Amazing Dinner Rolls

November 24, 2020  ·  Published October 10, 2012

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The BEST EVER Dinner Rolls recipe! They are amazingly soft and tender, oh so light and fluffy, perfectly chewy, charmingly shaped, beautiful golden brown, and deliciously buttery. In this step-by-step guide you’ll learn everything you need to know to perfect them.

Need a faster roll recipe? Try my 1-Hour Dinner Rolls. That’s right, ready from start to finish in 1 hour!

Homemade dinner rolls shown in a basket with a blue striped cloth.

Homemade Dinner Rolls

These are my families absolute favorite dinner rolls! I’ve been using this recipe for so many years and I lost count long ago of how many times I’ve made them.

They are a regular recipe in our rotation, especially for holidays and celebrations. After just one bite you’ll see why.

You’ll quickly find they are the perfect side to just about any meal and they truly are one of the ultimate comfort foods. Just classic, old fashioned, homestyle deliciousness. Just like grandma made and using the utmost basic ingredients.

I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t love these tempting rolls, and I can practically guarantee they’ll become a favorite in your home too!

Close up image of row of fresh dinner rolls.

The stand mixer does most of the work here. And if you are new to making rolls just make these a few times and they’ll be super easy breezy from then on out.

Just be warned these things are completely addictive! Leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have an) are delicious with plain old mayo, mustard and leftover turkey (or deli turkey) for lunch the next day.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Image of ingredients used to make dinner rolls. Includes flour, yeast, butter, egg, milk, salt, sugar and water.

Dinner Roll Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup warm water: Don’t use water any hotter or you can kill the yeast and rolls wont rise. But be sure it’s warm enough so it activates the yeast. Right to 110 – 115 degrees.
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast: Be sure that it hasn’t expired so it works properly.
  • 1/3 cup + 1/4 tsp granulated sugar: Don’t worry these rolls aren’t very sweet, just balanced.
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk: Again heat the milk just to the proper temperature. Not too warm to too cool. 110 – 115 degrees.
  • 3/4 cup salted butter: You can use unsalted butter just increase salt in recipe with an additional heaping 1/4 tsp.
  • 1 large egg: Use a room temperature egg so it doesn’t take longer to rise. Too bring to room temp quickly let rest in warm water 10 minutes (I like to do this while the yeast is proofing).
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt: Be very careful not to forget this. I did once and it ruined the rolls. Just use standard table salt here.
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour: I recommend using unbleached flour (rolls taste better and rise a little better), though bleached will work if that’s what you have.

Scroll down for recipe with print option.Collage of eight images showing first eight steps to making homemade dinner rolls. Includes proofing yeast in a mixer bowl, adding wet ingredients and mixing then add half the flour and mixing.

How to Make Dinner Rolls

  1. In bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together warm water, yeast and and 1/4 tsp sugar. Let rest 5 – 10 minutes until mixture is foamy.
  2. Fit mixer with whisk attachment. Add in 1/3 cup sugar, warm milk, 5 Tbsp butter, egg and salt to yeast mixture. Blend (butter will remain separated at this point and that’s fine).
  3. Add in 2 cups flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Switch mixer to a dough hook attachment. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix until dough is nearly smooth and is elastic, about 4 – 5 minutes (dough should be slightly sticky).
  5. Transfer dough to a greased, large mixing bowl and cover bowl with greased plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.Punch dough down all over. Divide dough into two equal portions.

Collage of eight images showing next steps of preparing dinner rolls. Includes kneading dough until combined then until nearly smooth. Then rising dough in a bowl, punching dough down. Dividing into two portions and rolling portions into a round.

How to Shape and Bake Dinner Rolls

  1. Shape each of the two portion into a ball.
  2. Roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 13 – 14 inches across (try to keep dough as much of an even thickness as possible).
  3. Spread each circle of dough evenly with 2 Tbsp softened butter.
  4. Cut each circle into 4 equal quarters, then each quarter into 3 wedges (just imagine cutting pizza slices or pie slices). Roll each wedge up, beginning on wide (outside) edge.
  5. Transfer rolls to a buttered 18 by 13-inch cookie sheet (the tip of the rolled wedge should be tucked on the bottom. Note that you can fit 3 rows of 8 rolls).
  6. Cover rolls loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
  7. During the last 15 minutes of rising preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls in preheated oven for 15 – 19 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and brush with remaining 3 Tbsp butter. Serve warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Collage of eight images showing final steps to making dinner rolls. Includes brushing dough round with butter, cutting into wedges, rolling wedges. Then rolls aligned in rows on baking sheet shown before and after rising then also after baking.Can I use instant yeast?

  • Yes instant yeast will work great here too.
  • If using skip the first step then instead mix wet ingredients then add yeast in with flour.
  • Use water and milk heated to 120 degrees.
  • If using rapid rise instant yeast reduce rise times by about half the time.

I don’t own a stand mixer can I knead by hand?

