Do you want to make the Best Homemade Dinner Rolls? I have tried and tested these to make them the best easy dinner roll recipe as possible. These light and fluffy rolls have just a handful of simple ingredients and are perfect homemade rolls for Thanksgiving. I love to make these as our Christmas dinner rolls, too. These go great with just about any meal, but Roast Chicken and Balsamic Pork Loin Roast are a couple favorites.
If you’re a beginner to baking breads, read this blog post to learn my tips for making this yummy yeast rolls recipe. I even tell you how to prepare them ahead of time. They do require a little effort, but are so worth it!
Homemade Dinner Rolls
An easy dinner roll recipe is something I think every home cook can benefit from. It feels like a great accomplishment to bake a perfect batch of yeast rolls! With their pillowy texture and buttery flavor, these are the best dinner rolls.
• Have you always wanted to bake homemade bread but not sure where to start?
• Does making anything with a yeast dough make you nervous?
• Does it seem like bread recipes are complicated and confusing?
In this blog post I’m showing you how to make fluffy, delicious homemade dinner rolls. There is a lot of information here to help you bake the best batch of rolls.
I make these easy dinner rolls whenever I get the craving for a warm, yeasty, buttery roll.
They’re soft and delicious and the perfect addition to any meal. After you serve them, you will get requests to make them again and again!
These homemade dinner rolls are pretty quick to make. The rising is what takes the longest! They do rise twice, first for 60 minutes, and again for 45 minutes. So start to finish, you’re looking at a little over 2 hours total. Not too bad for something so wonderful!
Equipment You Will Need To Make Homemade Dinners Rolls
• Stand Mixer
• Digital Thermometer
• Kitchen Scale (optional, to make dough balls the same size)
• 13"x9" Glass Baking Dish or a Quarter Baking Sheet
You Only Need 8 Ingredients:
These are the best homemade buttery dinner rolls I’ve ever eaten and they start with my uncomplicated 8-ingredient dough.
• Milk: The softest dinner rolls have fat, for a "rich dough". Whole milk is the best for a soft roll with the best flavor and texture.
• Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, helps it be more active, and helps make the dough tender.
• Salt: Salt is needed for flavor. No one wants a bland roll!
• Butter: Butter adds flavor and helps make a soft dinner roll. Don't use cold butter.
• Water: Begin blooming the yeast in the warm water, then you will add the milk mixture.
• Yeast: This recipe uses active dry yeast. Or use instant dry yeast. If using instant dry yeast, the rise times will be a little shorter.
• Eggs: 2 eggs help bind the dough and add flavor.
• Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour in this recipe.
The Gist of How to Make Dinner Rolls from Scratch
• Make the dough.
• Knead the dough.
• Cover the dough and let it rise. The dough rises for about 1 hour in a warm environment.
• Punch down the dough to release the air and shape into rolls.
• Let the rolls rise again, and double in size, for about 45 minutes.
• Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
• Brush the warm rolls with melted butter for color and flavor.
What if I Don't Have a Stand Mixer?
- I often use my stand mixer and let the dough hook attachment do the kneading for me. It's okay if you don't have one, you can knead the dough by hand. It's not too hard to do but does take a little effort.
- For the fastest results, mix the dough with a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment or dough hook attachment. You can also make the dough by hand, but it requires a lot of stirring. After the dough comes together in the mixing bowl, you will have to knead it. If you want, you can continue kneading the dough using the mixer at this point, or you can knead the dough by hand.
- In a large bowl stir the dough with a spoon (I use a wooden spoon) until it thickens and is too hard to stir anymore. Then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until smooth and very elastic (Just keep kneading until the flour is incorporated and/or the dough is soft to the touch and only a tiny bit sticky). This usually takes 7-10 minutes.
Can I Use Another Type of Yeast Besides Active Dry Yeast?
- This recipe calls for Active Dry Yeast, however any yeast will work in this dinner roll recipe. You need to know the differences in how the different types of yeasts are added to the recipe. The two main types are Instant and Active.
- Instant dry yeast can be added straight into dry ingredients and it doesn’t need to proof or sit. It rises quicker.
