old-school dinner rolls

I have a serious soft spot for dinner rolls: small, buttery, plush rounds that I have, to this day, never actually eaten with dinner, you know, warmed in a basket. (But I hear it’s great!) At the bakery where I worked in high school, they’d come out of the oven in a big pan, fully kissingcrusted and that part where you pull two rolls apart and a few feathery filaments of bread that couldn’t decide which roll they’d like to adhere to when separated are absolutely my favorite part. A warm roll, split and spread with salted butter or jam or both was my breakfast so many mornings. When I make them at home these days, I’m equally likely to use them for small egg sandwiches for breakfast, slider rolls for pulled pork, or even alongside a bowl of soup on a chilly day like this.

kneading the dougha loose doughready to rise, fully aware that this bowl is not big enoughpopping out of her shower capa big flop of doughmy too-lazy-to-cookie-cutter methodform the rollsform roundsroll in a little butterline them up in the panafter proofing another hourfrom the oven

We all need an airtight recipe for these and I found mine in Vallery Lomas’s first cookbook, Life Is What You Bake It (Amazon, Bookshop, More Indies). I first heard of Lomas a few years ago from this article which explains that while she was the first winner of the The Great American Baking Show (a spinoff of the wonderful Great British Bake-Off), the series was never aired after sexual harassment allegations emerged against one of the season’s celebrity judges. I cannot even imagine how frustrating that must be, to be at the precipice of a well-earned new career and spotlight only to have the whole show essentially scrubbed from TV listings. But Lomas decided it was still then or never and left her job as a lawyer to pour her energy into this book and it pays off. It’s a mix of baked goods she grew up with and newer ones she developed for the show. But, despite being Bakeoff-associated, the recipes are delightfully unfussy with wonderful names like Almost-Ate-The-Plate Carrot Cake and Thicky-Thick Peanut Butter Brownies. I’ve had my eye on these rolls since I previewed and blurbed the book last spring and they did not disappoint — stretchy, rich, and basically adorable. I hope they make your Sunday smell delicious.

brush with remaining butter

old-school dinner rolls



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1 year ago: Morning Glory Breakfast Cake
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3 years ago: Even More Perfect Apple Pie
4 years ago: Quick Pasta and Chickpeas and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
5 years ago: Garlic Wine and Butter Steamed Clams, Baked Alaska, Indian-Spiced Cauliflower Soup and Skillet-Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses
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9 years ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
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11 years ago: Mushroom Lasagna
12 years ago: Quiche Lorraine and Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
13 years ago: Majestic and Moist Honey Cake, Best Challah (Egg Bread), and Mom’s Apple Cake
14 years ago: Peter Reinhart’s Bagels and Peanut Butter Brownies
15 years ago: Lemon Cake

Old-School Dinner Rolls

This is half-batch of the original recipe in Lomas’s book, which doubles everything and bakes the (approximately 35) rolls in a half-sheet pan. Because I’m a restless recipe-tinkerer, I made a few other tweaks: Hand-shaping the rolls (vs. using a 2.5-inch cookie cutter and re-rolling scraps) and I start the dough with cold butter.

  • 1 cup (235 grams) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine, diced small, plus 3 tablespoons (45 grams) salted or unsalted, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used Diamond brand; use half of another)
  • 1 1/4-ounce (2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams) packet instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups (455 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for the bowl
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the warm water, 2 tablespoons diced butter, granulated sugar, the egg, kosher salt, and yeast. Attach the dough hook and add the flour. Knead on low speed until all of the ingredients come together, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl, 8 minutes. (It’s too soft to form a ball around the hook, and that’s okay.)

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to it. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise until the dough doubles in size, about 1 to 2 hours. [It took 1 1/2 hours in my kitchen each time.]

[Do ahead: These first two steps can be done up to 24 hours in advance. Transfer the bowl of dough, covered, to the refrigerator at this point. The cold air slows the rising process, leading to a richer flavor. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and continue the recipe from here.]

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter [salted butter is great here] and set aside. Scoop the dough onto a well-floured counter, and use floured hands to pat the dough into a 12×9-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 24 (6×4 rows), 20 (5×4 rows, as shown here) or even 12 rolls (4×3 rows), depending on your final use for them. Shape each square into a round.

