The BEST Dinner Rolls with zero hand kneading!
These Dinner Rolls are soft and fluffy, double brushed with butter and topped with garlic salt for the best Dinner Roll recipe ever! These Homemade Dinner Rolls will be the only rolls you will ever want to make. or eat. Out of everything I could be making for Thanksgiving, I am making these perfect, tantalizing pillows of deliciousness. And soon you’ll taste why! I’ve included how to make ahead, how to freeze and how to customize your homemade dinner rolls!
Dinner Roll Recipe
I will never make another dinner roll recipe again – these dinner rolls are PERFECT! When I made these buttery balls of bliss last week, I knew Patrick was going to be excited. As soon as the door opened and he was met with their buttery homemade dinner roll aroma, I heard an enthusiastic, “Yes!” as he hurried up the stairs and dove right in. “You have to make these for Thanksgiving!” he exclaimed.
He has since conjured up plans to open a food truck with a menu solely based on these dinner rolls because they make “everything taste amazing!” I love the enthusiasm.
But Patrick is right. YOU have to make this dinner roll recipe for Thanksgiving, or any time you crave amazing rolls. These dinner rolls are super uber soft and fluffy, smothered in butter before baked then smothered in butter again after they bake because, after all, you are taking the time to make homemade dinner rolls – they better be buttery! Just as they better be melt in your mouth delicious. Done and done.
The last extra “something special” that pushes this already perfect Dinner Roll Recipe into a whole new realm of unspeakable deliciousness (as in you can’t speak because your mouth is stuffed with roll after roll after roll), they are gifted with a sprinkling of garlic salt. It enhances all that’s right in
the world these dinner rolls.
I hope this Dinner Roll Recipe joins you this Thanksgiving and for many Thanksgivings to come and that their freshly baked bread aroma fills your soul with reminiscent foodie and family memories and present Thanksgiving!
Why these are the BEST HOMEMADE DINNER ROLLS!
- Easy: You can make these dinner rolls at home easily with a perfect rise every time. They are fool proof with my tips and tricks.
- Stay fresh: Both the fat from the milk and butter preserve the freshness of these soft dinner rolls and keeps them soft for a days. The fat keeps the rolls from drying out!
- Soft: The perfect ratio of flour to fat to liquid makes these dinner rolls uber soft. Additionally, the rolls are baked close together which lowers the amount of browned “crust” on the rolls, which yields an overall softer texture – pull apart pillow heaven! Lastly, the tops of the rolls get brushed with butter which helps seal the rolls and keep them nice and soft.
- Flavorful: The dinner rolls are brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt so every bite contains a touch of sweetness complimented by savory, salty, buttery with hints of garlicky goodness AKA no bland dinner rolls!
- Fluffy These homemade dinner rolls are delightfully fluffy because they rise twice. You do not want to rush either rise as that is what gives them air, lift, softness and their characteristic FLUFFINESS!
- Customizable: You can easily introduce new flavors, herbs and spices into the dough to compliment any meal. I’ve included lots of dinner roll options below
- Crowd pleaser: You – and everyone else – won’t be able to stop eating them!
- Make ahead: You can make the dough ahead of time or make the dinner rolls entirely ahead and either warm or freeze the rolls. I’ve included how to on all three methods below.
Ingredient and Substitutions for Dinner Rolls
- Milk: For the softest dinner rolls, use whole milk. Any milk works but whole milk produces the best flavor and texture because it contains more fat.
- Flour: I prefer all-purpose flour for the softest dinner rolls but you can use bread flour as well for chewier rolls. Dinner rolls made with bread flour will not be as soft.
- Yeast: Use active dry yeast as opposed to instant dry yeast for the best flavor. Active dry yeast takes longer to rise which allows time for fermentation and therefore greater flavor.
- Water: This is what activates the yeast, keep it between 100-110 degrees F
- Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, makes activation faster, and tenderizes the dough.
- Egg: eggs provides binding, structure and flavor.
- Butter: adds flavor, body, texture and softness. Do not substitute butter – it is integral ingredient for these dinner rolls.
- Salt: any rolls or bread would virtually be flavorless without salt!
- Garlic Salt: is my secret ingredient in both my homemade pizza dough and this dinner roll recipe. It is optional, but I never make this recipe without it. It adds flavor and depth to the rolls.
HOW TO MAKE DINNER ROLLS
In summary you will:
- Proof yeast.
- Make dough.
- Knead the dough.
- Cover the dough and let it rise.
- Shape dough into rolls.
- Let the rolls rise.
- Brush with butter.
Making Homemade Dinner Rolls really is that simple, it just takes some time in between some of the steps while you wait for the dough to rise. Here is a more detailed explanation with tips and tricks how to make the Best Homemade Dinner Rolls!
