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Homemade Yeast Rolls

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These are the softest, fluffiest yeast rolls I have ever made. An easy-to-make recipe for dinner rolls perfect for any occasion.

homemade american dinner rolls

Who can resist a warm dinner roll fresh from the oven? Definitely not me, nor anybody in my family.

I am usually into making German-style bread rolls when making homemade buns, but these easy yeast rolls, American style, have definitely made it into our list of regulars when it comes to bread. The homemade dinner rolls are just that good: soft and fluffy, light and airy, perfect with a stew, a soup, or just with some butter and maybe jam in the morning…

dinner roll recipe with yeast

What are yeast rolls?

Rolls are small loaves of bread served as a side dish for soups or saucy dishes or at breakfast with butter, jam, or cheese.

There is, however, a difference between the typical bread roll we know in Germany or Europe and the American-style dinner rolls. The German/European bread rolls can be made with plain white flour, but often whole wheat, rye, or spelt flour can be used instead.

In Germany we do love plain Brötchen, Mehrkornbrötchen – rolls with several types of seeds, Roggenbrötchen – rye rolls, or pretzel rolls. This kind of Brötchen or rolls come in different degrees of lightness or denseness, they are sometimes light and sometimes dark in color, depending on the kind of flour or flour mixture used. They are “bready” if that is a word I can use, they are smaller, crustier versions of a loaf of bread. They are all amazing!

However, I was never able to buy a roll similar to the American-style dinner rolls. We do have the Milchbrötchen – milk rolls, which have a similar texture as the dinner rolls, but they are sweeter, they are more like a snack or a dessert, I could not imagine eating them as an accompaniment for a savory dish.

These American homemade dinner rolls are everything I expected them to be: soft bread rolls, light and only very slightly sweetened, perfect to mop up any sauce on your plate, and also perfect to enjoy with a little butter and jam.

easy yeast rolls

Recipe steps

Making this dinner roll recipe with yeast is actually easier than you might think. You can make the recipe with the help of a stand mixer or handheld mixer fitted with dough hooks or you can knead the dough by hand, either way, it will all go fairly quickly.

  • Heat the milk until lukewarm. The milk should not get hot, otherwise it will destroy the yeast.
  • Pour the milk, yeast and granulated sugar to a large bowl, either a regular bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir shortly.
  • Add the soft butter and the lightly beaten eggs. Mix well either with the kneading attachments of the stand mixer or with a hand held mixer fitted with dough hooks. If not using a machine, stir well with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are mixed.
  • Add the flour and the salt to the bowl and mix with the dough hooks until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  • If making the dough without a machine, stir in about half of the flour using a wooden spoon. Start adding the remaining flour, stirring with the spoon for as long as possible. When the dough becomes too sturdy to stir, give it to the working surface and knead it with the hands until the dough is only slightly sticky and still soft.
  • You could add 1 or 2 tablespoons extra flour, if necessary, but keep in mind that the dough should remain soft.
  • Let the dough rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes in a warm place, it should double in size.
dough for dinner rolls
  • Lightly grease a large baking tray. Punch down the dough and form the rolls, I had 24 rolls which fitted perfectly into my baking tray. Place them on the tray leaving a little space between them.
dough for homemade dinner rolls
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another hour.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When the dinner rolls are properly risen, they will come together, touching each other on the tray. However, it will be very easy (and fun) to pull them apart when serving.
unbaked dinner rolls
  • Bake the easy yeast rolls for12 to 14 minutes, until nicely golden. Take them out of the oven and brush them immediately with 1 tablespoon melted (or very soft) butter.

Recipe Tips and FAQ

How to serve?

Once baked, the yeast dinner rolls can be served immediately.
If not served hot, let them rest on the tray for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

How to store?

Keep stored in plastic bags or wrapped in foil at room temperature, they should keep for about 3-4 days.
The homemade yeast rolls should not be refrigerated as they will become stale quicker than at room temperature.
You can reheat them in the oven before serving again if you wish. It’s not mandatory, but nice if they are warm. However, we had absolutely no issues serving the leftovers for breakfast without warming them up, they were still great!

Can I make them ahead?

You can refrigerate them after shaping them into rolls, for up to 24 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Yeast products are always best when fresh, but you can make the rolls a little in advance and refresh them before serving.

Can I freeze them?

Freeze unbaked rolls after shaping them. Let them thaw and rise before baking, this will take 1 – 2 hours at room temperature, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
Freeze baked dinner rolls. Let them cool down completely, place them in freezer bags or wrap them in aluminum foil and freeze them. They will keep for at least 3 months.

