1-Hour Light and Buttery Dinner Rolls

by Jess on November 5, 2012

in Bread, Recipes

As I was writing up this recipe over the weekend, it occurred to me that it is scheduled to go live at exactly midnight here in Thailand.  Midnight…on the first Tuesday of November.  That means that it is already U.S. Presidential election day for those of us who live in this distant time zone.  It made me wish I had stuck an American flag in these gorgeous buttery little rolls.

But when I chose these dinner rolls for November’s Secret Recipe Club, I wasn’t thinking about the elections.  Rather, my mind was focussed on Thanksgiving. It seems wise to head into Thanksgiving with a good dinner roll recipe.  What better way to soak up that delicious mixture of sweet potatoes, gravy, and cranberry jelly that inevitably ends up in the middle of the plate?  Not to mention that leftovers of these rolls are the perfect vehicle for making turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving.  These are so good though that it’s hard to imagine any would possibly remain beyond the main event.

I considered it a sign that, when I was matched up with Holly from Phemomenon, she had not only one recipe for dinner rolls, but several!

As a side note, Holly met her husband when he was her sky-diving instructor – is that a great story or what?

The Thanksgiving mindset steered me in the direction of Holly’s simplest dinner roll recipe, which was, as promised, a 1 bowl, 1 hour proposition.  Making Thanksgiving dinner is complicated.  There’s no need for the rolls to take up precious extra time on the big day.

The recipe below delivered delightful, soft, buttery dinner rolls in an hour.  I gave the rolls a light brush of butter before and after baking and a sprinkle of salt which made them so irresistible that Frank and I couldn’t keep our hands off of them, even after a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes.

Put these on your Thanksgiving list – you’ll be oh-so-glad you did.

Good luck heading to the polls today friends!

1-Hour Light and Buttery Dinner Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
In only an hour, you can have these light, buttery quintessential dinner rolls on the table. They are worthy of a holiday, but easy enough to make any night of the week.
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: makes 24 rolls
  • 1½ cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (28g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup and leveled off
For topping:
  • 3 Tbsp. (40g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. To the yeast mixture, add the butter, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix on low-speed until the ingredients begin to come together. Still on low-speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and mix for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup flour. Mix on low-speed until the final addition of flour is fully incorporated into the dough. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (You will know it is ready when the dough starts to make a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl.) Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover it with a dish towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into an even ball. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough in half vertically, then each half vertically again into thirds so you have 6 equal strips of dough. Cut each strip of dough into fourths by cutting horizontally to make 24 little squares of dough. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a ball.
  4. Place each rolled piece of dough into a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan in rows of 4. Cover the rolls with a dish towel and let them rise while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) – about 20 minutes.
  5. Lightly brush the rolls with about half of the melted butter before baking. Bake until golden brown, 13-15 minutes. Immediately after removing the rolls from the oven, brush them with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Flip the pan over to remove the rolls. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Phemomenon.


{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Isabelle @ Crumb November 6, 2012 at 12:38 am

What a great pick! I love freshly baked rolls, but I usually don’t have the time to prepare them far enough in advance… so the idea of being able to make perfectly fluffy rolls in an hour? Colour me excited.
BTW, I was assigned your blog for my SRC pick this month – I made your chickpea and sweet potato curry on a crappy rainy day, and it was a huge hit. Thanks for a great recipe. :)
Isabelle @ Crumb recently posted..Secret Recipe Club: Chickpea and Sweet Potato CurryMy Profile


2 Jess November 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

Isabelle – you’ll have to try these! I never have time to bake my own bread for dinner when there are other things to make, but this recipe makes it so easy!


3 Ginny November 6, 2012 at 12:44 am

LOVELY! Love these photographs. I cooked from Holly’s blog last year—she has some amazing recipes, that’s for sure!

I’m going to have to make these rolls. We could all use a few extra minutes to do something else (like get the pile of dirty dishes out of the sink) on Thanksgiving day!


4 Holly November 6, 2012 at 2:48 am

Yay! I love that you made these rolls! They really are so good. Now I can see myself putting a batch together… problem is they always just get devoured before dinner! Thanks for the lovely write-up!
Holly recently posted..SRC: Nutella Mousse – 3 WaysMy Profile


5 Jess November 6, 2012 at 6:13 am

Holly – So true! I really can imagine these disappearing before they ever make it to the table. Thanks for the great recipe – I will definitely make it again and again!


