Easy Dinner Rolls

ROLLS in basket B

The backstory of my bread making

[This recipe for easy dinner rolls is one of the most popular ones on this blog. I posted it four years ago and am re-posting it today because I know that new readers have probably not seen it yet. This is a keeper, for sure!]

I grew up in a home with a bakery attached to the kitchen. My mother had a bread business; she mixed and baked sixty pounds of dough (two-pound loaves) at a time.  She sold bread, dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls to stores in town. We had all the homemade bread we ever wanted, and the only store-bought buns we used were for sandwiches like hot dogs and hamburgers. I could mix up sixty pounds of dough in my sleep, but I never made smaller batches until after I was married.

MIXER bakery
Yep. That’s the actual mixer, doing its job.

The backstory of this easy dinner roll recipe

My sister Alice shared this recipe with me when I got married. She got it from a cousin Lila who got it from her mother Lela. I called Lela (who is not living now and was in her 90s then); she didn’t remember the recipe or where she got it. So there you have it. We can just give it any name we’d like!

When I mix up these easy dinner rolls, I don’t usually use a recipe anymore; I just throw things into the mixer. But then, I’ve been making this recipe for thirty years. I don’t suppose you’ll need a recipe to follow when you’ve made it that long, either.

ROLLS directions B
the recipe I typed up for my boys nearly twenty years ago

Sometimes I add part wheat flour and sometimes I just use white flour. It depends on who will be eating the rolls. It also depends on how health-conscious I am feeling at the time.

ROLLS dough rising B
this is a “double batch” rising

90 minutes from start to finish

You can mix these up and serve them one-and-a-half hours later. I’ve done it in less time than that, and when that happens, my girls call them “hormone rolls”.  If you add a little extra yeast, have the bowl for the rising dough warmed up, then warm the pans you will be baking them in, you can do it in just over sixty minutes. You can also turn the oven light on and let the dough rise in the oven. The temperature from the light and the enclosed oven will create a warm environment.

Six ingredients, that’s all you need: water, sugar, salt, yeast, vegetable oil and bread flour.

ROLLS rising B
a double batch on one tray – for a fundraiser we did at church

Go ahead.  Knead away.

ROLLS in oven B

Come dinner time, you’ll be glad you did.

ROLLS round B
we’re talking fresh out-of-the-oven here

A Few Tips:

  • be sure your water for dissolving the yeast is not too hot or too cold.  If it’s too hot, you will kill the yeast, and the bread won’t rise.  If it’s too cold, it won’t dissolve properly and the yeast will not be able to do its job
  • you can decrease the sugar, but you’ll want to add some sugar with the yeast because that helps with the action of the yeast
  • if you want to add wheat flour, add it first; remember that it won’t take quite as much flour if you are using wheat flour.
  • be sure to cover your dough while it is rising; don’t allow cold air or drafts to hit it, or it will take much longer to rise
  • don’t do strenuous exercise in a room near your kitchen while your dough/rolls are rising; it will cause the dough/rolls to “fall”.  [Ask me how I know!]

Easy Dinner Rolls

Easy to make, delightful to serve, delicious to eat!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner Rolls
Servings 24 rolls


  • 1 1/2 cup warm water 105-110 degrees
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4-6 cups bread flour


  • Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water
  • Add vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups flour to the yeast mixture
  • Mix together for two minutes
  • Add 2-4 cups flour until the dough is soft.
  • If you are using a mixer with a dough hook, the hook will "knead" the bread for you. Keep mixing the dough until it is well mixed together and is soft.
  • Place into a greased pan, turning the dough once so it is "well greased". Cover to avoid a draft if it is cook in your house.
  • Let rise until double, then shape into balls
  • Put into greased pan or cookie sheet
  • Let rise until double
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.
  • Remove from oven and brush tops with butter

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  1. Hi…I have a question about the amount of flour. The recipe says 4-6 cups of flour. Then in directions it says to add 2 cups to yeast first then on down says to add 2-4more cups. So how much do you add to make the 24 rolls the recipe says it makes? I do not want to make more than 24 and if anything would want to make less. It will just be 5 of us for Mothers Day. So if you could reply ASAP I’d greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much, Blessings.

  2. Hi Lynn,
    Thanks for dropping in. I’m sorry I didn’t see this earlier today.
    For this recipe (24 rolls) you will need a TOTAL of 4-6 cups flour. The amount depends on the type of flour (bread versus all purpose), altitude, and water/oil. You add the 2 cups at first and get it mixed in well. You will want at least two more cups (which comes to four). Then add enough until the dough (which can bring the total to 5 or 6 cups) is the right texture.
    I realize that the extra two cups can be confusing. If you are exact with your liquid and flour measurements, you probably won’t need the entire six cups (2 extra cups). But a few tablespoons extra water or oil can make a difference. I think the type of oil can make a difference sometimes.
    I hope it goes well! Let me know if you have any more questions.
    Blessings – and a happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!

    If you want to make a dozen rolls, you can just halve this recipe. Or, you can make the entire recipe and freeze what’s left over for later.

  3. Certainly! You can also make 3 tiny balls and put them into one muffin section.

  4. I chose your option to “Jump to the Recipe” at the top of your page because I was short on time to make some rolls for a dinner party and was surprised that your directions didn’t say to knead the dough. Although I was skeptical about that, I’m not a seasoned bread baker, so I went ahead anyway and made them per your instructions trusting you were right. Wrong. They didn’t rise well at all and were a fail. A waste of time and money. I not only wasted money on the ingredients, I had to go buy the rolls for the dinner. Everyone was expecting homemade rolls. Later when I had the time, I went back and read through all your text above the recipe and in that you say to knead! If you have an option at the top of your page that invites people to “Jump to the Recipe” why would you not include the complete instructions?? It’s too late for me, but hopefully you’ll fix it for anyone else who uses your recipe.

  5. Thank you for letting me know. I’m so sorry. I have added a part about allowing the dough hook to mix your dough and “knead” it. If you’re mixing by hand, then you will need to “knead” it. I have another recipe – if you’re mixing by hand – but you might be afraid to try it after this last episode. 😉 It’s a recipe on How to Make Homemade Bread Without a Mixer. Again, my apologies.

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