Dinner Rolls Article - Allrecipes.com
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Dinner Rolls

Nothing compares to homebaked rolls pulled hot from the oven. Here's how to make them!

Make Some Dough

You can use any yeast bread recipe to make rolls. White or wheat, sour or sweet, whole grain or plain Jane, buttery dough or sourdough--if you can make it into a loaf, you can form it into a roll. If you've got a bread machine or a mixer with a dough hook, mixing dough is easy.

Taking Shape

To divide a batch of dough into rolls, wait until the dough has risen once, then gently deflate it with your fist. On a clean surface, use both hands to roll the dough out into a log. If it's very flexible, you can stretch it by flicking your wrists and slapping the dough on the counter, but be gentle--you don't want to tear the dough.

Use a bench knife, stiff spatula, or serrated knife to divide the log of dough into equal portions. If you want to be exact, use a kitchen scale to weigh each piece of dough.

There's a definite technique to shaping dough into perfect rounds, but it's fairly easy to get the hang of it and fun to practice. See our photo tutorial, Forming Dough Rounds, for step-by-step instructions.

Dust a baking sheet with flour and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. As you finish forming each dough round, place it under the plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

As an alternative to regular round rolls, try making savory pinwheels:

  • Once the dough has risen the first time, deflate it and roll it into a single rectangle about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Spread the whole surface with butter and sprinkle it with herbs, seeds, nuts, and/or cheese.
  • Roll it up like a jellyroll, seal the seam and cut the log into slices.
  • Allow the rolls to rise a second time and bake as usual.

Rolls Now, Rolls Later

To bake on the same day:

  • Arrange the rolls on a baking sheet. Cover them with a clean floured kitchen towel.
  • Let rolls rise a second time, until about double in size, and bake at the temperature directed in the recipe. (If you're using a bread recipe, remember to shorten the baking time. Start checking after 15-20 minutes.)

If you've made the dough ahead of time:

  • Wrap baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate the shaped rolls overnight.
  • At least an hour before baking, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise. Bake as directed.
  • To freeze the dough, put the covered pan in the freezer until the rolls are frozen. Store frozen rolls in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
  • To defrost, place them on a tray dusted with flour and cover them with lightly greased plastic. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for about two hours at room temperature.
  • Proof and bake as directed.

You can also freeze shaped rolls by placing them in a well-greased disposable aluminum baking pan. Wrap them airtight in plastic wrap and foil. If you allow enough space between the rolls, you can thaw and bake them in the same pan.

Bread dough will keep in the freezer for up to a month; you can store it longer, but the yeast may begin to degrade and the bread may not rise as well.

Tip: use a permanent marker to write the correct oven temperature and baking time right on the package so you can thaw and bake them without cracking a cookbook.

    Top It All Off

    When the rolls are nearly ready to go into the oven, it's time to add some finishing touches. For shiny, golden brown tops, brush the rolls with egg wash or milk. You can also brush rolls with melted butter both before and after baking to keep them soft and add richness.

    To add toppings, either brush the rolls with egg wash or just mist them with plain water, and then sprinkle on seeds or nuts. A topping of grated cheese will melt and brown to a deliciously rich, crunchy crust. Parmesan, sharp Cheddar and mozzarella are especially good.

    Tip: Mix or knead herbs, garlic, citrus zest, or dried fruits into the dough; they will burn in the oven if you put them on top of the rolls.