Dip both sides of each round lightly in melted butter. “You want a thin coat, not a total dunk,” Lomas explains. (To do this, Lomas’s mother melts the butter in a small saucepan, then tilts it so the butter puddles on one side, then dips the circle of dough in the other side, where there was just a coating of buttery residue.) You should have a little butter leftover; save it.

After dipping, transfer rounds to a 9×13-inch (quarter-sheet) baking sheet, lining the rolls up with room to expend. Use a light hand; the dough doesn’t like to be touched.

Let the dough rise again until the rolls are puffed up and springy, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Heat oven to 400°F. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush immediately with remaining melted butter. If you used unsalted butter, sprinkle the tops with a few pinches of flaky salt. (Skip if you used salted butter.)

Eat right away or rewarm before serving. These rolls keep best in the freezer, if you’re saving them for future.

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168 comments on old-school dinner rolls

  1. Mary

    These look like they could be an epic contribution to a Thanksgiving potluck! Is hand-kneading ok if I don’t have a mixer or dough hook?

    1. deb

      It will be sticky to knead by hand and it’s good to resist adding more flour, which would toughen the rolls. You can do it with a bench scraper on your counter, lifting and folding and turning.

      1. Barbara

        Do you just gently mold the square of dough into a ball or do you roll it around using your palm and thumb to shape it?
        Would you suggest making these on Thanksgiving morning or would you bake and freeze and then reheat from frozen the day of? Thanks!

        1. deb

          Re, shaping, I do the latter but both ways will work. Re, schedule, you could do either but of course, freshly-baked rolls are always very special.

    2. Derek Nastase

      I made these without a bench scraper either… I used a heavy wooden spoon in the bowl, kind of like the mixer except I could scrape any bits off the bowl and keep incorporating. I also got my hands in there at one point (with just a tiny bit of flour and a willingness to get dough stuck on my fingers) to fold and nudge, and then to move it. Mine turned out great and not tough at all. Thanks for the GREAT recipe, Deb! They made wonderful sandwiches.

      1. Sara Hertz

        I followed the instructions for the dough precisely, weighing everything out. I have a phobia of yeast and was hoping this recipe would cure it. Sadly, my dough wasn’t sticky but dry and never came away from the bowl. Then it failed to rise. I’m not disappointed as much as resigned. I’m a very competent cook but have always been stymied by anything with yeast.

  2. Mimi

    I think I would shape the dough into a roll (log) and then divide, … until I have 12 rolls. Easier than making a x by x inch rectangle.

    Works for my Dampfnudeln (which are steamed in cream+sugar and then eaten with vanilla sauce, mmmm)

      1. Mimi

        My method is quicker ;-) it’s not that important that all Dampfnudeln are exactly the same size. But everyone has their favourite method…

  3. Tamar

    Wow, I literally was coming on your website to look up my usual dinner roll recipe, which is your Parker house rolls (without the pretzeling), to be eaten with soup (your cauliflower soup) on a chilly, rainy day in Chicago. Almost didn’t believe my eyes when I saw this on the front page! Excited to have a new roll recipe to try, and thank you for knowing exactly what this day needs!

  4. Stacy

    I have been searching for a basic dinner roll recipe, and of course you post one just in time!

    Any thoughts on make ahead (like more than a few days)? Bake all the way through, freeze then rewarm? Or do you think there’s a good place to pause and do the final bake the day of?

  5. Amy Roy

    I can not believe it!!!!! Finally. After years of horrible fails with yeasted baking. Despite reasonable proficiency in other forms of baking and cooking. After the sighs and witticisms from my family. I have made a proper roll!!!! I followed the recipe meticulously. I paced and I hovered. I pretended not to hear my 13 year old when he saw them waiting to go into the oven and whispered “oh no” to himself.
    And they are PERFECT!!
    Thank you!!!!

    1. Abesha1

      That’s so exciting!!! Yeast intimidates lots of people… find a brand or type you like (I prefer Red Star), always proof, and enjoy the fun!

      1. Lisa Richmond

        I am dying to try this recipe, I bake homemade rolls for the holiday but don’t have a standing mixer I usually just use my hands,do you have any suggestions for this way

  6. WN

    Hi Deb,
    If baking the rolls the following day, do you put the dough in the frig overnight after the first rise, or do you let it rise overnight in the frig? Thanks as always!