How to reheat them after freezing?

Remove the aluminum foil or take the rolls out of the freezer bags, if you leave them wrapped they will become soggy. Let thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until soft.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Loosely wrap 4-6 dinner rolls in a single layer in a large piece of aluminum foil and reheat for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

Serving suggestions

  • As mentioned above the easy yeast rolls can be served hot, warm, or cold.
  • You can have them for breakfast with butter, jam, cheese and so on. Split them in half by breaking them with your hands (it’s so easy, using a knife is pointless).
  • Or you can have the homemade dinner rolls as an accompaniment for soups, anything with gravy – like a nice beef roast with gravy, saucy dishes like meatballs in tomato sauce, pork stew or Hungarian goulash.
  • Last time I’ve made them we had them with something similar to this French beef stew. And the leftovers with these beautiful eggplants in tomato sauce.
  • Or you can make pulled pork sandwiches – so good!!! Or make sloppy Joes, I’ve never had those, but they look amazing and these homemade dinner rolls would be perfect for them.
easy dinner roll recipe

Source: The Stay at Home Chef

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soft yeast rolls on a wire rack

Homemade Yeast Rolls

These are the softest, fluffiest yeast rolls I have ever made. An easy to make recipe for dinner rolls perfect for any occasion.
4.37 from 19 votes
Print Pin Share Grow Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 14 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

  • 480 ml milk 16.2 fl.oz/ 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
  • 50 g granulated sugar 1.5 oz/ ¼ cup
  • 80 g unsalted butter soft + 1 extra tablespoon butter for brushing, 3 oz/ 1/3 cup
  • 2 eggs medium Germany, large US
  • 750 g all-purpose flour 1.7 lbs / 6 ¼ cups
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat the milk until lukewarm. Don't overheat the milk or it will spoil the yeast.
  • Mix: Pour the lukewarm milk, active dry yeast, and granulated sugar into a large bowl (or the stand mixer bowl). Add the soft butter and the lightly beaten eggs. Mixwell either with the kneading attachments of the stand mixer or with a handheld mixer fitted with dough hooks.
  • If not using a machine, stir well with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are mixed.
  • Knead: Add the flour and the salt to the bowl and mix with the dough hooks until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  • If making the dough without a machine, stir in about half of the flour using a wooden spoon. Start adding the remaining flour, stirring with the spoon for as long as possible. When the dough becomes too sturdy to stir, turn it on the lightly floured working surface and knead with your hands until the dough is only slightly sticky and still soft.
  • You could add 1 or 2 tablespoons extra flour, if necessary, but keep in mind that the dough should remain soft.
  • Let rise: Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes in a warm place, it should double in size.
  • Form yeast rolls: Lightly grease a large baking tray of about 30×40 cm/12×16 inches. Punch down the dough. Form 24 rolls. Place them on the baking tray leaving a little space between them. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another hour.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake: When the rolls have nicely risen, they will come together, touching each other on the tray. Bake the easy yeast rolls for 12 to 14 minutes, until nicely golden.
  • Brush them immediately with 1 tablespoon melted (or very soft) butter.

Notes

A digital kitchen scale will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best bake possible (Amazon affiliate link).

Nutrition

Serving: 1yeast roll | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 195mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
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Recipe Rating




Lindsay K

Saturday 26th of November 2022

I made these rolls on a whim on Thanksgiving and they turned out perfect! Perfect soft tear apart rolls with wonderful yeast flavor. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Karen

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Could you use active yeast instead of instant?

Adina

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Hi Karen. Yes, you can.

RachelC

Monday 30th of May 2022

2 tablespoons of yeast? Surely, that is a typo! A packet of yeast is just over 2 teaspoons. Is that what's meant here?

Adina

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

Hi. Yes, I always use that much, you need to have enough for the 750 g flour.

Jennifer D

Tuesday 23rd of November 2021

How do you get the rolls all the same size? Forgive me if this is a stupid question for I have never made homemade rolls for my Thanksgiving dinner.

Marcy

Friday 9th of September 2022

@Adina, These look wonderful, thanks for sharing. Would you please tell me how much each roll weighs to get them all the same size? I was looking for a nice big roll (not the little dinner rolls you normally see) and the pic you have of one in your hand looks like the perfect size. Thank you.

Adina

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Hi Jennifer. I always weigh them on a scale, which is the best solution.

Nichole

Monday 22nd of November 2021

These are wonderful my family said they are the best ones I have made yet! Thanks so much!

Adina

Monday 22nd of November 2021

I am so happy to hear it, Nichole. Thank you for the feedback.