Homemade Dinner Rolls

Try these homemade dinner rolls once, and you'll make them forever! Soft, fluffy, and flavorful, they're an easy, delicious addition to any meal.

Dinner rolls

When Jack took these homemade dinner rolls out of the oven for the first time, I immediately cried, “They’re SO cute!” I had asked him to make a dinner roll recipe for the blog, but I didn’t know how it’d turn out. I started to get skeptical when he told me he was scrapping the traditional milk, melted butter, and eggs to make his recipe vegan. Jack’s a good baker, but I was preparing myself for at least a few wonky tests.

To my surprise, Jack’s homemade dinner rolls came out perfectly! They’re soft and fluffy, flaky and tender, and they look like little golden pillows when they come out of the oven. He’s always happy to make them, so they’ve become part of our regular recipe rotation over the last few months. Of course, Jack’s making them for Thanksgiving next week, and I hope you will too. They’re easy and delicious – I think you’re going to love them!

Dinner roll recipe ingredients

Dinner Roll Recipe Ingredients

You only need 6 simple ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Bread flour – Its high protein content makes these dinner rolls tender and chewy.
  • Yeast – Before you start baking, check to make sure that your yeast hasn’t expired. If it’s not fresh, the rolls won’t rise, and they’ll be dense and flat instead of soft and fluffy.
  • Almond milk – We use almond milk because it’s what we keep on hand, but feel free to substitute any plain, unsweetened milk you like! Cow’s milk, oat milk, and soy milk would all work here.
  • Cane sugar – It activates the yeast and gives the rolls a touch of sweetness.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – For moisture and richness.
  • And sea salt – To round out the sweet and savory flavor.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hands kneading bread dough

How to Make Homemade Dinner Rolls

First, proof the yeast. Combine it with the warm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar, and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the yeast should be foamy. If it’s not, discard the mixture and start again. There’s a good chance your yeast wasn’t fresh!

Next, make the dough. Add the foamy yeast mixture, flour, salt, oil, and remaining sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium-low until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a dough around the hook, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and knead a few times to form it into a ball. It’ll be sticky, but if it’s too sticky to handle, knead in a little more flour.

Dough ball in a large bowl

Then, rise! Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside to rise for 60-90 minutes, until it doubles in size.

Hands shaping homemade dinner rolls

After the dough rises, shape the rolls. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces, and shape each one into a ball by rolling it on the counter under your cupped hand. Transfer the balls to a greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise again.

Unbaked dinner rolls on a baking pan

When the rolls are puffy, it’s time to bake! Place them on a low rack in a 350° oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, until they’re lightly golden brown. Let them cool on the baking pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely (or devouring them warm!).

Easy dinner rolls

Dinner Roll Recipe Tips

  • Measure your flour accurately. Measuring cups are essential tools in the kitchen, but when you’re measuring flour, they’re not precise. It’s easy to scoop a cup of flour that’s packed too tightly, inadvertently using more flour than a recipe calls for. Weigh your flour whenever you can, but if you don’t have a kitchen scale, the spoon-and-level method is your next best bet. Read more about it here!
  • Warm the milk. Yeast loves warmth! To help activate it, warm your milk in the microwave for about 15 seconds before you proof the yeast. Whatever you do, don’t use cold milk straight from the fridge.
  • Let the dough rise somewhere warm. Similarly, you’ll get the best rise if put the dough somewhere warm. We put ours on a sunny windowsill! A turned-off oven with the light on is a good option too.
  • Freeze the extras. These homemade dinner rolls freeze perfectly! If you don’t plan to eat them all within 1-2 days, store them in an airtight bag or container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Transfer frozen rolls to the fridge to thaw overnight, or let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours.

Bowl of homemade dinner rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls Serving Suggestions

I’ve eaten dinner rolls at Thanksgiving since I was a kid, so they always make me think of the holidays. These homemade rolls pair perfectly with classic side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green bean casserole, and mashed sweet potatoes. For more holiday side dish ideas, check out this post!

Of course, these dinner rolls are tasty will all kinds of other meals too. Pair them with my kale salad or Caesar salad for a healthy, hearty lunch, or dunk them into tomato basil or butternut squash soup. They’d also be lovely with my stuffed acorn squash, eggplant Parmesan, or any of these pasta recipes:

For more favorite pasta recipes, check out this post!

