These are phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. I was cleaning out my stack of Bon Appetit magazines from last year and came across this recipe. I have no idea how I missed it the first time around. As soon as I saw the combination of cranberries and walnuts in large-sized dinner rolls, I made it my business to make them immediately. And they were absolutely everything that I imagined they would be. The rolls are soft, have an incredibly light and tender interior, and are packed with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Totally festive for the holidays, or really any time of year.
This dough comes together really easily and was great to work with. It rose nicely, held the roll shape beautifully and puffed up and browned like a dream in the oven. The recipe calls for sprinkling the rolls with some raw sugar (also called turbinado or demerara), but I didn’t have any so I just skipped it. My sister ate one of these with apple butter and raved; I personally think they would be fabulous served with an orange-infused butter. These are perfect for a holiday table (they are huge, so figuring one per person is plenty) or even for a breakfast treat.
One year ago: Cheddar and Chiles Bread[/donotprint]
Cranberry and Walnut Rolls
- 1 cup (117 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3½ cups (437.5 g) or more bread flour
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) quick-rising dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) salt
- 1½ cups (366 ml) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for coating bowl
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (121.21 g) dried cranberries
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
- Raw turbinado or demerara sugar
- 1. Stir the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- 2. Mix 3½ cups bread flour with the brown sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the milk registers 95 degrees F. Add the oil; remove from the heat. Add the milk mixture and 1 egg to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until a wet coarse ball forms, about 1 minute. Add the nuts and the cranberries. Replace the paddle attachment on the mixer with a dough hook. Mix dough on low speed until smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky, adding more flour by the tablespoonfuls as needed, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes.
- 3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape the dough into a ball; place in the prepared bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, 1¾ to 2 hours.
- 4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to an unfloured surfaced; divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth round ball. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. Spray the rolls with nonstick spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until 1½ times original size, about 1½ hours. Brush rolls with egg glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar. Let rise 15 minutes longer.
- 5. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
- 6. Place rolls in oven; reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake 7 minutes. Rotate baking sheet; continue to bake rolls until golden and slightly firm to the touch, about 8 minutes longer. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
- *Note: You can wrap these in foil and place in an airtight bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw the rolls at room temperature. If desired, you can rewarm the rolls wrapped in foil in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
The rising time is actually 3-4 hours, so the summary at the top is inaccurate. Tasty recipe though!
I made these for Christmas dinner and they were a hit! They were my favorite part of the meal, even beating out some longstanding family favorites. The following day, my family was competing for the few rolls that were leftover! I tweaked the recipe slightly by swapping half the craisins for dried cherries, which I recommend for some more flavor variety.
Thanks for this recipe Michelle! An oldie but a goodie.
Can these rolls be made a little smaller without ruining the outcome?
Hi Debbie, Yes, you can definitely make them smaller.
my mom requested i bake something with cranberries and walnuts this year for Thanksgiving, so searching for recipes i found this one and everyone was excited when i told them i would be making these. i made them last night so, so far myself and my fiance are the only ones that have tried them and i can say they are amazing. I did add some cinnamon to the doe cause why not cinnamon is amazing and i figured would go amazing with these dinner rolls. I also think a cinnamon infused butter would be amazing with these rolls. One more thing if you are looking for smaller size dinner rolls i would suggest when you seperate the doe into the roll size instead of dividing it to 12 sections maybe divide to 16. cause once these rolls have finished all their prueving times they are huge( which i dont mind at all). This recipe was super easy to follow, i doubled the recipe and every was still spot on. Only advice i would give to someone who isnt use to cooking with yeast make sure you read just how long it will take these arent something you can just whip together right before dinner, pruving takes a long time hence why i made them the night before Thankgiving. im so excited for my family and friends to try these, i think they are gonna be a new regular for holiday dinners.
Can these be made with whole wheat flour? What type & any adjustments?
I don’t recommend substituting ALL whole wheat flour; I would start with 25%, see how the recipe responds, and go from there, although I usually cap it at 50% for a recipe that is formulated for all-purpose or bread flour. Sometimes you need to add more liquid.