- Active dry yeast has a coarser texture and needs to be dissolved in warm liquid before being added to a recipe. It activates slower and will need 10-15 minutes extra rise time.
- There is also Rapid Rise Yeast. I don't care to use this one as faster rising breads are less flavorful. The longer the rise, the more flavor the bread has.
- I’m using active dry yeast in this dinner roll recipe, but you can use instant yeast so all the ingredients will get dumped in the bowl together (like with a bread machine).
- The recipe does change a little: To use instant yeast in place of active dry, skip the step of dissolving the yeast in water and add it directly to your dry ingredients.
- Add the water that was meant for activating to the milk mixture, so you are retaining the same total amount of liquid.
What is the Best Way to Measure the Flour?
- The flour you can get at the grocery store is usually pre-sifted. You don't need to sift the flour.
- Measuring flour correctly is important to avoid a dense dough, which will lead to heavy (not soft) rolls.
- Spoon flour into the measuring cup, then level it off using the back of a butter knife.
- If you prefer the scoop and sweep method, you can try it as it is convenient. Simply use your measuring cup to scoop out the flour and level off the top.
- Bread making is often affected by humidity in the air, so you can get different results on different days. So the actual amount of flour you need can vary.
- Since the actual amount of flour you need can change, go by the touch and feel of the dough when making this dinner roll recipe. You may need more or less flour, as noted on the recipe card.
How Do I Get Soft, Fluffy Dinner Rolls?
• Soft dinner rolls require what is known as a rich dough. A rich dough means the amount of fat in it. This dough has milk, butter, and eggs that make it rich.
• Chewy, crusty breads have less fat in the dough so they have a lean dough.
How to Shape Dinner Rolls
- When forming the dough balls, you can make them smooth on top by rolling them into balls or pinching off a portion and gathering the ends together on one side (the bottom) and twisting them to make a smooth ball. Then set the dough ball with the smooth side up in the baking dish.
- To get the dough balls the same sized equal pieces, a kitchen scale is the best tool. Weigh the dough (using ounces), then divide by 15. Each dough ball should weigh that many ounces (usually comes to about 2.5 oz). But don’t worry if they are not all perfectly uniform in size. Just get them close. The perfect roll is one that you enjoy eating!
How to Make the Best Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe
• Gather together all of the ingredients.
• In a medium saucepan, scald milk (bring almost to a boil and remove from heat immediately). Stir in sugar, salt, and butter. Set aside and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm.
• In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together warm water (100° F - 110° F) and yeast. Stir until dissolved. Let sit about 5-10 minutes (while the scalded milk mixtures cools).
• Stir in the lukewarm milk mixture, beaten eggs, and half of the flour. Mix until smooth.
• Add the remaining flour gradually, mixing as you go. You may need slightly more or less than 4 ½ cups called for in the recipe, depending on the humidity, etc. Your dough should be elastic and slightly stiff, but not dry.
• Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and very elastic (or use the dough hook or paddle attachment on your stand mixer). This usually takes 7-10 minutes by hand.
• Butter the inside of a large mixing bowl. Put the dough in bowl and turn dough over a few of times to coat all sides with the butter.
• Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm place to rise. It will take about 1 hour to double in size. Then punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
• Pinch off 2-3 tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball and place each dough ball into a buttered baking pan, barely touching each other, do not crowd them. Repeat until all of the dough is used (you should get about 15 rolls).
• Cover the dough balls with a kitchen tea towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm area until they rise and are doubled in size, about 1 hour. The dough balls will touch each other.
• After the dough balls have been rising for 45 minutes, preheat oven to 375° F.
• Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until browned on top and smelling fragrant of yeast!
• Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter immediately after removing from the oven.
• Allow the rolls to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
Tips for Making Homemade Dinner Rolls
- This recipe comes together pretty fast, so have everything ready to go. Measure out all the ingredients before you begin so you can just add them into the bowl of your stand mixer and get started.
- Make sure your yeast isn’t expired. The expiration date is on the package.
- The first rise is 60 minutes if using Active Dry Yeast, and about 30 minutes with Instant Dry Yeast. The second rise is about 45 minutes. Keep the dough balls in a warm (but not hot) location, covered with a kitchen tea towel or some plastic wrap.
