The Best Dinner Rolls – Soft, Sweet Bread!

These dinner rolls are one of the easiest and most delicious bread recipes I have.  I first learned how to make dinner rolls from one of our previous employer’s wife, on the Fulton Quien Sabe Ranch.  She was a great cook and made many things from scratch but boy could she make a bread recipe now!  She always had to make double because each cowboy would eat 4 or 5 rolls each.  Yes, they were that good.

I haven’t made dinner rolls with her recipe for a long time and since I had to cook for the ranch today, I thought it’d be a good time.  Two important things about this recipe. Try to follow directions exactly to have the softest rolls ever.  So when it says little flour, use VERY little flour if any.  And when it says to butter them, be generous!  Enjoy y’all!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 envelope Active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup scalding hot milk
  • 1 egg –lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of melted butter for brushing rolls

DIRECTIONS

Sprinkle the yeast over very warm water in a large bowl.  (warm water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist)  Stir until yeast dissolves.

Add sugar, the 1/4cup butter and salt to hot milk and stir until the sugar dissolves and butter is melted.  Cool mixture to 105 to 115 degrees.

Add milk mixture to yeast, then beat in egg.  Beat in 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time to form soft dough.  Use some the remaining 1/2 cup flour to dust a pastry cloth.  Knead the dough lightly for 5 minutes, working in the remaining flour (use if for flouring your cloth and hands).

Place dough in a warm buttered bowl; turn greased side up.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1  1/2 hrs.

Punch dough down and knead 4 to 5 minutes on a lightly floured pastry cloth.  Dough will be sticky, but use as little flour as possible for flouring your hands and the pastry cloth, otherwise the rolls will not be as feathery light as they should be.

Pinch off small chunks of dough and shape into round rolls.  Place in neat rows, not quite touching, in a well-buttered 13x9x2 pan. Cover rolls and let rise in warm place until doubled, 30-45min.

Brush tops of rolls generously with melted butter, then bake in a 375′ oven for 18-20minutes or until nicely browned.

Serve warm with plenty of butter.  I pour melted butter on top of the rolls right when the come out of the oven.

Recipe makes about 2 dozen!

I served up my rolls in my brand new, very pretty Tuscan Everyday Baker.  I love that color!

Let me know if you make them!

Dinner rolls ingredients

Yeast for dinner rolls

Milk, yeast, sugar mixture

flour to milk mixture for dinner rolls

Before bread has risen

Bread after it has risen

bread dough punched down

Dinner rolls before they have risen

Dinner rolls after they rise

Best Dinner Rolls - Soft and Sweet Bread

Join The Discussion

*

 SUBSCRIBE TO GET UPDATES AND SPECIAL GIVEAWAYS JUST FOR BEING AN EMAIL SUBSCRIBER! 

Comments

  1. 133


    Chelsea says

    I love them. So easy I doubled the recipe. Perfect for anything!

  2. 134


    Mrs. Wells says

    4 cups of flour? My dough was too stiff, didn’t rise, and baked an extremely dense roll. =( I’ve made breads in the past that turned out great. I wonder what happened to this one?

  3. 137


    carole says

    I had the same problem not only with this recipe but with other ones as well. I found that using less flower helps. Start out with the 3 cups, and then add a few shakes at a time of that 4th cup until you get the consistancy you want. Its taken some trial and error and lots of wasted flour but I finally learned thats the trick! I live in Alaska and it is extremely dry here in both Summer and Winter, and we are less than 400ft elevation.

  4. 138


    SuziQ says

    I’m thinking about using this recipe for an upcoming thanksgiving lunch at my workplace. My only question is, how much yeast is in the envelope you use? Can anyone help me out? Thanks!

  5. 140


    Dee says

    I have been looking for a recipe that will produce rolls like my grandma used to make. This looks very close to what I remember of her recipe, so I can’t wait to try it. One thing though-I want to make these for Thanksgiving at my parents’ house. Are they still good if you make them in advance (i.e., the day before)? If not, can I make them up to a certain point, refrigerate and then bake them off at my mom’s house? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • 141


      Dee says

      I just wanted to post a follow-up comment. I made the rolls up to the point of shaping them into balls and putting them into the buttered dish. Then I covered them with plastic wrap and stuck them in the refrigerator overnight. I took them out about an hour before I planned to bake them and let them sit at room temperature. They turned out great! Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. 142


    Dave says

    To the folks that are having problems… are you sifting the flour? dont pack it into the cup, level it off with a knife. Is pos. that u might not need all of that last 1/2 cup.

  7. 143


    Shelby says

    Hey I’m making these tonight for a potluck dinner. In the instructions what do you mean by turned greased side up When putting the dough in the buttered bowl?

