These Homemade Dinner Rolls are buttery, soft, flaky and incredibly delicious. This easy dinner roll recipe is great for the beginner baker and makes the perfect addition to any meal.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of bread baking in the oven. Well, except for warm, freshly baked bread or golden brown soft dinner rolls slathered with sweet butter. If heaven was a taste, bread rolls would be it!
Homemade Dinner Rolls
I used to be intimidated by baking, especially making bread. I thought yeast dough to make breads like these homemade yeast rolls was complicated. I am going to show you how easy it is to mix, shape and bake these fool proof, no-fail fluffy dinner rolls. You will be making them for years to come!
Dinner Rolls Ingredients
This soft dinner roll recipe is made with what is called a rich dough. A rich dough produces soft bread because the dough is rich in fat ingredients like milk, eggs and butter.
Breads that are chewy and crusty like bagels, German rye bread, homemade pretzels and homemade sourdough bread are made with lean dough that contains very little fat. Rich dough makes soft baked goods like these Parker House Rolls and what I like to call the Best Cinnamon Rolls!
- Milk: I use whole milk as they produce the softest rolls with the best flavor. Low-fat and non-dairy milk make tasty soft rolls too, but I prefer whole milk for sure!
- Instant Yeast: Active dry yeast can also be used but rising times will be a little longer.
- Granulated Sugar: Sugar helps activate the yeast, I like to say that sugar “wakes up the yeast” – yes, that is my “technical” explanation!
- Butter: Unsalted butter at room temperature. Butter adds flavor and richness to the dough.
- Flour: For this homemade rolls recipe, you can use all-purpose flour or bread flour. If all you have at home is all-purpose flour, there’s no need to rush out to buy bread flour.
How To Make Dinner Rolls
For detailed instructions, read the recipe card below.
- Proof The Yeast: Combine the warm milk with a tablespoon of sugar and instant yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. If you see tiny bubbles that resemble foam rising to the surface, that means the yeast is alive and activated. You can proceed with the recipe. Otherwise, dump the mixture and start again with a different batch of yeast.
- Mix The Dough: Add the remaining sugar, the egg, butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining flour, one cup at a time beating on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Knead The Dough: You can do this in the mixer or by hand.
- First Rise: Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours or until double in size.
- Shape The Rolls: Punch the dough to deflate it. A single punch is all you need. Shape the rolls and place them in a greased baking pan.
- Second Rise: Allow the yeast rolls to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bake: Place the bread rolls in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, brush the freshly baked warm dinner rolls with melted butter for extra flavor!
What If I Don’t Have A Stand Mixer?
You don’t have a stand mixer? N problem. You can mix and knead the dough by hand. First, proof the yeast in a mixing bowl and start mixing the dough with a wooden spoon. Then, continue to knead by hand until the dough is soft to the touch and slightly sticky.
What Kind Of Yeast Should I Use To Make Dinner Rolls?
The Homemade Dinner Rolls recipe below asks for instant yeast but you can also use active dry yeast. Keep in mind that rising times will be a little bit longer.
How To Shape These Easy Homemade Rolls?
Shaping dinner rolls is very simple. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 14 to 16 equal pieces. Grab a piece of dough and stretch the top and shape the rolls by tucking and sealing the bottom. Place your hand into a cupping shape with your fingers lightly touching the work surface and gently, roll each piece in a circular motion a few times to give them a nice round shape. Place them in the baking pan.
You can also shape the dough into other shapes like crescents, twists, knots, rosettes, cloverleaf, etc.
How Do I Make The Rolls Equal In Size?
To divide the dough into equal size pieces, it’s best to weigh the dough using a kitchen scale. Weight the entire batch of dough, then divide the total by 14 or 16 (depending how many rolls you want to make). This will give you the exact weight of each roll.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, shape the whole batch of dough into a circle. Then flatten the circle a bit. Now cut the dough as if you were cutting pizza slices. First cut the round in half, then in quarters, and so on until you have 14 to 16 pieces.
The dough should feel soft and slightly sticky. It should be smooth and easy to work with. When shaping the dinner rolls, don’t use too much flour on the work surface as this will make the dough feel stiff.
Absolutely. This soft dough makes the Best Cinnamon Rolls.
You can serve homemade rolls with any meal! Dinner rolls are perfect served with salads, main dishes, soups and stews. They are also a great snack slathered with some butter and/or jam.
Can I Make Dinner Rolls Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can make the yeast dough ahead of time. Let it rise and shape the rolls. Cover the rolls tightly and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator at least 2.5 hours before you need to bake them. The dough needs to come to room temperature and rise one more time.
Can I Freeze These Dinner Rolls?
Yes! After shaping the rolls, freeze them. When ready to use, let them thaw and rise (this will take about 5 hours) before baking.
Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe Tips
- Measure the flour properly. Use the spoon and level method instead of scooping the flour.
- You can freeze baked homemade rolls by wrapping them tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze them for 2-3 weeks.
- If your dinner rolls are getting brown too quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top of the rolls.
Add some different flavorings to these delicious dinner rolls:
- Garlic Butter: Mix 4 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/2 teaspoon of grated garlic.
- Honey Butter: Reduce the sugar in the dough to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1/4 of honey. Follow the recipe as written.
- Rosemary Garlic Dinner Rolls: Add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to the flour mixture.
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Soft Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe
- 1 cup whole milk warmed to about 110°F
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (a package)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3-4 tablespoon melted butter for brushing the rolls optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk the warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. The mixture should foam if the yeast is alive.
- Add the remaining sugar, the egg, butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add another cup of flour and beat on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the flour and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until double in size.
- Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking pan. You can also bake the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or in a cast iron skillet.
- Remove the towel or plastic wrap and deflate the dough by punching it down lightly. Divide the dough into 14-16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place each one in the prepared baking pan.
- Cover the shaped rolls with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow them to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to a lower position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top, rotating the pan halfway through. If you notice the tops browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil.
- Remove from the oven, brush with butter and allow rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Cover leftover rolls tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.