This Easy Dinner Rolls Recipe is the perfect addition to any meal with the rolls’ golden brown exterior and soft, pillowy center. Then, melted butter is brushed over the warm rolls with an optional sprinkling of kosher salt on top. My mouth is watering describing them, they are so good! Be sure to add them to your Thanksgiving and Christmas menus! Then, keep the recipe around any time you are craving rolls that can be made in under a couple of hours. I also have Homemade Crescent Rolls you may want to add to your dinner table, too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Flour: All-purpose flour is the main component of the dough, providing structure and texture to the rolls.
Yeast: Rapid-rise yeast, also known as instant yeast, is a quick-acting yeast that allows for a shorter rising time. The dough will need a total of about an hour of rise time, perfect to be preparing your main dish or other side dishes!
Sugar: Granulated sugar serves as a sweetener and also provides food for the yeast for fermentation.
Salt: Kosher salt is added to the dough mixture and is optional to sprinkle on top of the warm, buttered rolls (which I highly recommend)!
Milk: Whole milk adds moisture and richness to the dough, resulting in soft and tender dinner rolls. If using milk that is lower in fat, it may affect the final texture of the rolls.
Butter: Melted salted butter is brushed over the warm rolls. Yum!
How to Make “Perfect” Dough Balls
If you want perfectly round and uniform dinner rolls you can sprinkle some flour on your counter and gently roll each ball using the cupped palm of your hand. It’s a gentle and effective technique and works quickly when you master it. Use this method for my Cheesy Garlic Dinner Rolls, a variation of this recipe, too!
Can I Use A Different Sized Pan?
Yes, you can use a different-sized pan to accommodate all of the rolls. When I used a 9×13-inch baking dish, I had 4 rolls left over. In this case, I used a pie pan to bake the remaining rolls. You could also use any smaller baking dish for extra rolls.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Yes, you can double this recipe. I will often double it and make the rolls in two batches. Another option is to make a bunch ahead of time and freeze until you are ready to serve.
Can I Make The Rolls Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can get the dough ready to go and freeze until you are ready to bake it for freshly baked dinner rolls. Here is how:
- After the dough has risen for the first time, punch it down and form into individual-sized rolls.
- Next, place the dough balls onto a lined baking sheet and into the freezer to flash-freeze. Once the rolls are solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Freeze for up to 1-2 months.
- When ready to bake the rolls, remove them from the freezer and place them onto a lined baking sheet, leaving enough space for them to rise.
- Allow the rolls to thaw and rise at room temperature, which could take a few hours.
- Once thawed and risen, bake as instructed.
How To Store Dinner Rolls
If you plan to consume the rolls within a day or two, you can store them at room temperature. Place the dinner rolls in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Ensure that the container is sealed tightly to prevent the rolls from drying out. I do not recommend storing the rolls in the refrigerator; that can dry them out faster. For longer storage, freeze the rolls.
How to Freeze Baked Dinner Rolls
Bake the rolls according to the recipe below. Let them cool completely in the pan, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. (Do not use plastic wrap here, it could trap in condensation and make the rolls soggy.) Place the rolls in a tightly sealed and labeled freezer bag or storage container and freeze for 2-3 months.
Easy Dinner Rolls
- 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour, divided, plus more if needed
- 2 envelopes (about 4 ½ teaspoons) rapid rise yeast
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups (366 g) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
- To the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups flour, dry yeast, sugar, egg, and salt.
- Heat milk until very warm (110°F to 120°F).
- Add warm milk to the flour mixture. Knead for 2 minutes at medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add another ½ cup flour. Knead at medium speed for another 2 minutes.
- Add remaining ½ cup flour. Knead. The dough should be very soft and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. (If the dough seems too wet you may need more flour. Add in ¼ cup increments until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl while kneading.)
- Cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- When ready, remove plastic wrap and punch down dough.
- Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces and shape into balls. Place into the prepared baking dish. I was able to fit 12 rolls into the dish, leaving four left over. Place the extra rolls into a greased pie pan and bake as directed. (If you have a larger pan, you could bake all the rolls at once.)
- Cover the rolls with plastic wrap. Let them rest for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake rolls for 16-17 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Brush the warm rolls with melted butter. Sprinkle kosher salt on top if desired. Enjoy!
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Recipe updated October of 2023.