These Perfectly Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls are spectacular both in flavor and texture. What could be better than a pillowy soft, chewy roll that gives little resistance when taking a bite? They taste just as delicious the next day. You can customize the amount for 15, 16, or 24 servings depending on your pan. This will be your go to recipe for a perfect addition to any meal.
Today, I am sharing with you my recipe for Perfectly Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls which are a wonderful addition to any meal. I love serving bread at dinner time because it serves a purpose for me. First, we love bread so we include it with our meal – especially on special occasions. Second, it acts as a filler. I know that sounds horrible for me to say, but when you are serving a large group of people which I often tend to do, I need fillers. Finally, it completes the meal because they are pillowy soft, loaded with layers, and delicious. Hopefully my guests feel special because I make these from scratch. That takes time, patience (which if you knew me personally you would know I have none), and lots of love.
These rolls have taken me years to perfect. Yes, they always came out delicious, but my goal was to have a roll that had layers and was light and fluffy and not heavy like a rock which a lot of the time that was the case. I wanted a roll that would stay fresh at least the next day and not dry up. It took some figuring out and now I have accomplished that goal. Guess what? I hid one for a few days and it was still soft and fluffy. These rolls are spectacular!
Both my sons would eat rolls before anything else. It’s funny when there is only one left and they realize they have to get to it first. There they are sitting at the table, eyes locked first on the roll then on each other. You can hear the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly begin to play. The family notices and takes pause, watching, waiting. My son, Ryan, starts to move his hand towards the basket and stops. My younger son, Ethan, catches up and stops. We wait. Then, finally, one of them draws first and grabs the roll. The other sulks in defeat. I can’t make this stuff up.
These rolls take a little time but most of it is unattended. That’s where the patience comes in. The process is easy. I use my stand mixer to make these. If you want to knead by hand, by all means. It will definitely give you a workout and relieve any stress you have. I used to knead by hand and I think everyone should try it at least once. Feeling the dough is a wonderful experience. It also gives you strong arms. My aunt Julia kneads by hand and for a woman in her 70’s she has some serious strength. I wouldn’t want to arm wrestle her! Because of time, I now use my KitchenAid stand mixer.
Grab your mixing bowl and add warm milk and sugar and sprinkle in the yeast then give it a stir. Let that sit for about 5 minutes while you are getting everything else ready.
If your eggs aren’t room temperature, place them in a bowl with warm water.
Measure oil in a measuring cup. Add some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Yes, lemon or apple cider vinegar. This acts as a dough enhancer and produces a soft roll. I have used both with the same results and don’t worry, you won’t taste it.
Grab your scale. Using a scale pretty much guarantees results because weighing is being consistent regardless of humidity. The scale removes any doubt. This recipe calls for a pound and a half of flour. Until then, using 5 cups of flour should do the trick and without a scale this is how you go about it. Before measuring flour lighten it up by moving it around with your hand or knife. Scoop up some flour until overflowing. Use the flat end of a breadknife to scrape off the excess. Place in a bowl and mix in the salt along with a little ginger. Yes, ginger which acts as a dough enhancer. Set aside.
I found that ginger acts like a preservative. It also gives yeast a little boost producing a fluffy roll. To prove this, I made 2 batches of rolls – one with ginger and one without. I have to say I was surprised that the rolls made with ginger stayed softer longer. That’s enough proof for me. You won’t taste the ginger because only a 1/4 teaspoon is used.
Add about half of the flour mixture into the bowl with the yeast mixture. This is light enough to mix with a spoon or a dough whisk or start your stand mixer and mix for about 2 minutes on medium high speed until smooth. It will be like a batter. I keep the dough hook on for this.
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Crack the eggs into the measuring cup with the oil and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and beat until just mixed.
Add the egg mixture to the mixing bowl along with the softened butter and continue to knead on medium high for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Good time to switch to stand mixer.
Add the remaining flour into the bowl and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but come away clean from the bowl. I have a heavy duty KitchenAid stand mixer and it recommends kneading on #2 speed but sometimes I get all crazy and use #3. I wouldn’t use a high speed but just enough to get the process going. Check the recommendation of your stand mixer. If you notice the dough climbing up the hook, stop mixer and slide it down into bowl then continue.
If kneading by hand try not to add any more flour as it will make the dough tough. Use a dough scraper to help you along. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough may be sticky and that’s okay. Don’t add anymore flour or you will have hockey pucks.
You know when you have kneaded long enough by grabbing a small piece of dough and stretching it out with both hands creating a “window”. Actually, a gluten window. Check out the photo to see what I mean. Lovely view, isn’t it?
Grab a bowl and grease with about a teaspoon of oil. I use these wonderful tall plastic lidded containers that are perfect for dough.
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Take out the dough and knead it just to get the feel. I have granite counters and don’t find the need to use flour for this last kneading. You can also just hold the dough in your hands and fold it onto itself a few times without setting it down. Place the dough into an greased bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap or the container lid. Let rise for 1 hour.