I saw this recipe for the first time in your 2018 Thanksgiving Side Dish round-up, and I was wondering – can this be made as a loaf of bread, instead of as rolls? It seems like it would make such a delicious sandwich bread, depending on the filling, when sliced. Obviously, adjust the baking time, but my question is really if the bread is too soft and light to make nice slices out of it.
Hi Amy, I’ve not done it, but I think it would make great bread!
These rolls are so delicious. I made them for Thanksgiving dinner and I didn’t want to eat anything but the rolls. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
Yes, you’re right. These are phenomenal! I made these this morning for a “test-run” for Thanksgiving. Everyone loved them. The neighbors are always grateful for your recipes.
Congrats on the new baby girl. May she always be happy and healthy.
These are awesome! Great for chicken salad, sliced turkey, or roasted chicken sandwiches. My new go to sandwich bun! I’ve even left out the cranberries and added fresh chopped Rosemary, replacing the oil with olive oil, and they turned out great. I love the shape, the soft texture and how easy they are. I mix the dough in my bread machine on the dough cycle, adding the cranberries in when it beeps 10 minutes before the end of the kneading time (when making it with rosemary I add that from the beginning with all the other ingredients). I get 12 3.5oz buns out of the full recipe and freeze half wrapped individually in cling wrap and in a plastic bread bag. I imagine they would be excellent plain as well but I haven’t tried that yet, I just can’t resist the flavor and added oomph of the cranberries ;)
I guess I should have mentioned that I have never made them with walnuts. I never seem to remember to get them. These are awesome with just the cranberries! My chicken salad recipe has toasted pecans so perhaps that’s why I never miss the walnuts.
Found these rolls on pinterest and they look delicious. Made them last night and confirmed that they are delicious. Thank you for the recipe!!
I have made these and served them with honey butter. Everyone loves them, they are perfect for Thanksgiving morning.
I made them couple times and love them! But mine comes out very dense… too heavy. How can i modify to make lighter & fluffier? Use half portion of flour with all-purpose flour? Any baking powder or soda? Any suggestions, please?
By the way, i’m very beginner in bread making, also i don’t own standing mixer…
Last time i made, i also mixed in matcha (pure green tea) powder a bit, which came out nicely, except still dense…
I’ve read in other sites saying i need to knead more & rise more/longer. FYI: My house sits just above 2,000.
Hi Yumi, I have not tried playing around with the texture of these rolls. You definitely want to knead until you have reached the correct consistency for the dough, and you need to let it rise until 1.5 or double size, regardless of the time – it could potentially take a longer or shorter amount of time in your kitchen based on the temperature and humidity.
Thank you, Michelle for your response. I tried to knead longer and let it rise double size. But it was still bit denser than I would liked… :( Maybe the temp & humidity, which higher temp (although we keep our a/c setting 75ish, but humidity is usually 15 – 17%. might be causing…
In the oven now! I cant wait to tear into them with dinner!!!
I’m so glad you made it your business to make these and then share the recipe with us. Now I’m going to make it my business to make these for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Thanks so much, in advance.
I made a batch of these this morning, to have something to nibble on throughout the day. I love the cruch that walnuts give, and anything with cranberries is awesome:)
I just ran across this recipe. These rolls remind me of ones that Trader Joe’s sold at the holidays this past year, but instead of walnuts, they used dark chocolate chunks and shaped them into rectangles. Fabulous. Hmmmmm….must try…
Made these tonight but with pecans and I am enjoying one now warm out of the oven with butter. Superb recipe!!!!!!!
This looks amazing :) My mum loves cranberry walnut rolls and I’m hoping to bake it for her on her birthday. However, I’m a real amateur when it comes to baking :( I was wondering, can I use instant yeast instead of quick rising dry yeast? What’s the difference? (Also, is quick rising dry yeast = rapid rising yeast?) Thank you Michelle xx
Hi Adele, Actually instant yeast is the same thing as quick rising, rapid rising, bread machine yeast. I know it’s confusing because different brands call it different things!
I made theses amazing rolls, but I would like to make it into a loaf . Do you think that would work well for that? Any tweaks to make it into a loaf?
