A classic recipe that’s perfect for a special dinner, everyone will love these super soft, feathery light, and buttery rolls.
Table of contents
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- They’re a delicious crowdpleaser. You’ll love their flavor and soft texture. They’re fluffy, buttery, and slightly sweet.
- Versatile. Make them for your next family gathering or for a special holiday dinner.
- Easy to make: Plenty of yeast makes these relatively foolproof. If you don’t rush them and follow the instructions, you’ll be just fine.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
You’ll need the following for these yeast rolls:
- all-purpose flour
- instant yeast
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- Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer optional
Step One: Knead
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. The ingredients may seem dry at first, but as the butter softens, the dough will become wetter. Knead the dough by hand, with a stand mixer, or with a bread machine set to the “dough” cycle. (If using a bread machine, skip step 2 and allow the machine to complete the full cycle.). If the dough still seems dry, add more milk. The dough is kneaded enough when it becomes smooth and doesn’t stick to your hands. Also look for “windows” in the dough, which are translucent areas that appear when you stretch out a golf-ball-sized ball of dough.
Step Two: the first rise
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.
Step three: divide and shape
Take the dough and place it on a clean surface. Cut it into 24 pieces with a sharp knife. Shape the pieces into balls by pinching the bottoms until the tops are round and smooth. Spray a glass 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick spray and place the dough balls inside.
Step Four: the second rise
Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it is very puffy, about 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the rolls with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
Step Five: bake
Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Brush them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter while they are still warm. Let them cool for about 20 minutes and then serve them directly from the pan.
🥫 Storage instructions
Leftover rolls will stay fresh at room temperature, tightly covered, for 2-3 days.
Homemade rolls freeze quite well. Allow them to cool completely and freeze for up to 1 month. Warm in 200-degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.
I prefer to use a mixer with a dough hook, but you can absolutely do it by hand. If you have a bread machine, using the dough cycle is a great and easy choice.
Yes, I am. I promise.
Brushing rolls with butter is all the topping they need, but you can definitely add sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or anything else you’d like.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- When it comes time to cut the dough ball into 24 pieces, do it like this: divide it into half, then quarters, then eighths. Finally, divide each eighth into 3 pieces.
- Arrange the dough balls 4 balls wide and 6 balls long.
- Start with room temperature ingredients. Cold ingredients will slow down the rising times. You can briefly microwave the milk to take the chill off, but you don’t need it to be warm.
📘 Related Recipes
🍽 Serve it with
Old-fashioned soft rolls go with just about anything. Here’s a meal anyone would love:
📖 Here’s the recipe
Old Fashioned Soft Yeast Rolls
- Large mixing bowl
- Stand mixer optional
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
For topping the rolls
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Knead. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. They may seem dry at first, but as the butter softens the dough will moisten. Knead by hand, with a stand mixer, or with a bread machine set on the "dough" cycle. (If using a bread machine, skip step 2 and allow the machine to complete the full cycle.). If the dough still seems dry, add a bit more milk. The dough is kneaded enough when windows (translucent areas) appear in the dough when it's stretch out.
- The first rise. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size
- Divide and shape. Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and divide into 24 pieces with a sharp knife. Shape the pieces into balls by pinching the bottoms until the tops are round and smooth. Spray a glass 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick spray and place the dough balls inside.
- The second rise. Cover with greased plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until very puffy, about 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the rolls with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
- Bake. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter while still warm. Let the rolls cool for about 20 minutes and serve directly out of the pan.