9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Trying To Replicate Texas Roadhouse's Rolls

Whether you frequently dine there or are just familiar with the restaurant, you probably associate Texas Roadhouse with a few things. There's the wall-to-wall Western décor. The country music, interrupted by the occasional round of 'Happy Birthday' from the singing staff, complements the aesthetic. As soon as you walk in, there's a big meat case filled with steaks, courtesy of each restaurant's in-house butcher. Instead of free chips and salsa at your table, you get free peanuts (or, at least, you did; some report their local Texas Roadhouse no longer serves them, while others say this is not a nationwide occurrence). However, all of these Texas Roadhouse staples aside, there's one thing that maybe shines brightest, as a beacon of all things Roadhouse: the Texas Roadhouse roll.

Served hot, free, fluffy, and with a side of honey cinnamon flavored butter, Texas Roadhouse rolls are a beloved start to any meal at the restaurant chain and, as you could expect, they've spawned many a copycat recipe. Unfortunately, replicating Texas Roadhouse's rolls at home isn't always an easy task. Still, we can try, if we avoid these nine mistakes everyone makes when trying to replicate Texas Roadhouse's rolls, based on tips from a successful food blogger who's mastered the Texas Roadhouse roll, and insights from the brand itself.

1. Not having patience

In general, making any sort of bread takes a degree of patience. Depending on the type of bread you want to bake, you'll likely need to wait hours or even multiple days, from the point of pulling out your recipe to actually eating that bread. All the rising, resting, kneading — it takes time and it's an art form that can't be rushed. If you're not a frequent bread baker, this patience can be a little difficult to learn. But it's something you'll need to be able to do if you want to be successful in baking copycat Texas Roadhouse rolls, according to Tiffany Noth, food blogger and creator of Cast Iron Lane.

Noth told us that having patience was the secret to successfully replicating Texas Roadhouse rolls at home, noting, "Any bread or roll recipe will take time, so give yourself enough of it to properly go through each step ... My biggest mistake when I first started making rolls, or any bread, was trying to rush through it. Read through the instructions and don't be disappointed if they don't come out to perfection the first time."

2. Not planning ahead

The second secret to successfully replicating Texas Roadhouse rolls at home, according to Tiffany Noth? Planning ahead. It's a good tactic for any recipe, cooking, or baking project. Read through your chosen roll recipe carefully. Ensure that you have all of the ingredients and supplies on hand (many roll recipes require a stand mixer). Have enough time set aside for each step of the process, so you're not rushing through the recipe and inadvertently skipping or missing steps. 

Don't forget to also plan ahead to make some of that homemade honey cinnamon butter that Texas Roadhouse serves alongside its rolls. You likely won't need a copycat recipe for that. It's a compound butter, which you can make by whipping your butter until it's light and airy, and adding your honey, sugar, and cinnamon to taste. (And since compound butter is so easy to make, if you find that you love this take on the Texas Roadhouse favorite, consider making your own variants using any sweet or savory ingredients.)

3. Not practicing

Did your first batch of Texas Roadhouse copycat rolls not come out quite how you were expecting? It's fine, as Tiffany Noth said. She explained that sometimes, getting that Texas Roadhouse copycat just right takes a little practice, saying, "It's a fun process and, the more you do it, the better you will get at perfecting your Texas Roadhouse rolls."

If you're still feeling down about your first lackluster batch of rolls, just think of all the practice the Texas Roadhouse in-house bakers have had. A spokesperson from the chain credited the in-house bakers for the rolls' popularity as a whole. "It's our in-house bakers who make the difference. Each Texas Roadhouse location has a baker who makes our yeast rolls from scratch every day. Our rolls are baked fresh every five minutes and served with our homemade honey cinnamon butter to guests as they are seated," they said. "We have perfected our bread mix and baking process. Our bakers are proud of their craft and receive ongoing training to be the best at what they do." So, channel your inner Roadhouse baker and give it another try — even if you're not quite up to baking a new batch every five minutes.

4. Not starting with a small batch

Some of the Texas Roadhouse copycat roll recipes that you find out there will produce some seriously large quantities of rolls. Do you really need four dozen rolls? Or even two or three dozen rolls? Unless you're trying out a new recipe right before a holiday shindig during which you'll need to feed a crowd (which isn't typically recommended), or you just plan to feast on rolls alone for the next few days, then probably not.

Additionally, Tiffany Noth said that starting with a small batch of copycat rolls is actually easier for first-timers. She said, "You may get overwhelmed in the middle of the process if it's your first time making any roll." Starting small can make it easier. Luckily, if you already made an extra-large batch of rolls, you can freeze unbaked rolls for a few weeks, or baked rolls for up to six months. Don't plan to eat all your leftover baked and now-frozen rolls at once? Try flash-freezing them, so you can grab and thaw just the quantity you want.

