Soft Dinner Rolls

An old favorite, these timeless rolls are always in fashion. Golden brown outside and cream-colored inside, with just a hint of sweetness, these rolls are the perfect vehicle for a melting pat of butter, and a wonderful accompaniment to everything from soup and salad to meat and potatoes.

23 mins
20 to 22 mins
2 hrs 45 mins
16 rolls
Soft Dinner Rolls


  1. To make the dough: Mix and knead all of the ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or using the dough cycle on a bread machine — to make a smooth, soft dough.

  2. Knead the dough on a lightly oiled surface until it's smooth and supple. Add flour if you must, but the dough will continue to absorb liquid as you knead, so try to knead for 5 minutes or so before adding any additional flour. Remember, the more flour in the dough, the heavier and dryer the rolls will be.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set the dough aside to rise until it has doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

  4. To make the rolls: Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball.

  5. Lightly grease two 9" round cake pans, or a 9" x 13" pan.

  6. Space the rolls in the pan(s), cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow them to rise for about 1 hour, until they're very puffy and are touching one another.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  8. Bake the rolls for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they're golden brown.

  9. Remove them from the oven, set them on a wire rack to cool, and brush them with melted butter or margarine, if desired. This will give the rolls a soft crust.

  10. Serve the rolls warm, or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Freeze for up to a month.