotely close to the rolls you can get at the store. HOWEVER, they sure do taste like what I remember the King's Hawaiian rolls tasting like (after all, it's been a while since I've had them), so I think it's safe to say that the lemon-orange juice mixture worked. Not as soft though. Next time I'll knead without flour and let the dough rise longer both times. And maybe also use my KitchenAid with the dough hook. And crowd the rolls in the pan to 4 across instead of 3. Hopefully these changes will work. Because there will be a next time that I make these.

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