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Dinner Roll Recipe

4.91 from 10 votes

posted: 10/21/22

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Dinner Rolls that come together in about an hour are basically magic. These homemade dinner rolls are easy to make, light and fluffy, and perfect for weeknight dinners or holiday meals!

an oval baking dish with a cloth napkin and then piled high with dinner rolls

Dinner Rolls are a staple for any holiday meal, but with this easy recipe that comes together in just an hour, you will make them far more often. Even a completely inexperienced baker will be able to make these amazing rolls with confidence.

My friend Rebecca Lindamood from Foodie with Family wrote a book a year or two ago. It is full of delicious bread recipes. The title makes me love her more than I already did, if that’s possible. “Ready, Set, Dough!” is full of so many amazing recipes you will have trouble picking just one.

This recipe for dinner rolls came out of the first section of her book that are all breads made in about an hour. They are perfect for the holiday season and after my husband had one bite he declared them the new go to in our house. And then my kids vacuumed up the rest.

Reader Review

I’m making the dinner rolls for the second time now. I will never use another recipe. These are easy, FAST, delicious and amazing. I was skeptical since all ovens are not created equal so it would seem that starting then in a cold oven wouldn’t work the same for all ovens. I know mine is 22 degrees slow so I of course set it for 422 degrees and to my amazement they were perfection! Genius! Who knew!?!

overhead photo of the cookbook, "ready, set, dough"

Ingredients for Homemade Rolls

I love that the ingredients for this dinner roll recipe are always on hand in my house. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to get all of the measurements.

  • All Purpose Flour: Read below on my tips for measuring flour correctly.
  • Instant Yeast: Read below on the difference between this and dry yeast. You will want to be sure to use the correct one in this recipe.
  • Sugar: The small amount of sugar in this recipe gives the rolls a hint of sweetness without making them sweet and helps the yeast grow.
  • Salt: I use kosher salt in this recipe. If you want to use table salt, I would recommend starting with about half the amount the first time you make this.
  • Unsalted Butter: If you use salted, you will want to trim the amount of salt in this recipe as well.
overhead photo of a jar with flour, a bowl with sugar, a bowl with yeast, a bowl with kosher salt, and a stick of butter

Measuring Flour for Homemade Dinner Rolls

Just with any baking recipe, we want to be mindful of how we measure flour so that we don’t use too much. Following these steps will ensure your flour does not pack and you have the correct amount.

  1. Whisk the flour. In whatever container you store your flour, give it a light whisk to loosen it up.
  2. Grab a dry measuring cup. These are the cups that are made out of metal and plastic and aren’t see through.
  3. Spoon the flour from the container it is stored in into the measuring cup. Do not use the measuring cup as a scoop.
  4. Level the flour off with the flat edge of a spatula.

The Difference Between Instant and Active Dry Yeast

The major difference between instant and active dry yeast is in their proofing. Both need warm water and food for the yeast to feed off of (like sugar) to grow. But instant yeast can be thrown in with the other dry ingredients and allowed to rise. Active dry yeast needs proofing time on it’s own in warm water before it is added to the recipe.

You can read more about the differences between the two here.

For this recipe you want to use instant yeast. This recipe will work with active dry yeast, but you will find that it creates a more dense dinner roll. You will enjoy this recipe much more if you use instant yeast.


Instant Read Thermometer

Quickly ensure that the temperature of your water is correct for growing yeast with this great thermometer.
Product Image

How to Make Easy Dinner Rolls

These homemade dinner rolls come together so quickly. Even a novice baker can tackle this recipe.

Start by combining flour, dry yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water in a bowl. Just like in my pizza dough recipe, the key is to make sure the water is hot enough to activate the yeast but not so hot that it kills it. I loved using a thermometer when I started baking. You can see it linked above.

Use a stiff wooden spoon to stir it until a shaggy dough forms. It should look like this.

an overhead picture of a bowl of dough just starting to come together

Now use your hands to form it into a nice smooth dough ball on your clean counter top. This should take about four minutes. It will seem like it’s not happening, like you need more water. You don’t! Hang in there.

It should look like this.

an overhead picture of a smooth ball of dough to be made into homemade rolls

Now let it rest and rise in a nice warm place for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. (Do your best, they will taste great even if not perfectly equal.) To form the pieces into balls, gently tuck the edges of the piece underneath, working your way around until it forms a nice smooth ball.

