This Best Homemade Dinner Rolls recipe turns out perfectly every time. These easy, soft & fluffy dinner rolls are, slightly sweet and salty, irresistibly buttery and made from scratch!!
We’re back with another installment of “Homemade Holidays” here at JoyFoodSunshine! I seriously cannot tell you how excited I am to share these Homemade Dinner Rolls with you.
I know, I know….everyone says they have the “best” dinner roll recipe…but I’m here to tell you that THIS. IS. THE. ONE. No holiday is complete in my house without these fluffy dinner rolls!
It took me six year of testing and tasting to finally land on this recipe for the best dinner rolls EVER. These soft & fluffy dinner rolls are slightly sweet and salty, irresistibly buttery and made from scratch!!
What makes the best Homemade Dinner Rolls?
To me there are four factors that make the perfect dinner rolls:
- You can make them at home easily with a perfect rise every time. (check)
- Every bite contains a touch of sweetness complimented by a lot of salty, buttery goodness. (check)
- They are soft and fluffy. (check)
- Once you start you can’t. stop. eating. them.
These Homemade Dinner rolls meet all of this criteria, and more.
How do you make homemade dinner rolls?
These dinner rolls are SO amazingly flawless, that I want to ensure your success when making this homemade dinner rolls recipe! So let’s walk through it step-by-step!
1. Make the homemade dinner roll dough:
A common question when it comes to making dinner rolls is, “how do you make dinner roll dough?” Well let me tell you! This recipe yields the dreamiest, smoothest, easiest to work with dough on the planet! I like to use my standing mixer to stir and knead the dough. But doing it by hand is just as easy (which is the method I used in this video)! Here are a few notes about making the dough:
- Be sure you completely cool the butter/milk mixture so you do not kill the yeast. That’s really the only “tricky’ part of this recipe! If any part of the recipe is too warm (over 105 degrees F), the yeast won’t proof and then the rolls won’t rise!
- Start with 3 cups of flour. It’s important not to add too much flour to the dough. So start with 3 cups and gradually knead in more as needed!
2. Let it rise.
This recipe has two rises. One with the dough in a large ball, and another after the dough has been divided into rolls! When the dough is rising, always cover it with a warm, damp towel!
How do you make dough rise faster:
To help the dinner roll dough rise faster simply boil some water and put it in a bowl or measuring dish next to the bread that’s rising. Cover the bread AND the vessel containing the boiling water with a damp towel and let the magic happen! This creates a warm, moist environment that yeast loves.
I also recommend putting the dough/boiling water/damp cloth apparatus in your oven with the lights turned on. This creates a warm moist environment that the yeast loves, which speeds up the rising process.
3. Weigh the homemade dinner roll dough!
In order to ensure that all your rolls are exactly the same size, so they baked evenly, I highly recommend weighing the dough.
Start by weighing the entire batch of dough, then divide it’s weight divide by 12. Remember that answer and make sure it is the weight of each dough ball. This particular batch of dough weighed 35 oz, so each dough ball weighed approximately 2.9 oz.
If you don’t have a food scale (I seriously recommend getting one, the one linked here is only $9!) you will have to use your own judgement/feeling to make the rolls as close to equal in size as possible!
4. Divide the dinner roll dough into rolls & shape
Once you have all your math done (phew), weight out the portions of dinner rolls dough you need and make them into smooth balls. I recommend using a well-floured surface to avoid sticking!
5. Place the rolls in a lined & greased baking pan
As you form the rolls, place them in a 9×13″ baking pan, spaced evenly apart. I always use parchment paper to line my baking pan to ensure that the rolls are easy to remove from the pan to serve.
6. Let the dinner rolls rise a second time.
Once the homemade dinner rolls are formed and placed in the baking sheet, let them rise again until they are doubled in size (30-60 minutes). The same rules apply at this step for speeding up the rising process as did in the first step.
Be sure not to let the damp towel touch the tops of the rolls, otherwise the dough might stick to the towel, resulting a quite a mess!
The unbaked dinner rolls will touch. As you see in the photo below (and the video), the dinner rolls will touch each other after they have risen. That is good and normal, and exactly what is supposed to happen!
7. Bake the homemade dinner rolls
While the dough is rising a second time, preheat your oven. After the dough is risen fully, bake int he preheated oven until the tops are golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when you gently hit them with a wooden spoon.
A note about oven variation and baking time.
Please note, every single oven bakes a little differently. I bake exclusively in an electric, convection oven, which bakes more evenly than other models. Please watch your dinner rolls carefully and check them at the beginning of the recommended baking window to avoid over-baked rolls!
