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Taste Test: The Best Dinner Rolls

We taste-tested dozens of dinner rolls from the grocery store and online to find our favorites.
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dinner rolls

BEST OVEREALL

Pillsbury Garlic Dinner Rolls

It was raves all around for this "delicately herbed, toadstool-shaped" roll. Tasters loved its "chewiness" and "sophisticated flavor." Pillsbury dusts the dough with dried garlic and parmesan cheese. "It'd be perfect with any Italian dish," one judge said, "or even with leftover pasta!" ($3.29 for 10, at grocery stores)

BEST WHITE

Rhodes Bake-N-Serv White Dinner Rolls

Testers took note of this roll's "fresh-from-the-oven" quality, which makes sense -- you have to let these puppies thaw and rise, then bake 'em. Judges thought it'd be worth the effort, though: They described the classic softies as "cloudlike," "pillowy" and "perfect for Thanksgiving turkey." ($1.49 for 12, at grocery stores)

BEST SOURDOUGH

City Sour Brown & Serve Rolls by Portland French Bakery

This 23-year-old Portland, Oregon, bakery uses turn-of-the-century techniques -- including fermenting sourdough for up to 48 hours -- to make its classic dough. Tasters said it was" "subtly sour" and "perfectly tangy." ($3.09 for 8, 503-283-3831)

BEST ODDBALL

French Meadow Bakery Healthy Hemp Rolls

Here's an earthy brown roll that packs a wallop: Judges were wowed by its "grassy, meaty" bite and "sharp" taste. The texture comes from flaxseed, organic millet, barley, quinoa, spelt berries and hempseed. Tasters also loved the vegan-friendly bun's smoky "burning wood" notes and "oaty-good crunch." ($5.99 for 8, frenchmeadow.com)

BEST FRENCH

Whole Foods Market Organic French Rolls

This baby belongs in a restaurant's breadbasket: One taster called it "the roll at the end of the rainbow." These "toasty gold" buns (found in the freezer section, no less!) were the best of both worlds: "crackly outside and soft inside." ($2.49 for 6, wholefoodsmarket.com for stores)

BEST MULTIGRAIN

Bread of Life Multigrain Dinner Rolls

There's a strict "no-junk" policy at this family-owned bakery -- they go for ingredients like freshly ground organic wheat, raw honey and olive oil. Tasters thought the "hearty" rolls were "nutty" and "great for sopping up gravy." One taster said, "If someone served me this, I'd ask for the recipe." ($5.99 for 12, breadoflifebakery.net)

Prices and other details were accurate when we published this article in November 2008.

 

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