Soft White Dinner Rolls
Simple, tender, and delicious white dinner rolls are a great accompaniment to any meal!
These soft white dinner rolls were the first yeast recipe I learned to master years ago in the early days of this website, and they’ve been a favorite in our house ever since. No soup night, large family dinner, or holiday meal is complete without rolls on the table, and this recipe is the perfect one to bake!
These rolls are very soft and tender, with plenty of flavor. I love to brush them with melted honey butter and add a sprinkling of flaky salt when they’re fresh from the oven. This way not only do they taste delicious, but they look beautiful too.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Bread flour
- Granulated sugar
- Active-dry yeast
How to Make Soft White Dinner Rolls
- Warm liquids. In a small saucepan melt butter, then add milk and heat for a few minutes, just until about 120°F and no warmer than 135°F.
- Combine dry ingredients, liquids, and eggs. Combine 2 cups of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in bowl. Stir in milk/butter mixture, followed by eggs.
- Add more flour and knead. Gradually add remaining flour until dough is tacky but you can touch it without it coming off on your hands.
- Let dough rise. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Shape rolls. Portion dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into rolls (see below for tips).
- Let dough rise again. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 30 minutes while you preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake. Brush rolls with egg wash (optional) and bake until rolls are golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
- Brush with honey butter (optional). When rolls are still hot, brush them with melted honey butter. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired.
- Serve. The rolls are best the day they are baked but will keep for several days in airtight container at room temperature.
How to Shape Rolls
- Divide dough evenly. Use scale if you have one— weigh total dough, divide by 12, and weigh each round to match. Or divide dough in half, then in half again, and then in thirds to get 12 total rounds.
- Stretch and pinch. Use your fingers to pull and stretch the dough from the top down around the roll, pinching it on the bottom. The top remains smooth while any messy bits stay on the bottom. Here’s a helpful video that shows you how to do it!
- Roll into ball. Gently roll on clean countertop in a circular motion, to shape into an even ball.
More Tips for this Recipe
- If the butter/milk mixture is too hot (above 140°F) when added to the dry ingredients, it can kill the yeast. This is my first guess when readers say their dough didn’t rise! Use a thermometer if you can, or error on the side of being cautious and let it cool enough to touch.
- I prefer to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to mix and knead this bread, but of course you can knead by hand. Here’s a great video to show you how to knead by hand.
- My favorite yeast to use for bread baking is Red Star Platinum Yeast.
- The amount of flour you’ll need for these rolls will vary depending on many factors. You may need more or less than 3½ cups. You’ll know you’ve added enough flour when the dough is still very soft and tacky to the touch, but you can handle it without the dough sticking to your hands. Adding too much flour will make your rolls tough and dense, use only as much as you need.
- I like to let dough rise in my oven. Heat the oven to its lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off. Place the covered dough on the center rack and close the door. More rising tips can be found here.
- Looking to make these rolls ahead of time? See my tip for 4 ways to prepare rolls in advance.
More Roll Recipes to Try
- Honey Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls
- No-Knead Fairy Crescent Rolls
- Garlic and Herb Crescent Rolls
- Potato Rolls
Shop Tools for this Recipe
This recipe was originally published November 2012.
Soft White Dinner Rolls
- ¾ cup milk (175 ml)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (56 grams)
- 3½ cups bread flour (438 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 envelope)
- 2 large eggs
For the glaze (optional):
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (20 grams)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and butter just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes (temperature should be 120-140°F).
- Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups of the four, sugar, salt and yeast. Add the milk/butter mixture until incorporated. Add the eggs and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining flour a few tablespoons at a time until all incorporated. If needed, add more flour a tablespoon at a time to achieve a dough that starts to clear the bowl, is sticky to the touch, but does not stick and come off on your hands. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes
- Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, rolling the top in the butter or oil to grease it as well. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
- Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Divide each of those pieces into 3 smaller pieces. Shape into rounds and place in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise again until an indentation remains when lightly pressed with your finger, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes.
To make the glaze:
- Melt the butter and honey together. Brush on to tops of rolls immediately when they come out of the oven.