Light And Fluffy Dinner Rolls

tray full of Dinner Rolls picture

Well, this won’t happen often at my house, but here’s a recipe for an all white flour dinner roll.  Having said that, they are killer dinner rolls!  Especially right out of the oven.  With butter.

My niece recently got married, and lots of family was in town for the wedding a few weekends ago.  One of the weekend nights, we had a fair number of family members over for dinner, and these dinner rolls were requested.  Even though I try not to eat a ton of wheat doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be a good host, right?

prepping ingredients for yeasted dinner rolls

I pulled this recipe from Peter Reinhart’s classic book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  In the book, there are three variations of white bread that can be used as a recipe for dinner rolls.  I like variation #2, it seems to fit my dietary guidelines a bit better than the others, it has more butter, uses whole buttermilk and avoids powdered milk which is called for in a few other recipes in this book.  I can’t imagine ever buying powdered milk, and so any recipe that contains that ingredient, among others, is automatically rejected.

These rolls actually come together pretty quickly, all things considered, and can be started only four or five hours before you want to eat them.  The hardest part for me is that some of the ingredients should be at room temperature, and I don’t usually plan ahead in that manner, I just like to get going and throw everything together.

letting dough for dinner rolls rise

I’ve made these rolls quite a few times now over the years, and it took me a long time to get the hang of rolling these little beauties out.  Using a dough scraper I split the entire dough ball into halves, and then split again, and so on and so on until I have the correct number of little balls ready to go, usually somewhere between 12 huge rolls and 24 smaller ones.

Once you have the individual dough balls cut on your counter, cup your hand over one at a time, and move your hand in a circular motion, with the dough in the palm of your hand and your fingers on the counter top.  If you’ve been preparing your bread on the same counter that you’re rolling on, it should be just sticky enough that the dinner rolls won’t slide on the counter, but instead will roll up into a tight little ball inside your cupped hand.

tray of buttered dinner rolls rise before baking

After that, there’s not a lot to do except apply a little melted butter to each roll, let them rise for another 45 minutes to an hour and then bake them off.  And when these guys hit the oven, they will go into overdrive with an extra rise.  Normally, my rolls are not touching each other when I start to bake them, but by the time they’ve been in the over a few minutes, they’ve all grown into each other and look beautiful!

Light And Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16
  • 4½ cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and using a dough hook, thoroughly knead until smooth and elastic
  3. Turn dough out of the mixing bowl and into a lightly oiled bowl to double in size, roughly 1-2 hours, depends upon how warm or cold all of your ingredients were
  4. Turn dough out of bowl and split into individual rolls using technique described above
  5. Place rolls on a tray lined with parchment paper or a Silpat
  6. Brush will melted butter, cover loosely with a damp cloth and let rise for another 45-60 minutes
  7. Place rolls into oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until browned to your satisfaction
  8. Pull apart and serve warm


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