Hi Belinda, Your baking time would likely be longer, but I can’t see any other adjustments. So glad you enjoyed the rolls!
anyone tried this without nuts- allergic crowd here
Is it necessary to use whole milk ?
Hi Deb, Whole milk has more fat, so using a lower fat milk could affect the texture of the final product. I do recumbent whole, but if you must use a 1% or 2% (I strongly discourage skim), know that the texture could be different.
Thank you Michelle for your answer!
At this moment I only have all purpose flour and some white whole wheat flour. Do I need to buy bread flour for this recipe? I would love to try those rolls, they look amazing!
Hi Silvia, Bread flour will give you the best results. If you use all-purpose flour, you may not wind up with the correct texture.
There is a terrific bakery in Rye, NY – Patisserie Salzburg – that makes a cranberry/raisin/nut roll that we buy whenever we are passing through, they are THAT good. This recipe, with a few tweaks, almost perfectly duplicates the PS rolls. We used 1-1/2 cups of berries (equal parts cranberries and raisins), and 1-1/2 cups of chopped nuts (equal parts pecans and walnuts). We also added a dash of cinnamon.
I have only just found you site! My new favorite!!!!!!
How do you make these the night before without baking them that night? Would I make the dough and after step 3 or step 4 put in the fridge? Or freeze? Thank you!
Hi Amy, In step 4, after you shape the rolls, cover and allow to rise again. You can cover with plastic wrap then put in the fridge overnight. Let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes in the morning, then proceed.
These look delish!! There’s a bakery here in town that makes awesome (seasonal) cranberry orange rolls. I wonder if adding some orange zest to the dough would replicate that flavor? Hmmm – worth a try. :)
I would like to have these for dinner on Thursday. Can they be made Wednesday and what is the best way to keep them the freshest? Any suggestions? thanks
Yes, you can definitely make them on Wednesday. I would let them cool, and can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and keep them in airtight bags. Then you could always reheat them briefly in the oven before eating on Thursday.
Can these be made without a stand mixer? Any suggestions? thanks
Yes, definitely. Just mix in a large bowl and then knead by hand.
This looks like a delicious recipe for rolls. I love the flavors, especially the addition of cranberries!
just emailed these to my mom as a suggestion for christmas dinner. yum!
What a stunning holiday recipe! Would you like to submit it to my contest to win a cookbook? Just wanting to share the holiday cheer (and exposure to your blog) Would love for you to win :) http://ow.ly/3j61M
Your recipes always look so delicious. Thanks for sharing with us. Can’t wait to try these, although still not sure when I will have time.
Made these for Thanksgiving…and they came out GREAT!! It was the first time I’ve ever made any kind of yeast bread or roll:) The dough was verrrry sticky and I mixed it by hand! I just ate one I found hidden in the fridge and warmed it up to have with a bowl of apple squash soup..YUMMMMM they held up great and absorbed all the soup but still could taste the bread, walnuts and cranberries! Thank you for inspiring me to make these:)
OH MY GOSH!
I had a batch just come out of the oven, and they are SUPERB!!
Highly recommend this recipe to everyone. Hopefully they stay as soft and yummy overnight!
These look great…
I absolutely hate to say it but….this is why I can’t throw certain magazines out! Our tastes change, maybe we were “off” the day we saw the magazine, and when you look back over them, something jumps out and you think to yourself..”How did I miss this?”..
Silvia carter did an article for Newsday ( LI NY) a couple of weeks ago, about going through her boxes of clipped recipes and saved magazines…oh how we have SO much in common! I am SO glad I never threw any of the Gourmet Magazines I haven gotten (mostly one and off) out…
They look delicious! Can’t wait to make them. I think they would make a nice gift to give to the neighbors. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.
Those look so light and airy, and what a beautiful crust!
I hope these are on the Thanksgiving table today, Michelle!
These rolls look lovely. Great recipe!
Give me these rolls for breakfast, lunch and dinner! They can be my main meals:D
yum they look amazing and fluffy :)
I love this idea for a combination of flavors!
