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Mar 14, 2023

Scallion and Sesame Rolls

Scallion and sesame rolls, with their soft and tender interior and pull-apart deliciousness, are a wonderful addition to your dinner table. 

Scallion and Sesame Rolls in a basket.

These scallion and sesame rolls are a delicious result of the fusion of the flavors of Hokkaido milk bread dinner rollsChinese scallion pancakes, and sesame scallion bread.  

Plus, they are soft, fluffy, and pull-apart fun to eat. Each one of my grandsons devoured two of them immediately when the rolls came out of the oven. 

Breads with Onions

I adore breads with onions. Some of my favorites include wild rice and onion bread, caramelized onion bread with buckwheat bread, and crusty cheese and onion bread

Other options include sourdough onion pockets, sweet potato and caramelized onion bread, Garlic and chive flower buns, and caramelized onion and shallot braided bread

Scallion and Sesame Rolls in a muffin pan.

I'm also a big fan of bread made with a tangzhong. I love the soft, moist, and fluffy loaves and rolls it produces. 

What is Tangzhong? 

Tangzhong is a flour and water mixture cooked into a roux until it reaches 64 degrees C or 147 degrees F. The beauty of a tangzhong is that it extends the freshness of a loaf and adds an amazing softness and fluffiness. You can also make a tangzhong with milk instead of water. 

Examples of breads using the tangzhong method include sourdough Hokkaido milk bread, Hokkaido milk bread, whole wheat and rye tangzhong bread, checkerboard tangzhong rolls, and pineapple buns

There is also the Yudane method, which involves pouring boiling water over the flour, mixing it, and letting it sit for four hours. I haven't tried this yet but I'm planning it!

Scallion and Sesame Rolls on a cooling rack.

How to Make these Scallion and Sesame Rolls: 

First, make the tangzhong. Once it has cooled, combine the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead for about 14 minutes, until you have a smooth and slightly tacky dough. 

Let the dough rise and then deflate the dough to get it ready for shaping. 

After that, roll out the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with a mixture of scallions, sesame oil, minced garlic, and salt. Fold up the dough like a letter and re-roll it out into a long strip. 

Scallion and Sesame Rolls Shaping Method.

Next, (1) divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Using a bench knife/scraper, (2) cut the pieces into three strips, leaving the top intact, and then (3) braid the strips, (4) roll them up into a ball, and place them in an oiled muffin pan. 

Brush the rolls with an egg wash and sprinkle them sesame seeds and bake them for about 20 minutes. Enjoy them warm or at room temperature. 


For the tangzhong, you will need flour and whole milk. You cook these ingredients briefly until they reach a temperature of 150 degrees F and then let it cool. 

For the final dough, you will also need more flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast, milk, butter, oil, and eggs. 

For the filling, you will need chopped scallions, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and salt. 

For the topping, you will need an egg wash and some black and white sesame seeds. Try not to use sesame seeds that are already roasted because they will roast in the oven. 

Scallion and Sesame Rolls in a basket.

Recipe Variations:

There are so many options once you master this dough and shaping method. For a sweet roll, you could fill it with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. 

For a savory roll, you could fill it with a mixture of melted butter and dried onions, and top the rolls with poppy seeds or Everything Bagel topping. 

More options could be to spread the dough with jam and top the finished rolls with a drizzle of icing, or just fill the dough with butter and freshly grated parmesan cheese. 

Scallion and Sesame Rolls in a basket.

Tips for Success:

This dough is very easy to make. The most important thing is, when you are making the tangzhong, you keep a very close eye on the temperature. It cooks really quickly. Then, make sure that it cools to lukewarm before adding it to the final dough mixture. 

You will also need to keep an eye on the temperature of the butter and milk while heating it. It should not exceed 120 degrees F. If it does, let it cool a bit before adding it to the final dough. Otherwise, it might be bad for the yeast and may even cause your egg to "scramble."

