Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (2024)




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My Grandma’s Dinner Rolls Recipe is practically fool-proof. It is the perfect dinner roll recipe for all your holiday meals.

Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (1)

I call these Grandma’s Dinner Rolls Recipe because I follow my own Grandma’s handwritten recipe card to make them. In researching the ingredients, it seems like it was a popular recipe in the 1950’s. But to me this recipe belongs to my Grandma, so I am giving credit to her.

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Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (2)

This dinner roll recipe calls for the simplest of ingredients: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, milk, eggs and butter. Using butter is a change I made, as the original did call for shortening, but I am not in the habit of using shortening.I also had to look up how to scald milk and found it can be done easily in the microwave. The reason behind scalding milk in baking is that the whey protein in milk can weaken gluten, causing the dough not to rise properly. Scalding deactivates the protein. (source: The Kitchn)

Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (3)

With the butter, egg and sugar in the dough I guess these rolls could be considered a type of brioche dough. They are absolutely delicious and I look forward to making them each holiday season starting at Thanksgiving. Attention novice bakers! This dough can be made in a stand mixer and it is very easy to shape into rolls. As long as they rise properly, they bake perfectly. My daughter has started helping me make them. I think it’s cool to have her helping make her great Grandma’s rolls.

Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (4)

Tips for Grandma’s Dinner Rolls Recipe:

  • You can make these rolls ahead of time. I published a separate recipe explaining the process of making and freezing the rolls HERE.
  • I use a digital thermometer like this one to make sure the scalded milk is the correct temperature (105 – 110 degrees F) before adding it to the yeast.
  • This dough browns quickly. It’s best to bake these rolls with your oven rack set to the lower middle part of your oven.

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Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (5)

Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (6)

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5 from 21 votes

Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe

My Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe is practically fool-proof. It is the perfect dinner roll recipe for all your holiday meals.

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

Prep Time 2 hours hours 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time 18 minutes minutes

Total Time 2 hours hours 38 minutes minutes

Servings 32

Calories 60kcal

Author Foodtastic Mom


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 2 cups milk scalded and cooled to between 105 and 110 degrees F
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp salt


  • Place milk in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave for 4 minutes. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool to between 105 - 110 degrees F.

  • Melt butter and set aside to cool.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 6 cups of flour and salt.

  • Remove the milk from the refrigerator and whisk in the yeast and sugar. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

  • Beat the 2 eggs into the melted butter. Add the yeast, sugar and milk mixture to the flour and salt and knead on low speed until dough begins to come together. Stop mixer and add the eggs and melted butter. Knead the dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, for 6 minutes.

  • Remove the dough hook and bowl from the stand mixer. Cover the dough ball in the bowl loosely with a towel.

  • Place the dough bowl in a warm spot and allow to rise for about 60 minutes or until dough is doubled in size.

  • Gently push down on the dough to deflate. Place on clean counter and evenly divide dough into 8 log-shaped pieces, using a bench scraper or sharp knife.

  • Cut each of the eight dough logs into four equal pieces, giving you 32 rolls. Gently cup each roll in your hand to "plump" them up a bit in the center.

  • Place the rolls in well-greased baking dishes, spaced about 1/2-inch apart. Place dishes in a warm spot and cover loosely with a towel. Allow rolls to rise in baking dishes for 60 minutes more.

  • Bake at 375 degrees for 14 - 18 minutes. Watch closely in the last few minutes to make sure tops don't over brown.

  • Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter when they come out of the oven. Serve warm.


Calories: 60kcal

More Thanksgiving Recipes:

  • Perfect Roast Turkey Breast
  • Sweet Potato Pumpkin Casserole
  • Perfect Cranberry Sauce




Reader Interactions


  1. Brian Jones says

    Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (7)
    They look superb, the ingredients are similar to a Japanese egg-enriched dough I was playing around with a couple of weeks ago. I must make these!


