Herb-Topped Dinner Rolls


My sister sent me a picture from a magazine 2 years ago and I just got reminded of it recently (by her- thanks Bec!) I had always wanted to do this, but never got around to it.

I thought this was a great thing to share for Thanksgiving week because many will argue that fresh, hot rolls, smothered in butter (and maybe dipped in gravy??) comes in close as their #1 preferred item on the holiday table. I also know that most families already have a beloved roll recipe. Or if you don’t “do” rolls, you can use the same method on store-bought frozen dough, like Rhodes rolls, and it instantly takes them up a notch. This is such a simple way to make those every day rolls look oh-so-fab on that fancy table. It’s like an LBD (that’s “Little Black Dress” for you fashionably-challenged) for your carbs!

Herb-Topped Dinner Rolls

Your favorite dinner roll recipe
(or you can try these, or use frozen dough, like Rhodes)
1 egg

1 T water or milk
one bunch flat-leaf parsley
(or any other flat leaf herb like sage, dill, cilantro, but I think parsley is best.)

You want your rolls to be at the stage where they’re ready to bake. So if you’re making dough, prepare it through the second rise. If you’re using frozen dough, just follow the package directions, etc. When your rolls are shaped, risen, and ready to bake, then go ahead with the herby fun.

Herby fun:
Wash and dry parsley. Then pick off good little leaf segments. I liked that all of mine were a little different. It made each roll a little unique.

Beat the egg and the water or milk until smooth. Use a brush (I always use a silicone brush like this, love them!) and just use your egg wash as glue and “paint on” the herbs. Don’t you love mixing art and food?!

You’ll want to make sure you give the entire top of the roll a coating of egg wash, or you’ll end up with spots and streaks after they bake and the wash shows up. I found it easiest to work a couple rolls at a time and brush them with a quick egg wash. Then I took my leaf segments and dipped them in the egg mixture and then placed them on top of the roll. Then I used my brush to just paint over the top once, making sure they stayed put.

It’s so simple and literally took less than 5 minutes. Just a hint, if you’re using more than one leaf, as in they’re not connected by a stem or anything, place them really close together on the roll since they’ll spread out a little while baking. Then just bake as directed. How cute are these?

Totally dressed up for the big day 🙂


  1. Amy, you could try milk or melted butter instead of the egg wash. I’m thinking the butter might help them “stick” a little better, but milk might be just fine too. If you try it out will you come back and let us know how it went? I’m sure it would be helpful for others to know too. Next time I make them I’ll test out alternatives too!

    And good tip about the flax seed, I didn’t know that!

  2. Quick question. Is there anything else you can use besides the egg stuff to top the cute herbs? My son is allergic to eggs and I’m always trying to find a good substitute….like ground flaxseed. You can substitute anything you bake with a little flaxseed and water! It’s amazing. But I’m not sure if it would work with these rolls……not that I won’t try if you can’t think of something else. 😉 Thanks!

  3. What a great idea! Thank you for the roll recipe. I was asked to bring rolls to Thanksgiving. I have a pretty good roll recipe but after reading this I will be trying yours before hand and hopefully be bringing orange a cinniamon rolls to dinner this year. Bread makes me happy!

    I really appreciate how you two describe how to make things You guys do a really great job!

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