Fluffy, Buttery Dinner Rolls

November  5, 2020
15 Ratings
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 14 minutes
  • Makes 16 rolls
Author Notes

After you make them for the first time, these dinner rolls will be on your table again and again and again. They’re crusty and fluffy, with an incredible chewy texture.

I like to make a bigger batch and freeze the baked rolls for up to three months. If you’re juggling lots of other tasks for a holiday, you can make these in advance, thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, and reheat in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for five to seven minutes.

A couple of notes on substitutes: You can use an all-purpose gluten-free flour as a one-to-one substitute for all-purpose wheat flour called for. You can also use rapid-rise yeast as a one-to-one substitute for active dry. Keep in mind, this will speed up the rising process. With rapid-rise, you can skip the step of waiting for the yeast to get frothy—just add the yeast with the flour and proceed with the recipe from step two.

With respect to the oil: You can use canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil for this recipe. Or swap in whatever you have on hand—I had avocado oil, so that’s what I used.

Here’s a trick I like for proofing dough in a warm place: Cut the oven temperature to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off, add the dough, then leave the door ajar so it’s not too hot. The perfect temperature to proof dough is 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

This recipe uses a stand mixer but, if you don’t have one, you can mix the dough this way instead: Start with a wooden spoon and, once you add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour, knead the dough by hand until a smooth dough ball forms, about eight to 10 minutes. At first, the dough will look like something has gone wrong, but keep kneading and it will smooth out.

If you like a softer crust, use an egg wash (two eggs plus two tablespoons of water, beaten together) instead of melted butter to brush on the rolls before baking.

If you want to break up the recipe, you can do the second proofing (step three) in the fridge overnight. Just cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

I like to serve these rolls with anything that has gravy or sauce, especially at holiday dinners. —Kenneth Temple

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 envelopes)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil (see Author Notes)
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Stir together the water, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit until the mixture looks frothy, about 5 minutes. If your mixture does not look frothy your yeast is probably inactive and you should start again with new yeast.
  2. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, stir in oil and egg. Add 3 cups of flour, and using the paddle attachment, mix on low for 1 minute, until mixture is well combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix for another minute, until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough to another lightly greased bowl (this will help the dough to rise and not cling to any leftover scraps of dough in the mixing bowl), cover with a towel, and set in a warm spot for 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and weigh out to 2-ounce portions. (If you don’t have a scale, eyeball 16 portions of equal size). To shape a roll, use your thumb to make an indention in the center, then fold the dough inward until a ball forms. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.
  5. Brush a sheet pan with melted butter, place rolls on the pan, and cover with a towel. Set in a warm spot for 30 minutes, until the rolls double in size, while you heat the oven to 400°F.
  6. After the rolls finish their second proof, brush tops of rolls with melted butter and bake for 7 minutes, rotate, then continue baking for another 7 minutes. When ready, the rolls should be golden brown.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • noisette
  • Ally
  • Aura Kavadlo
    Aura Kavadlo
  • CALfromLA

9 Reviews

CALfromLA November 23, 2022
Can I put the fully formed rolls in the fridge for 24 hours and just take them to rise for an hour before I bake them?
noisette December 25, 2021
I was looking for a recipe I could make at the last minute today. I added the salt with the oil and the egg rather than right at the beginning. They rose very well, but they don't taste of much. Next time, I would add a bit more salt in the dough, and/or use salted butter for the pans and on top. I might add a bit more sugar as well - they don't have that dinner roll taste. I did 50g-ish balls and ended up with 20 rolls.
Ally November 21, 2021
Followed the recipe exactly as described and the rolls came out perfect! Definitely a keeper!
Chef K. November 20, 2021
Tried this recipe and it ended up in the garbage. Never heard of putting salt in with the yeast while it blossoms. Used fresh yeast and 110 degree water but the salt obviously killed the yeast because there was no frothing. Kept going anyway but it never rose.
seturley November 17, 2021
Made these rolls last year for Turkey day. They were great! just as described. Very easy to make and froze well too. Glad I saved the recipe. I almost panicked when I started looking for it to make this year. Thanks team for another winning recipe!
mjonesjr90 December 22, 2020
This recipe is tasty, but did have a few oddities. First, the 2oz measurements make about 24 rolls and not 16. Also, cooking only for 14 minutes had them still a tad bit doughy. Not sure if this varies by oven, but I had to go for about 25 min.
Aura K. November 29, 2020
These were delicious! I made them twice. The first time I cut the dough into 16 pieces like the recipe suggested, and the rolls came out huge! The second time I weighed the dough into 2 oz. balls, again, as the recipe suggested, and it made 22 rolls. Aside from that, these turned out just as promised!
JenJ1965 November 26, 2020
this recipe was a disaster, the dough was way to wet and soft to form any ball. wish there was a video. All the ingredients were wasted.
peggy November 18, 2020
very good and can be made dairy free