My Favorite Dinner Rolls–Updated

  • Author: Paula Rhodes
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 16 rolls
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: bread machine and conventional oven
  • Cuisine: American


These homemade rolls are everything you could want in a dinner roll: light, airy, flavorful, versatile. Plus, they stay fresh for 2-3 days with no preservatives.



  • 1  cup milk, divided
  • 3 cups unbleached flour, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter (goes into dough) + 2 tablespoons for coating dough in step 2 and 1 tablespoon for glazing baked rolls


Making the Dough:

  1. Measure out 1 cup of milk. In a separate small bowl, measure out 3 cups flour.
  2. Make flour paste by whisking 3 tablespoons of the flour you just measured out and half of the milk (1/2 cup) together in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cook on High in the microwave for 1 minute, whisking every 30 seconds. Cook an additional 15-30 seconds, if necessary, until mixture is as thick as pudding.
  3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk to the cooked milk/flour mixture and whisk energetically. It’s OK if there are still some lumps. They will disappear in the mixing process. Add to the bread machine pan.
  4. Add egg, heavy cream or egg yolk, sugar, salt, remaining flour, and yeast to the pan and select the dough cycle. Press “Start.”
  5. When your machine beeps that it’s time for additions (about 15 minutes on my machine but yours may be different) such as nuts, raisins, etc., open the lid and add 4 tablespoons softened butter (1 tablespoon at a time) to flour mixture as the machine continues to knead. Close the lid and allow machine to finish the dough cycle.
  6. When dough cycle finishes, check to see if dough has risen to double its original size. If so, remove it to a floured surface. If not, allow dough to remain in the machine until it is double, then remove and proceed with the next step.

Making and Baking the Rolls:

  1. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a neat ball, flouring the surface you are working on as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Use a rolling pin to roll one dough ball into a 13 x 9 rectangle. Coat with very soft butter. Divide into 4 equally-sized strips long-ways, then divide each strip in half short-ways.  You should have 8 total strips. Roll each strip starting from either of the short ends.
  3. Place rolls into a greased 8-inch pan. Repeat step two with the other half of the dough. Cover with a tea towel or cheap shower cap and set aside to raise again until almost double. This will probably take an hour, plus or minus, depending on the room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F when you think the rolls are almost ready. Bake rolls on the middle shelf of your oven for 15-17 minutes or until nicely browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Turn rolls out onto a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes. Brush all over with melted butter. (If you leave rolls in the pan too long after baking, they will sweat and become soggy on the bottom.)


Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add all ingredients to the bowl (except butter)  in the same order listed. Turn on low to mix all ingredients until moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Add softened butter and continue to knead with mixer until fully incorporated. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients(except butter) into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Gradually knead in softened butter until completely incorporated into the dough. Place dough ball  into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in recipe
  • Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape rolls.

Keywords: bread machine recipe, dinner rolls, special occasion, yeast rolls, tangzhong