1-Hour Light and Buttery Dinner Rolls

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As the title promises, light and fluffy 1 hour light and buttery dinner rolls are a one bowl, one hour recipe that is simple enough for any home cook. Brush melted butter over the rolls before and after baking for a golden color and buttery flavor.

side shot of light and fluffy dinner rolls on a sheet pan

These classic dinner rolls have been a staple around our table since I first published them back in 2012 (!). With the holidays ahead and more of us possibly staying closer to home this year, I thought I’d give this very old blog post a bit of a dust off and refresh. These are all new photos, but this is the same well-loved recipe. 

Check out the comments to hear from many fans of these rolls. And even if you’ve never made homemade dinner rolls, give this one a try. They are easy, and turn out great every time! And pair them with this twist on classic Tomato Soup or easy, Instant Pot Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup and you’ll have dinner in no time!

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brushing butter on dinner rolls with a silicon basting brush

Ingredients

  • Fast-Acting or “Instant” Yeast – This dough rises quickly and requires yeast labeled as Fast Acting, Instant, Quick-Rise, Bread Machine, or RapidRise. Do NOT use “Active Dry Yeast” for this recipe; it needs to be dissolved in water before using. 
  • Unsalted Butter – Butter shows up in this recipe in two places. Mix some softened butter into the dough and brush melted butter over the tops before and after cooking. 
  • Warm Water – Use water that is warm to the touch. Check the label on your brand of yeast for the recommended water temperature to get the best results.
  • Sugar, Flour, Kosher Salt – Standard pantry ingredients for bread-baking.
overhead image of dough ball on a marble countertop
overhead image of dough cut into quarters
overhead image of cutting dough quarters into smaller quarters
overhead image of dough cut into small pieces
overhead image of cutting rolls into smallest pieces

How to Make Dinner Rolls Ahead

To make the dinner rolls ahead, bake them as written and allow them to cool completely. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours. 

To Reheat: To reheat the rolls place a piece of foil on a sheet pan. Add the rolls and brush them with some melted butter. Enclose the rolls tightly with foil, sealing the edges. Warm the rolls in foil in a 350°F / 177°C oven for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. 

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To Freeze and Reheat Dinner Rolls

To Freeze: After testing many different methods, I have found that the best way to prepare and freeze these dinner rolls is to bake them completely as directed. Allow them to cool and then freeze flat on a baking sheet until solid, 2 to 3 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To Reheat: Take the rolls out of the freezer about 3 hours before baking and let fully defrost at room temperature. Place them on a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake, covered, in a 350°F / 177°C oven until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush generously with melted butter.

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4.39 from 95 votes

1-Hour Light and Buttery Dinner Rolls

In only an hour, you can have these light, buttery quintessential dinner rolls on the table. They are worthy of a holiday, but easy enough to make any night of the week.
Prep: 50 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings: 24 rolls

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • 9×13 Baking Dish

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110°F / 43°C)
  • 1 Tablespoons Instant or “Fast-Acting” Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature (2 Tbsp = 28g)
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour, divided (4 cups flour = 500g)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

For topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted (3 Tbsp = 40g)
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  • To the yeast mixture, add 2 Tbsp softened butter, 2 cups of 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 until the ingredients begin to come together.
  • Add remaining 2 cups of flour and mix again on low until flour is fully incorporated.
  • 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. (Note: I like to turn on the oven's light and let the dough rise inside the oven. The light produces just enough heat to help the dough rise quickly.)
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into an even ball.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut the dough into quarters. Slice each quarter of dough into 6 even slices (you should have 24 even pieces of dough). With lightly floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a ball.
  • Place rolled dough in even rows in prepared pan.
  • Heat oven to 400°F / 200°C. Cover the rolls with a dish towel and put them near the warm oven to rise for 20 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the rolls with half of the melted butter (reserve the other half).
  • Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 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.

Notes

To Freeze: After testing many different methods, I have found that the best way to prepare and freeze these dinner rolls is to bake them completely as directed. Allow them to cool and then freeze flat on a baking sheet until solid, 2 to 3 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 
To Reheat: Take the rolls out of the freezer about 3 hours before baking and let fully defrost at room temperature. Place them on a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake, covered, in a 350°F / 177°C oven until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush generously with melted butter. Serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Calories: 101
Keyword: 1 hour bread, Dinner rolls, easy bread recipe, feed a crowd, Holiday recipe, Homemade bread, party and entertaining
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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167 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Needed a no milk bun recipe and this worked great. I used bread flour because it’s what I had. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Haven’t tried these yet but was looking for a recipe that did not use eggs, did use instant yeast & in a stand mixer. Only question: bread flour? Can that be used rather than all purpose? Looking forward to trying these! Also-read through all the comments & wow! Quite a positive bunch! Thanks!

    1. Hi Terri – sorry for the delay! Yes – these work great with bread flour, but there’s no need to seek out out just for this recipe. I find that the texture is spot-on just using regular AP. Just made them last night – they’re definitely a favorite at our house!

  3. Hi,
    I am so excited to make these rolls but I only have regular yeast not rapid rise. Can the regular yeast still work?

    1. Yes! It should still work just fine as written. You’ll need adjust the rise time for both rises. I’d guess that they will take about twice as long to rise. Keep an eye on the dough and make sure that it is round, puffy and doubled in size after the first rise. In the second rise, the dough balls should be nearly touching.