Easy White Dinner Rolls

Did you grow up eating a special weekly dinner with your family? Maybe every night was a home-cooked meal. In my family we would look forward to the weekly Sunday dinners my dad cooked. It usually consisted of meat and potatoes or “rice-a-roni” (my childhood favorite). We would sit at our big dining room table and pass around plates of steaming hot food, family-style. Green beans, cheesy broccoli, pan fried pork, salmon, steak, the list goes on. Every Sunday was a little bit different but always delicious. When I started contributing to the meal I’d often make crescent rolls or bake some bread using our ancient bread machine. If only I’d had the recipe for these easy white rolls, I’m sure they would have made many appearances at our dinner table.

These rolls are fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness and one of the simplest recipes you can make. If you’re looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe to start with, make these! They won’t disappoint. You can even make them into hamburger buns (my favorite is with pulled pork and coleslaw on top) or with a dab of butter inside. Whatever way you choose to eat them pull out these simple SIX ingredients and get baking. 

Notes: I always double this recipe and make a big batch of these rolls because my kids gobble them up. They are easy to freeze, a big crowd pleaser and let’s face it…when I don’t know what to make for dinner and can pull these out to put with some fruit, nuts and meat my kids think my kitchen skills are top notch 🙂 I also portion my rolls fairly small. You can change the portion size depending on your preference. If you do, you may need to adjust for baking time.

Yield: 24 small rolls

Time: 15 minutes mix/knead, 2 hours rise, 10-12 minutes bake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar (honey, or other sweetener)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 -4 cups all purpose flour (I’ve made them with whole wheat flour before too, they won’t be quite as fluffy…half whole wheat and half all purpose will yield best results and adding a little vital wheat gluten helps with the tenderness)

Directions

1. Mix together water, instant yeast, sugar, olive oil, salt and 3 cups of flour. Use a mixer or your hands. As you add in your final cup of flour, check the dough. If it’s overly sticky, keep adding flour. The dough should be able to roll into a ball in your hand but should still be a little sticky. That’s the feeling you are looking for. Continue mixing the dough (mixer with dough hook or attachment) 3-5 minutes OR turn it out on a floured surface and knead about 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed (it should still be a little sticky but form a ball).

2. Put a teaspoon of oil in a bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Coat the dough with the small amount of oil (this keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl). Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place about an hour or until doubled in size. 

3. Turn risen dough out onto your workspace and portion into 24 pieces. I eyeball the dough and use my dough cutter (or a sharp knife). If you use a kitchen scale each ball should be about 1.4 ounces.

4. Shape each piece of dough into a round ball and place on parchment-lined (this keeps the bottoms from burning) baking sheet. Your baking sheet should be able to fit 24 of these rolls. Check out my Instagram tutorial “Easiest Rolls” for shaping help.

5. Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel and let rolls rise until doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once rolls have doubled in size bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through if possible. Once the rolls brown on top, pull them out of the oven and brush melted butter on the tops. For convenience I take a stick of cold butter from my fridge and lightly touch the tops of the hot rolls for the perfect shine.

7. Enjoy warm, at room temperature or freeze a few for later. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a simple recipe to start with, don’t hesitate to make these delicious rolls. They are a sure-fire crowd-pleaser and a great way to get your feet wet in baking with yeast. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions so shoot me a message or let me know in the comments if you give them a try. Yum!

Recipe Source Notes: Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (if you don’t follow her, you should…she’s an inspiration with all of her amazing recipes). I’ve made these so many times that I’ve upped the salt, altered the baking time and size of the rolls I bake.