These Homemade Dinner Rolls are brushed with melted butter while they're fresh out of the oven. They're soft and pillowy and the perfect addition to any meal!Jump to Recipe
Growing up, I was really lucky to be just a couple miles down the gravel road from my grandparents. My siblings and I rode our bikes, dirt bikes and four-wheelers to their house at least once a week. Grandma would always have a yummy treat for us - either some sort of cookies or my favorite kolaches.
But if we were lucky enough to be there for lunch or supper, I always looked forward to her fluffy dinner rolls. These remind me SO much of hers....especially when they're topped with the blueberry rhubarb jam she always made!
Ingredients Needed (See recipe card below for amounts)
- Yeast - Active Dry Yeast is what you'll use in this recipe.
- Warm Water - 110-115F, to be exact 🙂
- Mashed Potatoes - Unless I have leftover mashed potatoes, I'll simply mix up a single serving of mashed potatoes from a box of potato flakes.
- Butter - You'll want the butter to be at room temperature so it'll melt easily.
- Bread Flour - If you don't have bread flour on hand, you can use all-purpose flour instead.
How to Make Homemade Rolls
Activate the Yeast
To activate the yeast, you'll mix it with warm water (110-115F) and sugar. You'll give it a stir and let it set until it's frothy, bubbly and has risen substantially.
Make the Dough
You will add the mashed potatoes, butter and warm milk to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment. Stir until the butter has melted completely. Then you'll add one cup of the flour. Once it's mixed in, you'll add the yeast mixture. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining flour.
Once the flour is all incorporated, you may need to add a little more, depending on the consistency. If it's still super sticky, add up to ¼ cup more flour, adding just a little bit at a time. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes (if using a stand mixer, you can let the dough hook work its magic and just set it on low speed for 8 minutes).
Let the Dough Rise
Once you have kneaded the dough, it's time to let it rise (ie. proof). To do so, you'll place the dough ball into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. You'll place the bowl in a warm location (I like to put it in an over than has been preheated for just a minute or so) until doubled in size.
Shape the Rolls
Now that the dough has gone through the first rise, you'll shape the rolls. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into 12 equal pieces. Form the rolls and place them in a greased 9-inch square baking dish.
Cover the pan and let rise in a warm place for the second time This rise will take about 30-45 minutes. You'll know when the rolls are ready to bake when they're nice and puffy.
Bake until Golden Brown
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until they're a nice golden brown color. Brush them with melted butter and enjoy!
No, not really. Instant yeast and active dry yeast cannot be used interchangeably.
Once the rolls are completely cool, you can store them in an airtight container or in resealable plastic bags. You can also opt to freeze them for up to 30 days.
I know, it seems odd, right?! Here's why it works: potato starch holds more moisture than wheat starch does and therefore makes a softer roll. Most homemade dinner rolls are great on day one, but dry out quickly. These on the other hand, stay nice and soft the next day and the day after that!
Tips for Making the Best Dinner Rolls
The Yeast. Make sure you're using the correct yeast (active dry yeast) and that it's still good. How do you know if it's still good? The expiration date is still in the future AND it rises when it's in the water mixture.
Temperature is KEY. Be sure to really pay attention to the temperature of the water when you add the yeast. If it's too cold, it won't activate the yeast and if it's too hot, it'll kill the yeast.
Add the right amount of flour. Adding too much flour will make your dinner rolls tough, but adding not enough will make them difficult to form. Make sure you're measuring the flour correctly by scooping the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and leveling it off with a butter knife.
The rise time is important. You want to give the rolls enough time to rise, but it's important on the second rise to make sure they don't rise for too long. If they rise too much, they then start to deflate and give funky looking dinner rolls.
If you're new to making homemade bread or dinner rolls, the best way to perfect the skill is simply practice. This dinner roll recipe is a really great place to start as the dough is easy to work with and the recipe is really straight-forward. If it's your first time, good luck and happy baking!
Other Delicious Yeast Breads/Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls - These soft and tender rolls have a sweet, flavorful filling and smooth frosting. Perfect for breakfast, brunch and snack, these are sure to be your new go-to!
Kolaches - These pastries have a fruit filling and a vanilla icing around the edges. They're the most tempting and delicious treat for breakfast, brunch, snacking or dessert!
Butterhorn Rolls - These beautiful rolls (aka crescent rolls) are easy to make and a delicious addition to any meal!
Homemade Dinner Rolls
- ½ cup warm water 110-115°F
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
- ½ cup very warm milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mashed potatoes
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Make the Dough
- In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the warm water, sugar and yeast; set aside.
- Add the mashed potatoes, butter, salt and warm milk to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment.
- Stir until the butter has melted completely.
- Stir in one cup of the bread flour and then the yeast mixture.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining flour.
- Once the flour is all incorporated, you may need to add a little more flour, depending on the consistency. If it's still super sticky, add up to ¼ cup more flour, adding just a little bit at a time.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes (if using a stand mixer, you can let the dough hook work its magic and just set it on low speed for 8 minutes).
- Place the ball of dough into a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.
- Place the bowl in a warm location* until doubled in size. This will take about 30 minutes.
Shape the Rolls
- Cut into 12 equal pieces.
- Using greased hands, form the rolls and place them in a greased 9-inch square baking dish.
- Cover the pan and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
- Once the rolls are starting to rise and look nice and puffy, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Bake the Rolls
- Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
- Brush the melted butter over the tops of the rolls.