8. Top the dinner rolls with melted butter and salt!
This step is KEY! Every bite of these homemade dinner rolls contains a little bit of sweet and salty goodness, which is due in large part to this extra special finalizing step. T
As soon as the dinner rolls are removed from the oven, brush them with melted butter and add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
This is the final touch that makes the rolls extra special! There’s something about biting into a delicious salty roll that just can’t be beat.
6. Serve warm!
I recommend serving these homemade dinner rolls fresh from the oven! They stand alone perfectly because they are just that good! They also make amazing leftover turkey & cranberry sandwiches after Thanksgiving!
How do you reheat dinner rolls?
If you need to reheat these dinner rolls to serve to company, just cover the baking pan with tin foil and place them in your oven turned on to warm (about 200 degrees F).
FAQs about homemade dinner rolls:
Can you freeze these homemade dinner rolls?
You can make these homemade dinner rolls ahead and freeze them for up to 3 weeks. Simply cover them tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil or a lid after you have placed the divided rolls onto a prepared baking dish (before they have risen the second time).
To bake: Remove the dinner rolls from the freezer, cover and let them come to room temperature and rise fully before baking.
Can you bake dinner rolls from frozen?
If you don’t have time to let them come to room temperature and rise, you can bake these best dinner rolls from frozen by baking at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes, then increasing the baking temperature to 375 and baking for 10 minutes more.
How do you make soft dinner rolls?
There are a few factors that make these soft dinner rolls so irresistible!
- Fat in in the dough. Both the fat from the whole milk and butter preserve the freshness of these soft dinner rolls and keeps them soft for a days. The fat keeps the rolls from drying out!
- Butter brushed tops. The butter on the top of the dinner rolls also helps seal the rolls and keep them nice and soft.
- Baking close together. This lowers the amount of browned “crust” on the rolls, which yields an overall softer texture!
How do you make yeast rolls light and fluffy?
These light and fluffy dinner rolls are that way because they rise twice. You absolutely do not want to rush either rise, as that is what gives them such a light and fluffy texture.
They do rise a tad more in the oven after the second rise, but you don’t want to risk them being too dense by being hasty and not letting them rise.
Homemade Dinner Rolls: Ingredients & Substitutions
Let’s chat about the ingredients and possible substitutions that can be made in this best dinner rolls recipe!
- Milk. Any percentage of milk works well! My favorite is whole milk because it yields a beautifully rich roll. However, most of the time I use 2% milk!
- All-purpose flour. You can substitute up to 1/2 of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour. However, as someone who usually makes this substitution as often as possible, I do not recommend it in this recipe. These rolls are so special and are truly the best when made with a good all-purpose flour.
- Granulated sugar. I love that these homemade rolls are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The sugar is also important in getting the yeast to rise. I don’t recommend making substitutions for the sugar in this dinner roll recipe.
- Butter. There is NO substitute for butter in this dinner roll recipe. It is the essence of these rolls and not an ingredient to shy away from!
Helpful tools for making the Best Dinner Rolls!
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The Best Homemade Dinner Rolls Recipe
- Line a 9x13” baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Proof the yeast:
- Add sugar, water and yeast to the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Make the dough:
- Melt butter completely. Mix in milk and warm the mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop until it’s combined and not lumpy (but just slightly warm). Set aside to cool comepletely!
- Once yeast is foamy (proofed) and butter/milk is cool, pour butter/milk mixture into the bowl of your standing mixer. Mix on low-speed until combined.
- Add egg and mix until combined.
- Add 3 cups of flour and ½ TBS salt and knead with dough hook. Add more flour a little bit at a time until a slightly-sticky ball forms.
- Grease a large bowl and transfer dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Once dough has doubled, flour your hands and squeeze it to remove the gas.
- With floured hands, form 12, equally-sized dough balls. (use a food scale to weight full batch of dough, then divide that number by 12 and make sure every dough ball is close to that answer to make even-sized rolls)
- Roll them until they’re smooth balls.
- Place them into your prepared baking sheet evenly spaced into 4 rows of 3.
- Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes).
- When you notice your rolls have risen about halfway, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place fully-risen rolls into preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the rolls are golden-brown on the top and sound hollow when tapped with a wooden spoon.
- Remove rolls from oven and immediately brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Serve warm!
This recipe was originally published on November 3rd, 2016. A video, new photos, and helpful tips have been added tot he post, but the recipe itself remains unchanged!
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