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King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls


Score: 5.00. Votes: 1
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A recipe for Portuguese sweet bread inspired the soft rolls that became a big hit at Robert Tiara's Bakery & Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1950s. It wasn’t long before Robert changed the name of his thriving business to King’s Hawaiian, and in 1977 the company opened its first bakery on the mainland, in Torrance, California, to make the now-famous island sweet rolls sold in stores across the U.S.

King’s Hawaiian Rolls are similar to Texas Roadhouse Rolls in that they are both pillowy, sweet white rolls, so it made sense to dig out my Texas Roadhouse Rolls clone recipe and use it as a starting point. These new rolls had to be slightly softer and sweeter, so I made some adjustments and added a little egg for color. And by baking the dough in a high-rimmed baking pan with 24 dough balls placed snugly together, I ended up with beautiful rolls that rose nicely to the occasion, forming a tear-apart loaf just like the original, but with clean ingredients, and without the dough conditioners found in the packaged rolls.

Use these fluffy sweet rolls for sandwiches, sliders, or simply warmed up and slathered with soft European butter.

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  • 16 ounces (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ...

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Score: 5.00. Votes: 1
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Amber Gray
Nov 20, 2020, 15:05

Pretty darn close! This is probably the closest recipe that I have made to copy the King's Hawaiian rolls (King Arthur Baking has a couple), still not quite as sweet as the original but sweet enough! I found the rise times to be good (it definitely takes more like 2 hours on the last rise) however I used SAF Gold which is better suited for higher sugar doughs. I would fully expect anyone using regular instant yeast to need perhaps a lot more time to rise - make sure you are letting the shaped rolls rise until doubled in size, not so much as indicated by time. Cook time was good at 14 minutes much to my surprise - rolls tested at 190 degrees internal temp and were done. Overall, pretty good but bakers will want to refine the methods used, personally I used my bread machine for the dough on a custom programmed cycle and put 4 rows of 6 rolls into the 13 x 9" pan.

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