How to Make Dinner Rolls

How to make dinner rolls? Just what are dinner rolls? The term “dinner rolls” has different meanings to different people. Most of us agree that dinner rolls are usually small rolls convenient to serve and eat with a dinner meal.

I remember when I was a child, I loved dinner rolls but like so many other foods, we never had them at home. Also, like so many other foods, the dinner rolls were a reason I loved to go to Sister Gloria’s home. Whenever she had the family for dinner, she served plenty of dinner rolls.

When I am asked how to make dinner rolls, I always refer to dinner rolls as small yeast rolls. Today, I notice many people will serve baking powder biscuits for dinner rolls. Personally, I think of baking powder biscuits as common breakfast food.

Like I said, this is a personal preference of mine. I know that many people love biscuits more than yeast rolls. For me I like something a little more special to go with dinner like I feel about yeast dinner rolls.

If you are learning how to make dinner rolls, you will find recipes called by many different names. Refrigerator or ice box rolls are quite popular. They are also convenient because most of the work can be done ahead and the dough placed in the refrigerator for as long as overnight.

Parker House rolls are also pretty famous. They got their start at the Parker House Hotel in Boston (Along with the Boston cream pie). These rolls were not a planned food but one accidentally created by an angry cook. They turned out to be a lasting hit.

Aside from the typical ingredients found in bread and rolls such as flour, shortening and yeast, many are made with a variety of other ingredients. Some recipes will include fresh herbs like parsley, basil and chives; sometimes I add these even if the recipe does not. You might also find ingredients like mashed potatoes and grated cheese.


Refrigerator Drop RollsRefrigerator Drop Rolls
  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 Heaping teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup boiling water
  • 1 Package yeast
  • ½ Cup warm water (112F degrees)
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Cups sifted flour

Cream together shortening, sugar and salt; add boiling water and cool to warm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water; beat egg and add.

Combine yeast mixture with shortening mixture; add flour and mix well.

Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes; cover and refrigerate until needed.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees; lightly grease 12 regular size muffin cups.

Divide dough among the muffin cups; let rise 45 to 60 minutes.

Bake about 20 minutes until light brown.


Learn how to make dinner rolls that are round in shape.

  • ½ Cup warm water (About 112F degrees)
  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • 2 Cups warm milk (About 112F degrees)
  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Slightly beaten eggs
  • 7 to 7 ½ Cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.

Combine milk, shortening, sugar and salt in a large bowl; add eggs and yeast mixture.

Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead slightly (dough will still be soft).

Place dough in a greased bowl turning to grease other side.

Cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk about 1 ½ hours.

Punch down; let rise again until doubled in bulk.

Punch down again; shape dough into balls (Size of golf balls)

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees.

Let rise again about 30 minutes; bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.


Learn how to make dinner rolls; rumored favorite of Thomas Jefferson. 

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • ¼ Cup warm water (About 112F degrees)
  • 1 Large mealy potato
  • 4 Tablespoons butter cut in pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 3 ½ Cups sifted flour
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter

Peel and cut potato in chunks; place in a small saucepan.

Cover potato with water; cook in small saucepan over medium heat until soft.

Drain water off potato RESERVING LIQUID; keep warm.

While potato is still hot rice or sieve into a large bowl; NO processor it will make potato gummy.

Add 4 tablespoons butter and ¼ cup warm potato water; mix until butter has melted.

DISSOLVE yeast in warm water; SET FOR 5 MINUTES.

Add sugar and eggs to the potato mixture; mix well.

Add dissolved yeast and salt to potato mixture; beat in 3 cups of flour to form dough.

Turn dough onto floured surface; knead lightly adding enough flour to keep dough from being too sticky.

NOTE: This should be a soft dough; too much kneading will make the rolls dry instead of light and moist.

Place dough in a greased bowl; turn to coat surface.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in warm spot until dough doubles in bulk about 1 hour.

Punch down; knead dough gently for 1 minutes on lightly floured surface.

Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness; cut with biscuit cutter; brush tops with melted butter.