  8. 144


    Nerissa says

    Shelby, I hope this isn’t too late in the afternoon to help you out! I think what the ‘greased side up’ part is getting to is that you grease the bowl put your dough in and then rotate the dough so the bottom of the dough ball is facing the air. I would at this point cover with a clean dish towel (to keep out dust/flies) and resume rising.

    I’m making these to go with my pork short ribs and roasted veggis tonight. Very excited.

    • 145


      Nerissa says

      After making some minor changes to meet allergies in the house these rolls came out delish! Everyone ate 2 or 3 and best of all there are some left over to eat with jam at breakfast tomorrow!!!

      Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and simple recipe.

  9. 146


    Beth H. says

    I made this recipe with bread flour. The rolls came out very dense and flat. I’m learning to make bread and rolls. I am going to re-try this with regular flour now. Just wanted to share this in case there was a newby like me. :)

  10. 148


    Chris says

    I’ve been baking rolls like this for over 30 years. To those having problems, there are many things that can go wrong with bread making. Is your yeast fresh? Using old yeast or too hot water will result in a bread that doesn’t rise well and yields a heavy result. Try sprinkling a little sugar in with the yeast and water to feed the yeast and let it sit and foam a bit before adding other ingredients.

    Flour should be sifted and measured carefully to maintain the air and fluffiness, — if it is packed in the measuring cup it will be too much and the result will again be a heavy, dense bread.

    Not allowing sufficient rising time and not doing it twice, as well as over-kneading, will also result in a tough, dense bread.

    Another problem is not using the right fat. Butter is preferable; many margarines are whipped with water and air to reduce calories but this will affect the crumb of the bread and often results in dense, heavy bread as well. If you want low fat and don’t use real butter then be prepared to sacrifice lightness and airiness.

    Thanks for this recipe — it’s very similar to one my mother used for many decades and I’m going to follow it for my Thanksgiving this year. Happy Holidays!

  11. 149


    Ken says

    I have tried without success to repeat my first batch, which were great. It was one thing after another, especially not getting the dough to rise, time after time. Yes, I checked the dates, even got live yeast from a chef, nothing worked. When you say scalding milk, that’s hot stuff. Can’t that kill the yeast, to hot liquid? I read everyone’s success with this and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Well, today after work I tried again and I had some success. I read someone suggested shifting the flour, I did that, I made sure the milk mix was warm not hot. I even turned the oven on so the dough had some heat to help it rise. No one’s home during the day so the house was cool. Anyway, I got the dough to rise some, kneaded it some and had it rise again. My rolls are the size of apples. They did come out good. With my lack of success up to this point, my wife told me I should stop baking. Anyway, I’m looking to make my own pizza dough, instead of buying dough from my local pizza place. Is this recipe good for pizza dough or is there another I can use?

    • 150

      Oh gosh, I hope that you don’t stop baking just because of my rolls!!! :( While many have been successful with them, there are several who weren’t and I don’t think it’s anything you’re doing wrong….it’s probably the atmosphere. The climate in the house/altitude can make such a difference.

      Anyhow, I have this one I took straight off the package and we really really like it. http://mywoodenspoon.com/family-time-and-30-minute-pizzas-psst-giveaway-too/

      But if you want one that is no rise, this is what I use..

      4 c. flour
      6 tsp. baking powder
      2 tsp. salt
      1 1/3 c. milk
      2/3 c. vegetable oil

      Pour oil and milk mixture over flour mixture. Mix with fork. Shape into ball, knead until smooth. Roll out on greased cookie sheet. Top with favorite sauce and toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

      Thanks for trying the rolls… ;)

  12. 151


    Cam says

    Dense flour makes stiffer rolls. Did you sift?! I always sift 3 times before making anything. Sifted flour is less dense.

    • 152


      bob says

      Note: and Tip’s: I’ve been baking rolls like this for over 50 years. To those having problems, there are many things that can go wrong with bread making. Is your yeast fresh? Using old yeast or too hot water will result in a bread that doesn’t rise well and yields a heavy result. Try sprinkling a little sugar in with the yeast and water to feed the yeast and let it sit and foam a bit before adding other ingredients. I had the same problem not only with this recipe but with other ones as well. I found that using less flower helps. Start out with the 3 cups, and then add a few shakes at a time of that 4th cup until you get the consistancy you want. Its taken some trial and error and lots of wasted flour but I finally learned thats the trick! I live in Alaska and it is extremely dry here in both Summer and Winter, and we are less than 400ft elevation. Proofing – the testing of the yeast to make sure it is still active. This is done by dissolving the yeast in a warm liquid to which sugar is then set aside for 5-10 minutes and should become foamy and bubbly.
      Yeast is temperature sensitive:
      - at less than 50 F (10 C) the yeast is inactive.
      - at 60 F – 70 F (15 C – 21 C) the yeast action is slow.
      - at 90 F – 100 F (32 C – 38 C) the yeast is at its optimum temperature for fermentation.
      - at greater than 104 F (40 C) the yeast action starts to slow.
      - at 138 F (58 C) the yeast is killed.

