Boy, this was a huge food weekend. Between Passover Seders and Easter breakfasts/brunches/lunches/dinners, no doubt all of you have leftovers and maybe want some fresh takes on how to repurpose them.  A couple of weeks ago, when I was in Chicago, I went to a new restaurant called the Bellemore, and when their Hawaiian rolls and accompanying butter spread/crack/OMG-I'm-in-trouble came alongside, I knew I wanted to hack this recipe specifically for brisket or ham leftovers!

The  BELLEMORE 'S Hawaiian Rolls with House Butter

The BELLEMORE'S Hawaiian Rolls with House Butter



April 1, 2018

Bellemore's Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos describes this starter as "Hawaiian Rolls with country ham cultured butter, smoked sesame seeds & pumpkin stewed in saba*." They tasted amazing, but the sheer number of ingredients, just for the butter, warrants a day in the kitchen. I wanted specifically to HACK the Hawaiian Rolls so I could feed a crowd, AND to come up with an easy substitute for this sweet/savory/smoky butter that is reproducible in the home kitchen. I think I found it, so here goes:

(after all, imitation is the best form of flattery)

*SABA is the fermented must (skins) of grapes - also called "fichi" in Italian, it is expensive, delicious, but not always available.




- 2 sticks of the best unsalted butter you can get your hands on (I used Strauss)

- 1/4 cup of finely chopped ham crispy bits (you know, that crackling stuff on the top of your ham that is candy-like.....steal some and chop it up!)

- 2 tsp EACH pumpkin and  sesame seeds, lightly toasted

- 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt

- 3-4 chives, minced finely

- 2 TB molasses, real maple syrup, or dark cane syrup


1.  Put the softened butter in a bowl and mix with 1 TB of the molasses, the smoked sea salt, 1 tsp each of the sesame and pumpkin seeds, and 1/2 of the ham crispy bits.

2.  Portion into individual ramekins or one decorative bowl. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ham bits, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and chives. You can add another splash of smoked salt to the top, if you wish.

3.  Drizzle the remaining molasses over the top and serve with Hawaiian rolls.




- 6 cups all purpose flour

- 1/2 cup sugar

- 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

- 1 tsp kosher salt

- 1 tsp powdered ginger

- 1 stick unsalted butter

- 2/3 c. whole milk

- 1/2 cup pineapple juice

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 4 large eggs + 1 yolk mixed with 1 TB milk for egg wash


1.  Put butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat until milk is simmering and butter is melted. Take off heat to cool.

2.  Into the bowl of a stand mixer, put the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and ginger. Mix briefly.

3.  Mix the pineapple juice and vanilla into the milk/butter mixture. It will curdle (think buttermilk, folks!).  With the mixer running, add this to the flour mixture.

4.  Add eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Continue mixing with the dough hook for 4-5 minutes until dough is smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl. If it's wet and sticky, add a couple more TB of flour.

5.  Turn the dough out into a buttered large bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 at this point.

6.  Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, roll dough into 24 balls and place them in a buttered 9x13" baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until they are all touching and pillowy - this will take about an hour.

7.  Gently brush with egg wash and bake at 350 for 22-24 minutes until tops are golden brown. Take pan out and place on cooling rack for 15-20 minutes. You can separate the rolls into '4-packs' for serving, or just let your crowds go at them, every wo(man) for him(her)self!