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  • Writer's pictureElisa Juarez

Benne Pull-Apart Rolls

This recipe is from the Nov. 2018 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.

Benne, an African word for sesame, is the perfect name for this pull-apart bread recipe that's topped with white and black sesame seeds.

  • MAKES: 18 servings (36 rolls) SERVING SIZE: 2 rolls

  • PREP: 40 min. TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs., 25 min.


  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 3 eggs

  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons benne (white sesame) seeds

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs or whole herb sprigs, such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, and/or sage

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds


  1. In a small saucepan heat the milk and sugar over medium heat until just warm (105 degrees to 115 degrees F). Pour into a large bowl. Stir in yeast and let stand 5 minutes or until foamy.

  2. Add the butter, salt, 2 eggs, and 1 cup flour to milk mixture. Beat with a mixer on low until smooth. Beat in as much of the remaining flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.

  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining flour until dough is soft and smooth, but still a little sticky (about 4 minutes).

  4. Butter a large bowl. Add dough to the bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let stand until double in size (about 1 hour).

  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 12-inch plate as guide, draw a circle on the paper. Turn the paper over.

  6. Punch dough down. Turn out onto the floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into 6 even pieces. Pinch off 6 pieces from each dough piece, shaping each into a ball (36 total balls). Arrange 20 balls about 1/2 inch apart on the circle on the paper. Arrange 16 balls about 1 inch inside the first ring of dough balls (these balls will touch). Cover loosely with a towel and let stand until dough is nearly doubled (about 30 minutes).

  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Gently brush tops of dough balls with egg mixture. Sprinkle tops of dough balls with seeds and herbs, or arrange whole herbs on dough. Brush whole herbs with egg mixture. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.


Bake and cool wreath as directed. Wrap in heavy foil. Freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, place frozen wrapped rolls in a 350 degrees F oven for 15 minutes or until warm. © Copyright 2018, Meredith Corporation

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