Soft Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

What is a special dinner without homemade rolls? This is the best recipe for those soft and fluffy, slightly sweet and buttery, yeast dinner rolls we all know and love, made easy in your bread machine!

basket of homemade rolls

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • A classic crowd pleaser. I love unusual bread recipes just as much as the next person, but for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner, you have to have classic soft rolls. It’s the law.
  • Perfectly delicious. I wanted one that was extra fluffy and soft, somewhat sweet and buttery, and still easy enough for the complete beginner.
  • Simple to make and basic ingredients. If you have a bread machine, these are totally foolproof. If you don’t, they are still very easy! You can knead bread very well in a stand mixer too. This recipe uses plain, everyday ingredients that you probably have on hand.

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 soft and simple rolls:

  • water
  • egg
  • milk
  • sugar
  • salt
  • all-purpose flour
  • instant yeast


Step One: mix

ingredients in bread machine.
the dough in this image is too dry! add more water as it kneads if it looks like this

If you are using instant yeast, as you should, you can just dump all the ingredients in a bowl or your bread machine bucket in any order. Mix everything to form a dough. It seems dry and there are crumbly bits, add water a teaspoon at a time. If it’s too wet and is sticking to the bowl, add flour a teaspoon at a time.

Step Two: knead and rise

bread machine bucket with dough inside.

The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and form a ball, like this:

Knead by hand, mixer, or bread machine until a smooth dough forms, about 15 minutes.

Then cover it and place it in a warm place to rise. (The bread machine dough cycle will automatically switch over to a rising period and do this for you.)

Step three: shape

shaping dough into roll.

Shape it into a log so it’s easier to divide equally. You want 16 pieces, so it’s easy to divide in half, then quarters, then eighths, then sixteenths. (Is that a word?)

Now don’t be afraid of shaping them into rolls. There’s no need to get hysterical about what the bottom looks like, we are just concerned with the top. So just pinch the bottoms and you’ll see how the top smooths out and gets round. Don’t smash from the top. Handle them as lightly as you can.

Step Four

shaped dough balls on parchment

They will all fit on one baking sheet, but they will look small at first.

Make sure to cover them with plastic wrap that’s well-sprayed with cooking spray. They will rise up to touch it, and it will stick to the rolls if it’s not well greased. Place them in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes. Partway through the rising time, start preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

They will look like this when they are ready to bake. Before they go in the oven, brush with two tablespoons of melted butter. Don’t be shy!

Bake for 13-16 minutes, until golden brown. Then brush with another tablespoon of melted butter. (Or be lazy and grab a stick of butter and just rub it on.)

🥫 Storage instructions

Homemade soft dinner rolls can be stored in a bread bag at room temperature for up to two days. If you would like to store them for longer, they can be frozen for up to two months. Simply place the desired number of rolls in a freezer-safe bag and freeze. When you are ready to eat them, remove them from the bag and let them thaw at room temperature.

🔍 FAQs

What can you top these with besides butter?

Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse kosher salt… even sugar. (Surprisingly good!)

Can you bake rolls in the bread machine?

No. Don’t be ridiculous.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • If you are using a bread machine for the first time, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions. Different machines work differently, and some have specific settings for rolls.
  • In general, you will want to use the dough setting on your machine. This will mix and knead the dough for you, so it is ready to be rolled out and shaped.
  • When making rolls in the bread machine, it is important to make sure that the dough is not too wet or too dry. If it is too wet, the rolls will be very soft and will not hold their shape. If it’s too dry, the dough will be stiff and crumbly. You can add a little more flour or water if necessary to get the right consistency.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the rolls. If you want them to be bigger, you will need to let the dough rise for a longer period of time.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

Having a special holiday dinner at home? Try these too:

📖 Here’s the recipe

bread machine dinner rolls in wooden bowl

Soft Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

Soft, simple, and delicious yeast rolls to serve with a holiday dinner.  Made even easier if you have a bread machine!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
rising 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Serving Size 16 rolls


For the dough

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • teaspoons instant yeast

Top with:

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter divided


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or in the bucket of your bread machine.  Knead by hand, with a stand mixer, or with a bread machine set on the "dough" cycle. (If using bread machine, skip step 2 and allow machine to complete the full cycle.)
  • Shape 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.
  • Turn dough out onto clean surface and divide into 16 pieces with a sharp knife.   Shape the pieces into balls by pinching the bottoms until the tops are round and smooth.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray, and place the rolls an equal distance apart.  They will all fit on one sheet.  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 oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and brush the rolls with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.  Bake for 13-16 minutes, until golden brown.  Allow to cool on rack and brush with the remaining tablespoon of butter while still warm.
  • Serve immediately, or allow to cool completely and freeze for up to 1 month.  Warm in 200 degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.


  • You can sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds after brushing with melted butter the first time (before baking).
  • Unfortunately, the dough does not freeze well (they won’t rise as fluffy when you bake them).  So to make ahead, bake fully and freeze.

More dinner roll recipes that we love:

Need more sides and baked goods to round out your holiday dinner?

Jenn at the Everyday Farmhouse has a Cranberry Harvest Pie for a little change from your typical Thanksgiving pies.

The Duvall Homestead prepares Brussel sprouts my favorite way: Crispy Brussels sprouts.

The Tidy Cape Code has a dessert recipe I love: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream.

A classic Thanksgiving favorite is Jayden’s recipe for sweet potato casserole.

Any bread baking questions? I am always here to help!

1 dinner roll on marble counter with bite taken out.

Soft Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is the worst — the ingredients after kneading looked like curds…… had to throw the dough away. Thinking I had somehow made a mistake I made another batch, with the same sorry dry curds .

    1. Hi Carol, There is a very simple fix for this: you just need to add about 1 tablespoon more of water. Different brands of flour absorb water differently so you’ll often have to make adjustments like that to recipes in your machine

  2. I am making the rolls today with your recipe.
    I am a father and a nurse at the emergency department
    During COVID 2019 period is very hard to keep the kids busy while it is my off days
    so i am using your recipe
    Proud of you to produce a video with bloops yet quality content with your son at your side that distract you
    good try

  3. I can’t wait to try these! We almost always make the Rhode’s rolls on special holidays, but I’m sure homemade is soooo much better! Thank you for sharing!