Fan-Tan Rolls (Pull-Apart Rolls)

These slightly sweet pull-apart rolls are the match of any bakery. The shaping is easy but looks fancy, and the texture is moist and firm.

By Yankee Magazine

Nov 12 2020


Fan Tan Rolls

Photo Credit : Heath Robbins

These slightly sweet pull-apart Fan-Tan rolls, a.k.a. “New England buttermilk rolls,” are the match of any bakery dinner roll. The shaping is easy but looks fancy, and the texture is moist and firm.


Makes about 20 rolls.


4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 packages (scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup butter plus 2 tablespoons melted butter


In a large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, soda, and yeast.

In a saucepan, heat buttermilk and 1/2 cup butter until buttermilk is warm (butter does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture. Blend with mixer at lowest speed until moistened, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

By hand, stir in the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough. On a floured board, roll out dough to a 15-inch square. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter, and cut dough into 1-1/2-inch-wide strips. Stack 5 strips together and cut into stacks 1-1/2 inches long.

Place cut-side down in greased muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.