- What temperature should my water be to proof yeast? The warm water is what activates the yeast, so be diligent about checking for the right temperature. You need to be somewhere between 100-110F. I warm mine in the microwave in a glass-measuring cup and then use a thermometer to check the temperature.
- How do I prove active dry yeast? To proof your yeast, dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of your mixer and wait for 5-10 minutes. If it foams, you are ready to start baking, if it doesn’t, this means a) the water was too hot and killed the yeast, b) the water was too cold so the yeast didn’t activate or c) the yeast is too old. Refrigerated active dry yeast only has a shelf life of about 6 months.
- What should finished dough feel like? The dough should be sticky but not so sticky that it clings to your fingers – just barely sticks.
- What if my dough is sticky? If your dough is too wet and is not pulling away from the bowl, add 1 more tablespoon of flour at a time until dough barely sticks to your fingers. Take care not to add too much additional flour or else your dinner rolls will be dry and dense.
- What if I don’t have a stand mixer, can I still make dinner rolls from scratch? No worries, you can knead it by hand – just be prepared to wash your hands! Start out by stirring with a spoon until you cannot do it anymore. Then its time to get in there and get dirty. Continue to knead until all the flour is incorporated and/or the dough is soft to the touch and only slightly sticky. It’s a bit of a workout, but it’s worth it!
LET DOUGH RISE:
Shape the dough into a ball and place back into your mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
The dough will rise more quickly in a warm environment, so keep it in a draft free location. See my section below on faster rise techniques.
Making the dinner rolls the same size ensures an even baking time. I am good at eyeballing it, but to ensure accuracy, we are going to pat the dough into a rectangle of uniform thickness, then cut into squares. This method is also much quicker, easier and accurate method than eyeballing it.
The overall dimensions of your large rectangle don’t matter, you just want it to be an even thickness so the rolls are roughly the same size. Cut the rectangle into 28 roughly even pieces by cutting the rectangle into 4 strips along the short end and 7 strips along the long end to create a total of 28 dough squares. You can use a kitchen scale to weigh them if you want to be even more accurate, but I don’t think that is necessary.
To form the balls, take a corner of the square and stretch it to the bottom, then pinch and seal it. Repeat with all 4 corners. Make sure the rolls are smooth on top and sealed on the bottom. You can roll them on the counter top or between both hands but then you run the risk of overworking the dough, so I just use my hands.
What if my hands keep sticking to the dough? If the dough is too sticky to work with at any point, you can spray your hands with nonstick spray. I highly suggest this instead of dusting them with flour, because you don’t want to add more flour to the dough than is necessary.
Place balls about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat or parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, 45-60 minutes.
Yeast dough requires time to develop its flavor and gluten. You can rush many things in life, but you cannot rush bread. You can help it along, but do not be tempted to bake your rolls until you get the necessary rise -that is, if you want the softest, fluffiest dinner rolls!
Don’t forget to brush the tops of the dinner rolls with butter! This is what gives the top of the rolls that irresistible golden sheen, infuses them with flavor, tenderness and promotes even bowing.
Bake dinner rolls for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Always check a center roll for doneness. Take care not over bake your rolls or they won’t be as tender.
- What if my rolls are getting too dark? Check the rolls right at 15 minutes, if they are darkening beyond what you prefer, place a piece of foil over the top.
- What if my rolls don’t turn golden? When bread or rolls do not brown as much as expected, it is because the dough has been slightly over-proofed. The yeast cells eat up all the sugars and then there isn’t much left to caramelize during the bake. I suggest shortening up your second rise time by about 10 minutes.
Brush your hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade dinner rolls with remaining butter and sprinkle with garlic salt.
How DO I Make DOUGH RISE FASTER?
I know how hard it can be to wait for your buttery Dinner Rolls to be ready, so to help expedite the rising process, there are a few things you can do. besides living in Texas in July, to help create a warm and humid environment:
- Microwave: Fill a glass with 1 cup of water, use something small so the glass and the dough can fit in the microwave together. Heat water on high for 2 minutes. Carefully move the glass to the side and place the dough while still in the mixing bowl inside microwave and close the door. It does not not need to be a microwave safe bowl – we will not use the microwave with dough inside. Now you have a warm, moist cozy spot for the dough to rise.
- Oven: Preheat oven to its lowest temperature for 2 minutes then turn off the oven. Either boil or microwave 2 cups of water. Place hot water in the oven. Next, place dough in the bowl in the oven. Close oven door and let rise. You can prepare the oven before making the dough so the oven is warm, moist and ready when the dough is prepared.
