Light, fluffy, buttery, and slightly sweet, these Homemade Dinner Rolls are simply the best and are made with just a handful of pantry items. They’re the perfect addition to your holiday feast, served alongside mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.
The Best Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe
If you’re looking for the perfect dinner roll – one that’s light, fluffy, and buttery – then this recipe is for you! This is a yeast rolls recipe but don’t let that intimidate you. Working with yeast in this recipe is easy and I’ve provided the tips needed to make sure you end up with the perfect dinner rolls every time.
The flavor of these rolls is both buttery and sweet, and the texture is so fluffy that they all but melt in your mouth. Honestly, you can enjoy these dinner rolls just how they are, fresh from the oven, without adding any butter. They’re perfect for holiday dinners, from Thanksgiving to Easter, but as easy as they are to make, you can enjoy them as a side for any dinner.
These take a little over 3 hours to make, as the dough needs to rise twice, but extras can be frozen for buttery dinner rolls on demand, whenever you want!
What You’ll Need
This simple recipe only requires a handful of pantry items.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Unsalted butter: We prefer unsalted butter, so the rolls aren’t overly salty.
- Granulated sugar: Necessary to feed the yeast, which helps it rise fully and makes it nice and soft, plus it adds a sweet flavor to the dinner rolls.
- Kosher salt: For flavor and to enhance the other ingredients.
- Whole milk: Milk creates a richer, softer bread. Whole milk is ideal for this recipe. Avoid lower fat options for best results.
- Active dry yeast: Be sure to use fresh yeast – if it doesn’t get foamy, throw it out and start again.
- Egg: This provides richness and helps bind the dough.
- All-purpose flour: You can also use bread flour, but I don’t recommend swapping to whole wheat or any other type of flour.
- Vegetable oil: Used to coat the rolls before they rise.
If you want to make homemade dinner rolls with a twist, you can easily add a mix-in or two to the dough just before kneading. A few ideas:
- Seasonings. A pinch of garlic, dill, rosemary, thyme, everything bagel seasoning, or Italian seasoning are all good options.
- Cheese. Shredded cheddar and parmesan are great options.
- Finely chopped jalapenos. These add a kick of flavor.
- Chives. For a subtle onion flavor.
How to Make Dinner Rolls
This yeast rolls recipe is easier to make than you may think. Here’s a brief summary:
(Don’t miss the complete printable recipe card below with all the details.)
- Prepare the dough. Slice half of the butter as thin as you can and add to the bottom of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and salt. Warm the milk to 105-110F and pour over the butter. Add the yeast to the remaining milk, stir, and let sit until foamy. Add to the mixer, along with the egg.
- Knead the dough. Stir in the flour one cup at a time using the hook attachment. When the mixture resembles a dough, increase the speed and start to knead it. If necessary, add up to an additional half cup of flour. Knead for 3 minutes.
- Let rise. Transfer the dough to a bowl with vegetable oil. Turn the dough to coat it then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Form the dough into balls. Brush the bottom of the baking dish with melted butter. Punch the dough to release the air bubbles and divide into 15 even sections. Stretch each dough ball, then tuck the ends around itself to form a smooth ball. Pinch the seams together and gently roll.
- Allow to rise again. Place the balls in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an hour, until doubled in size again.
- Bake. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Immediately brush with the remaining butter. Cool and serve.
Can I Make Yeast Rolls Without a Stand Mixer?
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make these dinner rolls by hand. You will need more flour to keep your work surface floured. Complete steps 1-3 as normal, just placing the ingredients in a large bowl instead of a stand mixer. Stir the flour in with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed. Then, place the dough on a clean, floured work surface. Knead the dough by hand for 3-4 minutes, until it is smooth. Continue with the rest of the recipe as stated.
Tips for Success
For the best homemade dinner rolls, here are a few helpful tips.
- Measure the flour correctly. Make sure to spoon and level the flour while measuring, don’t scoop. Too much flour in the dough can produce a dense dry baked roll.
- Weigh the dough balls. It’s important that each of the 15 yeast rolls is the same size, so I like to weigh the dough, divide by 15 to see how many ounces each roll should be, and weigh each roll to make sure it’s the right size.
- How to tell when yeast dinner rolls are done baking. These rolls should take just 20 minutes or so to bake, but you don’t want to under bake them. You can tell they are done when the tops are golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when tapped.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Reheating Leftovers
- Make in Advance: If you want freshly baked dinner rolls but won’t have the full 3 hours to let them rise the day you’re serving, you can make these yeast rolls in advance. Complete the steps as directed, up to shaping the dough into balls. Once the dough balls are in the baking dish, cover and transfer to the fridge overnight. Pull out of the fridge 3 hours before baking so they can come to room temperature and finish rising before baking.
- How to store leftovers. Leftover dinner rolls will keep on the counter at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Can I freeze yeast rolls? Yes. Allow to cool completely, then place in a ziploc or other freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- How to reheat. You can reheat your dinner rolls by loosely tenting with foil and warming them in the oven for a few minutes.
More Rolls and Biscuits Recipes:
Homemade Dinner Rolls
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk , divided
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 large egg , beaten
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Take half of the butter and slice it as thin as you can, add the slices to the bottom of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and salt to the mixer.
- Warm the milk in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals. It should be 105-110°F (do not warm to over 110°F). Pour 1 cup of the warm milk into the bowl with the butter, no need to stir, just let it sit.
- Add the yeast to the remaining 1/4 cup milk and give it a stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Add this mixture to the mixer, along with the beaten egg.
- Using the hook attachment, start stirring in the flour 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Do this until you've added 3 & 1/2 cups of flour. Once the mixture resembles a dough, turn the speed to medium-high and start to knead it. If it doesn’t start to clean the sides of the bowl, add a little more flour at a time (up to a 1/2 cup) until the sides of the bowl are clean – if the dough is still attached at the very bottom of the bowl, that’s okay. Knead for 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the vegetable oil and swirl it around. Take the dough out of the mixer and add it to the bowl with the oil, turn it around in the oil so it is coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
- Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter. Brush a 9×13 baking dish with some of the butter (you will only need a small amount). Set aside.
- Punch down the dough to release the air bubbles. Divide the dough into 15 sections. (I like to weigh the dough then divide by 15 to see how many ounces each roll should be and make sure they're uniform in size.)
- Take each dough ball with your hands and stretch it out, tuck the ends of the dough around itself to form a smooth ball and pinch the seams together, gently roll it between your hands to form a ball.
- Place the balls seam side down into the prepared baking dish, 5 rows of 3 rolls. Cover again with plastic wrap and let them double in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and when tapped the rolls sound hollow. Immediately brush the rest of the butter all over the hot rolls.Let cool and serve.