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:
5 from 14 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.

30 comments

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  1. Bob Saxon
    11.19.2020

    My wife has gluten and sugar sensitivities. That being said, will gluten-free flour work and what can I use in place of sugar? Would coconut sugar or maple syrup do? Thanks for your suggestions.

    • mj sucliffe
      11.19.2020

      I have the same questions as Bob Saxon.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        11.19.2020

        Hi MJ, I suggest searching for a dinner roll recipe that’s specifically gluten free, GF flour won’t be a 1:1 swap here.

        • mj sutcliffe
          11.19.2020

          Thanks Jeanine!
          mj

    • Ashley
      11.19.2020

      I’d love to hear if these subs will work as well! Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2020

      Hi Bob, no it won’t work as a 1:1 substitute in this one. I’d search for a dinner roll recipe that’s specifically gluten free.

  2. issy
    11.19.2020

    i really want to try this recipe! do you think whole wheat bread flour would work? i have this at home!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2020

      Hi Issy, I haven’t tried it – I think a 50/50 mix could work if you weighed the flours so that the total weight is the same as what’s written here. (A cup of ww flour is more dense than a cup of AP flour)

  3. A Sour Lemon
    11.19.2020

    Would regular flour work for this recipe? Really want to make it, but don’t have bread flour on hand. (Whole wheat + Regular I mean)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2020

      I think regular flour would work fine. I haven’t tried it with whole wheat but I think a 50/50 mix of AP and whole wheat could work if you weighed the flours so that the total weight is the same as what’s written here. (A cup of ww flour is more dense than a cup of AP flour)

  4. Susan Bishop
    11.19.2020

    What size baking sheet works best?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2020

      Hi Susan, a 9×13 baking sheet – if you didn’t have that size, a 9×13 baking dish would work too.

  5. Jen
    11.19.2020

    I’m totally trying this one. I’ve made your hamburger bun recipe multiple times and every time it’s amazing! Totally agree that weighing the flour makes a difference. I’ve always used AP flour and it works well.

  6. Connie
    11.19.2020

    Do these have any similarity to Hawaiian Rolls or do you think I’d need to add a bit more sugar to achieve that effect? In the past couple of years, I’ve used a vegan Filipino pandesal recipe to try to replicate that taste for my son, who loves them, but I think I’d like to make yours this year!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2020

      They’re kind of similar! I think you will like these as-is.

      • Connie
        11.20.2020

        Wonderful – can’t wait to make (and eat) them!

  7. Paula
    11.20.2020

    I tried to make Jack’s dinner rolls, but I don’t have a stand mixer with a dough attachment. It’s in storage at the moment. My rolls were a disaster, hard and heavy. Can you advise how to make them without the mixer and dough hook? My 10-year-old son would love them if they looked like Jack’s!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.20.2020

      Hi Paula, we haven’t tried kneading them by hand, but you would have to knead longer than what’s listed (maybe 10 minutes instead of the 2-3). Also be sure to measure your flour using the spoon & level method (see the link above), and also check that your yeast gets foamy. Some stores have been selling expired yeast lately. Hope that helps!

  8. Julie
    11.20.2020

    May I add shredded cheese to these rolls?

  9. Chloe
    11.22.2020

    Hi! Would soy milk be an OK substitute or should I specifically buy almond milk? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.22.2020

      yep, soy milk will work!

  10. Allison
    11.25.2020

    Hello,
    At what stage do you freeze these?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.25.2020

      Hi Allison – after they’re baked and cooled.

  11. Nancy
    11.25.2020

    Can you use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.26.2020

      Hi Nancy, yep, you can.

  12. Rhiannon Ripley
    11.26.2020

    5 stars
    Honestly surprised how well these rolls came out! Surprised because I did a double batch AND half whole wheat flour. Definitely use a scale because I did not and I felt the dough was too dry so I slowly incorporated more oat milk as my stand mixer was kneading. The dough still puffed up fine and the crumb is quite delicate still! Very thankful for this recipe because now my sister can enjoy dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks for the recipe’n

  13. Beth
    11.26.2020

    What would you suggest to use as a substitute for plastic wrap? Thank you!

  14. Marty Overman
    11.27.2020

    5 stars
    My 10 year son made these for Thanksgiving today! They were delicious!! And the recipe was super easy to follow.

  15. Grace
    11.27.2020

    5 stars
    Made these for Thanksgiving and they turned out perfect! My husband ate probably half the batch himself. They were very easy to make and so much better than store bought!

  16. Fabiola
    11.27.2020

    5 stars
    Demasiado buenos!!! Realmente me encantaron! Gracias por compartir esta receta!! 🙂

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.