The Best Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls | From Scratch

Make your own homemade dinner rolls with this tried-and-true family recipe. Soft, fluffy, and flavorful, these rolls are a must-try. I may be a tad biased, as this recipe comes from my Great Aunt Jean but it is a recipe that is requested and raved about by many family and friends. This roll recipe was the first success I had making bread from scratch when I was a newlywed and has been my go-to roll recipe for two decades. The dough also makes amazing cinnamon rolls and bread loaves!!

There’s a story that goes along with the rolls on my instagram if you want to check it out.

Benefits of From-Scratch Dinner Rolls

  • Homemade peak freshness at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought rolls.
  • You get control over the ingredients, which means less preservatives!
  • The satisfaction of making your own rolls from scratch.
  • The know-how of making your own rolls.
Overhead shot of dinner rolls in 9x13 pan

Ingredients You’ll Need for These Dinner Rolls

  • All-Purpose Flour: I have only tested all-purpose with this recipe.
  • Large Eggs: Fresh, room-temperature eggs help ingredients incorporate more easily.
  • Salt: non-iodized. I love Redmond Sea Salt
  • Active Dry Yeast: My favorite active dry yeast is Red Star.
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Warm Water: 105º-115ºF (See FAQ Below)
  • Granulated Sugar: Light brown sugar, packed or honey have also successfully been used.
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray: I normally use crisco, or butter to grease my pans, but a non-stick cooking spray will work great too.
Image of ingredients need to make dinner rolls.

Equipment You’ll Need

  • Mixer: Stand mixer with a big enough motor to handle the dough, and dough hook. I use a Bosch mixer.
  • Mixing tools: Large mixing bowl if mixing by hand, rubber spatula.
  • Two 9×13 casserole dishes: Half sheet pans work great as well, and great for when the recipe is being doubled. Add four rolls per row, instead of three.

How to Make Homemade Dinner Rolls:

STEP ONE:

Activate the yeast. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup mix warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to bloom. You’ll know it’s bloomed when it starts to look frothy. The time will depend on how warm your house is.

Before and after pictures of water, yeast, and sugar in a measuring dish waiting to bloom.

STEP TWO:

Start preparing your dough by adding the bloomed yeast mixture to a stand mixer, then add in the oil, salt, eggs, and 1/2 the flour. Turn on your stand mixer and give it a good stir until everything is incorporated. Then start adding the rest of the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. If the dough is shaggy and super tacky keep adding in the flour.

Stand mixer before and after shot with dinner roll ingredients in mixer and then the ingredients mixed.

When the dough starts to pull away from the edge and clean the bowl, you know you’re getting close. You want the dough to clean the bowl, start to look smooth, and be a little tacky. Adding too much flour will result in dry rolls. The picture below on the left is the dough started to pull away from the edges, but still too wet (sticky) and the picture on the right is an example of the dough being ready. Still tacky, but not too wet.

When the dough looks smoother and tacky to the touch, knead for 5-6 minutes. You’ll know your dough is ready by checking the window pane method. Using two fingers, pull the dough up and apart. If it stretches thin without breaking and you can see light though it, it is ready. If it breaks easy and doesn’t feel stretchy, the gluten needs to be developed further with more kneading.

Before and after shot of dough in mixer. Before is of dough not quit ready, after is dough ready.

STEP THREE:

When dough passed the window pane test, add it into a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 20 minutes. The time will depend on how warm your house is.

STEP FOUR:

Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and grease two 9×13 casserole pans. Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and begin to form your rolls by pinching off about 3 ounces of dough and shaping them into a ball. Add shaped rolls to greased pan 3 rolls to a row, 12 rolls to a pan.

Once all your rolls are shaped and in the pan, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until doubled in size. If you want to you can egg wash your rolls after they have risen by whisking one large egg, and a tablespoon of water together and gently brushing wash on top of the rolls with a basting brush or pastry brush.

Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes or until the tops are a nice golden brown. You can also measure this with a food thermometer, bread is ready when internal temps reach 190ºF.

STEP FIVE:

Remove from oven and lightly brush on butter. Let the rolls cool on the counter.

How to Store Rolls:

Keep rolls covered in pan with an airtight lid or cover the top of the pan well with plastic wrap. Store leftovers in a Ziplock bag or airtight container. Rolls are good for up to 3 days at room temperature.

