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Dinner Rolls

These dinner rolls are super soft, fluffy and buttery. Once baked they are brushed with herbed butter that melts all over the tops of each roll. They make the perfect side dish to go along with any meal. See notes on how to make the rolls in advance to have fresh hot out of the oven rolls.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* Make sure to read the entire blog post. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

*This blog post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

Dinner Rolls

Everyone should have one bread recipe that they absolutely love; that is simple enough to put together on a whim and that the whole family just can’t get enough of! Well, here it is! These soft dinner rolls are all of that and more! They will become your favourite side dish to go alongside any meal, whether it’s for a special holiday dinner, a simple cozy lunch or they even make cute slider buns!

I like to make herb butter to brush over the tops and to serve with the dinner rolls. It’s an easy way to elevate a simple dinner roll. You can also leave the buns plain and just brush them with butter. But I recommend adding the extra step, it’s worth it!

Dinner Rolls
Soft Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

When working with bread I always use active dry yeast. It’s just a preference but using active dry yeast I find I have more control. You have to bloom (soak) the yeast first to remove the coating. At this stage, I can see how ‘alive’ the yeast is, which gives me a good idea of how fast my bread will rise. I can also tell if it’s dead before going through the entire process like when using instant yeast. I buy my yeast in bulk at my local Bulk Barn and store it in the refrigerator. And make sure to label the day you purchased it.

  • Active dry yeast
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Egg
  • Fresh herbs; rosemary, basil, parsley, dill (optional)
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Salt
Dinner Rolls
Soft Dinner Rolls

Tips on Making Soft Dinner Rolls

  1. If your water (or liquid) is too hot it can kill the yeast. The ideal temperature to bloom yeast is 110˚F.
  2. Salt can also kill yeast, so make sure to add the salt with the flour not directly into the yeast mixture.
  3. Stay away from using metal bowls to proof your dough. Metal gets cold easily and yeast doughs like warmer environments to thrive.
  4. Keep your dough covered with plastic wrap (or a clean damp dish cloth) while you are working. Too much air exposed to your dough will create a skin. 
  5. When working with yeast, you need to let your dough rise until doubled in size. Most recipes give an approx. time of 1 hour or ‘until doubled in size’. This time will be different for everyone as no two homes have the same temperatures. Use the 1 hour as a guideline, it could take less time or even 2 hours.
  6. Use a scale to weigh the dough for even sized buns.
  7. Use a glass baking dish if you have one. It’s easier to see how brown your buns are getting as they bake.
Dinner Rolls

How to Make Fresh Dinner Rolls Ahead of Time

It’s simple to prepare your rolls a day ahead and to bake them fresh the next day. All you need to do is follow the recipe right until you are ready to bake, then place the rolls into the fridge to slow down the proofing stage and bake when ready. Here’s exactly how to do it:

  1. Follow instructions 1-11 in the recipe then place the dish of rolls in the refrigerator.
  2. The next day take the dish of rolls out and let rest at room temperature while the oven preheats. Continue to follow the instructions from 12-16. *Do not leave the rolls in the refrigerator longer than 16 hours before baking. 

How To Make Dinner Rolls

Step One: In a bowl let the yeast bloom until frothy and bubbles form. Add the yeast mixture, the rest of the sugar, warm milk, and the egg. Mix to combine ingredients.

Step Two: Using a stand mixer with the dough hook, add 2 cups flour and salt a large bowl and mix on low speed. Add butter and continue to mix until incorporated. Add another cup of flour (3 cups total) and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Mix for approx. 5 minutes until the dough is sticky but not sticking to you.

Step Three: Remove the dough to a work surface and knead a few times and shape into a ball. Grease a large bowl with oil, place the dough in the bowl and roll the dough in the oil to coat, place the dough seam side down). Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let dough rest in a warm (draft free) place to double in size. Approx. 1-2 hours.

Step Four: Evenly divide the dough into 15 pieces. If you have a scale use it; weigh the dough and divide the number by 15. This will give you the weight for each piece of dough for evenly sized buns.

Step Five: Take one piece of dough and fold the edges into the middle to create a ball. Then pinch to seal.

Step Six: Place the ball onto a work surface seam side down. Using the palm of your hand gently roll the ball until smooth (keeping the seam side down the entire time). 

Step Seven: Place the ball into your prepared baking dish. Repeat with all 15 pieces. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let dough rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, approx. 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Step Eight: Once doubled in size, bake for approx. 20-25 minutes until browned. Let buns cool on a cooling rack and brush the tops with herbed butter or plain butter. 

