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Homemade Yeast Rolls

Homemade yeast rolls feel like the unachievable holy grail for a lot of home cooks–something only professional bakers and the frozen food section of the grocery store can share. But I have news for you. It IS doable for even new cooks. Here’s how. 

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homemade yeast rolls

I’m begging you not to give up on homemade yeast rolls before you start. I know making bread can be intimidating and I’m always amazed at the number of people who don’t know how but hey–it’s time to learn! I promise it’s not hard. It has a little learning curve, but it’s nothing you can’t do.

This roll recipe is old–older than my husband’s great grandmother who gave it to me–and that is pretty old, let me tell you. She’s the same one who attacked me over the potatoes at Thanksgiving a few years ago. She’s a doll–well, a doll with a walker and the temper of a fire ant.

If you can conquer these rolls, you can make any bread. Cinnamon rolls, sourdough, you name it. You got it. And you can do it. The one trick I have is to recommend CHEAP flour. Yes, CHEAP. The best brand I have used is Baker’s Corner sold at Aldi’s. I’ve also had really good luck with King Arthur’s bread flour but having a special bread flour really isn’t necessary.

Please note that this recipe is huge and makes a couple dozen rolls. You can easily freeze the dough before baking and then thaw, rise and bake or you can easily half the recipe.

Homemade Yeast Rolls

Homemade yeast rolls feel like the unachievable holy grail for a lot of home cooks–something only professional bakers and the frozen food section of the grocery store can share. But I have news for you. It IS doable for even new cooks. Here’s how.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water about 120 degrees
  • 2 packages dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 1/2 cups to 7 all purpose or bread flour

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the water and yeast. Allow it to sit until the yeast starts to foam--about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, salt, egg, and oil and stir to combine.
  • Add the flour up to about 6 cups and stir well. You may have to use your hands to finish mixing it.
  • Add the last 1/2-1 cup of flour if the dough is still very wet. It will be a sticky dough and that's okay.
  • Spray the top with cooking spray and cover the dough with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size 1 to 2 hours.
  • After the dough doubles, punch it down with your fist and turn it out onto a floured surface.
  • Knead the dough until smooth--about a minute or so.
  • Grease 3 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
  • Break off walnut-sized balls of dough (about 2 inches in diameter) and place them, touching in the cake pans.
  • Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap and allow to double again. About another 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with butter before serving.

Notes

This recipe makes about two dozen rolls. If you would like to make smaller batch, just half the recipe but use a whole egg. 

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal
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Recipe Rating




J. Fink

Saturday 30th of January 2021

I am the worst baker in the world, but I have to say this recipe turn out as the best baking success of my life. Thanks to an easy recipe and a bit more patience on my part. Thanks

Rachel Ballard

Monday 1st of February 2021

That's so great! And yes, patience really matters. Congratulations on your success. --Rachel

karen selfe

Monday 18th of January 2021

Can this dough be frozen

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Hi Karen, sure it can. I have more luck just making my rolls then freezing those instead, but you could roll balls after the first rise then freeze them individually, then rise them from frozen later. --Rachel

Mrs. A.

Saturday 27th of June 2020

I noticed that your recipe omited one egg as one of the ingredients in the list; however, it was mentioned in the notes, if wanting to half the recipe.

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 27th of June 2020

The egg is listed in the recipe--do you not see it? It's there. --Rachel

Susanne

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hello again from Germany, reading your blog and the Corona-time inspired me to bake some yeast rolls. I have modified the recipe a little bit:

- less sugar because I wanted to have the rolls as a side to a salad bowl. In ancient times we called it a mixed salad, but teens in Germany today call it a "bowl" and yes, they use the English word bowl - the German "Schüssel" seems to be uncool ;-) - I always use yeast that is called "fresh yeast", it is sold in every supermarket in Germany, even at Aldi (btw: you have Aldi in the US???) - I have always better results with fresh yeast instead of dry yeast, but maybe next time I will follow your instructions to actiavate the yeast. - I have done some different seeds (sowing???) on the upper side of the rolls: linseed, quinoa, oatmeal and some with grated cheese

The rolls are very fluffy and my family loves them!

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hey Suzanne, we don't get a lot of fresh yeast here in the states. I've gotten some a time or two but it's hard to come by, that's why our recipes call for active dry. Which you also can't get much of these days either. And yes we have Aldi here. I'm sure a tad different from yours. It's one of my favorite stores! --Rachel

Tania

Sunday 17th of March 2019

I’m surprised by how few reviews this recipe has. My rolls came out PERFECT!!

I halved the recipe, and opted to use a little less sugar. Was able to make 19 small rolls in my cast iron pan.

I should also add that this was my first time baking bread, and couldn’t be more pleased by how it turned out.

Rachel Ballard

Monday 18th of March 2019

A few reviews doesn't mean much as long as the ones we have are good ones, right? Thank you so much for your thoughts and I'm so glad you found some bread baking success! There's no yeasted recipe you can't make now! The more you do it, the better you'll get at it. --Rachel