    1. Marty Priola

      In my experience either will work as long as you cover the dough well. Peter Reinhart often suggests doing the bulk fermentation (before making the final rolls) in the fridge, and what he has you do is spray the bowl your going to use with Pam or some other cooking spray, then roll the dough around in there and lightly spray the top before covering with plastic wrap.

      That small amount of oil will keep your dough from forming a skin owing to the evaporative cooling of your refrigerator.

      That said, I’ve had good success with making rolls and then refrigerating the shaped ones, but I’d do a similar thing with butter.

      Just be sure that (at least) one of your rises happens at room temperature.

      But a cold, long fermentation period will yield better bread. I do it with pizza dough, which is invariably better on day 2 or 3 than it was on the day it was made.

  7. Deb Oswald

    I have to ask a question about the salt. The whole kosher salt thing drives me crazy because up here in the far away, we can never get the same as the kinds you mention. I had that issue in the squash pasta bake as well. Is there any reason at all you cant use just plain old salt for any of this? Trying to figure out how much salt to put in makes me nuts. I have a mental block on this- one of those glitches that wont let me remember. I have a super good rolls recipe from my auntie and it just uses a tsp. Of salt. Or whatever the measure is. Just want to put this question- yet again- out into the world. thank you so very much!! I am always so happy to see a new recipe in my inbox.

    1. Abesha1

      Different types of salt do have different saltiness, and in my experience it’s best to use either the type and amount specified, OR, use what you have and are used to, in amounts that taste right. A while back I had some different salt that just never tasted salty! I think Deb actually did a post on this a while back.

    2. Colleen

      In Salt Fat Acid Heat there is a table comparing different salt types and brands, by both volume and weight. You could reference that. The problem with salt weights is that it is a question of how accurate a scale is when measuring small amounts. Samin’s suggestion (as if she were my personal friend, and I refer to Deb the same way) is to use the same type of salt and learn how much of that salt you need, and the amount relative to sources you rely on.

      I know that my statements probably are not very satisfying. I think that it is KAF, or maybe ATK, that has gone to fine sea salt which is more homogeneous. That does not help here. For breads, I still go with the old Beard on Bread formula of 1T salt per 5-6 c of flour. As noted in the book, it seems a lot, but it always tastes good.

    3. JP

      Deb Oswald, I always use regular table salt in my baking recipes. It dissolves with no trouble and you never have to wonder from brand to brand how much to use. Plus is is so much less expensive. I wish everyone did! For my taste buds, all salt tastes the same, but there are many more discriminate than me, apparently. Of course if you need the salty crunch, use Kosher, but for me, in baking, table salt works, usually cutting down by half if Kosher is suggested.

    4. Aurora

      I also always use table salt in my baking. If kosher salt is suggested, I use about half that amount of table salt (ie 1 T kosher salt = 1/2 T or about 1.5 teaspoons table salt in my kitchen.)

    5. deb

      Hi Deb — It’s funny because I called for table salt for most of the first 10 years on this site because it’s more consistent between brands and just seemed like the cheapest and most approachable. But I kept hearing from people who only used kosher salt, which is what most recipes call for and what is used in most restaurants, so I’ve caved, but I agree it’s full of headaches and wildly inconsistent between brands.

      1 tablespoon table salt = 18 grams.
      1 tablespoon Diamond kosher salt = 8.4 grams
      1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt = 14.4 grams

      Since most recipes presume Diamond brand kosher salt, you can use just under half the salt for table salt.

      1. Cy

        I don’t buy table salt because I don’t care for the taste. I use Diamond kosher salt in all your recipes and they always turn out great!

    6. Lesley

      I am so with you on this. I got really tired of having to calculate how much salt I needed in each recipe that I finally caved and ordered a box of Diamond Crystal from Amazon, as it wasn’t available in any stores near me. I’m very excited to just measure salt without having to think about it!

  8. Kokopelli

    I can hardly wait to make these in round rings for sandwich buns, but I have a question. Is all purpose flour actually preferred for these? I only have bread flour in the house right now. Would bread flour work? Thank you.

  9. JP

    This is almost the same recipe I have used for years and it is superb! I do not dip them in butter, but just brush the butter over the tops before baking. My recipe bakes at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I always bake them in a 9″x13″ pan, in my case Pyrex and they turn out perfectly. If you do not have a quarter sheet pan with sides (I don’t!), I bet a regular 9″x13″ pan would work just as well. Thanks, as always, Deb, for your wonderful recipes!

