Totally Elevate Store-Bought Dinner Rolls With 3 Easy Techniques

If you had to decide between homemade Parker House rolls and a bag of store-bought buns, you're more likely to choose the homemade option. There's just something about eating freshly-baked bread that activates not only our taste receptors but also triggers the receptors connected to smell and touch: Eating homemade bread is truly a multi-sensory experience. 

However, just because freshly-baked bread is delicious doesn't mean we all have the drive or time to make homemade rolls every time a nightly meal needs something extra. Store-bought rolls have their place in the world, and even though they aren't exactly fresh from your oven, there are a few simple, tasty ways to elevate these convenient baked goods.

When it comes down to upgrading store-bought dinner rolls, adding flavor is key. By adding melted butter, fresh herbs, and flaky salt atop your commercial rolls, you're almost instantly transforming mediocre grocery buns into flavorful accompaniments. Before revealing more unique ways to upgrade store-bought baked goods, let's get into the intricacies of adding flavorful extras and discuss the one crucial step you should always follow to enhance commercial bread rolls.

Store-bought rolls need fat, flavor, and heat

One of the positives of buying dinner rolls from the supermarket is that you no longer have to worry about the mistakes you need to avoid when making bread. Yet, in order for packaged dinner rolls to taste just as delicious as any homemade variety, you first need to warm them in your oven. No one can deny the enjoyment of biting into a warm, fluffy piece of bread, so start by warming your commercial rolls in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for up to 10 minutes. If you're pressed for time, you can heat rolls in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, intermittently checking for warmness.

Before heating, simply dress your rolls however you like. Though, brushing them with a generous amount of melted butter will not only taste delicious but ensure a soft, uniform consistency. After brushing your rolls with butter, use a mixture of your favorite fresh herbs. If you only have dried herbs on hand, try using a sprinkling of herb mix for dipping oil: The balanced blend of oregano, basil, and rosemary serves as a delicate, flavorful way to upgrade neutral foods. Once the bread rolls are heated, finish them with a generous helping of flaky salt. While no one denies the delicious ways butter, herbs, and salt can transform store-bought rolls, there are even more unique ways to dress up these packaged baked goods.

Creative ways to prepare store-bought dinner rolls

The best part about dressing up pre-made dinner rolls is that you don't have to factor in any proofing or baking time apart from heating: You can get right to the fun stuff. While butter has a delicate, nuanced flavor that pairs perfectly well with warm rolls, you can elevate your store-bought rolls even further by using a more complex fat like bacon or duck fat. If you're partial to butter, you can try infusing salted butter with honey for an epic sweet and salty combination, or get even more adventurous and top your packaged rolls with red chile garlic butter.

If you want to extend the use of your store-bought rolls outside the boundaries of side dishes, you can also turn pull-apart buns into warm, savory sandwiches: Slice your whole lot in one fell swoop and dress the insides with your favorite meats and cheeses. From there, top as you would typical dinner rolls and warm them in the oven to meld together all the different ingredients and flavors. 

You can go in the opposite direction and create something sweeter: Use any leftover rolls to create an easy French toast bake. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy any leftovers, rest assured store-bought rolls can be easily upgraded to an ideal dinner side with just a few simple additions.