Originally posted here on Real Country Living ~ August, 2009
These are the homemade dinner rolls I make for every holiday or special event. This is actually a simple white bread recipe, which makes up into a classic dinner roll.
Makes about 35 large rolls
How to Make Dinner Rolls
Learning how to make dinner rolls was challenging for me as a young wife just learning how to cook! I hope to make this a fool-proof and easy to follow guide so that even first timers will have great success!
- 2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
- 3/4 Cup Warm Water (105 to 115 degrees)
- 2 Cups Lukewarm Milk (scalded then cooled)
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Shortening
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 7-8 Cups Flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Not too warm though…you don’t want to cook the yeast…that’ll kill it and your dough won’t rise. I just test with my finger…should be lukewarm to the touch.
Give that yeast time to dissolve fully and bubble up a bit.
Stir in milk, sugar, shortening, salt and 4 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.
OK, this is where I depend on my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer for help! Using the regular paddle, I beat this mixture for several minutes on about speed #4. Yeast needs to be “worked” extensively so that it will rise properly. I missed this critical step during my first attempt at homemade dinner rolls 28+ years ago! If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use an electric hand mixer or just use a wooden spoon and beat the heck out of your mixture. Get the kids to help if you get tired!
Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
“Easy to handle” means you should be able to work with the dough without it sticking to your hands.
If you don’t have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you will use a heavy-duty spoon to stir in these remaining cups of flour. I again use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer instead, with the dough hook, for this step. The next two photos show how the dough looks when the first of the remaining flour is added.
The dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, which means I have to add more flour. Just have your measuring cup full of flour and gradually add a little at a time as the dough hook goes around. The dough will then “grab” the flour from the sides of the bowl and the hook will mix it in. Keep doing that until the dough is “easy to handle“.
Shown below…now the dough has enough flour…don’t add any more to avoid dry, tough rolls.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up.
If you have added the remaining flour by stirring with a spoon, you will need to follow this step and turn the dough onto your surface for hand kneading ~ 10 minutes.
When using a stand mixer with a dough hook, the “kneading” is already done for you. Mixing in those remaining cups of flour should have taken you about the same 10 minutes, which leaves the dough properly “worked“.
Watch me hand knead dough in this very short video. Even though I kneaded with the stand mixer, I still like to turn my dough out and “hand” knead it a few times to get it very smooth before placing in the bowl.
Just give your bowl a covering with cooking spray and then do the same on top of your dough after placing it in the greased bowl. Next, you will dampen a dish cloth and place over the bowl for rising. Using a damp cloth keeps the dough from sticking to the fabric.
Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
Punch down the dough. Use a sharp knife to cut pieces from the dough to shape into homemade dinner rolls.
Shaping Rolls ~ An Important Step in Achieving Perfect Homemade Dinner Rolls
My mother taught me her method for shaping rolls when I was fairly young (Thanks Mom!). She had learned from her mother, who probably was shown how by her mother, and so on. I have never come across anyone who shapes homemade dinner rolls the same way we do. I’m not sure why since it works really well!
Its hard to explain how to do this in words, so you can watch the videos below! Use the outside edges of the palms of your hands to stretch the dough into the shape of a ball. Rolling and stretching, rolling and stretching. Hmmm…I might have to write an ebook on this method and spend some time putting words to the motion!
Excuse the dog barking in the video….and my squeaky floor!
Shaping Homemade Dinner Rolls
Now, a view from above…and maybe a little slower…
Place shaped rolls in a greased pan. This one is 11″ X 15″ and holds this recipe perfectly (7 rows with 5 rolls each).
Dampen your cloth again and place over the rolls. Let rise until double…about 30-45 minutes. They will be touching each other at that point.
Bake Them Into Light and Fluffy Yeast Rolls
Prepare the dough correctly and you will create good-looking, fluffy and delicious yeast rolls every time. All that’s left now is the baking!
Bake rolls on center rack in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes. The tops will be golden brown. Test by tapping the rolls with your fingernail. If they sound “hollow“, they are done!
Cool pan on a wire rack. Brush tops of rolls with butter, if desired.
These homemade dinner rolls freeze really well. Make a few days ahead of time, wrap in tin foil and place in freezer. Thaw them out for about an hour and place in a 350 degree oven (still wrapped) for about 15 minutes and they are just like fresh!
Homemade Yeast Rolls Don’t Need to Be Difficult
There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread in a country kitchen ~ or any kitchen, for that matter!
I hope that trying your hand at homemade yeast rolls will be painless with the help of this guide. Making rolls may be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult!
Homemade dinner rolls are the ideal addition to a special meal, like Thanksgiving or any time you have a large crew to feed.