The brand of kosher salt I used was Crystal Diamond. Salt weighs differently depending on the brand. A scale is so helpful

One final tip is to make sure you trim off any slightly rounded sides of the dough before shaping it so that your rolls will be uniform in size.

Scallion and Sesame Roll on a black plate.

Make-Ahead, Storage, and Freezer Suggestions:

These rolls are the most delicious the day they are made, especially when they are warm. If you have leftovers, you can keep them in an air tight container for another day and reheat them for a few seconds in the microwave. 

You can also individually wrap them and place them in a freezer bag in the freezer to reheat later. 

After reheating them, slathering them in butter will always make them better!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. 

Tangzhong Scallion and Sesame Rolls in a basket.

Scallion and Sesame Rolls

Scallion and Sesame Rolls
Yield: 12 Rolls
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 2 HourTotal time: 3 H & 5 M
Scallion and sesame rolls, with their soft and tender interior and pull-apart deliciousness, are a wonderful addition to your dinner table.


For the Tangzhong
  • 80 grams (1/3 cup) whole milk
  • 16 grams (2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
For the Final Dough
  • 406 to 437 grams (3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 67 grams (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 7.5 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) kosher salt
  • 7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 160 grams (2/3 cup) whole milk
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • All of the tangzhong
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sesame seeds
For the Filling
  • 66 grams (1 cup) finely chopped scallions
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


To Prepare the Tangzhong
  1. In a small saucepan, cook the flour and milk over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 150 degrees F.
  2. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To Make the Filling
  1. Combine the filling ingredients and stir together. Let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
To Make the Final Dough and Bake the Rolls
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together a cup of the flour, the sugar, and yeast.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the melted butter, milk, and oil and heat to about 110 degrees F. Add it and the tangzhong to the flour mixture and beat with the paddle attachment until combined. Beat in one egg.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and gradually add 2 1/4 cups of the flour and knead on medium speed for 12 to 14 minutes. The dough should be tacky. If the dough is too sticky add more flour by one tablespoon at a time, up to 4 tablespoons.
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Spray a 12 cavity muffin pan with spray oil.
  6. Deflate the dough and let rest for five minutes. Roll the dough into an 18 inch by 14 inch rectangle and spread with the filling mixture. Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter. Roll the dough lengthwise into a 20 inch by 5 1/2 inch strip. Trim the ends to square them off. Cut the dough into 12 strips, 1 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches long. Cut each strip, lengthwise into three strips leaving about a 1/2 inch on one end uncut. Braid the strips and then, beginning with the uncut end, roll up the dough into a coil. Place the shaped roll, seam side down into a muffin pan cavity. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  7. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rest for about 25 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Whisk the remaining egg with a little bit of water and brush it over the tops of the shaped rolls. Sprinkle with the white and black sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. These can also be served warm.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

7.78 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.44 g

Carbs (grams)

35.16 g

Fiber (grams)

1.31 g

Net carbs

33.84 g

Sugar (grams)

6.78 g

Protein (grams)

5.92 g

Sodium (milligrams)

361.12 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

43.61 mg
Bread, scallions, rolls
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This recipe was adapted from the Sept./Oct. 2022 edition of Bake from Scratch Magazine. It's a wonderful edition and includes lots of fall-focused recipes as well as breads using tangzhong. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh boy, green onions and sesame are such a delightful match! And of course these rolls are supremely gorgeous.

  2. They are almost too pretty to eat....almost. Pass another roll please.

  3. Thank you Sally!!! They were such a big hit!

  4. Such amazing looking rolls Karen, Loved it. I would try making this for my kids lunchbox.

    1. That would be so fun to find in a lunchbox!

  5. The rolls look so beautiful and delish. The shape is so attractive. And onions and sesame make such a lovely combo.

  6. I can't find words to say how gorgeous these rolls look like. I am loving the scallion and the sesame flavors. You rock Karen!


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