- The warm water and warm milk is what activates the yeast so be sure to check the temperature. It will need to be between 100°-110°F. You will warm the milk on the stove and use a quick-read thermometer to check the temperature. If it is over 110°F, letting it sit and cool a bit is the best thing to do. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast and your rolls will not rise.
- When baking the rolls, check them about 13 minutes into cooking. If they are starting to get too dark, place a piece of tin foil over the top (called tenting).
- Check one of the center rolls for doneness and tent them with foil if they need more cook time.
- Brush the rolls with melted butter immediately after baking to give the tops that golden color and extra buttery flavor. Don't skip this step!
More Breads, Rolls, and Biscuit Recipes
How to Make Dinner Rolls Ahead of Time
- If you want to bake these dinner rolls the next day, you can make them a day ahead.
- These rolls require about 2 hours of rising. They will rise two times; the first time for an hour. Then you punch down the dough and form the balls. This is the point where you cover the shaped dough balls tightly and refrigerate for up to 20 hours.
- You will need to give them plenty of time to warm up enough to rise again, so take them out of the fridge at least 3 hours before you need them. Just set them on the counter in a warm place for 1-2 hours before baking, depending on your room temperature.
• How to freeze dinner rolls: This is such a convenient thing to do because you can bake just a few at a time, or the entire batch. Follow the instructions to make them ahead, and instead of refrigerating, freeze the rolls right in the baking pan. Once they are frozen, they won’t stick together, so you can place them in a freezer baggie or airtight container. Let them thaw and rise until doubled in size (about 4 hours) then bake them.
• To freeze the baked dinner rolls, let them cool and place them in freezer baggies.
Can I use Gluten Free Flour?
I have not tried this recipe using GF flour.
Can I Make Cinnamon Rolls from This Dough Recipe?
Yes you can! Though I like to add a little more sugar.
These Rolls are perfect for Holiday dinners, but don't just make these rolls for special occasions! Serve these yeast rolls as snacks with a slice of cheese or some peanut butter and jelly, as slider buns, for little breakfast sandwiches, or dunking into a bowl of hot soup.
If you made these yummy Homemade Dinner Rolls, please let me know! You can leave a comment with a star rating below. I'd love to know how you liked them!
Homemade Dinner Rolls
- Mixing Bowls
- Wooden Spoon
- 13"x9" Glass/Ceramic Baking Dish
- Stand Mixer (optional)
- ½ cup Whole Milk
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Salt
- ¼ cup Melted Butter, (Plus additional for coating bowls & brushing tops of the freshly baked rolls)
- ½ cup Warm Water (100° F - 110° F)
- 2 packages Active Dry Yeast*
- 2 Large Eggs, beaten
- 4 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour (possibly a little more or less, see directions)
Make the Dough
- In a medium saucepan, scald milk (bring almost to a boil and remove from heat immediately). Stir in sugar, salt, and butter. Set aside and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm (100° F - 110° F).
- In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together warm water (100° F - 110° F) and yeast. Stir until dissolved. Let sit about 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in the lukewarm milk mixture, beaten eggs, and half of the flour. Mix until smooth.
- Add the remaining flour gradually, mixing as you go. You may need slightly more or less than 4 ½ cups called for in the recipe, depending on the humidity, etc. Your dough should be elastic and slightly stiff, but not dry.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and very elastic (or use the dough hook or paddle attachment on your stand mixer). This usually takes 7-10 minutes by hand.
- Butter the inside of a large mixing bowl. Put the dough in bowl and turn dough over a few of times to coat all sides with the butter.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen tea towel and place in a warm place to rise. It will take about 1 hour to double in size. Then punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
Make the Dinner Rolls
- Pinch off 2-3 tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball and place each dough ball into a buttered baking pan, barely touching each other, do not crowd them. Repeat until all of the dough is used (you should get about 15 rolls).
- Cover the dough balls with a kitchen tea towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm area until they rise and are doubled in size, about 1 hour. The dough balls will touch each other.
- After the dough balls have been rising for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until browned on top and smell fragrant of yeast!
- Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter immediately after removing from the oven.
- Allow the rolls to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.