    Jul. 7, 2009 10:49 am
    are they any other flour that you can buy unstead of bread flour for the bread machines because i like to buy in the bock
    Jul. 7, 2009 4:57 pm
    Wenda: you can buy vital wheat gluten—the protein found in wheat—and add it to all-purpose flour to make bread flour. (Add more to make high-gluten flour, which is used in some pizza dough and bagel recipes.) Follow instructions on the package; you add about one tablespoon of gluten for every cup of flour.
    Jul. 28, 2009 9:09 am
    I'm new to roll-making - using my bread machine and a recipe from a friend. I want to try the savory pinwheels you mention above - what would the baking time and temperature be?
    Aug. 1, 2009 8:21 am
    Maybe you could just give a complete recipe for the savory pinwheels, instead of just the time and temperature - ?
    Low Fat Recipes 
    Feb. 23, 2010 2:25 pm
    I adore baking fresh bread, the smell straight from the oven is amazing, take a look at some of my recipes too...minus the butter of course. Low Fat Recipes Kind regards, A
    Mar. 17, 2010 12:38 am
    im not a baker when i was a kid wilma coleman would make the best yeast rolls i have ever eaten any help for and amateur love the smell of yeast baking
    Mar. 31, 2010 12:30 pm
    I just started to make homemade bread and every time I make it the flavor is good, but the bread weighs a million pounds. Why isn't my loaves light like they are in the bakery?
    Apr. 1, 2010 1:46 pm
    bkvale I am a new baker as well people tell me I get too much flour in. They are right. I just made bread and it is light and soft inside. Just because a recipe calls for so many cups of flour you may not get all of it in. I started with 2 cups and added a 1/2 cup at a time. The recipe called for 61/2 cups I got 5 and half. Thats today
    Apr. 3, 2010 10:22 am
    Humidity and what elevation you are at really affects how much flour you need. I too add half a cup until it is not able to take more...and is pliable and of good smoothness..I've been making bread for 35 years and still enjoy sharing it with my friends..I do not like bread made in machines..it takes the love out of it...lol :)
    Apr. 3, 2010 1:01 pm
    Need some help. I plan on making rolls for lunch on Easter. The problem is, waiting an hour to rise then cook would make us eat later in the afternoon. Do I refrigerate the dough made the day before, or make it before church and leave it on the counter for 4 hours?
    Apr. 28, 2010 4:29 pm
    i am looking for a dinner roll recipe. my school used to make these and so did my grandma, they are kind of sweet
    May 26, 2010 4:23 am
    Lunch Rolls from an old Fleishmann's yeast cookbook. 1 package yeast, 1 1/4 cup warm (NOT HOT!)milk, 1 T. sugar, 2 T. butter,softened, 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp salt, about 4 cups flour. Dissolve yeast and sugar in milk. Stir in egg and butter, flour and salt. Kneed well. Let rise until double. Form into rolls. Place on greased baking sheet. Let double and bake about 10 min. at 400 degrees. Dip in melted butter and let cool on rack. These are yummy and so easy to make. My grandmother used to make them.
    Jul. 31, 2010 7:15 am
    I am new i making bread. I followed the recipe for sweet dinner rolls but unfortunately the rolls are hard and dry the next morning, unlike those found in the shops---they are still soft and cottony the next day, plse help .... beelee
    Janda Guthrie 
    Aug. 12, 2010 9:51 am
    I would love to get a recuoe for yeast rolls like the ones that they serve at Texas Roadhouse. They are yeast rolls and they are so soft and yummy! Any ideas?? Janda
    Nov. 8, 2010 11:27 am
    There is a recipe on this site for "Sweet Dinner Rolls" which are the most delicious rolls I have ever baked. I use the dough cycle on my bread maker and then roll out the dough and make cloverleaf rolls using muffin tins.
    Nov. 11, 2010 6:50 am
    Thank u for the cooments. This helps!
    Nov. 14, 2010 1:22 pm
    A big tip that I always tell people that I do is to proof your yeast. Even if you know it's good, it always seems to help make my bread lighter and rise better. What you do is take a small bowl (never metal, plastic of glass is fine) and put some hot water in, just enough to dissolve the yeast. Then I sprinkle a dash of sugar over it to get the yeast going quick. Cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let it sit while you get your flour and other ingredients ready. The yeast will start it's process of rising and that way you know it will go to work in your dough every time.
    Jan. 3, 2011 4:11 pm
    Are there any recipes for bread that do not require a bread machine?
    Feb. 3, 2011 4:35 am
    hai i m imran from riyadh saydia arabia i m the bakery chef in novotel hotel plaz any one can ask me the rtips aboout the bread my mail id is imranibrahim0007@yahoo.com
    Apr. 13, 2011 6:39 pm
    I don't know what I am doing wrong my rolls are hard I am determined to make a good yeast dinner roll but have been very unsuccesful any hints?
    Call Me Alice 
    Apr. 28, 2011 5:59 pm
    Kimberly - None of the recipes actually require a bread machine, though a bread machine may be included in the directions. First proof your yeast for ten minutes, as described in the comments above. Make sure that your milk or water is very warm (but not painfully so, about 110 degrees Fahrenheit is good if you have a thermometer). If the mix gets a foamy head on top, it is good. Stir in any other ingredients (oil, etc.) Add flour, stirring with a large spoon, until all flour is added or the dough doesn't seem to be able to take in any more. Knead the dough for about ten minutes (this site and Youtube have some good videos on how to knead). Oil a large bowl, set the dough in, then turn the dough over in the bowl. Let it rise somewhere warm and draft-free, covered with a damp towel or some plastic wrap. (And oven makes a good place, especially if you preheat it to 250 Fahrenheit and turn it off, to warm it up.) After an hour, punch the dough down and set to rise for a second hour
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:36 am
    I finally found this awsome recipe.In breadmaker put 1 1/4 c.warm water, 1 tbs sugar,1 tbs honey(or 2tbs sugar) let sit for 10 minutes. Add 3 1/2 c.flour, 1-tsp salt,let mix on dough setting,make hamb. buns,hot dog buns ect.It is the French Bread recipe on Alrecipes works great every time.
    Jan. 19, 2012 8:36 am
    I finally found this awsome recipe.In breadmaker put 1 1/4 c.warm water, 1 tbs sugar,1 tbs honey(or 2tbs sugar) let sit for 10 minutes. Add 3 1/2 c.flour, 1-tsp salt,let mix on dough setting,make hamb. buns,hot dog buns ect.It is the French Bread recipe on Alrecipes works great every time.
    Feb. 9, 2012 12:18 pm
    this is good but I think that it needs less flour and some butter.
    Jan. 23, 2013 8:59 am
    i see almost all recipes here for bread require a bread machine and i don't have one. are there any recipes that don't require using a bread machine?
    Nov. 9, 2014 5:45 am
    I've found using canned Evaporated milk (full strength) works successfully when making most recipes that call for milk - especially in baking... We drink 1% or skim, which is too watery, causing several recipes to turn out just so-so or failures before.
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