5. Not adding a glaze

When you think of the perfect dinner roll — Texas Roadhouse or otherwise — you likely don't imagine a room temperature, dry, crusty roll that crumbles apart in your hands or becomes glue in your mouth. The perfect dinner roll comes with a shiny gloss on top, a lacquer-like finish that tells you the roll is just moist enough, and piping hot. Texas Roadhouse-loving bakers on Reddit agree with this sentiment, with one showing off their own Texas Roadhouse copycats adorned with a swipe of honey butter on top.

When you add a glaze to your rolls, though, you do have options. Potential bread glazes one might use range from butter to milk, eggs to honey, oil to even just plain water. However, an egg wash is particularly a good option if you want to ensure your rolls reach a nice, golden-brown hue while baking. Butter, in contrast, is a good option if you specifically want a buttery, richer flavor to your rolls.

6. Not stretching and folding the dough

Learning how to properly knead dough takes some time. Developing a proper kneading technique isn't easy. Additionally, kneading can be time-consuming and hard on the ol' muscles, if you've not been hitting the gym recently. While some say you can get around hand kneading by using a stand mixer to knead dough, others, like Paul Hollywood, say you should always knead dough by hand.

However, one Reddit user swears by the kneading technique they use for their Texas Roadhouse copycat rolls, saying that they use a stretching and folding kneading technique after the rolls rise for the first time. This, they say, produces a layering effect in the dough, which not only makes for a nice appearance, but also makes for easy splitting if you want to use your leftover rolls to make sliders and sandwiches later. They also noted that, if you want even more layers in your rolls, don't shape them into balls. Instead, cut them into squares before baking.

7. Not using dairy

Some copycat bakers on Reddit report that the original Texas Roadhouse rolls do not contain dairy. You can also find blogs that mention that the rolls are dairy-free, and claim that people are just confused because the rolls are served with butter. If you look at the fresh-baked bread on the Texas Roadhouse allergen menu, though, you'll find that the menu item is marked as including milk, wheat, and soy. The honey cinnamon butter is listed as a completely separate item on the allergen menu. Additionally, the same Reddit user mentioned above notes that the rolls certainly taste like milk, and most copycat recipes you'll find do include milk in some quantity.

So, just because you might think that the rolls won't contain milk, based on prior baking experience, don't skip this ingredient. (Plus, the comparison of Texas Roadhouse rolls to milk bread isn't that far off; milk bread is light, fluffy, and slightly sweet.

8. Not adding sugar

Speaking of that slightly sweet flavor, if you're making Texas Roadhouse rolls, don't skimp on the sugar. As one Reddit user noted, the rolls are made with a sweet, yeast-based dough, so the sugar is necessary. In addition to being necessary for the taste, though, sugar is also necessary in order to activate the rolls' yeast.

Yeast gives the rolls that fluffy texture you need, but store-bought, dry yeast has to be activated before it can be used (effectively, at least). Activating yeast requires water and sugar. You combine the three in a bowl and then let it sit for a few minutes, during which the mixture will bubble and foam. (If it doesn't bubble and foam, your yeast is bad.) Furthermore, if you remove sugar from yeast breads, the bread may turn out dryer. Additionally, the bread may not remain as fresh for as long. This is because sugar naturally holds onto the moisture in your yeast bread as it bakes, keeping it moister, longer.

9. Not whipping your butter

As Tiffany Noth said when we spoke to her, "Who can resist that soft, buttery goodness of a Texas Roadhouse roll? Their pillowy texture mixed with cinnamon butter is not only an amazing flavor combination, but adds to the enjoyment we have while dining out." And just like you can't have a Texas Roadhouse roll without cinnamon butter, you can't have Texas Roadhouse-style cinnamon butter without whipping your butter.

When you make Texas Roadhouse copycat butter, be sure to sweeten your butter (if you need more sweetener than honey) with powdered sugar versus granulated sugar. If you've ever creamed butter with granulated sugar for another baking recipe, you know it can take a while to seamlessly blend all those little sugar crystals into the smooth butter. Luckily, whipping your butter only takes a few minutes with a stand mixer. At room temperature, it will hold its whipped state. If you refrigerate your butter, you can re-whip it the next time you want to serve it.


For this article, we spoke with Texas Roadhouse roll copycat recipe writer and blogger, Tiffany Noth, creator of Cast Iron Lane. We also spoke with a communications representative from Texas Roadhouse.