6 cookingrookie November 6, 2012 at 3:04 am

Perfect rolls! And beautiful step by step photos. I love your cutting technique – I simply tear small pieces of dough and my rolls are all of different sizes :-)
cookingrookie recently posted..How to poach an eggMy Profile


7 Lesa @Edesia's Notebook November 6, 2012 at 3:54 am

Wow, I can’t believe these only take an hour. I always use store-bought rolls on Thanksgiving, but I guess I need to get my butt in gear and start making some real ones! They are beautiful.
Lesa @Edesia’s Notebook recently posted..Secret Recipe Club: Holiday Brie En CrouteMy Profile


8 Claire @ Claire K Creations November 6, 2012 at 5:34 am

My grandma would absolutely love these. Who doesn’t love a soft, buttery roll?! It’s my turn to host our little group Christmas party this year so maybe these will have to feature on the menu.
Claire @ Claire K Creations recently posted..Jockey silk gingerbread for the race that stops the nationMy Profile


9 Lisa~~ November 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

I’m always impressed with people make breads, your rolls look amazing.

If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry: Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken.

Lisa~~ recently posted..Thai Peanut Noodles with ChickenMy Profile


10 Delishhh November 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm

These looks amazing – and your pictures are fantastic!
Delishhh recently posted..Pumpkin Bread PuddingMy Profile


11 Karista November 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm

This is my weakness. Buttery, yummy, dinner rolls. Perfect for Thanksgiving Jess! So beautiful they look like they came from a bakery. :)
Karista recently posted..Sweet Potato and Apple Bread PuddingMy Profile


12 Jess November 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Totally my weakness too, Karista. I have such a soft-spot for bread still warm from the oven.


13 sara November 7, 2012 at 3:58 am

Love this recipe – so nice to have a dinner roll recipe that doesn’t take hours! :)
sara recently posted..SRC: Crispy Smashed PotatoesMy Profile


14 Jess November 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Sara – I completely agree! It’s so satisfying to make these yourself, but I love that this recipe takes so little effort.


15 Averie @ Averie Cooks November 7, 2012 at 6:26 am

lovely! just saw them on FG and I have been on a big bread making kick too! I want one of these next!


16 Jess November 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Averie – you’ve got some awesome bread on your site – a number of them have been officially bookmarked for my holiday baking purposes!


17 Nerd With Taste November 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I love butter rolls! Like, I literally DREAM about them in my sleep! And it’s great, because they are good all year round… thanks! ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com
Nerd With Taste recently posted..Molasses CookiesMy Profile


18 sally @ sallys baking addiction November 8, 2012 at 3:23 am

Jess – BEAUTIFUL rolls.. Simply exquisite. I love your photos. I draw so much inspiration from them! I plan to make my first bread EVER sometime soon :)
sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..apple butterscotch magic bars.My Profile


19 Joanne November 8, 2012 at 7:40 am

These look wonderful! I love that they only take 1 hour!
Joanne recently posted..Rosemary Dinner Roll Recipe with Brie CheeseMy Profile


20 Jess November 8, 2012 at 8:47 am

You would never know it by how tasty they are, but the speed of these is certainly their best feature!


21 Maureen November 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Is there a better accompaniment to any meal with sauce or gravy than a soft buttery roll to mop it up? Beautiful rolls!
Maureen recently posted..Salzburger NockerlMy Profile


22 Kerin November 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I have tried and failed so many times to make homemade dinner rolls. Can not wait to try this recipe!

One question, can i make the dough in the morning and then bake later?


23 Jess November 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Kerin – I was curious about that myself, but didn’t have a chance to try it. I think they might rise quite a bit because they use so much yeast, but if you put them straight in the fridge after rolling the dough into balls, I still think they would be good if they rested in the fridge for a few hours. If you try it – please let me know how it goes!


24 Kerin November 20, 2012 at 2:21 am

I made the dough and let it rise…after cutting and making the rolls, I let the pan sit on the counter covered for a few hours…no issues at all, everyone absolutely loved them!


25 Jess November 20, 2012 at 6:43 am

Kerin – that’s great to know! I’m going to make these again on Thanksgiving, and was worried about the rise time being different than the first time I made them. It’s good to know that they’re not too temperamental. ;)


26 Valerie November 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

i just made these and they came out extraordinarily soft and fluffy!