After it has risen, remove dough and flatten with your hands creating a rectangle. Divide the dough into 15, 16, or 24 pieces.
Dividing into 15 will give you good size rolls. You can use a buttered 9×13 baking dish to bake these and you may need to increase baking time a few minutes. If you divide into 16 pieces, you can use two buttered 9″ round baking pans and place 8 rolls in each. If you want to spread the love then you can divide into 24 and use a baking sheet to bake. You can grease the baking sheet generously with butter and/or line with parchment paper. I use the latter because that’s a lot of surface, the pan is aluminum, and I don’t want any to stick. Parchment paper is my preference.
Shape rolls by taking each piece, and forming into balls by rolling them palm side down counterclockwise on your counter until a tight ball forms. Pinch the bottom closed to seal. Or, you can flatten each piece slightly and roll it up then pinch seam closed. Or, you can flatten slightly, fold top halfway down and then bottom up pinching seam closed. Then transfer to pan of your choice. Make it interesting and do all three!
After shaping all the rolls, cover with plastic and a clean dish towel and place in the oven which is turned off along with a pan of boiling water and let rise for about 45 minutes . I use a 2 quart pan and place it next to the rolls. The steam of the water creates a warm and moist environment. I don’t bother switching out the water once it has cooled because I find the initial boost is enough. After 45 minutes, remove the rolls and water from oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Continue to let rolls rise another 15 minutes on the counter. You can brush the tops of these rolls with an egg wash which is just a beaten egg with a tablespoon of water and mix. This will produce a beautiful brown shiny roll but will also form a crust. This is optional. If you want a softer squishy roll, skip the egg wash. I prefer soft and squishy.
Bake rolls for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. The time will depend on which pan you used. Remove rolls from pan and place on rack to cool. If you chose not to use an egg wash prior to baking you can now brush the tops with some melted butter to create flavor and shine. If you choose to do nothing that is okay too. I do nothing.
I hope you make these Perfectly Soft and Fluffy Dinner Rolls. Sounds like a lot of work but the result is definitely worth it.
Try my Single Rise White Bread which produces a delicious bread in no time. I also have a recipe for my Beer Bread where no yeast is required and it takes ten minutes to prepare and about an hour to produce a deliciously dense flavorful loaf.
Thanks for visiting. Until next time…
- 1¼ cups of warm milk, about 110 degrees*
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 5 cups all purpose flour (1½ pounds)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 tablespoons oil, vegetable or safflower
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, room temperature**
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil for greasing bowl or container
- Eggwash - optional***
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a bowl of your standing mixer, add milk and sugar and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes while you are getting everything else ready.
- Place flour in a bowl and mix with salt and ginger. Set aside.
- Add about half of the flour into the bowl with the yeast mixture. Start the machine and knead for about 2 minutes on medium high speed or until it's smooth like a batter.
- Crack the eggs into the measuring cup with the oil and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and beat until just mixed. Add to the mixing bowl along with the softened butter and knead for about 2 minutes until smooth.
- Add the remaining flour into the bowl and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky but come away clean from the bowl. If kneading by hand try not to add any more flour as it will make the dough tough. Use a dough scraper to help you along.
- Grease a bowl with about a teaspoon of oil. I use tall plastic lidded containers that are perfect for dough.
- Take out the dough and knead it once or twice. Place the dough into a greased bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap or the container lid. Let rise for 1 hour.
- Remove dough and flatten creating a rectangle.
- Divide that dough into 15,16, or 24 pieces depending on what size you would like the rolls to be and which pans you will use. Dividing into 15 will give you good size rolls. You can use a 9x13 baking dish to bake these. If you divide into 16 pieces, you can use two 9" round baking pans and place 8 rolls in each. If you want to spread the love then you can divide into 24 and use a baking sheet to bake. It is better and easier to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Shape rolls by taking each piece, and forming into balls then rolling them palm side down counterclockwise on your counter until a tight ball forms. Pinch the bottom closed and place in pan.
- Or, you can flatten each piece slightly and roll it then pinch seam closed. Or, you can flatten slightly, fold top halfway down and then bottom up pinching seam closed.
- After shaping all the rolls and spreading them out evenly in chosen pan, cover with plastic and place in turned off oven along with a small pan of boiling or hot water to provide moisture and warmth. Let rise for 45 minutes. Remove everything from oven and place rolls on counter to continue rising for another 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove plastic wrap. Brush the tops with an egg wash, if desired.
- Bake rolls for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on rack to cool. If you chose not to use an egg wash prior to baking you can brush the tops with some melted butter to create flavor and shine. If you choose to do nothing that is perfectly fine.
**If your eggs aren’t room temperature, place them in a bowl with warm water.
***This is optional. If you want a softer squishy roll, skip the egg wash.