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These easy yeast rolls are made with simple ingredients and are perfect for yeast bread beginners. This recipe results in soft, pillowy rolls that can be made ahead of time and allowed to rest overnight in the refrigerator or baked right away.
I would just like to first say I APOLOGIZE if yeast is not something you can find right now. I’ve heard it’s hard to come by, and I’m so sorry that’s a thing!
As a frequent bread baker, I found myself with a new jar of yeast right before Christmas, so I’m pretty stocked up.
But if you’re someone who is stuck inside with stay-at-home orders and no yeast, I’m apologizing for bringing these amazingly simple dinner rolls to your life today, BUT, I can promise that one day, yeast will be easy to find again, so tuck this one in your back pocket until then, mmmkay?
Since I haven’t always been a “yeast bread is NBD” kind of baker, I totally get that yeast bread is often intimidating to folks. But the more I do it, the more I realize how resilient and forgiving bread is.
And I’ve never actually truly ruined it.
Many years ago, I went to my parents’ house to learn how to make my grandmother’s Easter bread. I set aside a day to learn, and once my mom showed me the ropes, I said… “THAT’S IT?”
Yep, that’s it. I was so intimidated for seemingly no reason.
While I do agree it can seem like a lot of work up front and that working with yeast is finicky or hard to manage, I truly believe it’s much easier than most people assume it to be, and these homemade yeast rolls are one of the easier yeast bread recipes I’ve published on my blog.
I do have to give a mega shoutout, first, to the blogger who inspired these and how that came about.
Back in November, I went to a blogging conference and, by happenstance, arranged a “blind date” roommate connection via a Facebook group.
Kristin (aka Baker Bettie) was looking for a roommate, and I was going solo, so we hooked up as roomies. Some might call us crazy, but it worked out in our favor and she and I clicked pretty easily right from the start.
I learned quickly that Kristin is the bread queen! She loves bread making, hosts bread baking workshops in her hometown, and has several bread baking series on her YouTube channel.
In fact, if you follow me on Insta, you know that back in January, I started my own sourdough starter. It was under the direction of Kristin’s tutorial that I grew a beautiful starter, and her no-knead sourdough loaf has produced three amaaaazing loaves of sourdough bread in just the last week in our house.
Because of Kristin’s awesome direction, I decided to use her make ahead yeast rolls, because an easy yeast rolls recipe was something I’ve been itching to publish on FAF for a long time.
Her recipe was easy to follow and resulted in perfectly pillowy dinner rolls, even with my changing things around to fit my preferences when it comes to bread-making.
These easy yeast roll recipe is very straight-forward. You’ll get the dough together, allow it to rise, and then forming and shaping the rolls is actually very simple.
HOW TO SHAPE DINNER ROLLS
I found it easiest to gather all of the dough and roll/shape it into a log that was 12″ long. And yes, I use a tape measure to make sure this is exact.
I then cut my log into twelve 1″ sections, pressed each into a small square, and then pulled each corner into the center to make a little bread pouch.
Perfectly shaped rolls, just like that!
Once all of the rolls are in the pan, you have the option of allowing them to rise in the refrigerator to bake at a later time or at room temperature to bake after their second rise.
You can think of the fridge as a “pause” button any time you’re making bread. The active yeast will rest and pause its activity, and while it isn’t indefinite, you can leave these rolls in the fridge to rest for up to 18 hours.
This is a great dinner roll recipe for a day when you would rather just do the work the night before and bake your rolls right before dinner.
Or a holiday where you can prep one more thing ahead of time to reduce the amount of work you have to do on the actual holiday.
We loved these rolls spread with the cinnamon honey butter I posted last week, but we also used them for sandwiches which were so good.
The kids even allowed them for PB&J, which is crazy, because they typically are pretty picky about the fancy whole grain bread that we usually get for them. Pshh… Bread snobs.
This is the perfect bread roll recipe for a quick and easy alternative to store-bought slider rolls or dinner rolls. We will definitely be utilizing it again this summer for burgers on the grill and probably again and again as we host holidays later this year.
If you’re a yeast bread beginner or even a pro, this is definitely one to stick in your recipe collection as a go-to. I know you’ll love the taste and texture, and if yeast is plentiful in your kitchen right now, I say go for gold!
Easy Yeast Rolls
- 1 cup (240mL) warm milk I prefer whole
- 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons (7g) dry active yeast (or one package) not instant or rapid rise
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 and ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 and ½ cups (540g) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Pour the sugar into the warm milk, then sprinkle the yeast over the sugar. Stir together and allow to sit for 5 minutes to proof.
- Once the yeast is proofed, stir together the melted butter, eggs, and salt in a medium size bowl. Add the flour and proofed yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it over to coat, then cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- After dough has risen, punch down the dough to deflate, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a 12" long rectangle or log, then cut into 12 equal pieces.
- Spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Shape each piece of dough into a ball by patting the dough into a small square, then pulling each corner into the center to create a pouch. Pinch the corners together to make a seal. Place formed roll into the prepared pan, spacing them out evenly (4 rows of 3).
- Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, then preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Whisk together the egg and water, then brush the rolls with the egg wash. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Rolls freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.