Fantans: A Buttery Yeast Roll with Yogurt Made in a Bread Machine

Home » Fantans: A Buttery Yeast Roll with Yogurt Made in a Bread Machine

Sneak Preview: These buttery Fantans are a pull-apart dinner roll with yeast. They are easy to put together with a bread machine. Yogurt or buttermilk is the secret ingredient.

Ready to serve Fantan dinner rolls with yogurtPin

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My husband’s family always had “Brown and Serve”  rolls for holiday meals. So he gets excited when I pull these golden brown fantans out of the oven.

They remind him of the inexpensive grocery store rolls his mom served with a big pat of butter melted in the middle. But leftover rolls with cold melted butter are soggy, greasy, and look like something the baby has been teething on. Ahem.  

These homemade rolls with all those vertical layers in a fan shape are so much better!

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If you don’t have a bread machine, you can still make these rolls by hand or with a stand mixer. See the notes at the bottom of the recipe.

How to use a bread machine to make these yeast rolls:

When making dinner rolls with a bread machine, use the DOUGH cycle to mix, knead and proof the dough. At the end of the DOUGH cycle, remove the dough, shape it, and let it rise again. Then, bake the rolls in your conventional oven.

If you haven’t fallen in love with bread machines yet, read about the five reasons I love my bread machine.

Go pull out your bread machine.  It’s a miracle worker if you know how to use it.  If you don’t have one, they are available for cheap at many thrift stores, garage sales, and E-bay.

A stray remark about bread machines might even uncover one in somebody’s cupboard they never use. It doesn’t need to be fancy. I don’t recommend baking in them anyway, so only a dough cycle is required.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • Water: Cool tap water works best.
  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar or mild honey. I haven’t tested any other substitutes
  • Yogurt: Unflavored regular yogurt is called for in the recipe. If you only have Greek yogurt, thin it out with yogurt whey or milk to match the consistency of buttermilk. Or use buttermilk if that’s what you have.
  • Salt: I always use table salt or sea salt. If you want to use Kosher salt, add ¼ teaspoon extra. Please don’t leave the salt out. It regulates the yeast and keeps the bread from being bland.
  • Butter: Don’t melt the butter before adding it to the bread. It doesn’t need to be warm. I like to chop it up finely using a table knife. The heat of the dough will melt the butter. I usually use unsalted butter, but if you have salted butter, that will work, too
  • Flour: You can use either all-purpose flour or bread flour in this recipe. I use the same amount either way. Please weigh the flour with a digital kitchen scale for the best results.
  • Yeast: I always use bread machine yeast or instant yeast (they are the same). If you want to use active dry yeast, see the notes at the end of the recipe.

How to make the dough for fantan dinner rolls with yeast:

all ingredients for the dough are loaded into the bread machine panPin
Add all of the dough ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order listed.
dough should start to clump as soon as your machine starts mixingPin
During the first minute, open the lid and check that the paddle attachment(s) is engaged correctly. The dough mixture should start to clump together immediately.
rechecking the dough after kneading for 12-15 minutes. Pin
Recheck the dough about 12-15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle. Look for smooth and elastic dough that sticks to the sides of the pan, then pulls away cleanly. (If your bread machine has several rest periods within the DOUGH cycle, you may need to check it later to see this kind of dough.)
Your dough should look like this at the end of the kneading phase. Note how clean the sides are. The soft dough is tacky but not overly sticky.
The dough should double its original size by the end of the DOUGH cycle.

How to shape and bake these yogurt fan-tans:

When the dough has doubled in size, pull the dough out of the pan onto a lightly floured work surface for shaping.
shaping dough into a ballPin
Lightly press the bubbles out of the dough and shape it into a rough ball. Cover and wait for 5 minutes to let the dough relax. This will make it easier to shape.
dividing the dough in halfPin
Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in half. Shape them into balls. Set aside one ball while you shape the other one.
rolling ball into a squarePin
Roll each half into a 10-inch square.
Cutting each square into 6 stripsPin
Cut each square into six equally-sized strips. (Note: Because I use a different muffin pan now, I like to cut the square into four strips instead of six.)
Stack the strips.
Cut each pile of strips into 6 equal pieces with a sharp knife.
Place each fantan on its side in a muffin cup. Muffin trays come in various sizes so your stacks may fill the cup differently than mine. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and let the rolls rise one final time to slightly less than double.
rolls are ready to bakePin
These rolls are ready to bake. Place in an oven preheated to 350˚F (180˚C)
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Optional: Brush with soft butter as the rolls are cooling. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

FAQ about fantans made with yogurt:

How does yogurt help bread?