Yes definitely. If you don’t have a stand mixer just mix the ingredients in a large bowl with a spoon. Then start mixing in flour and as it gets heavy mix in remainder by hand and knead on a floured countertop for about 10 minutes.

Can they be made in advance?

Yes dough can be made in advance. Just prepare up to shaping and refrigerate or freeze. Then let finish rising at room temp when ready to bake (thaw in the fridge if frozen first). Keep in mind they’ll can take longer to rise since starting out cold.

How long do they last?

These dinner rolls should keep about 3 days at room temperature or about a week in the fridge.

Can they be frozen?

Yes prepared dinner rolls can be frozen up to 2 months in an airtight container.

Sheet pan filled with rows of baked dinner rolls.

How to Reheat Dinner rolls

  • I like to reheat in a countertop toaster oven. It usually only takes a minute or two.
  • If you don’t have one you can reheat in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet covered with foil (or just wrapped in foil) until heated through.
  • Or if it’s just one roll give it a quick blitz in the microwave.

What to Serve with Dinner Rolls

Endless options here but here’s a few favorites:

  • Cinnamon honey butter: With an electric mixer whip 1/2 cup salted butter (room temp), 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon until light and fluffy.
  • Raspberry butter: With an electric hand mixer blend 1/2 cup salted butter with 6 Tbsp raspberry jam and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until fluffy.
  • Garlic herb butter: Mix 1/2 cup salted butter with a few tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley and 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic.
  • Homemade raspberry freezer jam

Overhead image of dinner rolls in a wicker serving basket.

Helpful Tips

  • Use liquids that are the proper temperature.
  • If after the first step the yeast isn’t bubbling up then toss it out and start with a new batch of yeast.
  • Go by texture of the dough not necessarily the exact amount of flour listed. Dough should be soft and elastic and just slightly sticky.
  • Work to roll dough into an even round and and even thickness for evenly sized rolls. If you wanted to skip all that you could likely just divide into 24 portions and shape into rounds instead (though I haven’t yet tested this), then baking in baking dishes.
  • Don’t use a dark baking sheet or rolls will burn on bottom.
  • If your rolls aren’t browning at all, during the last 1/3 move the oven rack up closer to the top.
  • Be sure to store them in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.

More Tasty Dinner Roll Recipes to Try

 

Homemade dinner rolls shown in a basket with a blue striped cloth.
4.94 from 43 votes

Amazing Dinner Rolls

My favorite dinner roll recipe! I've been using this recipe for years and after one bite you'll see why! They are incredibly soft and fluffy, perfectly tender and chewy, deliciously buttery and beautifully golden brown. I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't love them.
Servings: 24 rolls
Prep30 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Rising time2 hours 30 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (78ml) warm water, 110 - 115 degrees
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup + 1/4 tsp (68g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups (315ml) whole milk, warmed to 110 - 115 degrees
  • 3/4 cup (170g) salted butter, softened, divided
  • 1 large egg*, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups (22.5 oz) all-purpose flour* (scoop and level to measure)

Instructions

  • In bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together warm water, yeast and and 1/4 tsp sugar. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes until mixture is foamy.
  • Fit mixer with whisk attachment. Add in 1/3 cup sugar, warm milk, 5 Tbsp butter, egg and salt to yeast mixture. Blend (butter will remain separated at this point and that's fine).
  • Add in 2 cups flour and mix until well combined.
  • Switch mixer to a dough hook attachment. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix until dough is nearly smooth and is elastic, about 4 - 5 minutes (dough should be slightly sticky).
  • Transfer dough to a greased, large mixing bowl and cover bowl with greased plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Punch dough down all over. Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball.
  • Roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 13 - 14 inches across (try to keep dough as much of an even thickness as possible).
  • Spread each circle of dough evenly with 2 Tbsp softened butter.
  • Cut each circle into 4 equal quarters, then each quarter into 3 wedges (just imagine cutting pizza slices or pie slices). Roll each wedge up, beginning on wide (outside) edge.
  • Transfer rolls to a buttered 18 by 13-inch cookie sheet (the tip of the rolled wedge should be tucked on the bottom. Note that you can fit 3 rows of 8 rolls).
  • Cover rolls loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • During the last 15 minutes of rising preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls in preheated oven for 15 - 19 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and brush with remaining 3 Tbsp butter (preferably melted). Serve warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

Notes

  • *To bring egg to room temperature quickly you can let rest in warm water 5 - 10 minutes.
  • *I found 4 1/2 cups to be perfect for me but if you live somewhere very dry or humid, or at a very high altitude you may want to reduce or increase measurement by a 1/4 of a cup, just note the dough should be fairly sticky. Don't add too much flour or your roll will be heavy.
  • The dough should be sticking to the bottom of the mixing bowl near the end of mixing just not the sides. It should stick slightly to a clean fingertip then spring back slightly when pulled away. Not gummy and not dry.
  • Most of you will probably find 4 1/2 cups to work just right as well.
Nutrition Facts
Amazing Dinner Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 169 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 205mg9%
Potassium 54mg2%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 208IU4%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.