The Best Homemade Dinner Rolls

5 from 11 votes
38 Comments

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These homemade dinner rolls have been a favorite in our family for generations. We serve these soft, buttery rolls with soup, salad, and, of course, every holiday dinner!

Homemade dinner rolls in a basket

Dinner Rolls

Our mom has made these homemade dinner rolls as far back as I can remember for Sunday dinners and special occasions. They are definitely a favorite of our family and always get devoured. They texture and flavor of these rolls are perfect. They are so soft, fluffy, buttery, and go perfectly with ANY meal!

How to Make Dinner Rolls Fluffy and Soft

If you follow this dinner roll recipe as outlined, you will get soft, fluffy dinner rolls every time. The best way you can tell if you are going to get soft rolls is by how the dough rises. If your dough isn’t rising well, your rolls are going to be denser.

The key is to make sure your yeast is activated in the warm water and sugar mixture before you add it to the bowl of other ingredients. Visually, it should look foamy, not like a liquid.

Always check the labels on your yeast packages or packet to make sure they aren’t expired and that you are using it within 4-6 months from the first use. Also, be sure to keep yeast refrigerated or frozen after breaking the original seal.

How to Make Dough Without a Stand Mixer

No stand mixer? No problem. After you add the flour, turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead the dough by hand until it is soft and smooth. Add a flour a little at a time as needed and continue kneading for about 10 minutes—just make sure not to add too much flour. You want the dough to be soft but not too dense or the rolls won’t be as fluffy as you would probably like.

How to Store Homemade Dinner Rolls

We have found the best way to store homemade dinner rolls is to first allow them to cool, and then place them in a Ziploc bag. Squeeze out all the air, then seal the bag tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

If you would like to reheat them in the microwave, you can wrap them one at a time in a paper towel and heat for 7-8 seconds.

Small dinner rolls in a bowl

Can dinner rolls be frozen?

Absolutely! When you prepare the rolls, use COLD milk. Make them as you normally would but form them before they rise. Remove them from the mixer and knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until you can form the balls.

Place them on a greased baking sheet and freeze them right away. You don’t want them to rise at all. Once frozen, place them in a plastic sealed bag and store for up to 6 months.

How to Cook Frozen Dinner Rolls

You would make these much like you would frozen dinner rolls you buy in the store. Place them in a greased 9×13 baking dish at room temperature, cover, and allow them to thaw and rise for anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on how warm it is where they are thawing.

Once they have risen, bake them as you normally would per the instructions below. Don’t forget to butter them when they come out of the oven!

A dinner roll split open to show the soft inside

How to Make Dinner Rolls

Homemade dinner rolls are SO easy to make. The hardest thing about this recipe is just having a little patience while the dough rises.

  1. First you combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Then in a large bowl or mixing bowl, combine scalded milk, softened butter, sugar, salt, and egg. Stir to combine and then add your yeast mixture.
  2. Add all-purpose flour (bread flour will work as well) a half cup of flour at a time and mix at medium speed.
  3. Let dough rise
  1. Use a bench scraper or dough knife to cut smaller pieces and form into rolls. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and place rolls in rows and let rise again.
  2. Bake, butter, and serve!
Baked dinner rolls in a pan

What to Eat With Homemade Rolls

There are so many possibilities with these rolls! They literally go with everything. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Dinner rolls in a basket

The Best Dinner Rolls From Scratch

5 from 11 votes
These homemade dinner rolls have been a favorite in our family for generations. We serve them with soup, salad, and of course, Thanksgiving dinner!
Prep Time 1 hr 50 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 2 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 24 dinner rolls

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch pan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons yeast active, dry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup whole milk scalded (microwave for 1.5 min)
  • 1/2 cup butter softened (you can use salted or unsalted butter)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 5-6 cups flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter melted