Dinner rolls recipe

More Favorite Baking Recipes

If you love these homemade dinner rolls, try one of these baking recipes next:

Homemade Dinner Rolls

rate this recipe:
4.74 from 34 votes
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Rising Time: 2 hrs
Serves 15
These homemade dinner rolls are an easy, delicious addition to almost any meal! If you have leftovers, freeze them in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 months. They thaw perfectly!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or any milk), warmed
  • 1 pkg. (¼-ounce) active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • tablespoons cane sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour, spooned and leveled (390g)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • cup extra-virgin-olive oil, more for brushing

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the almond milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and proof for 5 minutes or until foamy.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, place the flour, salt, the remaining sugar, olive oil, and the yeast mixture. Mix on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until the dough is well-formed around the hook and pulling away from the sides.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead a few times to form into a ball. The dough should be sticky, but if it’s too sticky to work with, add a little more flour. Brush a large bowl with ½ teaspoon olive oil and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough is doubled in size.
  • Brush a large baking sheet with olive oil and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and lightly flour your hands. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball by rolling on the countertop with a cupped hand. Place each piece onto the baking sheet. Dust the tops with a very slight amount of flour to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour, or until puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and move the oven rack to a low position.
  • Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, rotating the pan halfway. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

58 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Liat
    12.30.2021

    These came out super tasty but I wasn’t sure which baking sheet size to use. The half sheet seemed way too big for the amount of dough in the recipe. I used a quarter sheet but that was a little small. I’m wondering what size you are thinking of…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.31.2021

      Hi Liat, I’ve used both – the regular sized sheet has extra space on it, we just put the rolls in the center of it. The quarter sized sheet (pictured) smushes them a bit more.

  2. Dorothy
    12.19.2021

    5 stars
    Sorry. Forgot to rate it. 5 stars!

  3. Dorothy
    12.19.2021

    By far the very best dinner rolls I’ve ever made. They were fluffy and beautifully browned. Followed the recipe as written. Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.20.2021

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  4. Beth
    12.05.2021

    My dough came out on the dry side and I am wondering what I did wrong? Maybe the milk was not warm enough? The dough seems dense… this happens to me all the time LOL Any tips are very appreciated! Thank you.

  5. Elizabeth
    12.02.2021

    5 stars
    These turned out great, and allowed us to make a whole thanksgiving feast that our guest with dairy allergies could eat and nobody else would notice the difference. We doubled the recipe and used melted vegan buttery sticks, adjusting the butter amount up accordingly (basically, we used 1 cup of butter, doubled the flour and other ingredients, then added more flour bit by bit until the dough felt right). They smelled and tasted great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.03.2021

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m so glad they were a hit!

  6. Susan
    11.26.2021

    4 stars
    I made these rolls. They came out pretty good but not light and fluffy enough.
    The dough wasn’t really very sticky when mixing. Not very dry but not sticky. I suppose I should add almost all of the flour and add more if needed?
    Also, when proofing the yeast do you add the ingredients in a bowl and just let them set or do you mix them first. The recipe said to combine the ingredients. To me, combine and mix are different to me.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  7. Shelly
    11.24.2021

    2 stars
    Why in the world would you recommend baking these on a low rack??? I’m so upset – the bottom of my rolls are completely burnt. My gut told me to put the tray on the middle rack…if I’d listened to it my guests for Thanksgiving would have rolls to eat. Also, I’m very experienced in the kitchen and have no idea how you got your rolls to be so perfect and smooth.

  8. Michelle
    11.24.2021

    5 stars
    Holy mother of dinner rolls, these turned out PERFECT! Light, tasty, beauhtiful, with just right amount of chew. Made 15 yesterday, we’ve gone thru 7 already (there’s just the 2 of us) – set back 8 in the freezer for Thanksgiving but I’m gonna have to make another batch today, or our guests will be be constrained to just one roll each – and that will not go over well. Thank you!!!

  9. kathy rotuno
    11.21.2021

    1 star
    I was very disappointed. They were fine through the first proof. they never fully “puffed ” for the second proof, resulting in flat rolls. extremely frustrated.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.22.2021

      Hi Kathy, I’m sorry your rolls didn’t puff. It sounds like it might be your yeast. We had a similar thing happen to us where the yeast was just off (even though it foamed and seemed to rise). Getting new yeast from a different store solved it all.

  10. beth boatman
    11.13.2021

    Can I freeze these before baking? If so, when do I do that in this process? Can’t wait to try!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.13.2021

      Hi Beth, I would bake them, then freeze after they’re baked. Reheat them in the oven until warmed through (or for single servings just reheat one by one in the microwave). I hope you enjoy!

  11. Rebecca Hartley
    10.17.2021

    Love love love this recipe!! How do you make the individual roles look so smooth? When i roll them, the seams don’t come together so you can see them in the finished product.

  12. Alison Sprague
    04.10.2021

    5 stars
    I tried this at 1/2 all purpose flour and 1/2 whole wheat by weight due to unexpectedly being low on all purpose. It’s very delicious! I’d recommend increasing the moisture a little if you’re not going to eat it with soup or something liquid-y. It would make excellent slider breads for anything that’s on the juicier side.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2021

      Hi Alison, I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.