  10. Mike

    Do you place in fridge (for up to 24 hours) after it has risen for 1-2 hours? Or prior to it rising, therefore allowing it to rise in the fridge?

    1. Meredith Mulhern

      I believe she means to place in the fridge for the first rising. My grandmother’s butter horn rolls are like that. You could make your dough in the midmorning and place in the fridge until you are ready to shape and let them rise before baking.

  11. Stanley Dorst

    The comment and discussion below about types of salt is interesting. The conversion table you give for volumes and weights of types of salt is helpful, but I don’t understand why you don’t simply specify the weight of salt used. It’s kind of amazing to me that you specify the weight of everything *except* the salt. Because salt has the biggest variation of weight per volume of any ingredient, I would think that specifying the weight of the salt would be more important than for other ingredients, not less.

    1. deb

      The reason I usually don’t specify salt weights is I don’t specify weights below 10 grams because most home kitchen scales don’t measure them accurately. It might be okay for salt if it’s a gram or two off, so I might reconsider. But for something like baking powder or baking soda (which almost always has sub-10-gram weights in recipes), it could be disastrous. I do use the weight of yeast, however, because it actually comes in 7-gram packets so there’s no margin of error.

  12. Jenny

    Any thoughts on using a food processor? I don’t have a stand mixer and confess that I may have burned out a hand mixer motor. I use the food processor to make pizza dough, so I wondered if it might work here, too.

      1. Olivia

        Has anyone tried doing cinnamon honey butter to coat before baking and to brush on after baking? I’m thinking about trying it next time!

  13. I am confused by the yeast measurement above. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 oz packet of yeast but I have a jar I use for my breads. The 2 1/4 teaspoon measurement is common but 7g does not equal 1 1/4 oz. The 1 1/4 oz would be more like 35g. Just want to make sure I get that right.

  14. Erinne Morse

    I just tried to make these yesterday. I totally failed and ended up with a biscuit that was thick and hard. The first problem I think started with the first step – maybe my water wasn’t warm enough -but the butter (cold) stuck to the whisk attachment – I added all the (first step) ingredients together and it just didn’t seem right. The dough did not rise – so I checked my yeast (Bob’s) and it proofed fine. Does anyone proof the yeast first before adding the egg, salt and butter? Also, I added the flour and it did form a ball – it was quite dry – so I think I will weigh the flour next time – maybe it was too compact. If anyone has any thoughts on this I would love to hear it. I will try it again but if anyone sees anything glaring please let me know!.

    1. JP

      HI Erinne,
      I am sure Deb will answer you, but in the mean time I will say that I make a recipe just like hers and first, the water must be very warm, not hot, but very warm and it doesn’t hurt for the butter to be soft when you start. My recipe has you mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, but holding back about half the flour. Beat well, add the egg, beat well, and then add the rest of the flour to make a sticky dough. It should not be dry. Hope this helps. Do try it again. Once you get the hang of it you will have a lifetime of fabulous dinner rolls and what can be better than that? :)

      1. Mimi

        I always use fresh yeast, and for that, the water/milk must only be handwarm, not “very warm”.

        If too warm, it will kill the yeast. Don’t know if it’s the same for dry yeast.

        I find it much easier to bake with fresh.

    2. Debbie

      Same experience. When my dough formed a beautiful ball, I knew from comments it was too dry. So, I added 1/2 cup more water and let the “mess” knead until thick batter. After a rise it was smooth and ready for another rise.

  15. I historically have terrible luck trying to make bread and other bread like things, but these buns are magic! I am on my second batch of the week already, they turned out perfect both times. Buttery in taste and soft and fluffy in texture, they don’t even need butter to be enjoyed (but of course why would you skip an opportunity to add butter to something?). Amazing and a permanent addition to my repitoire (the only adjustment I need to make is to bake for 18 minutes, but I have a notoriously slow oven).

  16. I adore homemade rolls and that’s a common winter thing with soup at our house (much preferred over their appearance in a loaded holiday menu where rolls cannot be fully appreciated, I think). It’s easy to make them whole grain, too.

  17. Carla

    I hate bread. In Australia it’s almost summer, so I want salads like Blood Orange and Crab salad with Asian greens and apricot Macadamia garlic satay sauce or a good toasted quinoa and arugula salad. I really hate bread.

