Nothing compare to these soft and fluffy Homemade Rolls, and they’re so easy to make! We enjoy them all year round, and they freeze well too!

One thing is for sure, not all roll recipes are created equal! This one absolutely lives up to its name in making light and fluffy rolls that taste better than a bakery!

A homemade roll on a plate.

I think a lot of people get intimidated by homemade rolls, but follow the instructions below and you’ll see just how easy they are!  The only thing you need is time to allow the rolls to rise, but every other element is very fast and simple. I’ve included clear process photos and instructions so that even the most novice baker will succeed with this recipe!

 How to Make Homemade Rolls:

Proof the yeast. Combine warm water, yeast, sugar and stir–allow to rest for 5-10 minutes until foamy.  Then add it to a mixing bowl with remaining sugar, cup sugar, warm milk, butter, egg and salt. Blend mixture until combine. (If using instant yeast you can skip the “proofing” and just add everything to the bowl at once).

Yeast, water and sugar proofing in a bowl.

Add flour. While mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour, mixing until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 – 6 minutes. It’s very important that you don’t add too much flour. Watch for the dough to start pulling away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft, and when touched with a clean finger, it should be just very slightly sticky.

Bread dough being kneaded in a stand mixer.

First Rise. Grease a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bottom of the bowl (turn it over once to coat all sides in cooking spray) Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.

Risen roll dough in a mixing bowl.

Roll Dough. Divide dough into two equal portions. Roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a large, thin rectangle about 1/4’’ thick. Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough, lengthwise, into two pieces. Then slice the dough into six strips across so you end up with 12 rectangles.

Rolled out bread dough cut into rectangles to shape dinner rolls.

Shape Rolls.  Roll each small rectangle up like a snail and place, open edge down, on a lightly greased or lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second portion of dough.

Rolled out dough shaped into homemade rolls.

Second Rise. Cover rolls loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

A sheet pan with risen dinner roll dough rolls ready to bake.

Bake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls for 10 – 13 minutes until cooked and golden brown. Remove from oven and brush tops with butter.

Freshly baked rolls on a sheet pan.

Make Ahead Instructions:

Make the dough up to 1 day ahead of time. Put the roll dough in the refrigerator during one of two phases:

  1. After mixing: place kneaded dough in a very large, clean greased mixing bowl with an airtight lid and refrigerate for the first rise. The dough will rise slowly in the fridge, overnight, or over several hours.
  2. After you’ve formed them into rolls, for the second rise. Allow them to come to room temperature before baking.

Freezing Instructions:

To freeze baked rolls: Bake rolls as instructed and allow them to cool completely.  Place in a freezer-safe bag and store for up to three months.  When ready to eat, allow them to come to room temperature or pop one in the microwave for a few seconds, and serve warm.

To freeze roll dough: You can freeze the dough after kneading it in the mixing bowl. Allow it to come to room temperature before roll it out and shaping them into rolls. Proceed with recipe as instructed. Shaped roll dough can also be frozen. Place the shaped rolls in the freezer on a sheet pan for 30 minutes to “flash” freeze them. Then transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place them on a baking tray and allow them to thaw and rise overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature on the counter. Once they are thaw and have risen on the sheet pan, bake as directed.

Homemade rolls freeze really well and are great to have on hand. My kids love them at lunchtime as a sandwich or with some tunafish and pickles. My husband loves them as a side with dinner.

Storing Instructions:

Store dinner rolls at room temperature in an airtight container or ziplock bag.  They will stay fresh for 1-2 days. (I think they taste most fresh stored in the freezer and then re-heated for a few seconds in the microwave.)

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Recipe

A homemade roll on a plate.
Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 12 mins
Total 2 hrs 42 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup + ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups milk , warmed
  • 5 Tablespoons salted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • Proof Yeast: Combine warm water, yeast, and ¼ tsp sugar and stir–allow to rest for 5-10 minutes until foamy. (If using instant yeast, skip this step and add water and yeast to the mixing bowl with everything in step 2).
  • Mix Dough: Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or into a large bowl if you plan on kneading by hand). Add remaining ⅓ cup sugar, warm milk, butter, egg and salt. Mix until combined.
  • Knead: While mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour, mixing until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. You may not use all of the flour called for! The dough should be soft, very slightly sticky when touched with a clean finger. It should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer. 
  • First Rise: Grease a large bowl with cooking spray or a tiny bit of oil. Place the dough in the bottom of the bowl and turn it over once to coat all sides in oil (this helps keep it from drying out.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Roll out: Divide dough into two equal portions. Roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle about 1/4’’ thick.
  • Shape Rolls: Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough, lengthwise, into two pieces. Then slice the dough into six strips across so you end up with 12 small rectangles. Roll each small rectangle up like a snail and place, open edge down, on a lightly greased or lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
  • Second Rise: Cover rolls loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls for 10 – 13 minutes until cooked and very lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and brush tops with butter.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: Make the dough up to 1 day ahead of time. Put the roll dough in the refrigerator during one of two phases:
  1. After mixing: place kneaded dough in a very large, clean greased mixing bowl with an airtight lid and refrigerate for the first rise. The dough will rise slowly in the fridge, overnight, or over several hours.
  2. After you’ve formed them into rolls, for the second rise. Allow them to come to room temperature before baking.
Storing Instructions: Store dinner rolls at room temperature in an airtight container or ziplock bag.  They will stay fresh for 1-2 days, although I think they taste most fresh stored in the freezer.
Freeze Roll Dough: You can freeze the dough after kneading it in the mixing bowl. Allow it to come to room temperature before roll it out and shaping them into rolls. Proceed with recipe as instructed. Shaped roll dough can also be frozen. Place the shaped rolls in the freezer on a sheet pan for 30 minutes to “flash” freeze them. Then transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place them on a baking tray and allow them to thaw and rise overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature on the counter. Once they are thaw and have risen on the sheet pan, bake as directed.
Freeze Baked Rolls: Bake rolls as instructed and allow them to cool completely.  Place in a freezer-safe container and store for up to three months.  When ready to eat, allow them to come to room temperature or pop one in the microwave for a few seconds, and serve warm.
Homemade rolls freeze really well and are great to have on hand. My kids love them at lunchtime as a sandwich or with some tunafish and pickles. My husband loves them as a side with dinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 46kcalCarbohydrates: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 150mgPotassium: 24mgSugar: 3gVitamin A: 110IUCalcium: 17mg

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Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.

Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe August 2017. Updated with improved instructions November 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    Made these rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, easy and delicious. First rise early afternoon, allowed second rise to go for about 2 hours, baked for dinner. Everyone loved them! Would definitely make again!

  2. 5 stars
    I love the simplicity of this recipe, with rolls that are delicious! My 4 y/o helped me make these for our Thanksgiving dinner, and loved rolling the rolls 🙂 I really appreciate the tips on making ahead and freezing! We made our rolls a couple days ahead, then took them out of the freezer the night before thanksgiving and they were ready to pop in the oven the next morning. This will definitely be a repeat recipe!

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