Instructions

  • Combine yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, and warm water in a small bowl and set aside. 
  • In a large stand-mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment combine scalded milk, softened butter, ½ cup sugar, salt, and egg. Stir until well combined.
    Stir in yeast mixture. 
    liquid ingredients in Kitchen Aid mixing bowl
  • Add 4 cups flour, adding ½ cup flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, it should still be slightly sticky. You may need more flour or even a little less than the full amount- it is best to eyeball this and go by feel than exact amounts. 
    ingredients to make dinner rolls in a stand mixer ready to be mixed
  • Slightly oil a large mixing bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn once to lightly cover dough in oil. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or light kitchen cloth.
    unrisen dough in a large bowl
  • Allow dough to rise for 1 hour. 
    Punch down dough. Lightly knead on a floured surface if dough is too sticky.
    dinner roll dough in a large bowl that has risen
  • Break off sections to form into small rolls. They should be roughly the size of a ping-pong ball (or approximately 2 oz.).
    Pinch the bottom of the rolls (so you have a smooth, round top) and place seam-side down in a greased 9×13 glass baking dish. You should be able to get 6 rows of 4 rolls (24 rolls total) and possibly a few extra. 
    dinner roll dough in a baking dish
  • Cover lightly with plastic wrap (greased so dough doesn't stick to it) or light kitchen towel and allow to rise 30-45 minutes or until rolls have at least doubled in size. 
    Uncooked dinner rolls that have risen in a pan
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops of the rolls become light golden brown. Tip: This recipe may vary by elevation, if the middle of the rolls seem too doughy, lightly cover with foil and bake another 3-5 minutes or until centers are light and fluffy.
    Remove from oven and brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Cool slightly and serve. 
    Baked dinner rolls in a pan

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 148mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 178IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved them! They turned out perfect. I also used this to make cinnamon rolls. They turned out great as well.

  2. 5 stars
    You can’t go wrong with homemade dinner rolls!! This recipe makes the softest, most delicious rolls! We make them all the time!

  3. 5 stars
    These are really so buttery and soft. The perfect dinner roll for any entrée. This is my go-to roll recipe.

      1. It just means to pinch the dough together with your fingers at the bottom so that the dough at the top is smooth.

    1. I haven’t tried making them with bread flour, so I’m not sure! Let me know how it turns out if you do try it!

  4. 5 stars
    I love making these in advance and freezing as you instruct above – great for when catering for a crowd like at Christmas.

  5. Do these stay soft a day or two later? That’s the biggest problem with most homemade roll recipes…they’re great when they first come out of the oven only??

    1. Yes, you can make the dough in a bread machine and let it rise in there. Take the dough out and knead if needed and then roll into individual rolls and allow to rise again before baking in the oven (it won’t work to bake them in the bread machine– it will all clump together and just make bread). Hope this makes sense!

  6. 5 stars
    We used this recipe to make garlic butter pull apart bread. SO yummy! I love it and will be using it again! Thank you!

  7. Hi there. I am going to try this recipe but I am doing MyFitnessPal and noticed that the calorie count listed is 256. How many rolls would that calorie count be in reference to? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Elaine, I’m so glad you asked! I reviewed our nutrition information on the recipe and found we had an error. I thought 256 calories seemed really high for one roll. I’ve corrected the error. There are 169 calories in one serving (1 roll). Thank you for asking!

  8. I made these rolls tonight and everything went perfectly… until I baked them. I baked them at 375° for 12 minutes and they didn’t look done so I baked them 2 more minutes… then 2 more minutes… I finally took them out and after cooling for 5 minutes, the rolls in the middle of the pan kind of shrunk into themselves. So I put them back into the oven for 10 more minutes, this time at 350° and they are finally baked enough so we can eat them. They are delicious and I love this recipe, but why didn’t mine bake well?

    1. It is so hard to know why a recipe doesn’t turn out! It could be the altitude, a difference in oven temp, or freshness of ingredients. The climate where you live can affect it too. I am so sorry it didn’t bake well for you.

    1. So when you freeze them, do you let the dough do a first rise, shape then freeze them before the second rise? Thanks for the post I will be making these in the near future!

  9. 5 stars
    I just love homemade dinner rolls, they make a meal so much more special. These made the house smell amazing too which always makes me happy 🙂

      1. I always use salted butter, but the dough has salt in it already if you are worried about the salt content.

  10. 5 stars
    These rolls are so light and fluffy just like the ones you get in a good restaurant. I make a double batch and freeze one for later.