As I was writing up this recipe over the weekend, it occurred to me that it is scheduled to go live at exactly midnight on the first day of November. That means Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. And dinner roll season is ON.
It seems wise to head into the holidays with a good dinner roll recipe. What better way to soak up that delicious mixture of sweet potatoes, gravy, and cranberry jelly that inevitably ends up in the middle of the plate? Not to mention that leftovers of these rolls are the perfect vehicle for making turkey or ham sandwiches the day after a big winter holiday.
These are so good though that it’s hard to imagine any will possibly remain beyond the main event.
The Thanksgiving mindset steered me in the direction of the incredibly simple dinner rolls. These are a 1 bowl, 1 hour proposition.
Making a holiday dinner is complicated. There’s no need for the rolls to take up precious extra time on the big day.
The recipe below delivers delightful, soft, buttery dinner rolls in one hour. I give the rolls a light brush of butter before and after baking and a sprinkle of salt which makes them so irresistible that Frank and I can never keep our hands off of them, even after a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes.
Put these on your Thanksgiving list – you’ll be oh-so-glad you did.
To Freeze and Reheat the Rolls
Updated November, 2019: I get so many questions every year about how to freeze and reheat these rolls! The best method is to freeze them before baking. Here’s how to do it:
To Freeze: Prepare the rolls as instructed, through the end of Step #7. (Place them in a 9×13 pan and allow them to rise for 20 minutes, but do not preheat the oven.) Cover the rolls tightly with foil and freeze immediately. Freeze for 4 to 6 months.
To Reheat: Take the rolls out of the freezer 1 hour before baking. (They will still be very cold, even after this 1 hour of defrost time.) Proceed with the recipe[ as written, preheating the oven and brushing the rolls with butter. Transfer to the oven and bake as directed (they may take an extra 5 to 7 minutes).
1-Hour Light and Buttery Dinner Rolls
- 1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 Tbsp Instant or "Fast-Acting" Yeast
- 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tbsp / 28g Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups / 500g all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled off
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 3 Tbsp / 40g Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
- To the yeast mixture, add the butter, 2 cups of the flour, and salt (making sure that the salt is added on top of the flour and doesn't come in contact with the yeast until you begin mixing). Mix on low-speed until the ingredients begin to come together. Still on low-speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and mix for 1 minute.
- Add the remaining 1 cup flour. Mix on low-speed until the final addition of flour is fully incorporated into the dough. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (You will know it is ready when the dough starts to make a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl.)
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into an even ball. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough in half vertically, then each half vertically again into thirds so you have 6 equal strips of dough. Cut each strip of dough into fourths by cutting horizontally to make 24 little squares of dough. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a ball.
- Place each rolled piece of dough into a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan in rows of 4.
- Cover the rolls with a dish towel and let them rise while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) – about 20 minutes.
- Lightly brush the rolls with half of the melted butter (reserve the other half).
- Bake until golden brown, 13-15 minutes.
- Immediately after removing the rolls from the oven, brush them with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Flip the pan over to remove the rolls.
- Serve immediately.