Print

Dinner Rolls

These dinner rolls are super soft, fluffy and buttery. Once baked they are brushed with herbed butter that melts all over the tops of each roll. They make the perfect side dish to go along with any meal. See notes on how to make the rolls in advance to have fresh hot out of the oven rolls.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 15 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breaad
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, separated
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 34 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Fresh herbs; rosemary, basil, parsley, dill (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a bowl add warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons of the sugar, mix to combine. Let the mixture rest for approx. 8-10 minutes until frothy and bubbles form. 
  2. Make the Dough: In a large bowl of a stand mixer (using the dough hook) add the yeast mixture, the rest of the sugar, warm milk, and the egg. Mix to combine ingredients. Note: If you don’t have a stand mixer with the dough hook you can make the dough by hand.
  3. Add 2 cups flour and salt and mix on low speed. Add butter and continue to mix until incorporated. 
  4. Add another cup of flour (3 cups total) and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Mix for approx. 5 minutes. If the dough is sticking to the bowl continue to add flour approx. 2 Tablespoons at a time (no more than a total of 4 cups) until the dough is sticky but not sticking to you.
  5. Remove the dough to a work surface and knead it a few times and shape into a ball. The dough should be smooth and elastic and when poked with your finger will spring back. 
  6. 1st Rise: Grease a large bowl with oil (stay away from using a metal bowl), place the dough in the bowl and roll the dough in the oil to coat, place the dough seam side down). Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let dough rest in a warm (draft free) place to double in size. Approx. 1-2 hours. Note: if you have a proof setting on your oven you can use that but watch your time and be careful not to overproof your dough as it will take less time.
  7. Meanwhile, grease a 9×13″ baking dish with butter and set aside (or two 9″ square pans)
  8. Shape Rolls: Once the dough is doubled in size, punch the dough down to release the air. Evenly divide the dough into 15 pieces. If you have a scale use it; weigh the dough and divide the number by 15. This will give you the weight for each piece of dough for evenly sized buns.
  9. Take one piece of dough and fold the edges into the middle to create a ball, pinch to seal. Place the ball onto a work surface seam side down and using the palm of your hand gently roll the ball until smooth (keeping the seam side down the entire time). Note: Keep dough covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel to avoid dough drying out and forming a skin as you work.
  10. Place the ball into your prepared baking dish. Repeat with all 15 pieces.
  11. 2nd Rise: Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let dough rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, approx. 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  12. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350˚F and lower the rack to the bottom third of the oven.
  13. Make your herbed butter; add butter, herbs, garlic powder and salt together. Mix to combine and set aside. 
  14. Bake: Once rolls have doubled in size, bake for approx. 20-25 minutes until browned and when tapped sound hollow. 
  15. Let buns cool on a cooling rack and brush the tops with herbed butter or plain butter. 
  16. Enjoy warm.

Notes

If making dinner rolls in two 9″ square pans, make 18 rolls instead of 15.

Dinner rolls are best enjoyed the same day. Store in a plastic bag at room temperature for 2-3 days or freeze rolls for up to 2 months.

Make Ahead Dinner Rolls: To make rolls the night or the day before follow instructions 1-11 then place the dish of rolls in the refrigerator. The next day take the dish of rolls out and let rest at room temperature while the oven preheats. Continue to follow the instructions from 12-16. *Do not leave the rolls in the refrigerator longer than 16 hours before baking. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 145
  • Sugar: 2.4g
  • Sodium: 190mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 23.5g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Protein: 3.8g
  • Cholesterol: 22mg

Keywords: Bread, Buns, Dinner Rolls, Appetizer, Yeast, Thanksgiving Dinner

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Write a review and let me know!

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I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

Is it better to use active dry yeast or instant yeast?

Working with a specific yeast is just a preference and I’d suggest sticking to one so you get a feel of how it works time after time. I find I have more control with active dry yeast. You have to bloom (soak) the yeast first to remove the coating. At this stage, I can see how ‘alive’ the yeast is, which gives me a good idea of how fast my bread will rise. I can also tell if it’s dead before going through the entire process whereas instant yeast you can’t tell until the end.

How do I reheat frozen dinner rolls?

Reheat frozen dinner rolls in a preheated oven at 325˚F. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until the middle is no longer frozen. The rolls will get a little crusty on the outside but will be soft on the inside.

What is over proofed dough?

When your dough has over proofed it loses its structure. This means when it’s baked there is no structure to hold itself. So it loses its shape and falls flat. If you’ve over proofed your dough, you can save it by flattening, re-kneading it and letting it rest again until doubled in size. You want to make sure your dough will spring back a little once poked.

This blog post has been sponsored by Bulk Barn Canada where you can find all your baking needs! All opinions are my own and I’m so happy to work with brands I love so I can continue to share these recipes with all of you! I hope you guys get to a Bulk Barn soon and try out this recipe.

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Meet

Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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