Classic Dinner Rolls

These classic dinner rolls call for flour, yeast, honey, salt, and butter–plus more butter to slather on top, natch. You won’t believe how fluffy and soft these rolls are or how easy and quick they are to make.

Tray of classic dinner rolls glazed with butter, bowl of melted butter with a brush

A lot of folks shy away from baking bread or dinner rolls for the holiday table. We understand. Baking bread takes time. It takes finesse. And it takes guests who aren’t eschewing carbs, refined flours, gluten, dairy, non-foraged foods, or all of the above. This dinner rolls recipe, however, is practically instant gratification with it’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it rise. It practically makes itself thanks to its straightforward mixing method. And it’s otherworldly in terms of the resulting light, airy, squishy, slightly sweet, tender, buttery, completely addictive pull-apart rolls that we find darn near irresistible. So go on. We’ve eradicated two out of three concerns you had. As for those who choose to decline for their own personal reasons, well, that just means more for the rest of us.–Kelsey Nixon

Can I make a smaller amount of rolls?

If you need—or want—far fewer than a couple dozen dinner rolls, simply halve the ingredients and use a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. You should end up with 12 rolls that fit perfectly in that pan.

Classic Dinner Rolls

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • Makes 24
5/5 - 5 reviews
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In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is bubbly and looks creamy. (If your yeast doesn’t begin to bubble, throw it out and start again using slightly warmer water.)

When the yeast is bubbly and looks creamy, turn the mixer on low speed and add the honey. Add the melted butter, eggs, and salt. Slowly add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until it’s fully incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, a little at a time, until you have a workable dough. (This is going to sound crazy, but after you add the initial 3 cups flour, you may need to add anywhere from 1 tablespoon flour to 3 cups flour. That’s what we found when we made this dough in our home kitchens.)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough evenly into 24 pieces and roll them into balls. Space 12 rolls about 2 inches apart in a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining dough balls in another skillet or baking dish. Keep covered with a clean towel in a warm place and let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes in a warm kitchen or up to 60 minutes if your kitchen is rather cool.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).

Brush the rolls with melted butter. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes. Keep a careful watch on the rolls. They tend to brown quite easily thanks to the large amount of honey. The type of baking dish or skillet you use also affects how fast the bottom of the rolls cooks. If you’re using anything other than a cast-iron skillet, 20 minutes will probably be just right—any longer and the bottoms of the rolls will be too dark.

Remove the skillets or pans from the oven. Brush the dinner rolls with more melted butter and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Serve warm. (Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Rewarm, wrapped in foil in a warm oven, before serving.) Originally published November 13, 2015.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I wasn’t particularly hungry when I tested this recipe, but these classic dinner rolls smelled so good that I ate one right out of the oven standing by the kitchen counter. That was it—there was no stopping. I immediately enjoyed two more of the pillowy clouds. Ever so slightly sweet, these rolls are delicious plain, but they are wonderful with a little butter or jam. And it couldn’t have been easier to make them.

The dough was a little sticky and I found that 1 tablespoon additional flour made the texture more workable. My dough took 35 minutes to double in size, most likely due to the cooler room temperature, but the rolls took only 20 minutes to bake (I used a metal baking pan) so the whole process was still pretty darn rapid. I didn’t want to commit to 24 rolls so I halved the recipe. I used 10 1/2 grams active yeast. And for the warm water, I measured 1 cup and removed 1/8 cup. Twelve rolls fit perfectly in my 13-by-9-inch baking pan (three rows of four rolls). When baked, they were cozy and snug, filling the entire bottom of the pan.

One thing I will change next time: I’ll omit the salt, as it didn’t stick to the baked rolls (the butter dried immediately on the hot crust). Instead, I’ll use salted butter for brushing. If you end up with cool rolls, I recommend reheating them, as the texture is best when the bread is warm. Just wrap the rolls individually in foil and pop them in the oven—10 minutes at 300°F worked for me.

Yes! Something I can bake and have turn out amazing. These dinner rolls are easy to pull together and almost foolproof. Light, airy, squishy, slightly sweet, and completely addictive, these are fantastic rolls.

To start, I had to add an additional cup of flour to my mixer, as it was so sticky that it wouldn't release from the sides of the bowl as described. There was some confusion in my mind as to how much the dough is supposed to pull away from the sides. In some bread recipes, the dough will form a ball and completely pull away from the sides. Definitely not the case here. Even after adding the extra flour, the dough was still sticky. I'd like to point out that its been raining lately here, so it's been really humid, which might be the reason why so much extra flour was needed.

My rolls took 60 minutes, not 20, for the dough to double in size. Please note that this recipe makes 24 large dinner rolls. So for a small family, these could last several days if you can control yourself from eating too many. I’ve heated them up a few different ways, including reheating them at 350°F for 10 minutes and also steaming them for 5 minutes. I really liked the way the steam made them moist and chewy while the former method made them crisp and slightly dehydrated. Although nothing beats these right out of the oven for the first time, slathered in melted butter and sprinkled with salt. Heaven.


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  1. If I want to make these now and freeze them, at what point do I pop them in the freezer? Some recipes say right after you shape them, others say let them rise for 10 and then freeze them. Should I split the difference and freeze them after five minutes?! Lol. Thanks.

    1. Greg, it’s probably best to freeze immediately after shaping, then when you are ready to bake them, let them defrost and complete the rise before baking.

  2. It’s delicious! The only thing I’m not sure of is the color of the bread inside, it’s not white. But the flavor is wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Ali. We’re so glad you enjoyed these. The addition of eggs to the dough will give it a bit of a yellow color.

  3. Excellent recipe. Cooked both batches in cast iron pans and they came out perfect. Definitely a go-to recipe.

  4. KILLER recipe! The only honey I have in the house (for these tonight) is Garlic Fermented in Manuka Honey. About 8 months now. My daily tonic. I will make Garlic Rolls with the honey! Waddaya think?

  5. If carbs constituted a food group, it would be my hands-down favorite one. Pass me homemade bread with a little salted butter, and I’m in heaven. But the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of homemade bread is that it takes a great deal of time to make—all of the punching down and letting the dough re-rise can take all day. This recipe, however, was so much easier than I expected. One rising time only, and in about 1 1/2 hours, start to finish, we had deliciously soft (and a little sweet) homemade rolls ready for dinner. I think I made my rolls too large and only fit 15 in a 9-by-13-inch pan. It was a very cool day, so the rolls took 1 hour to double in size. After 40 minutes, they didn’t look much different than when I started, so I turned the oven on and set them on top of the oven for warmth. That did the trick—they were ready to bake in another 20 minutes. I used a little sea salt sprinkle on top of the warm rolls after they came out of the oven, and I brushed them for the second time with melted unsalted butter. I was interested in attempting homemade rolls for the first time because it was just my husband and me eating Thanksgiving dinner this year. My family is so stuck in their ways regarding what food they want to eat for the holidays, if I don’t put out the grocery store rolls, I would never hear the end of it. Sad, I know. My husband has declared that we’re making these again for Christmas, and he doesn’t care what the rest of the family thinks about it.

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