Tap here to get 5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners

Dinner Roll Recipe

4.5 from 2 votes

posted: 12/16/19

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

My friend Rebecca Lindamood from Foodie with Family wrote a book! And the title makes me love her more than I already did, if that’s possible. “Ready, Set, Dough!” is full of so many amazing bread recipes that I had trouble picking just one.

an overhead picture of the book ready, set, dough by Rebecca lindamood

Rebecca is an amazingly talented baker and chef. If you don’t already follow her, you should. You can absolutely count on every single recipe in her book being fantastic. Plus her easy to follow instructions are a dream. If you know an aspiring baker in your life, this book is the perfect Christmas gift.

These easy Dinner Rolls come 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.

Ingredients for Homemade Rolls

I love that the ingredients for this dinner roll recipe are always on hand in my house:

  • all purpose flour
  • dry yeast
  • sugar
  • salt
  • butter

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.

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.

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.

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 after 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

Making Sliders Using this Recipe

That’s right! 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.

Wouldn’t you know it, I have a few slider recipes that would be great for this.

If you make these for your holidays, let me know! And give Rebecca a shout out too!

side view of a pan full of a dinner roll recipe, baked and golden brown on the top
side view of a pan full of a dinner roll recipe, baked and golden brown on the top
4.5 from 2 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 melted butter 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

did you make this

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


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Kathy Carpenter says

    5 stars
    Love ur website, I’ve gotten so many great recipes from it, the best part is that their so easy, and delicious,will definitely keep on enjoying them.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much Kathy! I hope you have a great holiday season!

  2. Bonnie says

    When you say to put the dough in a warm place, where would that be? How warm does it have to be?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I just did it on my counter top, but made sure that it wasn’t next to the cold window since I live in the frigid midwest.

  3. Karen says

    Hi, Lisa– Could you tell me whether this recipe can be halved or, if not, whether the rolls will freeze well? Also, I see that the recipe calls for sugar. Do the rolls taste sweet, and, if so, can they be made successfully by cutting out some of the sugar?



    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Karen! Yes, it should work fine to cut the recipe in half. I haven’t tried freezing these rolls but I think it would be fine. The rolls do not taste sweet, I do not recommend taking out the sugar as it works in conjunction with the yeast.

  4. Sherrie says

    These were simple but my oven browned the tops too much should I foil them

    • Lisa Longley says

      It definitely depends on your oven. If you can’t put them on a lower rack, you might want to foil them for the last 10 minutes of the recipe.

  5. Sharon says

    Came together quickly with dough hook in mixer. A little dense. Wonder if I rushed the first rise ( only made half recipe)
    Any suggestions for more soft & fluffy rolls.

  6. Sharon says

    4 stars
    I made half recipe & was on time crunch so I put in warm bowl on warmer on stove top. Wonder if I rushed the ride as the rolls are not very light.
    Willing to keep trying.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Sharon! So I’m wondering if the time crunch plus the dough hook is what did it. The dough hook might have over mixed them and then they might not have had enough rise time.

  7. Earlyne says

    Hi! I am definitely not a baker but I had an inkling to make rolls for supper. I swear this recipe is the simplest recipe I have ever made! Thank you so much for posting it. I must say, I had some outdated yeast in the fridge, was scared the buns wouldn’t rise, well, they certainly did! Also I wasn’t sure if unsalted or salted butter was used in your recipe but I only had salted so therefore left out the salt called for. I was going to add a bit but forgot to. This recipe is so so easy and will be my go to bun recipe from now on. Thanks again for making my day! 💞

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy that you liked them!

Broccoli Pasta"Omg! I didn’t think anything so simple could be so good!"
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Recipe"My family absolutely loved this recipe. Even my finicky eaters."
overhead photo of a gray skillet filled with beef and broccoli recipe, garnished with sliced green onions
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry"I have made this a couple or more times. It’s easy & quick to prepare. I like this for a quick meal. It will be my go to recipe."

5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners