Favorite Dinner Rolls

Super Easy Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

Many of my roll recipes start here.

Very tender, light and tasty. These are my very favorite dinner rolls. They can be started in a bread machine (mixing only) and completed in three hours or even less if the room is warm. Variations, including cinnamon rolls, are endless.






Favorite Dinner Rolls
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 16 rolls
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 cup warm milk (if using skim milk which is usually all I have, replace 2 Tablespoons of milk with heavy cream)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons bread or instant yeast
  1. Place ingredients into bread machine in order listed. Select dough cycle. After about 5 minutes, check dough. It should barely stick to sides and then pull away. If too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If too dry, add water or milk one tablespoon at a time. See pictures of what dough should look like here. When finished, dough should be doubled in size and light. If not, allow to stay in bread machine a few more minutes till risen. (This may happen if the house is cold.)
  2. Punch down gently. Place on floured surface and form into two large balls. Divide each ball into 8 pieces.
  3. Make balls from each piece by pulling dough toward the bottom while turning the dough.
  4. Arrange balls in well-greased 8 or 9-inch round or square pan (non-stick is better) and cover with towel or loose plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled. (I put mine in the microwave where I have already boiled a cup of water for 5 minutes to make it warm and steamy.)
  5. Bake in 350-degree preheated oven until golden brown, usually about 10-12 minutes. Within 5 minutes, dump baked rolls out of pan and let cool on rack or paper plate so they won’t get soggy from the steam they produce.
Variations: * Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour for unbleached. * Add ¾ cup raisins or dried cranberries into dough before forming into balls. * Make cinnamon rolls. (post to follow) * Add ¾ – 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (large grate) into dough before forming into balls. * If you aren’t sure when they are done, buy yourself a quick-read digital thermometer and test rolls. They should be around 185-190 degrees in the oven. I highly recommend this method if you are an inexperienced baker or even if you are experienced. Since I started testing my bread with a thermometer, I have had no more raw bread. Rolls will brown fast so keep an eye on them but be sure they are done. * Bleached flour may be substituted but you may need ¼ cup more. * Dark colored pans will make a nicer brown crust than light colored.



Cheesy Crusted Yeast Rolls
Orange Yeast Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls
How to Convert a Traditional Yeast Bread Recipe for Use in a Bread Machine
5 Reasons Why I Use a Bread Machine

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Mrsb May 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

I just got my first bread maker and tried this recipe for the very first rolls I’ve ever made in my life. I’m the worst cook and always have disasters in the kitchen… I’m beyond proud to say that these turned out absolutely perfect!!!!!! Thank you for the recipe and advice!!! :)))

Maricris September 20, 2015 at 9:42 pm

This recipe is a keeper 🙂 I just made tonight and it’s very good. My husband love it! I used all purpose flour coz I run out of bread flour, it turns out good.

Michelle February 11, 2015 at 12:42 am

Seriously, these are THE best rolls/bread that I have ever made….and I’ve made a lot. They are so light and fluffy and buttery…Omg! All 4 of my kids (8-17) LOVED them. Thank you so much!

Linda January 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm

are you leaving the dough in machine entire dough cycle ? or just for a short time?

Paula January 19, 2015 at 6:48 am

Good question. I leave the dough in the machine for the entire cycle. The object is to allow the dough to rise until double before you remove it, punch it down, and shape it. You can remove the dough anytime after it has been kneaded to a different bowl to rise in a warm place if you want. For example, if you need to make two batches for a large dinner party: Mix and knead first batch, remove dough to greased bowl and set in a warm place, then start over again with a second batch.

Mayvis December 17, 2014 at 2:25 am

Hi Paula, I would like to add chocolate chips into the bread…should I just add it together with other ingredients before the dough cycle OR after the dough first proof and knead in?

Paula December 17, 2014 at 6:42 am

Definitely do not add them in the beginning. Either add them when your machine beeps for “add-ins,” or if you miss that or your machine doesn’t beep, knead in by hand after the dough cycle completes. Sounds yummy.

Mayvis December 18, 2014 at 12:08 am

Thanks Paula, appreciate it….will try it out this weekend, fingers crossed 😛

Erin November 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

I made the same the other night and my husband loved them so much I am no longer allowed to buy rooms in a store! He enjoyed them so much I decided to make a leftover pot pie and use the recipe instead of a pie crust.. Needless to say that was a huge hit also! I baked the bottom of the crust slightly first so it wouldn’t be doughy and it turned out perfect!

Carrie November 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

I can’t thank you enough for this post! I’ve tried both bread and buns in my bread machine and they are always too dense and hard. These buns came out beautiful, soft and fluffy. The tip to check the moistness during the first 10 minutes was the reason I finally succeeded as I added extra water. We live in a dry climate. I also sifted the flour this time.
Wonderful web site! Thanks again 🙂

Pam August 27, 2014 at 9:11 am

What would happen if I don’t use heavy cream and just skim milk?

Katelyn August 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Just made these tonight to go with dinner and we LOVE them! The perfect go to roll! These will definitely be replacing my usual roll recipe that I use for Thanksgiving this year. The only thing I wish I would’ve had thought to do was to use half of the dough for dinner and the other half for cinnamon rolls (I spotted your recipe after they were already in the oven!) instead, but oh well, next time!

Rachel August 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

I made these finally, and was so impressed by how they turned out. My husband loved then, and I loved the confidence they gave me!! Thanks for the recipe! Off to try some sweet bread!

Paula August 21, 2014 at 11:53 am

Uh oh! Another successful bread maker on the loose. Enjoy!

Sandy Jones April 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Tonight I made your Favorite Dinner Rolls for the first time and they turned out so well! (I attached a link to a picture on facebook) Your video on how to make the rolls round was so helpful. I actually baked them in a whoopie pie pan (which is why there is a rim around the bottom.) I will definitely make these again!

Susan February 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

Hi, Paula. I have been baking for friends for 20 years, which is kind of funny given that I myself eat an extremely limited diet due to food allergies. Nonetheless, I have always produced a product that others love—–until now. Now, I am unable to make the bagels that I have been making for years because the dough that comes out of my bread machine is unbelievably sticky, bubbly, and “strange.” I have tried checking the ambient conditions in my apartment and I have tried replacing all ingredients with fresh products. I have also cleaned the oxidation off the heating coil in my 20-year-old bread machine. I have not yet tried baking a different bread or replacing the bread machine. Before I get a new bread machine or experiment with a different bread are there other things I should check? Is there a way of checking the heating cycle of the bread machine, such as by putting it on the dough setting without the pan in place? Have I just lost my touch? 🙂

Paula February 2, 2014 at 7:44 am

Are you saying your dough is sticky and strange with your usual bagel recipe and only that recipe? My first inclination would be to add a little more flour. Humidity differences due to seasons and weather conditions can really affect how much flour you need. You talk about the heating coil but I’m assuming you don’t bake bagels in your bread machine so not sure what you mean about that. Temperature issues should make no difference in the quality of your dough–only the time which it takes to rise. I wonder if the belt is slipping on your machine (a common problem on old machines) and not really kneading the dough like it used to. In that case, I think you have a valid excuse to treat yourself to a new machine. 🙂

Susan February 2, 2014 at 7:49 am

You make an excellent point about the belt, which I had not thought of. I am eager to fix this problem so that I can try your rolls—that is what this is REALLY about.

Tricia January 12, 2014 at 6:57 am

Hi! I happily ran into your website! I am a self-taught breaf machine user and I also have more than one machine and I also refuse to bake iside the machine, because honestly. . . Yuck. But, yes. . . Beautiful loaves in the right pans 🙂 So, I want to knmow about your technique regarding the dough setting. Do you use the 45 minute setting or the 1 and 50 minute setting when you say “dough setting.” I have often wondered about which one I should truly be using. Also, how long do you leave your loaves in the oven. I am always second guessing this. I use a meat thermometer to check once it is out, but always wonder. . . Anyway thanks so much! God bless.

Paula January 17, 2014 at 7:29 am

Hi Tricia,
Please forgive my delay in answering. Somehow, your question fell through the cracks.
I always use the longer dough cycle for best flavor. The time varies with each machine but usually a minimum of 1 hr. 30 min.
Yes, you kinda have to guess at how long to leave the loaves in the oven and at what temperature. You might find this post helpful.

Mona November 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Hi, Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe. I used the variation 2 cups unbleached and 1 cup whole wheat flour. They were a BIG HIT in the dinner I took them to. Yummy !!! Sure will make again again. Thanks again.

Paula November 29, 2013 at 9:50 pm

You’re welcome, Mona. Thanks for writing.

Paula December 1, 2013 at 8:25 am

Glad to hear it Mona. Sounds yummy AND healthy.

Rachel Hansen November 28, 2013 at 4:04 am

Rolls are rising now…. very anxious to try! Such wonderful reviews.

sarah arnold September 18, 2013 at 7:04 am

I borrowed my mums bread machine last week and made a very poor first loaf of bread in it, but then discovered your website – I agree -why would you cook the bread in the machine and end up with a funny shaped loaf with a hole in the bottom? I tried your dinner rolls as my second ever attempt at bread. OMG they were amazing – so quick and easy to do, I just kept saying…I cant believe I actually made these!! My kids loved them too so tonight we are trying your pizza dough which is churning in the bread machine as I write. Fingers crossed it wasn’t just beginners luck!! Thanks!

Emily July 10, 2013 at 11:27 am

I’m curious if I’m supposed to melt the butter before adding or just dollop it in it’s solid state.

Paula July 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

Emily, No need to melt the butter. I use room-temp butter and slice it small. OR if my butter is cold, I slice it up, put it in the pan first, and pour the hot milk over it so it can get soft while I’m measuring the rest of the ingredients.

Jacqueline Monnin June 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Paula, how would you prepare these for baking tomorrow? Put in fridge before they rise them let them rise next day? We tried letting them rise first then put in fridge. Ha ha ha. That was a no go. Snicker. 🙂

Paula June 10, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Jacqueline,
I do not normally prepare these a day ahead. They are just so much better when all done the same day. I have occasionally used the dough for cinnamon rolls and prepared them up until the final rise and then refrigerated. You have to allow a lot more time for the rolls to come to room temperature and rise if you do that. I much prefer to use this dough or this dough when I want to make rolls the day before. Something about having potatoes in them is magic. Both of these recipes make great dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. Again, do every thing the day before including the roll-out. Then refrigerate. Allow a couple hours for rolls to rise the next day before baking although the time will vary a lot depending on the ambient temperature where you let them rise.

Sangeeta April 7, 2013 at 7:51 am

They are so delicious. Thank you Paula for sharing.

Kim April 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Thank you for the great recipe! I tried these dinner rolls twice already, and my entire family really enjoyed 🙂 Thank you, Paula! I’m having such a great time in your blog!

Sangeeta March 18, 2013 at 5:17 am

My husband got me a Bread Machine ( just like yours) and I am struggling to make bread. He is from the US so loves and misses fresh bread his Mom made. So, it was lucky to find your Blog. I am going to follow your suggestions and try again to make dinner rolls.

Paula March 18, 2013 at 7:24 am

Hi Sangeeta,
Practice makes perfect when it comes to yeast bread. You’ll get the hang of it quickly. Write back if you run into trouble.

Christopher Tuckrer January 29, 2013 at 1:27 am

Could you use whey (from strained yogurt) in part of this recipe??

Paula January 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

Hi Christopher,
I’ve never tried it. I like milk because of it’s tenderizing effect. Where I would use it is in French bread.

Jacqueline January 14, 2013 at 5:21 am

Made these yesterday for my bella familia for the first time!! 16 rolls were NOT ENOUGH for our familia of 6! Better cooled down but still warm. These rolls don’t even need butter put on them!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe. One question…mine stuck in baking dish 🙁 was I suppose to grease bottom and sides of dish? Familia wants to make again and a batch of cinnamon rolls with this dough! We have a keeper recipe! Grazie!! Ciao!

Paula January 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

YES! You must grease the pans. I usually spray with PAM or similar product. Even better is Baker’s Joy. I also use non-stick pans. They they will fall out in one beautiful piece and nobody will believe you made them because they look so perfect.

BTW, these do make absolutely fabulous cinnamon rolls, as you may have already figured out.

Paula January 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

I added the part about greasing the pans to the directions. Thank-you so much for alerting me.

Katherine Willis December 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Looks good. I recognized the music in the background. Instrumental version of Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain. My mom’s a big fan.

Kathleen September 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Any good proven substitute for the shortening in these dinner rolls? I just can’t bring myself to use it, and not sure how butter would work or eliminating altogether? Has anyone tried, or any suggestions?

Paula September 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Butter is a wonderful substitute for the shortening. I don’t use the shortening anymore myself.

Hope September 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I LOVE these rolls! My parents want me to make them for Thanksgiving but because I’m going to need 2 batches of them I was wondering if they can be frozen before they are cooked, so that I can easily pull them out and cook on Thanksgiving? Please let me know at what point can they be frozen? After they have gone through the complete dough cycle, then made into balls, then frozen before they are set out to rise?
I’m having fun again with my bread machine because of your website.
Thanks so much

Paula September 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I have tried freezing the dough balls. While they are good and better than store-bought, I don’t think they are as good as the fresh. A better option is to make the dough the night before and let it rise once before making it into balls. Refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge a couple hours before you want to bake them. Thankfully, you have some time to experiment if you like. Have you tried the cheesy rolls? They are fabulous for ham sandwich sliders.

Anu May 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thank you Paula for this amazing blog. I am new to bread baking and have made your garlic bread yesterday and they were amazing. I have tried many other recipes before and something was always wrong. I am planning to make these dinner rolls and my only question is can I use butter instead of margarine.

thanks again.

Karen April 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

With the summer season coming up it is time for hamburgers and I was wondering what recipe do you use. I have tried a few of your other recipes with great results. Hope you can help. Love your recipes keep up the great job in helping us beginners.

Jocelyn April 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I used this fabulous recipe as the dough for our Easter “Empty Tomb Rolls.” (To make them, dough is wrapped around a marshmallow, then dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar. After cooking, the rolls are hollow inside with a sticky marshmallow coating.) The original recipe calls for frozen bread dough, but Paula’s recipe is so much better. Thank you, and Happy Easter!

Connie Kristiansen March 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I saw recently on Pinterest that you can also put your pans on a heating pad to help the dough rise. Has anyone tried that?

Kristin March 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I like to do as much prep work in advance. Is there any way to make the dough and then not bake these rolls for a few days? Or do you need to bake right way? If so, can you bake the night before serving? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Paula March 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

Nothing beats rolls made immediately from fresh dough. You can bake the night before, and they are still fabulous, but there’s something about the smell of fresh bread that makes them taste so much better. I have tried refrigerating the dough and then roll out and let rise just before dinner. It works, and they are better than store-bought, but they don’t seem to rise as high as the fresh dough. Let me know if you come up with a method that works really good. pr

Megan May 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm

This reply is very late but maybe the comment will help someone. When I want to make rolls ahead of time, I make them until they are shaped. Don’t let them rise. Place saran wrap directly on top of the rolls and put in the fridge. They can stay there for up to 48 hours (but really, 24 hours is better). Pull out of fridge and let rest at room temp for 30 minutes before baking. I’ve done this countless times with much success. I got the tip from a cookbook years ago. Hope it helps!

Paula May 6, 2016 at 8:31 am

Hi Megan,
Thanks for sharing this trick. I agree that 24 hrs is better than 48.

Aimie February 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Sorry for a silly question but do you beat the egg at all before you put it in or just put it in whole? Thanks.

Christopher Tuckrer January 29, 2013 at 1:16 am

Always beat the egg.

Paula January 29, 2013 at 9:44 am

I never beat the egg. Comes out perfect anyway. 🙂

Christopher Tucker January 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for that tip Paula! 🙂

Jen February 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I made these on Monday and my kiddos are already begging for more! What a hit! Thanks so much for the great recipe and the video tutorial for this inexperienced baker!

Paula February 16, 2012 at 5:02 am

Uh oh! Now you’ve started something you may have to continue for the rest of your life. It’s a great tradition–mama’s homemade rolls. Makes any meal more special and delicious. It’s also cheap. When my boys were young and we were poor, we ate a ton of homemade bread. Filled them up and saved money.

Cheryl February 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I just wanted to let you know, that I make the round pieces and then I put them in a cupcake pan and let them rise and bake in there. I love the shape…reminds me of brown and serve rolls my mom used to buy at the store.

Paula February 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Cheryl, Thanks for writing. Good idea. I have done it myself in the past but I prefer the softer crusts you get when you put the rolls all in one pan. They look cool though. pr

Karen Brantley December 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I am so glad to have found you. Just began making bread, grinding my own wheat etc. and have not had much success. My baked bread looks nothing like yours and while it is good it’s not delicious. I have so many ideas from you I am actually looking forward to trying again and being able to use my bread machine just for dough! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Paula December 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Hi Karen,
Welcome! So glad to hear from you. I have not tried grinding my own wheat although my sister keeps encouraging me. I know it takes longer to rise so it may have to sit in your bread machine longer than the cycle to rise to double before you make it out. Let me know how it goes. Paula

MadTyMom November 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

My dough is in the bread machine right now. I’ve not used this recipe before so I thought I had better make a test run before tomorrow. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. My husband is disappointed that I am not making my grandmothers angel biscuits (really soft rolls- don’t know why they are called biscuits). They are soooo labor intensive that I am hoping these will win him over and he will be a convert!! I love, love, love your site. Especially the microwave shortcuts. (made the brown butter icing last week for cinnamon rolls…AMAZING! Took them to a whole nother level.

Ashley November 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Suzanne sent me this link to these rolls. I love this recipe. Super easy and fast. And I love the whole wheat option. Thanks you for publishing these.

Peggy Helmick November 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for the tutorial on making rolls. I’m 73 but didn’t start making yeast bread until I purchashed a bread machine a few years ago. Now I use my mixer and love to make yeast bread. I need to make rolls for our small group Christmas Dinner and I wanted them to really be nice so the tutorial really helps. I will try it soon. I am always anxious to look at your blog every time it hits my mail box. Thanks again. We’re never too old to learn new trick. : )

Nancy November 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

First, I have to say, your website is just jam packed with amazing recipes.
Actually, I’ll be making some cheesy dinner rolls for Thanksgiving.
Second, have you ever heard of Malt Powder? It’s supposed to help the yeast mature
to its fullest and enhance flavor. Maybe this will help in the making of wheat bread.
I’ve never used it though. I believe I’d have to buy it at a specialty shop or natural
food shop.

stacie November 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I don’t think I ever commented on your blog how much I LOVE these rolls! They turn out so tender and soft. Thanks so much for sharing! Just noticed you make cinnamon rolls with the same dough, looking forward to trying that myself!

Paula November 5, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for coming back to say so. I’m working on a whole wheat version right now. Just as good.

Sara Goodrich June 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hello, I’m a newbie to the bread machine and so this question may seem silly: Can I put the ingredients for any recipe in there and press the dough cycle if I don’t want it to bake in there? I have a book with recipes, but the directions explain what buttons to push for it to bake inside… And as you’ve suggested, I’d like it to only make the dough so I can shape it and bake in the oven. Thanks!

Lori S April 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I love your recipes. You are amazing. Thank your for being so kind to share and spreading happiness all over the world. Is there a stage of the sweet milk bread, where you could freeze it and take it out and let it thaw, rise and bake?

Cecelia October 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I followed the link to this recipe from your post on bread machines (I love mine for the exact same reasons!). Have you ever tried freezeing these for future use? Thanks

Paula October 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Cecelia, I have frozen them before. Not as good as straight out of the oven but good enough if you don’t keep them more than a couple weeks.

Cecelia October 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Thanks for the feedback Paula. There are only two of us in the house and it’s nice to be able to freeze some items for future use! I’m making these tonight for dinner with friends.

Angie February 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

These dinner rolls are the absolute best! My family thanks you for the recipe… I have made them twice a week for the past few months, and they never get tiring. They are light & fluffy, and a definite keeper. Thanks!

bing February 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Hi Paula,
I would like to share your dinner rolls recipe with my sister in lawabroad. Can she use all purpose flour instead of bread flour since she can not find bread flour at her local grocery store? It would be her first time to bake bread and she is very excited to do it. Thanks.

Romaine February 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Yes, she can definitely use all purpose. Unbleached is better than bleached but bleached will also work. Normally, you have add a little more flour if using unbleached instead of bread flour and maybe even more if using bleached flour. I hope it works out for her. Working with yeast dough is a little tricky and takes practice.

Linda June 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I always use all purpose flour instead of bread or cake flour. I find that if I sift it first…It makes it really light and fluffy and the bread/cakes come out perfect. Good luck 🙂

Paula June 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Agreed Linda.

bing February 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

The chocolate mini bundt cakes look so good. Would it be possible to request for the recipe? My 3 1/2 year old son loves chocolate cakes. I would like to bake it for him. Thanks

bing January 26, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Thank you for your favorite dinner rolls recipe. I used your dinner roll recipe tonight with the use of bread flour. Like you said, it was so soft, tasty and light. Everybody in my family enjoyed it.

tia October 19, 2009 at 1:04 am

these look truly delicious.

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