With dull edge of knife p0ress a crease just off center of each round.

Press dough over so that the large part overlaps the smaller.

Place the folded rolls barely tough each other on a lightly greased baking sheet; set in warm place.

Cover with plastic wrap; let rise until double in bulk about 45 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN to 375F degrees.

Place rolls in middle of oven and bake until golden brown 15 to 20 minutes.

Brush immediately with melted butter; serve hot. Makes 36 rolls.


Refrigerator RollsRefrigerator Rolls

Learn how to make dinner rolls that use potatoes.

  • 1 Cup mashed potatoes
  • ½ Cup warm potato water (112F degrees)
  • 2/3 Cup solid white shortening
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 1 Cup scalded milk cooled
  • 5 to 6 Cups flour

Mash potatoes; add shortening, salt, sugar and eggs and cream well.

Dissolve yeast in warm potato water; add to lukewarm milk then add to potato mixture.

Add enough flour to make a soft dough; turn onto floured surface and knead.

Place dough in a greased large bowl; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk.

Place dough in tightly covered bowl and place in refrigerator.

PREHEAT OVEN to 375 F degrees; grease 9x13 inch baking pan.

Divide dough into 24 equal parts; shape each into a ball and place in prepared pan.

Place in warm place and let rise to double about 1 hour.

Bake until light brown about 25 minutes.

Unbaked Refrigerator RollsUnbaked Refrigerator Rolls


How to Make Dinner RollsHow to Make Dinner Rolls

How to make dinner rolls in refrigerator overnight.

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • ½ Cup warm water (112F degrees)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1/3 Cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 4 ½ to 5 ½ Cups flour

Add yeast to the warm water; add 1 tablespoon sugar and baking powder.

Let yeast mixture stand for 20 minutes.

Scald 1 cup of milk; add 1/3 cup sugar, salt and butter and set off to cool.

NOTE: I place pan in a pan of cold water to cool to warm)

Combine milk mixture with yeast mixture in a large bowl; stir in flour to make a soft dough.

Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Grease 2 or 3 baking sheets.

Roll half of dough out to a large circle; cut into 12 pie shapes.

Starting at wide end of pie shapes roll up to pointed end; place on prepared baking sheets.

After rolling all dough; set trays in warm place to rise until double in bulk.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees; bake rolls about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 24


How to make dinner rolls in muffin tins.

  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • ½ Cup warm water (112F degrees)
  • 1 Cup scalded milk (Still hot)
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 3 Beaten eggs
  • 6 to 7 Cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.

In large bowl combine milk, honey and salt; stir in cream and COOL to lukewarm (112F degrees).

Beat in the yeast and beaten eggs; beat in about 3 cups of flour for 3 minutes.

Cover bowl with clean towels; let rise in warm place for 1 hour.

Stir batter down; stir in another 3 cups of flour.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic about 20 minutes.

Grease a clean mixing bowl; place dough in bowl turning to coat top side.

Cover with clean towels; set to rise in warm place for 1 hour until double in bulk.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; pinch of dough to make 72 smooth balls (walnut size).

Place 3 balls in each of 24 well greased muffin tins. (Regular cupcake size)

Bake about 25 minutes until golden brown.


How to make dinner rolls with mashed potatoes.

  • 1 Cup milk
  • ¾ Cup solid shortening
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Cup hot mashed potatoes
  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • ½ Cup warm water (112F degrees)
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 6 to 8 cups flour

Scald milk; add shortening, sugar, salt and mashed potatoes.

COOL mixture to lukewarm (112F degrees).

Dissolve yeast in warm water; in large bowl combine milk mixture with yeast mixture.

Add beaten eggs; stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

On floured surface knead dough until smooth and elastic; add more flour so dough is not sticky.

Place dough in greased bowl; cover and set in warm place to rise until double in bulk.

Punch down dough; roll out to ½ inch thickness.

Cut rolled dough in rounds with biscuit cutter; brush with melted butter and fold over.

Place on greased baking sheets and let rise until almost double in bulk.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees; bake until golden brown.

› Dinner Rolls

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