- Near oven: You can open the preheated or warming oven and place dough near it. You will need to rotate the dough if using this method so the dough rises evenly.
- Counter top: Boil some water and put it in a bowl or measuring dish next to the dough that’s rising. Cover the dough AND the vessel containing the boiling water with a damp towel and let the rising begin!
Can you over knead dough?
CAN I DOUGH SIT OUT ALL DAY?
You don’t won’t to let your dough sit out after the dinner rolls have doubled in size. At this point, you will want to refrigerate the rolls because if you let the dough rise too much it will cause over-fermentation and a super yeasty flavor.
HOW TO SHAPE DINNER ROLLS
Once you have the perfect dinner roll dough, the shapes are endless! You can deviate from the round ball and turn this dough into twisted rolls, cloverleaf, or any other fun shapes.
How do I keep Dinner Rolls Warm?
To keep dinner rolls warm for your guests or loved ones:
- Heat dry beans by wrapping them in a kitchen towel and microwaving until warm. Alternatively you can heat balls of foil in the oven while cooking the rolls and add those to the bottom of the basket.
- Place heated beans in the bottom of a napkin lined basket and add the warm dinner rolls.
- Wrap the rolls with sides of the napkin that line the basket or top with another clean kitchen towel.
CAN I MAKE THESE DINNER ROLLS AHEAD OF TIME?
YES! In fact, dinner rolls are a flexible and accommodating kind of recipe. Multiple points along the process you can stop, put the rolls on pause, and pick them up again when you want to:
- After First Rise: You can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. This comes in handy when you want the dough to rise slowly or you won’t be home once the dough rises as it is not good to let dough rise for too long.
- After Shaping: You can also pause dough making after forming the balls. Cover the shaped rolls tightly and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. At least 3 hours before you need them, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1-2 hours before baking. This not only finishes proofing the yeast, but takes the chill off so the yeast is active when the rolls enter the oven.
HOW TO FREEZE HOMEMADE DINNER ROLLS
- Shaped, unbaked individual rolls: you can add individual rolls to plastic bag(s), seal and freeze or freeze 4,6, 8 rolls in one bag separated by parchment paper. Freeze for up to two months. This comes in handy when you don’t need the whole batch at once.
- Shaped, unbaked rolls: after you have assembled the rolls in the baking pan, cover tightly with two layers of plastic wrap and freeze. You can either leave them in the baking pan or remove the slab of rolls to a freezer bag to free up freezer space once frozen. Freeze for up to two months.
- How to Reheat Frozen Rolls: remove rolls from freezer and from the freezer wrapping to prevent excess condensation. Let rolls thaw and rise for about 4-6 hours then continue to brush with butter, garlic salt and bake per recipe instructions.
- Baked Dinner Rolls: You can also freeze completely baked dinner rolls as well. Thaw the dinner rolls on the counter, then reheat in foil at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until completely warmed thorough.
FLAVOR VARIATIONS FOR HOMEMADE DINNER ROLLS
- Cheddar Dinner Rolls – add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Other cheese varieties work like pepper Jack or Gruyere, but avoid super soft cheeses as they will make the dough too doughy. Along with cheese, you can also add chives, green onions, jalapenos, etc.
- Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls: add 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan and 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the dough before kneading. You can also add in additional Italian herbs like rosemary, basil and parsley.
- Garlic & Herb Dinner Rolls – add 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 2 teaspoons of each of three of your favorite dried Italian herbs to dough before kneading.
- Rosemary Sun-Dried Tomato Dinner Rolls – add 2 Tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried chopped rosemary and 1/2 cup rinsed, dried and chopped sun-fried tomatoes to dough before kneading. You could also add Parmesan and/or olives as well.
- Honey Butter Dinner Rolls- I recommend bread flour for the added gluten if making honey butter rolls. Add 1/3 cup honey and omit the 1/2 cup sugar and garlic competently from the recipe. When baked, add 2 tablespoons honey to melted butter and brush on tops of rolls.
CAN I USE THIS RECIPE TO MAKE CINNAMON ROLLS?
Yes! These Dinner Rolls taste so yummy with frosting; I would strongly recommend not sprinkling with garlic ;-). You can also use it for pretzels or bread sticks.
HOW DO YOU REHEAT DINNER ROLLS?
I could eat leftover room temperature dinner rolls all day long, but they are so much better warmed! To reheat dinner rolls:
- OVEN: Wrap dinner rolls in foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F until warmed through, about 10 to 15 minutes. (The foil is necessary so they don’t dry out.)
- MICROWAVE: Wrap dinner rolls in moistened paper towels and place on a microwave-safe plate. Warm on low power for 10-20 seconds. Check to see if warm. Repeat if necessary.
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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Adapted from Food Network
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