Delicious Holiday Dinner Rolls

I am a sucker for a warm roll, slice of rustic bread, bagel, croissant, basically anything made of flour, yeast, water and salt. So, of course learning how to make my own breads from scratch was a priority when I started baking.  

Over the years I have tried, tested and tweaked many bread recipes and techniques.  Some were successful, some were not. Some recipes I make are consuming and labor intensive while others are so easy I don't know why I don't make it more often.  

Learning how to make bread does not need to be intimidating. Seriously, what is the worst that can happen, over proof the dough? Under proof? So what if your bread came out too dense? Who cares, it’s just bread. Simply feed it to the birds, and try again….and again...and again! That is how you learn to work with the dough, tweak flavors and find a love for making bread just like I have.

I assure you that you WILL be successful with this recipe and your family will think you are an artisan baker when you present them to the dinner table! Heck, make this bread and you ARE an artisan baker!

My recipe for delicious dinner rolls is so easy that spending money on rolls for your holiday dinner will seem silly after realizing not only how easy they come together but how inexpensive it is to make! Not to mention knowing what is in them! Don’t have time to make these the day of? No worries, I will share with you how to make the rolls the day before or better yet a WEEK before you need them. How you ask? Keep reading.  

I am so excited to share with you a recipe with only a handful of ingredients that once you make you will never need another dinner roll recipe or the popping can of “bread”.


2.25 t. dry active yeast (or instant yeast)

1/4 C. water (warm - 110 degrees)

1  C. whole milk ( or water)

1 egg (beaten)

3 T. sugar

1-2 t. salt

4 T. unsalted butter ( or olive oil)

3 C. All Purpose Flour

  1. Cut the butter into small chunks.  Add to milk and sugar in a microwave safe bowl or sauce pot.  Warm the the butter, milk and sugar just until the butter is melted. Heat 30 seconds at a time stirring until melted. Set aside.

  2. Place the yeast, 1 T. of sugar and warm water in a bowl or standard mixer fitted with the hook attachment.  Stir. Cover with a dish towel and let sit for 5 minutes. NOTE: After 5 minutes the water will look foamy.

  3. Add flour, liquid and egg to the bowl and either mix by hand or us the hook attachment until all flour has been absorbed and dough is wet and shaggy.  

  4. Continue to knead dough for approximately 5-8 minutes. This can be done either in mixer with a hook attachment on low/medium speed OR by lightly flouring a surface and kneading using the palm of your hand. If using this method add small amounts of flour to keep from sticking if needed...but not too much. Continue kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  

  5. Coat with olive oil, place in a large bowl. Cover with cling wrap and dish towel and set in a warm spot for 1-1.5 hours. (I'm sure you can find something else to do for an hour) The dough will double in size during this time.

  6. Punch down dough with your fist and turn out onto a lightly oiled or floured counter.

  7. Form and roll into equal sized dinner roll balls.

  8. Place on a lightly greased baking tray or sheet pan about 1-1.5 inches apart. You can place parchment paper on bottom of tray as well.   NOTE: Leaving space will allow room for dough to rise and touch for classic “pull apart” rolls.

  9. Cover with dish towel and let rise for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  10. Preheat the oven to 350. Brush the rolls with a beaten egg using a pastry brush. Dont have one? Feel free to skip thia step but you wont get that “shiny crust look. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

  11. Remove from the oven and cool..if you can wait that long. ENJOY!

MAKE AHEAD ROLLS: Once completely cool place in a freezer bag and freeze. When ready to use, let defrost IN the sealed bag. Just before serving place in a preheated oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this classic dinner roll recipe for your holiday!

From my home to yours,


Andrea Maranville