Place the 20 dough balls into four rows of five, evenly spaced in a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. The pan you see here is my very favorite for baking.

an overhead picture of a metal 9 by 13 inch baking dish filled with 20 dough balls for easy dinner rolls

Put the prepared pan of dinner roll dough balls into a cold oven. Put a rimmed baking sheet with hot water in it underneath the dough. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. (That is right, we are not preheating it.)

After 35 minutes, remove the rolls, brush with 1/4 cup melted butter. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy.

an overhead picture of baked dinner rolls in a metal baking dish resting on a wire rack


I find it unlikely that these won’t all disappear as quickly as you made them.

That said, you can store these rolls for up to three days in an airtight container. They taste best in the first 24 hours, but my kids were still devouring them 3 days later.

a hand holding an easy dinner roll with the rest of the pan blurred in the background


Why are my dinner rolls not light and fluffy?

Most likely the culprit is too much flour. Be sure that you are measuring the flour correctly (see my section above) and also make sure not to add more in step two.

Another possibility is that you used the wrong type of yeast. Read the differences in instant yeast vs. dry yeast here: The Difference Between Instant and Active Dry Yeast.

What is the best flour for making dinner rolls?

All purpose flour. Flours vary a great deal in the amount of protein they have depending on the type of flour it is. This recipe calls for all purpose flour and you shouldn’t use a substitute (like bread flour).

Can I make dinner roll dough the night before?

This recipe should only be made the night before if you are going to bake it completely first and then store them in an air tight container after they have cooled.

Can these dinner rolls be made gluten free?

This recipe has not been tested with gluten free flour. If you make this gluten free, please be sure to use flour that is meant to replace all purpose flour one for one.

side view of a pan full of a dinner roll recipe, baked and golden brown on the top

Making Sliders Using this Recipe

This is a great recipe to use to make sliders! Allow the buns to cool completely. Then using a serrated knife, gently cut through the whole batch at once.

I have a few slider recipes that would be great for this.

If you make this dinner rolls recipe for your holidays, leave me a comment and let me know! I love knowing that my recipes are part of your holiday traditions.

side view of a pan full of a dinner roll recipe, baked and golden brown on the top
4.91 from 10 votes

Dinner Rolls

Serves: 20 rolls
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Dinner Rolls that come together in about an hour are basically magic. These homemade dinner rolls are easy to make, light and fluffy, and perfect for weeknight dinners or holiday meals!


  • 6 cups all purpose flour 1 lb 9.5 ounces (or 723 grams) by weight
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast 24 grams (read more about yeast here)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 25 grams
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt if using table salt, reduce to 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 grams)
  • 2 cups warm water (about 120 degrees F or 50 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and divided (120 ml)


  • In a large bowl, mix the flour yeast, sugar, slat, water, and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the melted butter together using a stiff wooden spoon until a shaggy dough begins to form. (See photo in the blog post.)
  • Continue to knead the dough by hand (or using a machiene) until it becaomes smooth. It will seem as though it is not coming together and then it will! This will take about four minutes.
  • Return the dough ball to the bowl and cover with a clean towel and let rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  • Spray a 9 by 13 inch with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. Roll the dough into balls by gently pulling the edges of the dough down and tucking it under the bottom. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and continue this process until you've made a dough ball.
  • Place the dough balls into the pan with the tucked side down. You should have four rows of five that are evenly spaced in the pan.
  • Place the pan of prepared rolls into a cold oven on the middle rack. Place a rimmed baking sheet that has hot tap water below it. Close the oven and set the temperature to 400 (200 C). Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and brush generously with the remaining 1/4 cup melted butter. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before serving the rolls. To use the rolls for sliders, allow them to cool compltely.
Serving: 1roll Calories: 181kcal (9%) Carbohydrates: 28g (9%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 12mg (4%) Sodium: 169mg (7%) Potassium: 13mg Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 30g (33%) Vitamin A: 39IU (1%) Calcium: 1mg
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
side view of a pan full of a dinner roll recipe, baked and golden brown on the top

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Dinner Rolls

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Abby says

    This recipe was easy to follow and the results were great! I love that you included grams in this recipe. I always find that is best when baking. I will return to your website for more recipes.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad that you liked these!

  2. Martha says

    Too many stupid commercials
    I want to jump to the recipe

    • Lisa Longley says

      There was a jump to the recipe at the top of the post and you scrolled past it to leave this comment.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners