Mel’s Perfect Dinner Rolls

Rolls have always caused me to sweat a little when I think about making them because they’ve always been difficult for me to master. The sizing, the placement in the pan, the rising, all of those variables can make or break a good dinner roll. Well, I’m happy to report I finally found the perfect recipe! With surprisingly little effort, they taste better than anything you could buy at a store.

Total time: 3 hours

Servings: Makes 12 rolls


  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup (57 g) butter, softened or melted
  • 2 tablespoons (27 g) granulated sugar (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 4 ¼ to 4 ½ cups (604-639 g) all-purpose flour
  • Additional butter for the tops

Step 1. Heat the milk slowly until bubbles form around the edges and the milk starts to steam. Pour the milk into a stand mixer that uses a dough hook. A must-have for making homemade bread is a Bosch Mixer. This machine is a beast and makes quick work of kneading the dough. It’s a bit expensive, but it will last for years.

Step 2. Add the butter, water, and sugar. Let the mixture cool off until it’s warm. Dip a finger in to test it; it should feel warm, not hot or cold.

Step 3. Add the yeast and let sit for 5-7 minutes until the liquid foams. Technically, active dry yeast doesn’t need time to proof, but it makes it rise better if you activate it first.

Step 4. Add the salt, egg, and flour, and turn the mixer on. Don’t add all the flour at once – start with 3 3/4 cups and add additional flour gradually. You only want to add enough flour to make the dough clean the sides of the bowl. If you add too much flour, your rolls will become more dense and less light and fluffy. Let the dough knead for 5-6 minutes until it’s soft and smooth.

Step 5. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled, about an hour or so. I left the dough in the mixing bowl, covered it with a towel, and set it on my stovetop next to my simmer pot.

Step 6. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. Lightly punch down the dough and lay it on a greased countertop. I like to add a little bit of coconut oil to my hands to help the dough not to stick while I’m handling it. My cute coconut oil canister is still available, but it’s on clearance, so get it while you can.

Step 7. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. I started by cutting the dough ball into thirds. They should weigh about 3 to 3.5 oz, or just measure with your heart like I do. Roll every piece into a ball and place it in the pan. If you want a nice smooth top when your rolls are finished, shape the dough balls and place the smooth side up. My pan fit four rows of three rolls. Using a dough cutter is much easier than using a knife.

Step 8. Cover and let the rolls rise until doubled. They should be puffy with the sides touching. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on the tops. Butter the tops immediately out of the oven.

Step 9. Devour

Are you interested in other Thanksgiving recipes or need ideas? If so, I created a complete guide on hosting a Friendsgiving / Thanksgiving dinner party. Click this link, and I’ll email you a copy!



credit: Mel’s Perfect Dinner Rolls

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