Easy Yeast Rolls Recipe
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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.
If there’s one thing I want you to be able to make well as a home baker, it’s bread. Whether it’s sandwich bread, a fun anise-filled bread for a holiday, or a fancy babka, knowing how to make bread from scratch with yeast is very useful skill to acquire.
Why you’ll love this Easy Yeast Roll Recipe
While I have a bunch of yeast bread recipes on my site, these amazingly simple dinner rolls reign supreme when it comes to recipes I like to steer folks to when they’re intimidated by tackling their first yeast bread.
Since I haven’t always been a “yeast bread is NBD” kind of baker, I totally get that yeast bread is often scary to someone who has never done it before. 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 site.
I do have to give a mega shoutout, first, to the blogger who inspired these and how that came about.
In 2019, 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 might know that in January 2020, I started my own sourdough starter (it was as if my subconscious knew…).
My starter was under the direction of Kristin’s tutorial that I grew a beautiful starter, and her no-knead sourdough loaf has produced many amaaaazing loaves of sourdough bread in our house over the years.
Because of Kristin’s awesome direction, I decided to use her make ahead yeast rolls, because an easy yeast rolls recipe was something I had 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.
But let’s start with the basics.
Easy Yeast Rolls Recipe Ingredients
While you’ll need yeast, of course, you’ll also need a few other ingredients.
We’ll use milk for a creamy, fatty base (I prefer whole) and granulated sugar to activate the yeast.
We’ll also use some melted unsalted butter, two eggs, some salt, and then all purpose flour.
That’s it! Only 7 ingredients, and another egg for an egg wash. I told you this was an easy recipe for yeast rolls.
How to make this Yeast Rolls Recipe
Like all yeast bread recipes, we’ll start by activating the yeast. Pour the sugar into the warm milk, then sprinkle the yeast over the sugar. Stir everything 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.
Lastly, you’ll add the yeast mixture and flour and start to bring the dough together.
KNEAD THE DOUGH
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough by hand for about 8-10 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.
HOW TO SHAPE DINNER ROLLS
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. And yes, I use a tape measure and a kitchen scale to make sure this is exact.
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 a 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. You can also brush them with melted butter, if you prefer. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. You can brush them again with melted butter, if desired.
Perfectly shaped soft dinner rolls, just like that!
Yeast Roll Recipe Tips
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.
Regardless of when you bake them, they’ll get a simple egg wash before they go into the oven, and once they’re done, they’re ready to eat!
This is a great dinner roll recipe for a day when you would rather just do the work the night before and bake your homemade dinner rolls right before, well, 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.
How to serve these Easy Yeast Rolls
These easy yeast rolls are so versatile! You can spread them with butter, jam, jelly, or any of your other favorite spreads, or you can eat them plain or dipped into a bowl of soup. They also make a great slider or sandwich bread, so don’t limit yourself to how you can enjoy these rolls.
We love these homemade rolls spread with my cinnamon honey butter, but we also use them for sandwiches which are always extra good (because of the homemade bread love, of course).
The kids even allow 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 utilizing this recipe again and again all year long, especially in summer for burgers on the grill and as we host holidays in the later part of the year.
How to store these Easy Yeast Rolls for Beginners
Store leftover rolls covered tightly at room temperature up to 5 days. Rolls freeze well, up to 3 months. If you want to make these rolls ahead of time, see the notes section of the recipe card.
Easy Yeast Roll Recipe FAQs
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 with these never fail yeast rolls!
Don’t miss my hot cross buns recipe, which is this same easy recipe with raisins and that signature flour cross on top.
Love homemade bread? Use these sliders with my baked turkey and cheese sliders or make your own hot dog buns!
SOME OTHER SLIDER FILLINGS TO GO ON YOUR YEAST ROLLS
- Chicken Kebab Sandwich from Food, Pleasure, and Health
- Instant Pot Carnitas from Gluten Free Palate
- Sloppy Joe Sliders from Girl Heart Food
- Brisket Sliders from Miss In The Kitchen
- BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Vinegar Slaw from The Rising Spoon
- Corn Fritter Sliders with Avocado from Life Currents
- Pork Belly & Tomato Jam Sliders from Foxes Love Lemons
- Ham-less Swiss Cheese Hot Sliders from Trial and Eater
- French Dip Sliders (InstantPot and slow cooker) from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chicken Salad with Tarragon from The Fresh Cooky
- Ham Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sliders from Cooking with Carlee
- Pepperoni Pizza Sliders from Frugal Mom Eh!