      Note: If the dry yeast is added directly to the flour, the liquid that is added is warmer than usual because the whole mass of dry ingredients, as opposed to just the yeast, must be warmed in order to activate the yeast.
      Flour should be sifted and measured carefully to maintain the air and fluffiness, – if it is packed in the measuring cup it will be too much and the result will again be a heavy, dense bread so.don’t pack it into the cup, level it off with a knife. Is pos. that you might not need all of that last 1/2 cup.
      Not allowing sufficient rising time and not doing it twice, as well as over-kneading, will also result in a tough, dense bread.
      Another problem is not using the right fat. Butter is preferable; many margarines are whipped with water and air to reduce calories but this will affect the crumb of the bread and often results in dense, heavy bread as well. If you want low fat and don’t use real
      butter then be prepared to sacrifice lightness and airiness.
      One envelope is a bit vague. It can vary ever so slightly between brands. 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 teaspoons are a rule of thumb conversion from packaged to bulk. In all my baking
      experience I just use a scant tablespoon and call it good. I consider myself a serious baker and still often use recipes to try new things. I would think any serious baker/cook
      would always be on the lookout for something new and exciting to try (or improve on) so it’s important to know the conversions as many recipes still refer to yeast by packets not by measurements. When in doubt, Google it, don’t get frustrated! =)

      I think and hope I know some of the answers to some of the problems.
      1. Flour not rising – probably the temp in the kitchen. During winter sometimes it takes longer for the dough to rise due to the the coldness and low humidity. I use the dishwasher to speed up the rising time by half. Empty the dishwasher, turn the knob up to the drying cycle after it splashes/rinses water once and then put the dough in it covered with whatever. The humidity and the drying heat in the dishwasher makes is ideal and the best atmosphere for the yeast and make the dough rise. Just use the drying cycle only, not the rinsing for the dough. LOL. Same thing for the rolls in the pan. In winter I usually reduce the amount of salt and increase the yeast by a tsp. For those whose dough did not rise at all, check the amount of yeast you use. The recipe say 1 envelope which is 3 packets not one. It’s 0.25 oz or 2 1/4 tsp. Use 3 tsp in winter.

  13. 153


    Jim Peden says

    Now, if I only knew how much yeast was contained in “one envelope”, I could make these rolls. Since I buy bulk yeast ( as do most serious cooks ) I haven’t seen an “envelope” of yeast in many years.

    • 154

      I figure most serious cooks would probably be able to estimate how much yeast it would take and well, probably wouldn’t even need to use a recipe.

      • 155


        Nikki says

        One envelope is a bit vague. It can vary ever so slightly between brands. 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 teaspoons are a rule of thumb conversion from packaged to bulk. In all my baking experience I just use a scant tablespoon and call it good. I consider myself a serious baker and still often use recipes to try new things. I would think any serious baker/cook would always be on the lookout for something new and exciting to try (or improve on) so it’s important to know the conversions as many recipes still refer to yeast by packets not by measurements. When in doubt, Google it, don’t get frustrated! =)

        By the way, thank you for the recipe! My dough is on the first rise and looking beautiful so far! Lovely dough to work with too!

  14. 156


    Loretta McCoy says

    Well this recipe is great! Thank you so much , I only use 4 cups of flour it went perfect and soft and yummy….

  15. 157


    Lela says

    These are the best rolls. Very similiar to what i made years ago. I would like to say that my yeast was 3 years old and they rose great. light and fluffy. We had them for christmas dinner.
    I have made them 3 times so far and now i am trying whole wheat and see how they turn out.

  16. 158


    Sarah says

    I have been looking for quite some time for a recipe like this. My mom used to make sweet dinner rolls and I have tried to no avail until I by chance stumbled upon your recipe. Thanks for posting it, the rolls are fantastic!

  17. 159


    Vicki says

    All this talk about light fluffy buttery rolls is making me hungry! I am gonna have to try these!!

  18. 160


    Joy says

    Hello! Exactly how much is 1 envelope of active dry yeast?

    Thanks!

  19. 162


    Joy says

    Wow, thanks! That was quick! :) Will let you know when I make them.

  20. 163


    Chadwick says

    I made these Last nite and it was my first time. They turned out awsome, just right and I was pleased.

    Thank you,

  21. 164


    Anna says

    Thank you Cowboy wife, this is the recipe I have been looking! Perfect, I used King Arthur Bread flour, 4 sifted cups and they are amazing!!!

  22. 165


    Betty says

    Can I make the dough in my bread machine?

  23. 166


    VIDA says

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR RECIPE, I HIGHLY RECOMEND IT, IT HAS GREAT TASTE, SOFT AND DELICIOUS! I USED THE ALL PURPOSE PRESIFTED FLOUR.