    1. Elly

      My, my. May I suggest searching for one of Deb’s lovely salad recipes instead of complaining about something lots of other people *do* love? (Don’t yuck someone else’s yum and all that?)
      She has over one hundred delicious options.
      Perhaps the Fennel and Blood Orange Salad or Kale with Quinoa and Ricotta Salata might be better suited to your tastes?

  18. Quin

    Wouldn’t bread flour be preferable here in order to create that chewy, bready texture? I’m thinking with all purpose the rolls would be more spongey and cake-like? Therefore, if subbing bread flour, would you replace all or just some of the AP with it?

    1. deb

      I don’t think there’s any need for bread flour here or for any brioche-y breads. I prefer the extra gluten when making something sturdier. You can swap it, if you wish, 1:1 by weight.

  19. Geekgirl

    These turned out perfectly plus I learned a new word (kissingcrust), They were surprisingly easy to make so for the first time, we will be having homemade rolls for Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  20. Brooke

    These are beautiful rolls! So soft but not too rich! I used 1/3 whole wheat and 2/3 all purpose flour in our second batch and my family (including 5 year old) liked them even more!

  21. Karen

    I made these and they were so, so, so good. (Did I mention they were SO GOOD?) I don’t have a quarter-sheet baking sheet, so I baked them in a 9×13 glass dish. It took an additional 8-10 minutes for the rolls to be fully baked, but they still turned out oh-so-lovely. Probably a little darker on top than Deb’s, but still great.

    Even though they worked out, I’ve still added a quarter-sheet baking sheet to my Christmas wish list!

  22. Kara

    I made these for dinner a few nights ago and overall they worked well. Definitely worth making again.
    For me, the kneading time in my stand mixer was significantly shorter than recommended here (I have an old professional series Kitchenaid that’s in need of service, so that may have something to do with it).
    I was a little conservative in adding salt to the dough, since I was using salted butter, but I wish I’d added the full amount! Next time.
    The texture was great and toasted up well for a breakfast sandwich with the leftovers. I think it’d be worth experimenting with size to make a good smashburger bun.

  23. Michelle

    These are SO good. If you’re like me and don’t have a correctly sized sheet pan, I successfully used my 9×13 white glass Pyrex pan. They were perfectly browned at 15 minutes, although the center-most roles were slightly doughy (still delicious). I’ll let them go an extra couple minutes next time, maybe around 18 minutes. I’m sure the deeper pan is the reason they needed a little longer. I followed the recipe exactly, using my kitchen aid and a kitchen scale to measure. Excited to try these again using the overnight proof in the fridge for even more flavor. Even our 21 month old toddler ate two!

  24. Eva Zag

    Made this yesterday night for diner and it was a hit! Thank you Deb! Every time I make something from you, it always turns great!

  25. Laura Conte

    This looks wonderful! Question: can I stack these heavenly dough balls in a bunt pan and make pull-apart rolls?
    Thanks so much!

  26. Lisa Reeve

    Made these tonight and they were amazing! Light, puffy, flavorful. My family went crazy and insisted I make them for Thanksgiving. Love your blog Deb and bought both your books! The ease of your recipes make them a delight to make.

  27. Katherine

    Hi Deb and all. I’ve got my first batch of these rolls rising in the refrigerator; I’m wondering about which pan I should use. I don’t have a quarter sheet pan. I do have a metal 9 x 13 baking pan (taller sides than a sheet pan) or I have a jelly roll pan (low sides but 10 x 15). Does anyone have thoughts on which would be better?

    Thank you.

  28. Stacy

    UPDATE ON MAKE AHEAD: I made these last weekend (11/7), baked them all the way through, then let half the batch cool to room temp before putting in the freezer wrapped in foil. I didn’t even pull them all apart, just left them kind of slab style all stuck together. Today (11/14) I pulled them from the freezer and put them straight into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They are VERY close to the original batch! Just in case anyone wants to make for Thanksgiving but needs to do them more than a day ahead of time, it’s definitely worth the effort for fresh bread :)

    1. Jerrica

      This is a dumb question but did you keep them covered with the foil when you baked them or did you uncover & put on a pan?? Thank you for sharing your experience!!

  29. Nancy in CA

    This is a dead ringer for the rolls I have made for the past uh, 50-ish years. I guess I’m old school. I do use milk instead of water, and I do the double recipe. 24 rolls exactly fill a sheet pan, which neatly separate into four sets of a half-dozen each. If you egg wash the tops before baking, you can sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame seeds (aka, mommy seeds – “you want mommy seed or poppy seed?”) on top. This way I make rolls once for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. My favorite turkey sandwich is leftover turkey on one of these, with mayo, salt, and pepper.

