Don't we all love the smell of homemade dinner rolls?
Or the smell of any bread baking? It just draws us to the kitchen, and it's one of my favorite memories — coming home to Mom baking up something delicious for us. I love to do the same for my family now.
I'm glad I know how, because besides making homemade dinner rolls with this recipe, you can also make hamburger buns, cinnamon rolls, and all sorts of other things. (It's not easy finding hamburger or hotdog buns without trans fats, chemical preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup, so I started just making my own. It's really not difficult, it just takes a little thinking ahead.)
Mom gave me her recipe years ago, and I found the original in Mom's recipe box after she passed. Everyone loved her homemade dinner rolls, and she took countless pans of them to sick or sad friends around town. My family said mine tasted just like hers when I made them, which made me happy and sad at the same time…
Mom's Homemade Dinner Rolls
Yield 4 dozen
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 7 cups flour (see recipe notes below)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter or shortening
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- More melted butter for the bottom of the pan and for brushing on top
Combine water and yeast and let set for a few minutes. Add the other ingredients, and the salt last. Knead for 2-3 minutes in the Bosch or by hand for 8 minutes or so. Roll into balls and set into a buttered pan (Mom would roll them in a little more flour, but I've found it's not necessary.) Let rise, it takes 2-3 hours or so, even less in a warm environment. Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes until nicely golden brown.
Notes about this recipe:
- If you're using a Bosch mixer (I love mine so much!), you can get TWO batches in here at once -- it'll be quite full, just mix slowly at first.
- This makes about 3-4 dozen homemade dinner rolls, depending on how big you want them. I make them a little bigger than golf-ball size. They fit into an 11×14 pan and sometimes another square pan too.
- Always add the sea salt last after the flour, since salt can kill the yeast, but the flour protects it.
- You can use raw honey (local is best) instead of sugar.
- For best results and best rising, use organic all-purpose flour, they're still really good with all-purpose einkorn or with part whole grain flours, such as organic whole wheat flour, whole spelt flour, or whole einkorn flour, but they just don't rise quite as much so they're not quite as light. When I add whole grain flour, I sometimes will grind my own in this grain mill so it's more fresh and has more nutrients. (Read more about grinding grains here.)
- If you use shortening instead of pastured butter, you could use this palm shortening.
- If you're just making a loaf of bread or some rolls to go with dinner, try adding 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning for extra flavor.
- I didn't set my dough in the fridge for a while as the pictured recipe card says (but that'd be great if I was making it ahead of time like Mom often did — up to a week ahead it says in her writing on the bottom of the recipe above), this time I just made them into rolls right away.
- Depending on your room temperature, sometimes they'll take longer to rise than expected so start early if possible. I love using my stove's warming drawer to speed things up when needed!
- If they get too big too fast and you're not eating for a while (or if you just want to bake some ahead of time) you could partially bake them just 'til they're starting to get golden on top, then pull them out. Later just before serving, brush with more melted butter and put them back into the 400* oven for 5 more minutes or so until they're golden brown.
- You can use this same recipe for a loaf of bread, homemade burger or hot dog buns, and for homemade cinnamon rolls or pecan rolls — see more on this below as far as timing, etc.
- This would also work fine in your bread machine using the basic dough setting. I just use my kitchen mixer, it's totally hands-free! Or you can do what my Mom always did and mix everything up by hand.
- If you'd like to make a little better-for-you version of homemade dinner rolls (or buns or whatever), or if you want to make 6 loaves at once, go to this recipe for homemade “soaked” bread that I make in my Bosch or see the variations of that recipe here for making buns, etc. But this one is just a faster version if you don't have time to make it ahead.
- Note that if you want your rolls or buns more pretty and perfectly round, just space them further apart on the pan so they're not touching as they rise.
- Also note that I mentioned in the video that possibly 3 or even 4 batches of the rolls could fit in the Bosch. I tested it and 3 batches was *tight*, so I'd stick with 2 1/2 if you want to make a lot.
Now you have many options for what you can do with this dough:
- Loaf of bread: shape your dough into a loaf-size and put the dough into a greased bread pan, let rise, and bake at 350* until golden brown, about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven. If you use pans like mine, you can make nice toaster-sized loaves. This recipe should make 2 - 3 loaves.
- Cinnamon rolls: when the dough beeps done, or when it's well-kneaded, roll it out onto a lightly floured countertop until it's about 18″ around. Spread/sprinkle over the top: 1 stick of melted butter, maple syrup or palm/coconut sugar and plenty of cinnamon over all of the dough. Start at one edge and carefully roll it up. Slice into about 3/4″ sections and place them into a buttered baking dish. Let rise 2-3 hours, more or less depending on your yeast and room temp. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden in 375* oven. If you want them to be extra dreamy you can put more melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and crispy nuts in the bottom of the pan before you put the rolls in, let them rise and bake. When they're done, invert them onto a platter. YUM.
- For an even easier way to make cinnamon rolls (no rolling the dough out) — this is how my Mom made hers: prepare the pan as described above (butter, sugaror maple syrup, cinnamon and pecans if you want them into the bottom of a baking dish), fill a small bowl 2/3 full with cinnamon and sugar…not sure how much, I just guessed – I like it very cinnamony. Grab pieces of your dough out of the breadmaker (or the Bosch) – between a golf ball and a tennis ball size. Shape the dough into a ball, and then work it around in the cinnamon & sugar mixture, flip it, stretch it in, just get as much as you can all through the dough, then make it back into a ball shape. Place with any folded or tucked pieces down, so they stay put, into the prepared pan. Let rise and bake the same as above. Much easier, and just as yummy.
- Homemade buns: Hotdog, hamburger, whatever – just shape your dough however you want to, remembering that it will rise. This recipe makes about 20 or more big hamburger buns. I make them sort of tall because, obviously, when they rise you'll want to slice in half like a store-bought bun. When they're a good height and have risen to about the size you want them, bake at 400* until golden (about 15 minutes, but remember oven temps vary).
Did you make a real food recipe?
Watch a video of how I make these!
More you might like:
- You could also try this homemade breadstick recipe