Hi Michelle i purchased a mixer but no paddle just the spiral hooks and mixer blades..will that be able to work i really want to make these for Thanksgiving Thursday.
Absolutely! You can mix using a wooden spoon.
These are so festive and they look delicious! Hope you have wonderful Thanksgiving! :-)
Woah. Those look tasty. Nice buns Michelle! ;)
Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!
These look perfect! And they might just have to be my next task in bread :)
That would be:
Happy Thanksgiving :)
These rolls do look amazing! I just added them to my Thanksgiving Round-Up. Please add more links at the bottom of the post if you wish. Your recipes are FAB!!
Happy Thanskgiving :)
I have been buying this kind of dinner roll from an artisan baker at my local farmers market for a while now. I love them stuffed with my favorite Cranberry, Pecan and Rosemary Chicken Salad http://www.lemonsandlavender.com/2010/10/cranberry-pecan-and-rosemary-chicken.html
Now I can make my own, and I’m sure it will cost a lot less than what I’ve been paying!
Oh gosh, love the idea of that chicken salad on these rolls! Fabulous!
The cranberries in your rolls look unreal! What fantastic photos!
Great idea for a dinner roll.
Wow…just wow. You’re making me hungry!
I just can’t imagine these being anything but wonderful. Heaven, actually. Thanks for making and sharing these. I think I’m gonna make ’em.
These look amazing. I cant bear to throw away any food related magazines! :(
ooooh, sticky and fresh! I love the cranberry bits sticking out everywhere!
I made these last year and they were so good I had to make them again the weekend after Thanksgiving!
gorgeous! can not wait to give these a try. Yeast baking is my most favorite thing!
cathy b. @ brightbakes
These look delicious! And look at those shiny golden tops! I’m alergic to Walnuts, so will try making these with pecans. Thanks for the recipe!
A rave review from someone who bakes more than most means these must be REALLY good! Cranberries and walnuts can’t be anything but good in bread. These really scream holiday festivities to me and I love the orange infused butter idea. Maybe just a dollop of marmalade over butter would be good.
I think I’m going to try pecans instead of walnuts. That’s all I have and I did my grocery trip last night. I also like the flavor of pecans more than walnuts. I love the idea of the orange-infused butter…yum!
OMG! I’m so making these NOW! They look and sound incredible,I agree on the orange butter! I was also thinking about………a leftover sandwich turkey on these,oh I have to stop ! Thanks for sharing another winner ,you haven’t failed me yet!
These look SO SO SO good! Please email me one right now to enjoy:)
I’d love to try these sometime- they look delicious!
beautiful! I want to make them! :)
These rolls sound amazing. They would totally work in with my thanksgiving menu!
My favorite tea-cakes have cranberries in the dough, seeing your rolls I know these will be a hit in my family too. So fluffy and full of goodies, yummy.Thanks for sharing
an award is waiting for you on my blog
YUM! I think I might be changing my T-giving bread plans!
Oh just lovely! I bet they are sensational!
These look really incredible. The added fruit and nuts really elevate these into something special. I’d be happy with a little butter on them.
These look wonderful! Adding cranberries and walnuts is always a good thing, if you ask me!
I would have never thought to put cranberries and walnuts in a roll. Looks delicious!
These look absolutely fabulous! I have to make my potato rolls for the big day-they are the most requested holiday recipe from my family. But I will be making these today; I can taste that next day turkey sandwich on these! Maybe a little thyme in the dough?
you’ve got me sold—rethinking the roll choice for Turkey Day now :)
I’ve just been invited to my first ever Thanksgiving-with-the-Boyfriend-and-family, and I’ve been fretting over what to bring, especially because his sister and I bond over cooking and baking, and I kind of want to impress everyone. This recipe looks perfect!
Yummy! A roll with a little bite to it.
Oh my goodness. That first picture did me in. I need these in my life.
Oh my!! Fresh bread is my favorite! these look amazing!
Those rolls are so beautiful and delicious!
these rolls look delicious! i love that this bread has walnuts and cranberries in it; it’s so much more interesting than plain dinner rolls.