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My easy yeast rolls recipe yields a dozen buttery, golden bread dinner rolls that are so delicious they’ll be gone before they’ve made their way around the table! It’s a simple dough made with flour, milk, eggs, and yeast. The best part? No kneading required!
I’ll be honest — sometimes I look forward to the dinner rolls even more than the main dish. What can I say? There’s nothing more satisfying than warm, fresh-from-the-oven buttery bread to start the meal.
That’s why I spent a lot of time making this yeast rolls recipe just right. It has the right amount of sweetness, a measured touch of salt and butter, and the perfect density for a touch of chewiness when you bite down.
Simply mix them together, roll them up, and throw them in the oven. I switch between this wheat dinner roll recipe and my Gramma’s potato rolls depending on what I have in my pantry.
Table of Contents
What’s is bread flour?
Bread flour boasts a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, typically 12-14% compared to 8-11%. This elevated protein level promotes gluten development, yielding bread with superior structure, chewiness, and rise. While all-purpose flour serves various baking needs, bread flour excels specifically in producing crusty, airy loaves with a hearty texture.
(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)
- Dry Active Yeast – I use active dry yeast in my no knead dinner rolls. Instant or “quick” varieties will not work in this yeast rolls recipe.
- Warm Water & Brown Sugar – These two ingredients feed and activate the yeast. You can use regular white cane sugar if desired. The water should be at least 110 degrees F but no warmer than 115 degrees F.
- Whole Wheat Flour & Bread Flour – The combination of high-protein wheat and the airier bread flour results in a perfectly fluffy, yet still dense and chewy, wheat dinner roll. You can replace the bread flour with all-purpose flour in this yeast rolls recipe, but bread flour will yield a lighter crumb.
- Milk & Eggs – These ingredients work together to make the bread tender, soft, and moist.
- Butter – Easiest to brush onto freshly baked yeast rolls when it’s been melted and cooled again.
- Honey – Honey adds just the right amount of sweetness. For an even richer flavor, substitute with molasses and brush on some honey as the finishing touch at the end.
- Activate Yeast. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast activates and bubbles.
- Mix Batter. Combine both flours and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle to add the milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Pour the yeast mixture in and stir until a thick, tacky batter forms.
- Let Rise. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, until it’s tripled in size. Remove the towel and punch to deflate.
- Portion Dough. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll into a log. Cut into 4 pieces, then cut each of those pieces into thirds for a total of 12 pieces.
- Shape Rolls. Form each piece into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough piece with your palm, then pull the edges up and toward the center of the piece and shape into a circle — it’ll look like a tied balloon! Turn the ball over in your hand and roll under your palm until smooth. Check out the video for a visual guide!
- Second Rise. In a 9”x13” pan lined with parchment paper, arrange the dough balls in 3 rows of 4. Spray the tops of the bread with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until they have doubled in size.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 to 20 minutes — don’t let them get too brown! Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Top with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt, as desired, then let cool briefly on a cooling rack before serving.
- 9×13 Baking Pan – A rectangular baking pan is perfect for baking some really spectacular, pull-apart rolls.
- Mixing Bowls – You’ll need one bowl for blooming the yeast and a larger one for mixing the dough. Be sure the second bowl has enough room for the dough to double in size.
Storing and Reheating
No knead dinner rolls are always best fresh. They don’t keep as well as kneaded rolls, and they tend to dry out quickly.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen for up to 3 months. Once frozen, let thaw in the fridge for a few hours before reheating.
Sprinkle your leftover wheat dinner roll with a bit of water and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to soften.
Once the rolls are shaped, arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag, then freeze for up to a month.
When you’re ready to bake, arrange in the pan as instructed. Let the dough thaw and complete its second rise in a warm place, then bake as directed.
You want the dough from this yeast rolls recipe to be tacky — it should stick to your hand but not necessarily be sticky to the point that it leaves residue behind.
If you use too much flour, it can make it so dry that it doesn’t stick to your hands or the bowl at all. If so, add very small amounts of milk until tacky.
It’s very important to let the dough complete both rises in their entirety. In total, the dough will need to rise for at least 2 hours — 90 minutes for the first, 30 minutes for the second.
You also may have used too much whole wheat flour, which will always result in denser rolls. Make sure you’re using a 50/50 mix. Finally, make sure you’re using active yeast, not instant or quick.
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This recipe, first published on Kevin Is Cooking Nov. 8, 2017, was last updated with new content on February 27, 2024.
No Knead Yeast Rolls Recipe
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast (See Note 1)
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups bread flour (See Note 2)
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk lukewarm
- 2 eggs beaten
- 4 tbsp butter melted and cooled
- 4 tbsp honey or light molasses (See Note 3)
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes (optional)
- Place the sugar and yeast in a medium bowl with water. Stir and leave for 5 minutes until yeast activates and bubbles.
- Place both flours and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine. Make a well in the middle and add milk, eggs, butter, honey (or molasses) and pour in the yeast mixture. Using a mixing spatula or wooden spoon, stir to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. You should have a thick, tacky batter. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, as needed. The dough should be tacky when you pull it away from the sides of the bowl, not loose and sticky.
- Leave dough in the bowl, cover with a light towel and place in a warm place to rise for around 1 1/2 hours or until almost tripled in size. Meanwhile line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper with overhang on sides.
- Remove towel and punch dough down to deflate. Scrape dough onto floured work surface. Sprinkle flour on top of dough as well and shape into a log. Cut into 4 pieces, then cut each piece into 3 pieces for a total of 12 pieces.
- Flatten each dough piece with the palm of your hand. Pull the edges to the center and shape each piece into the shape of a circle. (You’ll be pulling the dough into a small knot at the center, think of a balloon when you tie it off in a knot). Turn the dough ball over and roll the dough ball under the palm of your hand in a circular motion until they’re smooth.
- Place the ball with the smooth side up in the pan. Repeat with remaining dough, making 3 rows of 4 rolls. Spray tops of rolls with oil then gently place plastic wrap over the tray.
- Return tray to warm place and leave for 30 minutes, until the dough rolls have almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, watching tops so they don’t get too brown (these are wheat!). Remove pan from oven and brush with melted butter and let soak in. Drizzle tops with honey and sprinkle with sea salt flakes (optional). Lift rolls onto a cooling rack using parchment overhang. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- I use active dry yeast in this recipe. There is a difference – Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved (bloomed) in water before using, while instant yeast can be mixed right into dry ingredients.
- You can use all purpose flour instead of bread flour and recipe will work fine. The bran in whole wheat flour weakens gluten, so using a flour with more gluten will increase the amount of rise. For this reason, I recommend using half whole wheat flour and half bread flour. If dough is super sticky add enough flour to work with and make rolls.
- For richer flavor, substitute molasses for 1/4 cup honey, and just brush honey on top of the baked rolls for a richer flavor.
- Storage: Yeast rolls are best served on the day made. No knead rolls don’t keep as well as the kneaded version and tend to dry out quicker. Once cool, the rolls may be frozen for storage up to 3 months.
- To reheat: Sprinkle tops lightly with water and reheat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to soften.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.