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef from Life Love Liz
- Parmesan Chicken Sliders from Flavor Mosaic
Yeast Roll Recipe
- 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 be sure to measure properly
- 1 large egg1
- 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.
- Egg wash: I have also brushed these rolls with melted butter before baking and then again after baking for an extra buttery taste. Omit egg wash and use 4 Tablespoons of melted butter.
- To make ahead: lay plastic wrap directly on the shaped rolls and refrigerate up to 18 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you want to serve them. Let them rise at room temperature for 1 and ½ hours before baking them, then proceed with step 9.
- Halve this recipe: this recipe halves beautifully. Roll into a 6″ log instead of 12″ and cut into 6 pieces. Rise and bake times are the same, though you may need a smaller pan (I usually use a pie plate for 6 rolls).
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
I only have rapid rise yeast… Will that ruin them? Also, can I use salted butter and just reduce the salt? I am so excited to try these!
That’s a good question, Cindy– rapid rise yeast won’t work the same as dry active, but you can try using 1 and 3/4 teaspoons of your rapid rise yeast and go right to shaping the rolls. You won’t be able to make them ahead as instructed and intended in the recipe. Hope this helps!
Normally, I think yeast bread is super scary. The temperature and the kneading and the rising and the science of it!
But these yeast rolls are…not scary! This is a pretty foolproof recipe – one time I didn’t knead enough and they still tasted awesome, just with a different texture.
When I knead long enough though…they are soft and pillowy and deliciously carb-y. Perfect for pairing with BBQ pulled pork, your favorite pasta dish, thanksgiving dinner…anything! My 3 year old prefers his with a schmear of Nutella, and I can’t argue with that.
If a warm, fluffy hunk of BREAD is what you’re after, these will not disappoint.
I’m a dummy, but when you say, add the flour and yeast mixture to the egg butter bowl, step 2, do you add the liquid milk yeast first and stir it up and then add the flour last or…..? and the bowl size is not mentioned in step 1, but is a medium bowl big enough for 4 cups of flour in Step 2?
Hey, Tom– yes, the yeast mixture is now in the milk, so that’s what you’ll add to the bowl with the other wet ingredients. Step 1 assumes you heated the milk in some sort of container. A medium size bowl should be big enough for all of the flour. Let me know how it goes!
These rolls looking fantastic! Thank you so much for including my instant pot Carnitas.
Thank YOU for contributing! Love anything in the IP!
A perfect recipe. It is my go-to recipe for rolls!!
Love hearing that 🙂 thanks, Francesca!
I admit to being super intimidated to make these, but they really are a great recipe for beginners. The step-by-step instructions were perfect, and my rolls turned out great. Thanks so much for the recipe.
I’m so happy to hear this, Barbra. Thanks for stopping by!
My favorite rolls! I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe.
Thanks so much, Vivi!
I have not had good luck with yeast recipes in the past but this was exactly as the title describes… EASY! I made these following the make ahead directions for Thanksgiving dinner and they came out amazing. Everyone was commenting how good they were. I even added a sprinkling of finishing salt on top before baking. Everyone should give these a try!
Thanks so much, Robyn! I’m so glad they worked well for you 🙂
First time baking! Mine came out pretty dense and biscuity… does this mean I didn’t knead the dough long enough?
Hi, Anne! Yes, dense bread can be a result of not kneading enough. You want to make sure the dough is nice and elastic before moving on to the rise. It’s actually really hard to OVERknead dough, so when in doubt, it could probably always use a little more kneading!
These are delicious and super easy! AND they come out looking like they were bought at a bakery! #winwin
Look at you, fancy lady! Thanks so much 🙂
My rolls turned out light and fluffy — just the way I like ’em! I’m a novice bread baker, so thanks for all the tips!
Yessss! I’m so glad you had success 🙂