FAQs:

  • Can I substitute a different oil other than vegetable oil? Yes, you can use a variety of different mild oils instead of vegetable oil. I love to use coconut oil, and avocado oil, or melted butter for these rolls. In a pinch, I’ve also used smooth extra virgin olive oil. Just make sure the oil you use is mild.
  • Can another sweetener be used besides granulated sugar? Yes, you can substitute the granulated sugar for other sweeteners. I love (and have only tested) using honey or light brown sugar. If you are using brown sugar, measure it packed into the measuring up.
  • Can I use this roll recipe for sandwich loaves? Absolutely! This recipe is fantastic for sandwich loaves, and even my go-to dough for cinnamon rolls, and Indian fry bread. It is such a great versatile dough!
  • What if I don’t have a thermometer for the warm water? You don’t have to have a thermometer to gauge how warm your water is. A thermometer is a great way to start to understand how warm the water needs to feel if you’ve never made bread before but you don’t need one, I’ve never used one! I like to say it’s about the temperature of a warm bath, not too hot or you’ll kill your yeast.

If you want to try to make a whole wheat recipe, try out Honey Whole Wheat Bread!

dinner rolls in pan

The Best Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls | From Scratch

Soft and fluffy dinner. Sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 24 rolls

Ingredients

  • 3 cups warm water (105ºF-115ºF)
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour (spooned, scooped, and leveled)

Instructions

  • Activate the yeast. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup mix warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to bloom, you'll know it's bloomed as the yeast turns frothy on top of the water. The time will depend on how warm your house is.
  • Start preparing your dough by adding the bloomed yeast mixture to a stand mixer, then add in the oil, salt, eggs, and 1/2 the flour. Turn on your stand mixer and give it a good stir until everything is incorporated. Then start adding the rest of the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. If the dough is shaggy and super tacky keep adding in the flour.
  • Knead for 5-6 minutes slowly adding in flour as you go. When the dough starts to pull away from the edge and clean the bowl, you know you're getting close. You want the dough to clean the bowl, start to look smooth, and be a little tacky. You'll know your dough is ready when it passes the window pain test, it will still be a little tacky.
  • Add your dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 20 minutes. The time will depend on how warm your house is.
  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF, and grease two 9×13 casserole pans. Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and begin to form your rolls by pinching off about 3 ounces of dough and shaping them into a ball. Add shaped rolls to greased pan three rolls to a row for a total of 24 rolls per pan.
  • Once all your rolls are shaped and in the pan, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until doubled in size. If you want to you can egg wash your eggs after they have risen by whisking one large egg, and a tablespoon of water together and gently brushing wash on top of the rolls with a basting brush or pastry brush.
  • Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes or until the tops are a nice golden brown. You can also measure this with a food thermometer, bread is ready when internal temps reach 190ºF. Remove from oven and lightly brush on butter. Let dinner rolls cool on the counter.

Notes

How to Store Dinner Rolls:

Keep rolls covered in pan with an airtight lid or cover the top of the pan well with plastic wrap. Store leftovers in a Ziplock bag or airtight container. Rolls are good for up to 3 days at room temperature.

FAQs:

  • Can I substitute a different oil other than vegetable oil? Yes, you can use a variety of different mild oils instead of vegetable oil. I love to use coconut oil, and avocado oil for these dinner rolls. In a pinch, I’ve also used smooth extra virgin olive oil. Just make sure the oil you use is mild.
  • Can another sweetener be used besides granulated sugar? Yes, you can substitute the granulated sugar for other sweeteners. I love (and have only tested) using honey or light brown sugar. If you are using brown sugar, measure it packed into the measuring up.
  • Can I use this roll recipe for sandwich loaves? Absolutely! This recipe is fantastic for sandwich loaves, and even my go-to dough for cinnamon rolls, and Indian fry bread. It is such a great versatile dough!
  • What if I don’t have a thermometer for the warm water? You don’t have to have a thermometer to gauge how warm your water is. A thermometer is a great way to start to understand how warm the water needs to feel if you’ve never made bread before but you don’t need one, I’ve never used one! I like to say it’s about the temperature of a warm bath, not too hot or you’ll kill your yeast.

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