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~ About Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix & My Copycat Recipe ~

IMG_5100This blast-from-my-past box of versatile, dependable baking goodness allowed me, as a young girl, to hone my skills with yeast dough and bread.  While I have many refined recipes for specialty breads and rolls in my repertoire (which, as a young adult I learned hands-on from my grandmother and mother), that was not always the case.  There was a time in my life, as a young pre-teen, ages 9-12 give-or-take, when I expressed a serious interest in experimenting, on my own, with my own creations, to imitate the recipes of my grandmother and mother.

IMG_5111I was a remarkably meticulous child, meaning:  If left alone in my mom's kitchen, I maintained a clean kitchen -- downright spotless.  Yes, even at that young age, I wasn't playing games in the kitchen.  For those reasons, my mom (encouragingly) kept a box or two of hot roll mix in our pantry -- for me and my yeast-bread-baking experiments.  It allowed me, unsupervised, to practice the techniques required for making and baking bread loaves and dinner rolls, and filled sweet rolls like honey buns, frosted cinnamon-raisin rolls, and, "her" poppyseed- and nut-rolls.  

At some point, mom sent away for a copy of the Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix Baking Book too, which, I still have. Besides containing over 100 recipes, it contained a lot of added information, which "upped by game" substantially.  I was on my way. 

IMG_5112Sure, I had failures.  First I put too much filling in a nut roll, the next time not enough, but, because of the easy-to-follow instructions on the box and the tips in their book, the bready end result was always edible. I learned how dry yeast works, and, got to practice the techniques necessary for working with yeast dough after it rises.  I also learned the importance of having a versatile, dependable, basic bread dough recipe. After a while, mom's investment had paid off.  

For novice bakers, this mix is "a catalyst for success".

IMG_5104The box mix = 15 1/2 oz. flour mixture + 1/2 oz. granulated yeast. After adding 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons butter & 1 egg, it yields 28 oz. dough.

IMG_5115For my copycat boxed mix, to be used in place of, and, as per instructions on boxed mix:

15 1/2-16  ounces unbleached, all purpose flour (about 3 cups)

2  ounces granulated sugar (about 1/4 cup)

1  teaspoon sea salt

2  ounces instant nonfat powdered/dry milk (about 1/2 cup)

2  1/4-ounce packets dry yeast granules (do not mix with dry ingredients until ready to bake)

1  cup warm water (to be stirred in when ready to bake)

IMG_5123Note:  When it's time to bake, you'll need to add 1 cup hot water2 tablespoons salted butter and 1 large egg to the dry mix and yeast (as per box's directions/see Cook's Note below). When kneading and/or rolling dough, you'll need about 1/2-3/4 cup additional bench flour too. To make their glazed cinnamon rolls as per the box, you'll need a few other additions as well.  As always, always follow the directions of the recipe you're making. 

In a 1-gallon ziplock bag mix all ingredients, except the yeast.  Seal.  Store in pantry for 3-4 months or in freezer for 6-8 months.

IMG_5129 IMG_5129 IMG_5129 IMG_5129~Step 1.  Place all of the dry  mix in a large bowl.  Add the yeast.  Using a spoon, stir the yeast into the flour mixture and fashion a well in the center of the bowl.  In a 1-cup measuring container, heat 1 cup of water in the microwave.  Add butter to hot water and stir until butter melts.

IMG_5140 IMG_5140 IMG_5140 IMG_5140~Step 2.  Pour water mixture into well of flour.  Using a fork, beat the egg in the measuring container, then add the egg to the well too.  Using the spoon, stir until a soft dough forms.

IMG_5149 IMG_5149 IMG_5149 IMG_5149~Step 3.  Spread some bench flour on a large wooden pastry board.  Turn dough out onto board and knead until a smooth-surfaced ball of dough forms, adding a bit of extra flour, if necessary to reduce stickiness, about 5-6 minutes.  Cover the ball of dough with the bowl and rest, 5-6 minutes.  You will have 28 ounces of really-easy-to-work-with dough.  Amongst other things, this is enough to make 12 dinner rolls, or 12 cinnamon rolls, or 2 nut or poppyseed-type rolls.

Use a kitchen scale to divide dough into 2-12 portions:

IMG_5242Sub my mix & use as directed in recipes on box...

6a0120a8551282970b0240a492da54200c... like Pillsbury's glazed cinnamon roll recipe:

IMG_6239Or, use as directed in your own family recipes:

IMG_5224Nut & poppyseed rolls are two of my favorites:


About Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix & My Copycat Recipe:  Recipe yields 20 ounces dry, hot roll mix/28 ounces dough (after the addition of the wet ingredients).

Special Equipment List:  kitchen scale or measuring cups and spoons; ziplock bag; tablespoon; fork; large wooden pastry board

IMG_5120Cook's Note:  Here is a photo of the instructions, from the back of the box, for their dinner rolls.  Their cinnamon roll and pizza crust recipes are on the box too. Because of that, I recommend purchasing and using a box of the hot roll mix, at least once.  First, you will get "a feel" for how this mix works. Second, after clipping the box apart, you get a copy of all of the instructions that appear on the box for future reference.  Have fun! 

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


Tami -- Sugar weighs more than powdered milk. Example: A cup of sand weighs more than a cup of cotton balls. As far as 15 1/2-16 ounces of flour -- that's a difference of a few teaspoons, not cups. My conversions are correct. Baking is a precise sport relying heavily on weight rather than measure. A kitchen scale is a remarkable tool. ~ Melanie

Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us all. I also had a hard time finding the hot roll mix and I guess pillsbury must have discontinued it. You call for 2 oz each of sugar and dry milk powder, but in your conversion you call for a 1/2 cup of powdered milk, but the sugar converts to a quarter cup. Also, the 16 oz of flour does that convert to 2 cups or 3 cups? Just need some clarity. Thank you.

Margaret -- By weight and measure, the one (double-sized) packet found in the box contains the contents of the two (single sized) packets I used.

Does this copy cat recipe double the amount of yeast? I know the store-bought boxed hot roll mix only came with one yeast packet. This copy cat recipe is calling for two packets?

Cecilia -- I do hope you're not blaming ME because it so hard to find. I just solved the problem. ~ Melanie.

I have used Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix for so many years to make a cinnamin roll like a strudel, adding sugar, cinnamin, golden raisins, walnuts(chopped) it is so good, my family loves it. I am very disappointed that it is not in the baking isle anywhere. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO US....

Deborah -- I am guessing there will be little add time in the AM as the rolls will rise slightly in the refrigerator overnight. Sounds like a fun time -- happy holidays!

Hi there. I am making my cinnamon rolls Christmas morning and wondering how much time it will really save me by preparing Christmas Eve and after placing in the pans, refrigerate overnight before rising. The rise is only 40 minutes so wondering if I have to add time if it’s coming out of the fridge?

PS. I am making at my son’s in laws kitchen and everyone will be hungry Christmas morning.

Enjoy your kuchen Susan and thank-you for the thank-you.

Thank you for this recipe. We make a peach kuchen a recipe from my Grandmother. It starts with the hot roll mix. Having trouble finding it so I can't wait to try your copy cat mix.

Mary -- You are most welcome. I do not use Rapid-Rise yeast, and, I do not recall that the boxed mix does either (it just uses Red Star and I use Fleischmann's). I noticed no difference it the time it takes to get the end product from box to table. ~ Melanie

Thanks so much for posting this! I too went to 5 stores looking for the Hot Roll Mix only to end up staying up past midnight to make from scratch with items I had on hand. Do you use the Rapid Rise yeast or just regular? The best thing the mix had going was getting from box to table in under and hour and half.

Lisa -- Happy day after Thanksgiving. I took a photo of the boxed mix Glazed Cinnamon Roll recipe and added it to my post for you. Thank-you for the sort-of suggestion. I'm sure others will appreciate it too. Happy holiday! ~ Melanie

I was so happy with this recipe! After hunting every store and finding out it was only available online.... I tried this one and I couldn’t be happier. I have used Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix for as long as I can remember. Well I can say I will be using this from now on. Only wish I had the box to check the cinnamon roll recipe.

Yes Diane. My mix yields the same amount of dough as the 16 oz. box. Make my mix and use it as per any of the instructions on the box, or, use it in place of the boxed mix in your own recipes.

Does your above recipe equal the same amount as the box (small box) make. I used to bake two filled coffee cakes with one box.

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