Outback Steakhouse Fakeout – Molasses Oat Dinner Rolls

There are restaurants that hubby and I visit with a special item on their menu we particularly enjoy that I’d like to replicate at home. One of mine is P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. You can google Chicken Lettuce Wraps and a plethora of options come up with copycat recipes. I have tried a few of these and realized I’m happy to eat my Chicken Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Chang’s. Although either of these options comes pretty close to the original: Tastes Better From Scratch or The Cozy Apron.

Today I was all set to make a baking day since the weather authorities said it was going to snow. We get one or two days in the winter when it snows, generally flurries that hit the ground and melt (which it did by the way). So no big thing with snow piling up, just cold enough outside to stay inside and keep warm with the oven baking away in the kitchen. Well, that’s what it meant to me anyway.

Then it struck me, I want to make dinner rolls. Well, when was the last time I served dinner rolls? At Christmas 2016 perhaps? Gosh I can remember when rolls were put on the table for dinner every night. Yeah, I’m that old. But this craving for dinner rolls went beyond a holiday meal years back, I wanted to recreate something similar to Outback Steakhouse’s loaf of bread. That small loaf of honey wheat bread is so good – surpasses the bloomin’ onion as far as I’m concerned. 

Now did I actually google Outback Steakhouse Honey Whole Wheat Bread copycat recipe and just be done with it? No! Although in writing this post (after the fact of making the rolls) I did find one that I’m going to go back to and try one day (check out the link above). Let me know what you think if you try it. It looks pretty simple.

Back to the dinner rolls. I’ll warn you, it is a long process, just takes time with all the “resting” periods as is the norm with bread-making. And that was okay today. I actually cooked a few other dishes while I was waiting for the rolls to rest or rise, so it made for a nice day in the kitchen. 

While these rolls are made with molasses and not honey, they tasted surprisingly similar to Outback Steakhouse’s mini loaf bread, or at least what I remember them tasting like. I’ll have to eat my way through the rolls before we head to Outback to compare. 

Dough is dull which is how it is supposed to look.

Rolls are brushed with butter, sprinkled with rolled oats, and ready to rise before baking.

Baked and fresh out of the oven. Yum!

How did I decide on making the rolls instead of the loaf of bread you might ask? Well, I guess what made me think of dinner rolls was the snowball fight hubby and I had in the parking lot of the local grocery store. Snowballs, dinner rolls, there’s some similarities right?

When hubby and I went to the grocery store the day before, I noticed someone had left a bunch of snowballs in a shopping cart. They must have scraped it off the roof of a car because there was no snow anywhere in sight. As hubby was putting our groceries in the car, I grabbed one of the snowballs and hurled it at him. The next one I lobbed to him so he could throw it back and hence the snowball fight began. What was funny was that there was no snow anywhere and here we were throwing snowballs at each other. I’m going to check YouTube for a video of two ridiculous people (us) throwing snowballs in a grocery store parking lot. I’m sure someone captured it on their Iphone. 🙂

Serves 12

Molasses Oat Dinner Rolls

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  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water, lukewarm
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) butter
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted for brushing on top of rolls
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats, for sprinkling on top of rolls


  1. Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water with the granulated sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until it gets bubbly. (If it doesn't your yeast may be old, throw it out and start over.)
  2. Cut butter into cubes and put into large mixing bowl. Scald milk in a small sauce pan and then add it to the butter. Mix together until butter is melted and then add brown sugar, rolled oats, molasses, and salt. Blend together, cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add egg and mix well. Incorporate yeast to mixture, then start adding flour a little at a time until well blended. Dough should have a dull finish. Let it rest 10 minutes.
  4. Put dough into a greased bowl, turning it to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (can be overnight). It won't rise a lot.
  5. Remove dough onto a floured surface and knead or fold and turn the dough slightly. Cut into 12 pieces. Roll and tuck into equal sized balls and place into a square or round baking dish. Brush the top of the rolls with half of the melted butter and sprinkle with rolled oats. Let rise for 2 hours - they will double in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned. Remove from baking dish and brush with remaining melted butter. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.


Calories: 245 cal
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fat: 11 g
Sodium: 410 g
Cholesterol: 42 g
Protein: 6 g
Fiber: 1 g

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