Soft, Butter-y Homemade Dinner Rolls are one of our best-loved recipes. Perfect for holidays, or anytime, it’s so hard to eat just one!
Whether it’s for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner, these Homemade Dinner Rolls can’t be beat! We love to make them with soup, but especially for holidays, with other sides like: Creamed Corn, Green Bean Casserole and Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
favorite homemade dinner rolls
Nothing can beat the smell of homemade bread or dinner rolls being made. These Homemade Dinner Rolls are perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and are a holiday dinner MUST-HAVE.
In fact, I think it’s safe to say that they are always the first thing gone whenever they are made (my mom is famous for them, and they’re a family favorite). They are soft, melt in your mouth, and are actually easier to make than you’d think!
If you are like me, it may seem intimidating to make Homemade Dinner Rolls. They usually require yeast, which can often be a little fickle to work with if you haven’t used it before.
Fortunately, this recipe really isn’t that complicated. I was nervous to try it on my own, at first, but realized they were quite easy.
We even have a video down below to show you just how easy they are to make. Watch it a few times and you’ll see just how easy they are. 😉
How to make Dinner Rolls
Yes, there are lots of steps, but they are all simple – they just take some time. 😉
YEAST. Mix 1 TB yeast with ¼ cup warm water and ½ tsp. sugar. Let stand until bubbly.
WET INGREDIENTS. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup warm milk, ½ cup oil, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp. salt with a wooden spoon.
COMBINE. Add 1 cup of flour to mixture, and mix well. Add 2 eggs and beat until smooth (mix vigorously by hand). Pour in yeast mixture, and mix vigorously until smooth.
RISE. Add 3-4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Dough should be very sticky. Pour the dough into a large bowl. Let rise for a few hours in a covered bowl (cover with a tea towel), until it has doubled in size.
ROLL. Once the dough has doubled in size punch down, and divide in half. Roll dough onto a floured work surface making TWO 12-inch circles. Dough should be about ⅜ inches thick.
SHAPE. Brush dough with melted butter. Cut circles with a pizza cutter into 12 pieces (like a pizza). Roll from rounded edge to the point, to make a crescent roll. Place into a greased baking pan (we use an 11 x16 metal pan and do 3 across and 8 rows down).
RISE. Cover dough with a tea towel and let rise for a few hours, until it doubles in size.
BAKE + ENJOY! Bake at 375°F until light lightly golden brown, which is about 15-20 minutes. Note: Touch rolls to see if they bounce back – if they do not, bake a little longer. Brush with melted butter while warm. ENJOY!
Dinner rolL Tips
Flour. We use all-purpose flour. You can use bread flour, but we don’t always have it on hand, and think the rolls taste perfect with just all-purpose flour.
Yeast. We always use the RapidRise active yeast for this recipe, and for most of our bread recipes.
Kneading. Many yeast bread recipes must be kneaded before shaping. However, this dough doesn’t. Because of how sticky the dough is, kneading in a little flour when rolling and shaping it may be required – so it is easier to work with. However, you won’t knead it like other breads. Adding too much flour, and over kneading this recipe can result in a less fluffy, more dense dough.
Speed up the proof time. The most time consuming part is waiting for the dough to rise. Twice! There are a few tricks you can use to help cut the rise time in half.
- This first trick applies to the first rise. Add HOT water to a bowl that is slightly smaller than the one that the dough is in. Cover the bowl of dough with a clean kitchen towel and place it directly on top of the smaller bowl. The steam and heat coming from the water will warm the bowl of dough causing it to rise faster.
- This second trick can apply to both rises. Preheat your oven to 200°F and turn it OFF. Place the dough in a heatproof bowl, cover it with a warm damp tea towel, and place it in the oven.
Kitchen-Aid mixer. Make this recipe in the Kitchen-Aid or stand mixer, with a dough hook. Be careful not to overmix the dough, because it will make it more tough, and not as soft.
Variations. We like to place the rolled crescents close together on the pan so that they rise, with sides touching. If you want them to rise completely separate, be sure to spread them further apart.
Use a bread machine
Although we haven’t, many readers have. Here is one reader’s experience using the bread machine to make these rolls:
Mine takes all the “wet” ingredients first (I combined the warm milk, oil, sugar, eggs first. Then the salt, since I’ve been told don’t let the salt and yeast “touch”!)
I used 4c. flour, and the yeast, but skipped adding the 1st 1/4c. water with sugar, as you don’t have to dissolve the yeast when using the bread machine and this dough is wet enough without it.
I use my dough cycle, which is 1 ½ hrs for my machine. The dough turned out great and easy to work with.
After shaping rolls, I let rise (covered) in my “barely warmed” oven for 1 ½ hrs., then baked for 15 min in my oven. We love them!
what to serve with dinner rolls:
Slather this dinner roll recipe with:
FREEZE unbaked rolls. If you plan to freeze these unbaked, double the amount of yeast used to compensate for any that may die in the freezer. We suggest freezing the rolls right after they are formed. Then, take them out a couple hours early to let them rise to about double the size (which will take several hours since the dough is frozen).
STORE baked dinner rolls. To maximize shelf life of dinner rolls, place in a Ziploc bag, or wrap in foil. Store at room temperature on the counter.
For more rolls, check out:
In a small bowl, mix yeast and sugar with warm water. Let stand until bubbly.
In a large bowl, mix warm milk, oil, sugar and salt with a wooden spoon.
Add 1 cup of flour to the mixture and mix well. Add eggs and mix vigorously until smooth. Add yeast mixture and continue to mix until smooth.
Add remaining flour to the yeast mixture 1 cup at a time and continue to mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is combined. The dough should be soft and sticky.
Pour the dough into a large bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide it in half. On a floured surface, roll each piece out into a 12-inch circle. The dough circles should be about ⅜ inch thick.
Brush both dough circles with melted unsalted butter. Cut each circle with a pizza cutter into 12 pieces (like a pizza). Roll each piece from the rounded edge to the point to make a crescent roll.
Place rolls on a greased baking sheet with the pointed tips down (we use an 11-x-16-inch metal pan and do 3 rows across and 8 rows down).
Cover rolls with a tea towel and let rise until they have doubled in size, about 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 16–20 minutes, until lightly browned. (Touch rolls to see if they bounce back—if they do not, bake a little longer). Brush with melted salted butter while warm. Serve warm.
Make Ahead: Unbaked rolls can be frozen right after they are formed in Step 7. Place unbaked rolls on a baking sheet and freeze immediately. Once frozen, place in resealable plastic freezer bags, seal and place in the freezer. Take them out a couple hours before baking to let them rise to about double the size, which will take longer since the dough is frozen.
Using a Stand Mixer: You can mix this dough in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook; just be careful not to overmix the dough because it will make it tougher and not as soft.