Bread/ Holiday Recipes/ Thanksgiving Dinner

My Favorite Dinner Rolls (aka Granny Buns)

Well, it’s high time I posted a new bread recipe (and not just re-post one like I did the other day with my sourdough). Since my Homemade Hamburger Buns post is by far the most popular post on my blog, I figure people must be into making bread. Okay, well at least making hamburger buns. 

Roll ingredients

This recipe for Homemade Dinner Rolls has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time. Like, as long as I can remember. My grandma (aka Granny) has been making these FOREVER. Hence, I have probably been eating them since I was old enough to eat solids. She makes big batches of them for the Holidays, and when we lived far away from her as kids and didn’t see her that often she made sure to leave us some for the freezer. 
Proofing yeast

These dinner rolls can be considered a type of enriched bread due to the addition of milk, sugar, egg and fat (butter/lard/shortening) in their dough. This is opposed to regular bread that would just have water, flour, yeast and salt (eg. my sourdough).  These additional ingredients typically add softness, flavor and fluffiness to bread or rolls. Traditionally, my Granny makes these with all all purpose flour for white dinner rolls. I usually add a little bit (less than half) whole wheat flour, to give them a bit of wheaty goodness (although this is much to the chagrin of my Hubby, who prefers them white). You can make them whichever way you prefer, but the total amount of flour you will be using is roughly 5-5 1/2 cups.

Roll dough before rising

Like many yeast leavened breads, these rolls take quite a while to make (though not nearly as long as sourdough). First you need to let the dough rise in a single ball. It takes 1-1.5 hours.

Roll dough after rising

Then, once it has doubled in size, you punch it down and let it rest for about 10 more minutes. 

Rolls before rising

Next comes shaping the rolls. This is the labor intensive part, due to their cloverleaf shape. Making each roll involves forming 3 small balls of dough in the palm of your hand. Each ball should be 1-1.5″. These 3 balls get placed in a greased cup of a muffin pan. Once you start this shaping process, you can’t really leave it unattended because the dough will continue to rise. So make sure you have 30-45 minutes to commit. 
Rolls after rising

Once all the rolls are shaped, they need to rise again. This one is shorter. About 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature. You will want them to get pretty much as big as you would want them to be when they are baked.My Favorite Dinner Rolls

The baking is the fastest part – 20 minutes. You will want them to be nice and golden on top. Take them out of the muffin pan as soon as you can handle them, or the bottoms will get soggy. Let them cool completely on a wire rack, but if you sneak one that’s still warm I doubt anyone will notice 🙂

My Favorite Dinner Rolls

My favorite way to eat these dinner rolls (like most bread) is warm with butter. In fact, I remember even as a very young child, asking my mom to butter my roll and warm it up in the microwave for me. What do you know – my preferences haven’t even changed.

My Favorite Dinner Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls
Prep Time
3 hrs 40 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
4 hrs
Course: Bread
Servings: 24
Author: Domestic Dreamboat
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast 1 package
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter lard or shortening
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour see note
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  1. Dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in the lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Scald milk (warm until steaming but do NOT boil) in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, salt and butter, stirring until butter is melted. Let cool slightly then stir in egg.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups of the flour and turn mixer on medium-low speed. Mix until flour is incorporated. Gradually add 2 more cups of the flour, mixing until incorporated. Turn mixer down to low speed. If dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 2 Tbsp at a time until dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Continue to knead with the dough hook for 3-5 more minutes.
  4. Remove dough from stand mixer. Form into a ball and transfer to a large bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1-1.5 hours, until doubled in size.
  5. Punch dough down let rest for 10 more minutes. Lightly grease the cups of two muffin pans.
  6. For clover-leaf buns: cut off small pieces of dough using a paring knife to form into 1-1.5" balls. To do this, place dough in the palm of your hand and tuck ends over the top of the dough until you are left with a smooth ball. Place 3 of these balls into each muffin cup. (See note)
  7. Cover both muffin pans with plastic and let rise for 30-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  8. Move oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 325°F. Bake for 20 minutes until the rolls are golden brown on top. Cool slightly, until you are able to handle them. Remove from muffin cups and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or bag. Freeze if you will not use them after 1-2 days.
Recipe Notes
If desired, use 5 - 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour and no whole wheat flour for white dinner buns
You could make the buns into other shapes if desired. Use larger pieces of dough to make round buns.


dinner roll nutrition info

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1 Comment

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