  24. 167


    Mayra says

    Loved loved loved the dinnergna make them everytime i have time to. Love love so n love w them. Yummy.:-)

  25. 168

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is
    so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on
    this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject.
    Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles.
    You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a perfect site.

  26. 169


    sharmeen says

    hi, I was wondering how the rolls went the next day?

    I need to make some soft rolls for a work function and would like to bake them the night before.

    I’m hoping this will be the recipe that will solve my problems :)

  27. 170


    Tiffany says

    Made the rolls & they turned wonderful! My whole family loved them! I was careful w/ the flour & did not use the full 4 cups. Thank you for sharing your recipe!!

  28. 171


    Barbara says

    Just came out of the oven. Wonderful. Thank you for this recipe.

  29. 172
  30. 173


    Heather says

    I made a double batch for Christmas dinner, and although I made a few small mistakes, the rolls were delicious. I liked the flavor of this dough. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. 174


    Nadene Delaney says

    FYI – I’m disabled and have found new ways to do many things my disability has kept me from doing.
    A friend gave me a bread machine – I’m not one for using it to “completely” make bread, BUT,
    it has come in handy for “kneading” breads for me. I add the ingredients as recommended by the
    type of machine it is, set it on “make dough,” and let er rip! It does all the mixing & kneading for
    any type of bread I truly love making & I’m back to doing things I use to do.
    With God, there’s always a way — even in the kitchen.
    Hugs & Blessings,
    Nadene

  32. 175


    Ernie says

    Guys, I think I know some of the answers to some of the problems.
    1. Flour not rising – probably the temp in the kitchen. During winter sometimes it takes longer for the dough to rise due to the the coldness and low humidity. I use the dishwasher to speed up the rising time by half. Empty the dishwasher, turn the knob up to the drying cycle after it splashes/rinses water once and then put the dough in it covered with whatever. The humidity and the drying heat in the dishwasher makes is ideal and the best atmosphere for the yeast and make the dough rise. Just use the drying cycle only, not the rinsing for the dough. LOL. Same thing for the rolls in the pan. In winter I usually reduce the amount of salt and increase the yeast by a tsp. For those whose dough did not rise at all, check the amount of yeast you use. The recipe say I envelope which is 3 packets not one. It’s 0.25 oz or 2 1/4 tsp. Use 3 tsp in winter.

    Good Luck and enjoy. I love this recipe.!

  33. 176


    Dolores says

    this were the best dinner rolls i have ever made soooo soft and fluffy, my family loved them…

  34. 177


    Nadene says

    Hey ya’ll — FYI — I have nerve damage in my right arm and fibromyalgia.– makes it impossible to “knead” bread.
    BUT, my solution is to put ingredients, or even just dough, into my bread machine and press “dough.”
    I let the machine do my kneading, then take out dough, make/pllace little rolls in pan, let rise — VOILA
    Bake as usual. Hope this helps or encourages someone to bake more often.

  35. 178


    Belinda says

    Thank you so much! These were amazing I added a touch more sugar and the flavor was even more amazing. Every way i tried them was delicious nice airy and moist. Thank you again!

  36. 179


    Hema says

    I baked my first dinner rolls today with this recipe.. It came awesome :) thank you for sharing the recipe!

  37. 180


    Lucinda says

    Lucinda

    Thank U very much!!!!!!!!!! Is the best dinner roll recipe.

  38. 181


    Barbarainnc says

    The recipe calls for Active dry yeast, but in the pictures you show Rapid Rise – HighlyActive Yeast .
    Active Dry Yeast is dissolved in a warm liquid, Rapid Rise is mixed with the flour, then a hotter liquid is added.
    I like working with Active Dry Yeast better. I’ll have to give your recipe a try. Nothing better than hot rolls and butter.

  39. 182


    Ify says

    I’ve been making these rolls for about three years now and they come out perfectly every time. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I always say I don’t have time to bake but I find I always have time for these. Thanks!!!!

  40. 183


    Patricia says

    Hi there. These rolls sound great, they are rising on the back of my stove right now! I was wondering, using a 9×13 inch pan, how many rolls do you fit in there? I am trying to get an idea of how large to make each roll.
    thanks!

  41. 184


    Toni says

    After making these a year ago, they are now the only rolls my family will eat :)

  42. 185


    elbenson says

    these rolls are the bomb! they came together very easily and are the softest and tastiest I’ve found yet!

  43. 186


    Joni says

    I tried this recipe a few days ago and they were my most successful attempt at making rolls or any yeast bread recipe. They turned out great but after reading the comments I think I know how to make them even better and lighter. I wanted to know if you could make just a loaf or two of bread out of this recipe instead of rolls. How would I be able to tell if it is enough dough for one or two loaves of bread in a standard loaf pan? How much longer would I have to bake it for? Thanks for any help!