    • foodtasticmom says

      Thank you so much Brian. And now I am intrigued by the Japanese dough you were using. Hopefully you’ll publish a recipe?!


  2. Julia says

    Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (8)
    Jill, the rolls look amazing and the best part is that they can be made ahead and frozen! Thanks for the recipe 🙂


  3. Emily says

    Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (9)
    I swear recipes from Grandma are always the best recipes. I have to try these rolls!


    • foodtasticmom says

      You do have to try them!


  4. Cliona Keane says

    Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (10)
    These are the perfect accompaniment to any holiday dinner!


    • foodtasticmom says

      I agree! Thank you Cliona!


  5. Jacqueline Debono says

    Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (11)
    These rolls look beautiful. I love the idea of serving homemade rolls at dinner or lunch. Really need to try this recipe! Going to pin for later!


    • foodtasticmom says

      Terrific. Thanks very much for the Pin!


    • foodtasticmom says

      I do hope you try the. Thanks Tina!


  6. Krista says

    I just found your website while looking for a way to use some outdated milk. We enjoyed these rolls, I had them mixed up before I realized that the overwhelming majority of your 5-star reviews for this recipe are from people that have NOT actually tried the recipe yet. I found this to be true on the other recipes I looked at here. I don’t consider “oh these look yummy, I’ll have to try them” a valid review and usually won’t try a recipe weighted with reviews of this type.


    • foodtasticmom says

      I am so glad you enjoyed these rolls! Since you are being honest with me, I’ll return the favor and tell you how the “game” of reviews works. Competition is stiff to get on page one of Google. Google favors recipes with lots of positive ratings (it’s just one of the criteria to help me get my recipe to the top and therefore actually seen by more people). I would much rather have all reviews that are honest, like yours, by people that have actually made my recipe. But, in order to get more of those, I have to go into Facebook groups with other bloggers. I write reviews for them and in exchange, they write reviews for me. That’s how it works and why you see so many reviews from people who haven’t actually made the recipe. Like I said, I MUCH prefer and wish for REAL REVIEWS! Thanks for trying my recipe and giving me real, honest feedback.


  7. Ryan 76 says

    Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (13)
    Older person now trying to duplicate my Grandma’s rolls and found they didn’t rise enough, kneaded by hand for 6 plus minutes and put in a little larger pan. Are those two areas I need to sharpen up on?


    • foodtasticmom says

      I’m not an expert baker, but how new was your yeast? That could have been the problem. I usually knead these with my mixer, so not sure if the hand kneading affected anything. I think they do tend to rise higher in a smaller pan because they push together and have something to kind of grab onto. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in the baking process. Those are just some of my guesses. Hopefully they still tasted good and next time they’ll rise well for you!


  8. Elaine says

    I made them for Christmas when I couldn’t find my favourite old recipe, I now have a new favourite recipe that everyone loved. I’ll be making them again next week for a 50th birthday dinner. Perfect. Thank you


    • foodtasticmom says

      I’m so happy to hear this! Thanks for sharing Elaine. 🙂


  9. Jeff says

    Would the dough freeze well? Wondering if I can make that ahead of time and bake day of.


    • foodtasticmom says

      Yes. I actually have as separate recipe post for instructions on how to make these rolls ahead…
      You just make the rolls through shaping them into balls, freeze them on a baking sheet first, then place them in a freezer bag. Take them out of the freezer and allow them to rise/thaw for about 4 hours. I need to just combine the two posts.


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Grandma's Dinner Rolls Recipe (2024)


Why are my homemade dinner rolls dry? ›

Too much flour makes dough too stiff to rise properly, creating a dry texture.

Why did my dinner rolls come out heavy? ›

Why are my dinner rolls not fluffy? If your dinner rolls aren't fluffy it could be because of one of two reasons. Either, you added too much flour or you possibly used all bread flour. Alternately, not giving your dinner rolls enough time to proof and get puffy before baking could yield dense rolls.

How do you keep dinner rolls from getting hard? ›

Stay fresh: Both the fat from the milk and butter preserve the freshness of these soft dinner rolls and keeps them soft for a days. The fat keeps the rolls from drying out!

How can I make my bread fluffier instead of dense? ›

Add Sugar

Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer. As a result, sugar improves the bread's taste, structure and texture. Yeast also eats up sugar to produce carbon dioxide, which raises the dough and makes bread fluffy.

What ingredient makes bread light and fluffy? ›

Sugar: When yeast is mixed with sugar it consumes the sugar and produces carbon dioxide gas, which causes the bread dough to rise and become light and airy. Instant Yeast: Instant dry yeast can be added directly to the flour mixture without needing to be activated first.

What makes buns soft and fluffy? ›

The egg yolk

Just like the milk powder, the fat from the egg yolks will tenderise the bread, which again, will give you softer buns. I know I keep using the words soft and fluffy, it's because softness and fluffiness was my main goal with this recipe.

What happens if you add too much flour to dinner rolls? ›

Avoid adding too much extra flour to the dough.

These ingredients slow down gluten development and can make the dough a little sticky. Your instinct might be to add extra flour; however, any extra flour will create a denser, tougher roll instead of the light, fluffy, soft dinner roll we want.

Why do my dinner rolls taste yeasty? ›

If the area is too warm, bread will rise too fast and begin cooking before the yeast has finished acting. This will impart a "yeasty" taste to the dough that will be transferred to the finished baked loaf. Using old ingredients (rancid nuts, "old" shortening) will cause yeast breads to taste old or have an "off" taste.

Can I use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour for rolls? ›

(Though bread flour can still give you a fluffier, almost cotton-candy-like texture in most buns and rolls.) You could even technically substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour if you add less water, mix the dough more gently and for a shorter period of time, and don't expect the same results.

What is the best flour for bread? ›

While bread flour is the best option, it can sometimes be used if you don't have bread flour. “Check the protein content,” advises Chef Jürgen, since it can vary from brand to brand, and an all-purpose flour that contains protein on the higher end of the range, 12 to 13 percent, will produce a better outcome.

How do you make homemade rolls less dense? ›

How to Make Bread Less Dense?
  1. Proof The Dough Longer. As explained, under-proofing has been among the most popular reasons behind a dense bread texture. ...
  2. Give Your Yeast Better Environment. ...
  3. Activate The Yeast. ...
  4. Knead The Dough For Longer. ...
  5. Use Folds and Stretch For Bulk Fermentation. ...
  6. Adjust The Water Level.
May 27, 2023

What makes homemade rolls tough? ›

Do your dinner rolls resemble shoe leather? Too much flour, or not the right kind, could be to blame. Dough made only from flour with a high or even average amount of protein (like bread flour or all-purpose flour) can become tough from overmixing.

Should you brush rolls with butter before baking? ›

Butter basting: Rolls can be brushed with butter before, during, or after baking. While it doesn't brown the surface as much as egg wash will, it does promote browning and adds a lot of flavor.

How do you keep rolls soft in the oven? ›

The Best Method for Reheating Dinner Rolls: The Oven

One caveat, though — warm your rolls in a baking dish, not on a baking pan. Placing rolls snugly together in a baking dish leaves the sides of the rolls soft, while separating them and heating on a baking sheet will result in a slightly crisper outside crust.

Why is my bread not light and fluffy? ›

For baking light and fluffy bread, it is necessary to choose flour that has high levels of protein. If you choose to use flour with lower protein levels, you'll be left with the bread being dense.

What is the secret of soft buns? ›

The secret to soft, light rolls, if you're looking for something like a dinner roll, is an enriched dough that contains butter or other dairy, eggs, or both. If you want something more bread-like, you want a high hydration dough that's been properly kneaded and given at least two bulk fermentations before shaping.


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