  30. Heather

    If I let the dough rise in the fridge, do I need to let it come to room temperature before shaping the rolls, or I can I work with cold dough?
    (My assumption is cold dough is OK and I can just watch during the second rise to make sure they’re plump and puffy before baking).
    Thank you!

  31. Juka

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this forever. These are delicious. I made them with 50% whole wheat bread and 30-40% of half white flour and remaining AP. (I had to use up that half white flour!) and they were delicious. For all those who don’t have a stand mixer: I don’t either. I mix everything together and knead it by hand till it becomes a rough-textured dough. Then I used my electric beater to mix it again three times in bursts of one minutes will it looked smooth-ish. Then I kneaded by hand for a minute or so more. It took a total of 8-10 minutes of hand kneading and electric beater mixing from start to finish. And they were delicious. So don’t let the lack of a stand mixer stop you!

  32. Manya

    Oh my goodness, these were the best rolls I have EVER made! I made the dough the night before, so they were also incredibly easy! My husband just moaned in delight as he tried them, and begged for them to be added to the Thanksgiving menu! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!!

  33. Koya

    This bread looks very much like what I had when I was a kid!  I was impressed by the taste!  I’d love to have a chance to follow this recipe to cook it!  Can I add anything else to the bread?  Do you have any good suggestions?

  34. debby

    You mention below that you can freeze unbaked. I’d like to do that – to get the fresh bread benefit – but am a little unclear as to when that would have to be done. Can it be done after shaping in the pan? It is very persnickety, but I don’t love cleaning flour off from all over the place when I’m trying to do 17 million other things, so I was hoping there was a way I could do that.

    1. deb

      I’d do it after shaping in the pan. Freeze, well-wrapped, and then let them defrost in the fridge. If they’re not yet doubled or poofy-looking, give them some more time at room temperature before baking.

  35. April

    I’m so excited to make these! I pulled out my grandmother’s roll recipe and this recipe is exact so I know it’s legit. The main difference between this one and my grandmothers? This one has instructions written down where my grandmother’s has just the ingredients listed :)

  36. Anita

    These didn’t work for me. I whisked everything together, as the recipe said to do, and the mixture was clumpy. It didn’t look right but I kept going. Needless to say, the dough didn’t rise. Please tell me where I went wrong.

    1. Natalie

      If it didn’t rise at all, I’d guess something went wrong with your yeast, either it was dead or the water temperature was way off?

  37. Kelly Happe

    For some reason, my dough was pulling away from the bowl after just 3 minutes (including the first two minutes on slow). I kept kneading anyway, hope that is ok!

  38. Dori

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am adding this to a long line of comments. A couple of weeks ago I tried this recipe, and the rolls were great; I put them in the freezer and when in the mood, I would take one out, slice it in half and warm it in the toaster oven. I decided to use this recipe to make rolls for Thanksgiving left-over turkey sandwiches; I made nine large rolls, and they came out perfect: they hold together great, are a good size for a sandwich, and (of course) taste wonderful. This is another Smitten Kitchen recipe to be added to our permanent collection. Thanks for another perfect recipe (I made it as-written, except no bread hook, so just knead it for awhile before letting it raise).

  39. Michelle

    These were excellent. I put them in the fridge overnight for the first raise and finished them for Thanksgiving. My family raved about them. Thanks for the great recipe!

  40. Natalie

    I made these for Thanksgiving today (well, started yesterday and finished today) and they were pretty easy and really good! I have a stand mixer but I really didn’t want to drag it out for something that looked manageable by hand, so I just used a wooden spoon and then hand kneaded. If you’re going to hand knead, try wetting your hands instead of flouring them.

    The only issue I had was some overbrowning on the bottoms from the butter. Maybe I used too much and it pooled at the bottom?

  41. Emily

    These were an epic win! They turned out beautifully…I added Rosemary and used olive oil instead of butter. They were light and airy and perfect….I’m super happy, my husband and family loved them very happy I made this recipe. Thank you!

  42. Caterina

    I made these as written but baked in a 9X13 Pyrex glass dish. The rolls came out perfectly. So simple to make and delicious. Kept some out to eat immediately and froze the remainder to eat with soups, stew and chili.