Yogurt tenderizes bread dough and will help your rolls rise a bit higher and a little faster. Three wins! Besides that, I always have yogurt on hand since I make it myself.

Can I make these rolls ahead of time?

Make the dough a day ahead of time using the DOUGH cycle on your bread machine. Deflate the dough. Use a container double the size of the volume of your dough. Cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight.

Two to three hours before baking the rolls, remove the chilled dough from the fridge and shape the rolls. If you prefer, allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping. I think the dough is easier to handle when it’s cold.

Let the rolls rise until almost double. Bake in a preheated oven.

What can I use if I don’t have a muffin pan?

Roll the dough into a circle, then cut the circle (like a pie) into 6 equal pie shapes. Start rolling from the wide end to make butter horn rolls. You can see rolls shaped like this on my Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls Recipe. Place your rolls on a baking sheet. Let rise and bake as directed in the recipe.

Parting Thoughts: In the past, I used smaller muffin pans. Now that I have the larger USA muffin pans, I find that cutting the dough into 4 long pieces fills the cup better than cutting it into 6 pieces.

I’ve also deleted the directions to butter the dough before cutting the strips. With butter, the rolls tend to fall apart. Without butter, the layers hold together better. I still brush them with butter after the rolls are baked.

yogurt fantans--dinner rollsPin
This is an old picture using a muffin tin with smaller cups.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at Hope to see you again soon! 

baked fantans in a black wire basketPin

Fantans: A Bread Machine Recipe

Paula Rhodes
This is a yeast bread recipe mixed and kneaded in a bread machine. They are shaped like peel-apart brown-and-serve rolls from the grocery store.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Mix and Rise Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls
Calories 182 kcal



  • cup water - 76 g
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey (21 g) or sugar - 13 g
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or buttermilk - 170 g
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons table or sea salt - 6 g
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chopped - 56 g
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour - 360 g
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast - 6 g


Assembling the dough

  • Place all ingredients into the pan of a bread machine in the order given. Select the DOUGH cycle.
  • Open the lid and take a peek in the first minute of the DOUGH cycle. Make sure the paddle(s) is engaged correctly and that the dough is starting to clump.
  • Recheck the dough after the machine has been running for about 12-15 minutes. The dough should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. If the dough is a firm ball that rides freely on the post or bounces around, add water one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is very sticky and gooey, add a flour a tablespoon at a time until it begins to take shape and cleans the pan but is still tacky.
  • At the end of the dough cycle, the dough should be doubled in size. If it has not doubled, leave it in the bread machine until it does before proceeding.

Shaping the rolls:

  • Remove the dough from the pan and divide it in half. Form each half into two smooth, round balls and let them rest (covered) for 5 minutes.
  • Roll out each dough ball on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin into a 10-inch square. Keep the remaining dough ball covered while you work.
  • Cut it into four equal strips. A pizza cutter works well for this. Stack strips, buttered sides up, and cut crosswise into six equal pieces. (See pictures in the post if you're confused.)
  • Turn each layered section on its side and lay it into a muffin cup. Repeat the same steps with the other ball of dough.
  • Cover rolls with a kitchen towel or clear cellophane and let them rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills cups. It usually takes 30-45 minutes.
  • Bake rolls at 375˚F (190˚C)until golden brown for 20-25 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter, if desired.


  • If using thick or Greek yogurt, add milk to thin it closer to the consistency of buttermilk. Then measure out 3/4 cup.
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 176IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword fantans, fantans with yeast, bread machine dinner rolls, fantans with yogurt, yogurt dinner rolls with a bread machine
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Recipe Rating


  1. I thought these were very tasty! And I like the “pull apart by layers” feature!

  2. looks quite tempting…excellent recipe

  3. I can almost smell these. They look so delicious!

  4. Beth Pope says:

    Okay – Don will absolutely “melt” if I make these – the man is wonderful – but if I make these – he will just – well he will love them (hot bread is the way to this man’s heart) – I don’t have a bread machine – will have to scrounge around and find one – but I will be making these – thanks for sharing – hope to see you soon.

