Easy Dinner Rolls

4 mins read

These Easy Dinner Rolls are made with simple baking ingredients you can easily find in your pantry. Using activated yeast, these rolls rise and bake into a homemade dinner roll that is soft, fluffy, buttery, and makes the perfect complement to any hearty meal! 


If a meal is served with a homemade dinner roll, you know it’s going to be good! Usually, dinner rolls are served mostly at restaurants, but why not bring that comfort straight home? These are the best dinner rolls and they taste perfect every single time.

Making dinner rolls from scratch is easier than you think! The secret lies in using an activated yeast that’s easy to work with. It blooms in hot water, milk, butter, and sugar and is then mixed with the rest of the dry ingredients. 

Like magic, the dough doubles in size not once but twice making them nice and fluffy. Once they’re baked, they are brushed with a little melted butter and can be served alongside any meal or side dish, or even a Juicy Thanksgiving Turkey

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s made with simple baking ingredients you probably already have on hand.
  • Homemade dinner rolls are the perfect complement to any comforting meal.
  • A great recipe to make for a special holiday dinner or party. 
  • You’ll have freshly made dinner rolls in just 2 hours that taste much better than the store-bought variety. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Whole Milk – Gives the dinner rolls a creamy and fluffy texture. 
  • Water – Helps thin out the dough to bring it together. 
  • Butter – Adds a buttery richness to the inside and outside of the dinner roll. 
  • Active Dry Yeast – Helps the dough to rise twice making the rolls nice and fluffy. 
  • Granulated Sugar – Feeds and activates the yeast. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Gives these rolls their main bread texture. 
  • Egg – An egg yolk helps the rolls set while baking and gives the dough its richness.
  • Salt – Flavors the dinner rolls. 

How To Make Homemade Dinner Rolls from Scratch

Mix yeast with wet ingredients: Over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the milk, water, and butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm. You’ll want it to be about 115-120F. Once warmed, add it to a stand mixer bowl and sprinkle the active yeast on top along with the sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes to help it bloom and activate.

Mix in the dry ingredients: After the yeast has bloomed with the sugar, milk, butter, and water, add the flour, egg yolk, and salt to the mixing bowl. Install the paddle attachment to mix into a dough, then switch to the dough hook. The dough should be mixed with the hook for 8-10 minutes until a sticky dough is created. 

Let the dough rise: Transfer the mixed sticky dough into an oiled bowl and make sure it is coated evenly. Cover with a towel and place in a warm area until it has doubled in size. This should take about 30-60 minutes depending on the environment. 

Shape the dough and rise: Once the dough has doubled in size, it’s ready to be shaped on a floured work surface. Knead out any bubbles, then divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, then place them on a greased 8-inch square cake pan. Let them rest for 20-30 minutes covered until they double in size once again. 

Bake the dinner rolls: While the second rise is in progress, preheat the oven to 375F. When the rolls are ready brush them with a thin layer of water and bake for 18-22 minutes or until baked through and golden brown. While warm, brush the tops with butter and serve. 


Expert Tips

  • Use fresh yeast. When working with yeast, it’s very important that you make sure it is fresh. Expired yeast will have trouble activating and the dough will not rise!
  • To bloom the yeast, you want to make sure that the water you use is hot enough and between 115-120F. To make sure it’s just the right temperature, use a kitchen thermometer. 
  • How long it takes for the dough to rise is directly related to how warm the environment that it rests in. A great tip is to do the first rise in the oven with just the light on. The heat from the light is perfect for dough rising. 
  • Shape the rolls into the same size for even baking. When shaping the dinner rolls, it’s best if they are all as close to the same size and weight as possible for even baking. Use a kitchen scale for best results. 
  • Watch the rolls while baking to check for doneness. While the baking time for these rolls is up to 22 minutes, these delicate rolls could be done sooner or later depending on how hot your personal oven is. Check at the 12-15 minute mark and gauge the rest of the time they need on how quickly they brown. 


  • Add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the flour for a gentle warming flavor that’s perfect for the holiday season. 
  • Add some chopped fresh herbs to the dough for a pop of green color and fresh herb flavor. 
  • Chopped bacon and shredded cheddar on top make the perfect crackly, salty topping before baking. 
  • Fold in some freshly chopped garlic or dried garlic powder to the dough to infuse with hearty garlic flavor. 


What is a dinner roll?

A dinner roll is a small piece of fluffy baked bread that is served with dinner or a meal.

How do you know when a dinner roll is done?

The best way to tell if your dinner rolls are done is if they are golden brown on top. They also will start to pull away from the pan they are baking in. 

Why are my dinner rolls not fluffy?

If the texture of your homemade dinner rolls is flat, it could be because the yeast has expired, or because it was in the rising stage for too long. Once rolls have doubled in size, move to the next stage of the recipe quickly for best results. 

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