Garlic-Swirl Rolls

updated Jan 28, 2021
Garlic-Swirl Rolls

Savory bread swirls filled with garlic butter.

Makes15 rolls

Prep20 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 35 minutes

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close up on garlic rolls garnished with greens
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food and Prop Styling: Catrine Kelty

I’m the type of person who orders pizza as an excuse to actually order garlic knots. There’s just something about fluffy, chewy rolls saturated in savory garlic butter that can’t be beat.

This recipe is everything I love about garlic knots, reimagined into savory bread spirals. Plush homemade dough is rolled up with garlic butter, Parmesan cheese, and a bit of parsley for freshness, then baked until golden and bathed in even more garlic butter. Think of them as the savory sister to cinnamon rolls — perfect for eating with pizza, a big salad, or all by themselves.

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food and Prop Styling: Catrine Kelty

3 Tips for Making the Best Garlic-Swirl Rolls

Before heading into the kitchen to make these rolls, keep these tips in mind.

1. Add extra flour if needed. If your dough feels sticky after adding 4 cups flour, don’t be afraid of adding up to 1/4 cup more. You’ll know it’s ready when the dough holds together in a tight ball shape and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

2. Keep an eye on the rising dough. Over-proofing the dough can make it hard to work with and cause it to collapse when baking, so make sure to set a timer so you don’t let it rise for too long. An hour-and-a-half is usually enough time for the first rise, while a quick 25 minutes is all you need for the final one.

3. Use floss to cut the dough log into spirals. While you can use a knife to portion the dough if you don’t have floss on hand (busted!), using floss will help the spirals hold their shape instead of smashing them. Just thread the floss underneath the dough log, cross it overtop of the rolls, then pull the ends in opposite directions to create perfect slices.

Garlic-Swirl Rolls

Savory bread swirls filled with garlic butter.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Makes 15 rolls

Nutritional Info


For the dough:

  • Cooking spray

  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet

    active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    warm water

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 sticks

    (3/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 8 cloves


  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh parsley

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter for the filling in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature to soften while you make the dough.

  2. Make the dough: Place 4 cups of the all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 packet active dry yeast, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment and whisk to combine. (Alternatively, place in a large bowl if kneading by hand.)

  3. Place 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 large eggs, and 1 large egg yolk in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Turn the mixer speed on to low and slowly pour in the egg mixture. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth, soft, and forms a ball, 7 to 8 minutes. If the dough is sticking to the edges of the bowl, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time and continue mixing -- you may need up to 4 tablespoons more. (If kneading by hand, stir until the dough comes together, then knead on a lightly floured work surface.)

  4. Gently remove the dough from the bowl and coat the bowl in cooking spray. Tightly cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, make the filling when the butter is softened.

  5. Make the filling: Prep the following, adding them to the bowl of softened butter: Mince 8 garlic cloves. Finely chop 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley leaves (about 1/2 cup) and finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup). Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and stir and smash together to combine.

  6. When the dough is ready, punch it down and transfer onto a lightly floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a 24x10-inch rectangle (about 1/4-inch thick), with a long side closer to you.

  7. Spread half of the filling onto the dough. Starting at the long end closest to you, roll the dough up tightly into a log, using a bench scraper as needed to help release the dough from the work surface. Pinch the seam together at the top.

  8. Position the log seam-side down. Cut crosswise into 15 pieces with a sharp knife or piece of unflavored dental floss. Arrange the cut rolls cut-side up in the baking dish, 5 across and 3 down. Loosely cover in plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

  9. Uncover and bake until puffed, golden-brown, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in several spots comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately spread the remaining butter mixture over the knots and let it melt.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover rolls can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.