  5. These look delicious…I’ve never had them, so I’m requesting that you make them again sometime soon!

  6. Debbie in Wa says:

    Saw your comment on Pioneer Woman and had to come over and wish you a happy birthday!! It’s my birthday today also! Hope you’re having a wonderful one. While I’m here I think I’ll check out some of your skinny ideas and other postings.

    1. Debbie, Thanks–and Happy Birthday to you too. Have you had the same experience that people remember your birthday easier now?

  7. Fresh Local and Best says:

    Fresh bread is heavenly!

  8. Debbie in Wa says:

    Yes, once someone hears it’s my birthday on 9-11, they don’t forget it the next time. Difficult to “get away” with another one now! On a positive note, I suppose it will eventually help me to remember it as well (hehe)! One other thing that has changed. I use to think of my birthday as being on “September eleventh.” Now it is 9-11. BTW, really liked your idea of salad in a jar. Have a food saver and will be heading to the store to pick up the quart jars. I am also going to do some additional chopping of veggies and put them individually in jars and see how that works too. Have used the food saver to seal meat and fish but haven’t used the jar gadget yet. Good way to try it out! Thanks!!

  9. I am always looking for a new bread recipe and these look great. I don’t have a bread machine, but I think I can make them without one.

  10. These look yummy! I’ve been using my breadmaker a lot lately – it saves so much time. I think I’m going to try this recipe for dinner Friday night.

  11. how would u convert this recipe to only using a kitchenaid standing mixer?

  12. These look so awesome….but I would have to make a triple batch….they wouldnt last long 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  13. can we follow the 1st step of almond fans in order to kneed the dough by hand???

  14. Hi Paula,
    Like you, I use my bread machine to make my dough, even my sourdough bread dough. I’ve worn out 3-4 of them in the last few years. 🙂 I have 2 standbys out in the garage in case of an emergency. Plus one in the attic. LOL.

    I use a fast acting, excellent sourdough starter that I made from a few backyard grapes. Since the ingredients in one of my sourdough recipes is close to your Fantan recipe, I’ll try them as sourdough fantans by substituting the yogurt and yeast with starter which means I’ll also have to add a bit less flour and more water. My starter is fast and should double the dough in a couple hours, according to ambient air temperature.

    I have one question about your recipe. It calls for 6 Tablespoons of butter to be added at the start, so I’m assuming that the butter brushed on the dough and baked rolls is extra butter and not taken from the 6 Tablespoons? Thanks for the recipe. Those fantans sure do look yummy!

    Here’s a link to a few pictures of my sourdough bread made with my homemade starter.

    1. Hi Earl,

      Sounds like we are kindred spirits regarding the bread machine. I have two in my kitchen and one spare in my garage that is on its way out but could be used if necessary.

      You are correct about the butter although it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to use a tiny bit less butter in the dough and spread the rest on the dough.

      Your dough pictures look great. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hi again Paula
    I am going to try these for Thanksgiving in a couple days, I would love to get a jump start today or tomorrow, is this a possibility with this recipe?
    How far could I get before baking and how do I preserve the freshness until then? Love your recipes!!!

    1. Those last three words made my day.

      I added instructions for getting a head start on these rolls to the post. So if you pop over there now, you should see them. Thanks for inspiring me to add that. Can’t wait to hear how they turn out. I love to see pictures–but with the craziness of Thanksgiving, that’s asking a lot. Hope they make you the star of the show.

    2. @Paula,
      You rock! Thanks so much for getting back to me!
      And I will take pics, it’s just the 4 of us, so plenty of time!

  16. Premaking the dough worked perfectly! I forgot to snag a photo of the refrigerated dough, but here are the rolls prerise, then almost full rise, then baked! I did half w butter between the slices, and half without. There are a couple missing cause my teenager grabbed before I snapped the pic. Either way they were delicious, thank you again for all the recipes! I have thoroughly enjoyed making different types of rolls and loaves with them, and my family loves them all!

    1. Good deal, Tia! Sounds like the rolls were a hit. I’m sure you would agree that homemade bread is a good way to fill up those teenagers for not a lot of $$.

  17. Sorry, I can’t figure out how to share the images!