27 Jess November 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Valerie – I’m so glad to hear it!


28 PolaM November 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Wow! these look amazing! I would love to try them!
PolaM recently posted..#RecipeSwap: carrot quicheMy Profile


29 Peggy November 11, 2012 at 3:18 am

What a wonderful pick for this months SRC! Going to keep these in mind for Thanksgiving, for sure =)
Peggy recently posted..Chicken Breasts w/ Penne & Garlic & Herb Tomato SauceMy Profile


30 Susan November 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I love cooking and baking, but I’ve always been afraid of yeast. I made these for Thanksgiving and they were so easy and sooooo good! I will be making these a lot!


31 Jess November 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Susan – I’m so glad to hear it!


32 Sumika December 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I Looove rolls. or any carb!
So… I DO have all the time today. I wanted to make this this morning and maybe put them in the fridge before I let them rise again the second time right before dinner??
I know I could use any other more time consuming recipe, but I found yours and I really want to make them :)


33 Jess December 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Hi Sumika! I did this the second time I made them – I made these in the morning and put them right in the refrigerator. Once I pulled them out, they were pretty much ready to put in the oven – no need to do much of a second rise. These are pretty resilient, so try them with whatever time you have. Enjoy!


34 C. Beth December 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm

These are fast becoming a staple at our house! By the way, I have put them in the fridge for the 2nd rise, and that worked great. I’ve also been using regular yeast since that’s what I have. I just let it proof a bit longer, and increase the first rise time a little bit.
C. Beth recently posted..Homeschooling…a very simple tip for staying saneMy Profile


35 Jess December 14, 2012 at 4:20 am

They’re a great stand-by dinner roll – we’ve made them many times since the first as well. Thanks so much for your note about refrigerating them for the first rise – this will definitely come in handy for making them a bit early next time!


36 Jenn December 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

If I make the dough in the morning do I let it rise once and after the first rise if I cut the dough and put it into the baking dish can I put them in the fridge and just take the out and put them inthe oven when I ready to bake them? Or do I need to let them come to room temperature? I will be making these for Christmas eve!


37 Jess December 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hi Jenn! I’m so sorry I missed your note before the holiday, but I hope these worked out for you! What did you end up doing? I probably would have removed them from the fridge and put them straight in the oven since they have so much yeast in the dough (they would probably do just fine without extra time to come to room temp), but I imagine either way would work.


38 Terri January 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Jess, could I replace 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 2 cups of wheat flour?


39 Jess January 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

Terri, I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure if it will work. With as much yeast as these have in them, they might still come out light and fluffy, even with some amount of whole wheat flour. It certainly would be worth experimenting with, and I’d love to hear how it turns out!


40 Ginger davidson March 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

How can I make them if I don’t have a mixer nd want o do them the old kneading way


41 Alyssa April 10, 2013 at 2:04 am

I was just wondering if you could make these with Whole Wheat flour?


42 Jess April 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

I haven’t tried that yet, Alyssa. You might try a mix of half whole wheat and half all purpose flour to test it. I’m afraid that they won’t be as light and fluffy when made with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, but I would imagine they’d still be good!


43 Melissa May 15, 2013 at 1:10 am

I must say that these are absolutely the easiest and best tasting homemade dinner rolls ever! My family LOVED them.. They were so fluffy and buttery and tasted better then the rolls I have bought in the store.. My dad came to visit and I gave him a couple and he told me “next time I come don’t get me cookies, just make me some more of these rolls” and coming from a guy that loves his cookies I knew they were a hit!! I will be making another batch this evening … They are a MUST try, you won’t be disappointed !


44 Jess May 15, 2013 at 7:12 am

Melissa – thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! These are a favorite in our house, so I’m so glad to hear they were in yours as well!


45 Rachel May 29, 2013 at 8:54 am

These are incredible!!! They blew my go-to dinner roll recipe out of the water, and took about half the time. I realized at 5 that I needed rolls to go with dinner at 6…Googled “1 hour rolls” and voila. I think I ate seven of them ;) These will be on the table quite often at my house. I might add a little white whole wheat next time to see how that works.


46 Jess May 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Rachel – I’m so glad they worked out! I make them all the time now – so easy. Do let me know how it goes with the whole wheat version!