  43. Jerrica

    I’ve made these four times in one week, they are great & freeze so well. I’ve found I don’t need to mix for longer than 3-4 minutes total. The first time I followed the mixing times exactly & the dough was dry. Cut down the time and they are perfect, so if you are nervous about doing less mixing time-don’t worry!

    My thanksgiving table had so many SK recipes and everyone loved it!!! Thanks Deb!!

  44. Kate

    Biiiiig hit at my Thanksgiving, thank you Deb and Vallery Lomas for another winner! They are very forgiving, even though I couldn’t get the dough into a rectangle so the rolls were different sizes, and at first missed that I was supposed to dip Both sides in butter and had to re-do them . . . I didn’t brown them quite as much as the photo but they were lovely, fully cooked and pulling them apart is so satisfying.

  45. Julie

    Hmmm, just did the first two steps and the dough was definitely NOT sticky. It formed a ball around the hook. Hoping it rises??? Anyone else have this and have success??

    1. Pam

      I had this problem, and I weighed the flour.

      I can’t digest dairy, so I used earth balance for the butter, and olive oil for the tops, and they browned nicely.

      I thought this recipe looked familiar; I haven’t read Valery Loma’s original recipe yet, but I just talked to my mom and Deb’s recipe (halved) is my family’s recipe from my grandma (I’m almost 60, so yeah, it’s an old recipe! I was recruited a LOT, usually to shape the dough into buns). One slight difference between Deb’s recipe and my grandma’s recipe, which calls for 6.5-7c flour, there is only 1 egg. My guess is that when Deb cut the recipe in half, since halving an egg is a pain and the extra 1/2 egg doesn’t hurt the dough, her version has a whole egg. The little extra egg isn’t why my rolls came out differently from those of my family’s recipe. But next time I will hold back 1/4c of flour from Deb’s recipe and see what happens (half of 6.5c flour = 3.25: Deb’s recipe calls for 3.5; 3.5-3.25 = 0.25 to hold back).

      But also, here’s some history: my grandma’s recipe calls for shortening, melted and cooled, added to the dough with half of the flour, mixed well, then the rest of the flour is added. Shortening was used a lot back in the day; for example, in the original Betty Crocker Cookie Book, shortening was used a lot. Thus, my sub of earth balance for butter is more similar to the original recipe, lol.

      Fun! Now I have a new tasty project: perfect these rolls!
      Thanks Deb!!!

  46. Brianne

    This is probably a silly question, but what span of time is the “future” in this guidance, “These rolls keep best in the freezer, if you’re saving them for future.” i.e., is it best to freeze them if you will eat them over the next 2-4 days, or will they be just fine on the counter or fridge?

    We made them today and they are absolutely delicious, but far too many for 2 of us to eat in a day. Thanks for another fantastic recipe.

    1. Dori

      Hi Brianne –

      I’m not sure of the final answer, but we have the same issue: just two of us and a lot of rolls! I wrapped them in foil and put them in the freezer, and over the course of a few weeks, I would take one out, slice and toast when in the mood. I’m sure they will keep for at least a month or two, if not longer (also if you don’t eat them first….) I plan on doing this again as it was nice to have a little treat once in a while.

      1. Brianne

        Thanks, Dori! I ended up doing the same – wrapping individual rolls in plastic wrap and freezing all except 2 for tomorrow. It’s like a gift for the future.

  47. Erika

    I have made 3 batches of these so far and everyone who has tried them has really liked them!! I added in garlic and rosemary to one of the batches and they were extra tasty! Making them for the 4th time right now with my husband because he wanted to learn how to make them he loves them so much.

  48. Pam

    I doubled this for Thanksgiving (yielded 40 small rolls) and have a few tips:
    – The dough is veryyy wet, but it’s okay!! Mine didn’t pull away that much from the mixer bowl while using the dough hook, so I kept at it for probably a total of 15 minutes. I think this is also due to 2x volume of dough.
    – This proved in the fridge like a dream. Highly recommend rising overnight!
    – I shaped each roll by cutting a square, folding in corners, pinching ends together, and rolling on the countertop. (I pretended like I knew how to shape rolls after watching hours of GBBO and took about 20 rolls to get it down, haha.)
    – I over-melted my butter which meant I had some milk solids floating around from the liquid butter. I just avoided the butter solids and didn’t find that this negatively affected my bake in any way.
    – DON’T OVERCROWD THE PAN FOR THE BAKE! With a 2x recipe, I really should’ve used a full sheet pan + half sheet pan. I tried shoving as many as I could on the full sheet pan, but the rolls in the middle were very squishy (Paul Hollywood probably would’ve said they were still a bit raw) and not browned underneath.
    – I put the few rolls that wouldn’t fit on my sheet pan in a cupcake pan, which allowed for great browning and spacing. I’ll try this approach for all my rolls next time!

    This produced the classic dinner roll recipe I was looking for. Will definitely make again!

  49. EMA

    Can the second rise be longer than an hour? Like a few hours? I’d like to fully prep them for Christmas Eve in the afternoon, then be free to prep warm hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour (rather than prepping rolls during that time), and then pop the rolls in the oven when it’s time for dinner. If yes, keep them at room temp or the fridge before baking? Thanks!

  50. Laura

    I made these last weekend and measured the flour by weight. The dough was not sticky at all. Has anyone else encountered this? I’ll go for sticky next time but I was curious:)

    1. Anne Paulson

      I made these tonight. I thought I carefully weighed the ingredients, both water and flour, but the dough did not turn out sticky. So I added a bit more water, maybe a tablespoon or two, to make the dough have the advertised stickiness.

      The rolls were absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely make them again.

  51. Debbie

    I think I have tried a different roll recipe for every holiday. Some ok, some no way. This is now my go-to. I have made it twice. Tweaked it a tad—dividing until I get the desired number of rolls instead of patting to a rectangle. Thanks!

  52. Hi Deb,

    Old school dinner rolls….wow this brings back memories! I’m also a big fan of Alan Silverwood’s cooking gear. I really enjoyed reading this, you have such an engaged audience as well, just look at all these comments! You should be really proud of what you’ve accomplished here :-)


  53. Trina

    What kind of flour is used for this recipe? I am guessing that the ones that are dryer (formed ball right away) are using a higher gluten AP flour like King Arthur.
    I added 1/4 cup more warm water as the dough was mixing to get a more sticky dough. Do you have a standard flour that you use?

  54. Emily

    I know your instructions say that this dough is delicate, but I let my 6 and 2.5 year old make these during a blizzard today and they came out great! The 2.5 year old definitely man handled this dough and it was fine. We brushed them at the end with garlic butter rather than just plain butter. A big hit! Thanks!

  55. Megan

    These are, simply, the bomb. My new go-to dinner roll recipe. But I have to say the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl side almost immediately. I end up running the mixer for a few minutes and then let the dough rise. PS: I weigh the flour so I know I’m using the right amount.

  56. Megan

    In the directions you say “Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl, 8 minutes” however my dough pulls away from the side of the bowl much sooner than 8 min. Should I stop mixing when that happens or keep mixing for 8 min?

  57. Monika

    Thank you SO much for also including gram measurements for this recipe! I’m an American living in Berlin, hosting my second Thanksgiving-away-from-home next week. Converting all my recipes to grams/liters to shop is a nightmare, so your thougtfulness is so appreciated!

  58. Nancy in CA

    These are pretty much the same rolls I’ve been making since…1967 (I was a very young baker). Try milk instead of water sometime, you won’t be sorry. I make two dozen of these at Thanksgiving each year and that leaves a dozen for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. The same dough also makes great cinnamon or pecan rolls!

  59. Lisa N

    Just made these tonight in a 9” x 13” metal baking pan (2.5” high). Did 14 minutes at 400 degrees, then 8 more minutes at 350 so they wouldn’t over brown. The rolls were cooked all the way through. I made 12 rolls but will make 20 when I make them for Thanksgiving since they were pretty big!

  60. Doug

    I made these last Thanksgiving and they were great. I probably shouldn’t mess with something good, but I was thinking of adding 2 tbsp of potato flour. Thoughts?

  61. Barbara Davis

    Has anyone made these with oil instead of butter? Were they still delish? I assume I can use the same amount of oil (2 Tbsp) for the dough, and just omit the melted butter?

  62. Cara

    Wonderful! I used my hand mixer until the dough was too thick for it to handle and then finished by hand kneading. My first batch didn’t turn out too well, but my second batch was perfection. Make sure your water is warm enough to compensate for the cold butter and cold eggs. These were a huge hit with my family and will definitely make these for future gatherings.