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Best Dinner Rolls Ever

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. She enjoys helping people work towards healthier lives.

These delicious, soft, and buttery rolls will be a welcome accompaniment to a special dinner or any meal.

These delicious, soft, and buttery rolls will be a welcome accompaniment to a special dinner or any meal.

The Delicious Smell of Baking Bread

There is nothing so delightful as coming into a warm home out of the cold and having your nose gently caressed by the delicious smell of baking bread. Your mouth waters as you imagine butter melting into the soft, fragrant warmth of bread after it comes out of the oven.

The next day, you can hardly wait to have another roll slathered in soft butter and warm honey. By suppertime, you are ready for more, but the bread is gone. Now, only a memory remains, and you wait impatiently for the next time you come into the warm house to be enveloped by the fragrance of baking rolls.

"Heidi Rolls"

The following recipe has been in our family for years. A close friend shared the recipe, and since her name was Heidi, my family has always called them Heidi Rolls. Heidi brought these rolls to our first shared Christmas dinner, and they reappeared at Easter and other special occasions.

They are so good that I began making them weekly to use alongside chili dinners, homemade soup, and even for sandwiches.

Even while living in south Texas, during the heat of the hottest summer of my life, I made these delicious rolls every week. The family tradition continues as my kids learn how to make Heidi Rolls. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.


You can make homemade dinner rolls.

You can make homemade dinner rolls.

Do Not Fear Yeast Breads

Oftentimes, we cooks shy away from yeast bread. The kneading. The rising. The falling. It all seems confusing, difficult and time-consuming.

Have no fear. These rolls are simple to make and nearly fail-proof.

Some tips for success when making yeast-raised bread:

  1. Make sure the liquids are warm: The liquid, whether you use milk or water, should be warm (not hot) to the touch.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm liquid: Dissolving the yeast in a warm liquid brings the yeast cultures to life, so they can grow, creating gases that cause your bread to rise.
  3. Use a light hand with the flour: Use just a little less flour than the recipe calls for. If you use too much flour, the dough will be dense and dry and will not rise properly. You can always add more flour to sticky dough during the kneading.
  4. Knead until you have a firm ball: Make sure to thoroughly knead the dough. This creates elasticity in the flour by stretching the gluten fibers. Under-kneading will result in dense, heavy bread or rolls.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

2 hours 20 min

20 min

2 hours 40 min

Depending on size, 12-24 rolls


  • 2 packages dry yeast, not quick rise
  • 2 cups milk, warm to the touch but not hot
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 1/2 to 7 cups flour (substitute 1/2 whole wheat flour if you'd like)
  • olive oil, for oiling bowl


  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm milk. Let sit for about ten minutes until bubbly. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Stir sugar, melted butter, salt and egg into warm milk.
  3. Gradually stir about 5 cups of flour into the milk mixture. Slowly add more flour until the dough makes a sticky ball. Turn the oven off.
  4. Put the remaining flour on the counter, and turn the dough onto the flour. There will be about one cup of flour on the counter, with the dough in the middle. Knead the dough until the remainder of flour is incorporated, and the dough forms a stiff ball that springs back when poked.
  5. Lightly oil the inside of an oven-proof bowl and add the dough. Turn the dough completely until it is lightly coated with olive oil.
  6. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and place it in a warm oven. Make sure the oven is warm but turned off. Let dough rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
  7. Remove the dough from the oven, remove the cloth, and punch down. Let dough rest for about ten minutes.
  8. Form dough into balls, about two inches in diameter, and place on greased cookie sheet. Allow rolls to rise about half an hour.
  9. While rolls are rising on the counter, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the rolls have risen, place them in the oven for ten minutes. Rotate pans and bake for another ten minutes. After removing golden rolls from the oven, brush lightly with butter.

Make Ahead the Day Before

To save time during busy meal preparations, the dough can be prepared a day in advance, and the dough stored in the refrigerator. Make dough for the first rising stage. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator. This will slow the growth of the yeast.

In the morning (or about an hour and a half before your meal) remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and cover it with a warm, damp cloth.

Allow dough to finish rising in a warm, draft-free area.

Then bake as directed.

Freezer Rolls

You can store the dough in the freezer and bake it at a later date.

Make the dough according to the recipe through the first rising. After the dough has risen, punch down and let it rest.

Form the dough into balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet with the dough into the freezer and allow it to freeze completely. Store in a tight container for up to a month.

To bake, remove the dough from the freezer and place it on greased cookie sheets. Allow to warm to room temperature, then rise until nearly double in size. Bake as directed.

How did you like them?

© 2010 Deborah Demander