47 Cyn July 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm

This recipe ROCKS!
I used half and half bread flour and AP flour. They turned out so soft and pillowy.
I can’t believe it took me less than 1.5hr from start to finish (gathering ingredients all the way to sitting down and chowing them).
I might add a little more salt next time but that’s about it.
Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.


48 Jess July 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

So glad you liked them, Cyn! It’s one of my favorites – and so fast.


49 Charlotte September 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Wow- this is now my go-to recipe. This came out so soft and fluffy (not to mention buttery!) but I tripled the butter… I melted it, greased the pan with it, and rolled my rolls in it. After rising, I brushed the tops again. After baking, I brushed the tops again! I easily ate 2 in 1 serving. I added 1 tsp of garlic powder, just to see what would happen. OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. So easy. So yummy. If a 13 year old can make this (me) and have it come out so heavenly, it’s a win recipe. Yum. I think I’m gonna go sneak another bun.


50 Jess September 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Charlotte – thanks so much for your note!! I’m so glad they turned out – and I love that you added garlic powder – yum – I’ll definitely try that next time!


51 lp September 26, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Will these work the same if you do not have a stand up mixer?


52 Jess September 30, 2013 at 6:20 am

Hi LP – I haven’t tried kneading them by hand, but I bet it would work!


53 Monica October 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm

This sounds awesome – I’ve got to try it!
Monica recently posted..Project (Scallion) PancakeMy Profile


54 Andrea October 22, 2013 at 12:42 am

just tried these, beautiful dough rolls came out so soft definitely will reuse recipe


55 Mamta October 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

Dear Jess
Tried out the dinner rolls, they came out great. Thanks a lot for the recipe.


56 Cynthia November 12, 2013 at 2:06 am

I need to know what size ball to make these rolls.
I’ve tried making bread and rolls in the past but
they never turn out. I am getting ready to try these
now. Sounds easy and the look delicious.


57 Andrea November 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

my husband loves these so i have made them all different sizes from small to big loafs. if you follow the steps they come out great no matter what. cut them into 6 equal pieces than quarter those pieces and you’ll have dinner roll size. good bakingQ


58 angela November 24, 2013 at 5:39 am

Could you freeze these and make them ahead of time?


59 Jess November 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Angela, I often make a batch of these and freeze the ones we don’t eat right away. I defrost them completely at room temperature and then bake them just long enough to heat through.

If you know you’re going to freeze the whole batch, I really think it would work to cover them tightly in the baking pan and freeze the whole thing before you bake them. Just let the entire pan come all the way to room temp before you bake the rolls. These are best within a few hours after they come out of the oven.


60 Heather November 25, 2013 at 4:45 am

These are fantastic. As I’m coming back here to make them a third time I had to stop and say what a great recipe. Thanks so much!


61 ROY November 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm



62 krish December 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm

omg!!!! thank u so much….this was the first time i baked it with instant yeast and they came out so nyc n fluffy……..thank u so so so much…..though it burnt a bit at d bottom bcoz of my carelessness :p but still they were awesome…!!!


63 Jenn December 26, 2013 at 6:35 am

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I was in a pinch today because I forgot to pick up frozen rolls for our Christmas dinner. I did a quick Google search and came across your posting. These rolls are amazing! So much better than the frozen rolls I usually buy….and just as easy. Thanks again!


64 Andrea February 13, 2014 at 12:33 am

Have made this more times than i can count perfect everytime! this recipe never disapoints i’ve also made them into loafs by only splitting dough in half and still amaizing.


65 Marise March 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm

WoW! the rolls are delicious and the cook up there in the photo, who is brushing butter on the rolls…..sure is skinny! -inspite of making and eating home made rolls!


66 Sian Lunt March 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been looking for a fail safe fluffy white roll recipe I could actually bake for ages. I tried making these by hand last night (after work since it is such a quick recipe) and they came out perfect!

You are awesome!


67 Tiffany April 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I don’t have a stand mixer, would this be a hard recipe to mix by hand?


68 Hoor Al-Sammarraie May 5, 2014 at 11:43 am

My momma told me to make those at 10 pm because she didn’t have any bread to make my siblings’ school lunch. On oh good Lord, they taste so good and are so fluffy even though they might seem dense. Thanks a bunch <3


69 Heather June 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

I’ve commented before, but I had to come back and say, you know, you can shape these differently and get wonderful hot dog and hamburger rolls, too. Don’t skip the butter and salt at the end for those.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: