The Best Dinner Rolls I’ve Ever Made

One of the things I want in life is a set of really reliable recipes that are, in my mind, the best of their kind. I’ve got a chocolate chip cookie recipe that fits that bill for me.

These rolls are definitely another one for that set.

Bart and I both have strong opinions about what makes a perfect roll and happily, we both have the same criteria. We want it to be ultra-soft but completely cooked (barf to any bread product that is the least bit doughy). We want it to not be dry. We want it to be buttery and flake apart when you bite into it.

I have made approximately 10,000 different roll recipes that promised to be the best and always been disappointed until Landen directed me to this recipe. And then she made them and I ate. . . more than is decent.

Also, I think one of my problems with rolls in the past has been bad recipes adding too much flour, so although I usually add flour until the dough looks right to me, in this case, I add the flour in one fell swoop, and then resist the urge to add anymore.

Now to find the end-all crockpot beef stew recipe.

My Favorite Rolls
(slightly adapted from Allrecipes)

Makes 16 rolls

1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or one of those little yeast envelopes)

1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I sometimes do 3/4 cup white wheat flour and the rest all-purpose)

1/4 cup butter, softened

Combine water, milk and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let stand for 10 minutes.

Add salt, egg, 1/3 cup butter, and all the flour and mix until combined. Let the machine knead for 10 minutes. The dough will be a little bit sticky, but not overly so.

Let rise for 1 hour, covered.

Remove dough from bowl and cut in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the halves into a 12 inch circle. Spread 2 tablespoons of the softened butter over the entire surface. Cut into eight equal wedges (last time I made these, Ella, who was watching, exclaimed, “pizza!”) and roll from wide end to point into a crescent. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet with the point tucked underneath the roll. Slightly angle the two ends toward each other so you have a half-moon shape.

Repeat with other half of dough. (I do eight rolls per cookie sheet).

Cover lightly and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until they’re a size you feel happy about.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

(I bake two pans at a time, so I do 6 minutes and then switch the pan on the bottom to the top and vica versa and bake for another 6 minutes, then take out the pan on the top rack, move the bottom pan to the top and cook that one pan for another 2 minutes or so until they’re golden brown on top too).

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  • Reply Saskia July 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    That does look really good.

  • Reply Erica July 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    The best rolls I've ever had were Spencer's grandma's recipe, a family favorite. When I tried to make them, I butchered them completely, which I tend to do with non-quick breads. And the best crockpot beef stew? I've got that one down. Make it almost every Sunday in the winter.

  • Reply Audrey July 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I saw the picture and thought "Those look just like my mom's go-to holiday rolls." Then I scrolled down to the recipe, and sure enough! If it's not the same, it's very similar. The only thing we do differently is brush melted butter on the dough several times throughout the process: before letting it rise; after it's rolled into a circle; and on top of the rolls once they're on the baking sheet.

    And I have to agree: They are the best dinner rolls ever.

  • Reply Chelsea July 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Rolls are a little dangerous for me. Addictive. My favorite recipe is my Mom's Potato Rolls. I'll have to give these a try sometime.

  • Reply Heather July 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Since I lived so long by Noelle, aka expert roll maker, I have had very little practice. Thanks for doing all the testing, I'll be sure to make these this week.

  • Reply caitlinjacobs July 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I've grown up believing I don't like rolls, but lately I've had dinner at a friend's house a few times when she made rolls, and I think I've figured it out – I don't like store-bought rolls! Say yes to homemade! And bring on the rolls. 🙂

  • Reply Amanda July 17, 2012 at 4:54 am

    My go-to recipe has been steadily disappointing for a while now – I'll have to give these a try. And I'm bummed, because those were my no fail recipe that I raved about to everyone and passed along all the time.

  • Reply Kim September 18, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I finally made these after printing the recipe out a long time ago–they were delicious!

  • Reply Lesley Smith November 15, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I've made this recipe many times now. Thank you SO much for this. It's my go-to. I do need some advice, though. It's just my husband and I and this recipe makes too much for just the two of us. Have you ever tried saving one of the halves in the fridge or freezer to bake later? Any luck? It would save me so much time and wasted rolls.

  • Reply An Alternative to Blue Apron – Everyday Reading April 17, 2017 at 11:44 am

    […] we went out for a few hours and when we came home, our house smelled AMAZING. I made some of my favorite rolls to go with dinner and a quick salad, and voila! Dinner was on the […]

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