Homemade Dinner Rolls

dinner rolls in a breadbasket

Fill your breadbasket with light and fluffy homemade dinner rolls. Here are step-by-step instructions for working with basic bread dough, as well as shaping instructions for Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls and Parmesan-Dill Spirals.

Basic Dough

yeast proofing in a measuring cup
STEP 1: Let yeast proof in warm liquid until foamy—this way, you know the yeast is active and ready.
bread dough in a mixing bowl
STEP 2: Mix until a smooth, elastic dough forms. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface. Be sure not to add too much extra flour to the dough or the rolls might be tough.
bread dough in a bowl
STEP 3: Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place. An oven with the light turned on is a good place.
risen bread dough in a bowl
STEP 4: Be sure dough has doubled in size before punching down. This may happen quicker or slower than specified in the recipe, depending on the temperature where the dough rises. Use the time in the recipe as a guideline.
punching down bread dough in a bowl
STEP 5: Gently and evenly press dough down using your fingertips. If the dough springs back when you touch it, it’s not ready yet.
dividing bread dough for rolls
STEP 6: Use a bench scraper to divide dough into equal portions.


rolling bread dough into a rope
STEP 1: Use gentle, even pressure to roll each piece into a 9-inch rope.
twisting bread dough into a spiral
STEP 2: Wrap the rope around itself to form a spiral shape. 
bread dough in a spiral
STEP 3: Pinch the end of the rope onto the spiral to help the roll hold its shape.

shaping bread dough into rolls
STEP 1: Form each portion of dough into a small ball by cupping the dough with your hand and rolling it on the work surface.
brushing bread dough with cream

STEP 2: Brushing with cream helps keep a skin from forming on the surface of the dough and gives the rolls a golden-brown sheen after baking.
brushing baked rolls with butter
STEP 3: After removing from oven, brush rolls with melted 
butter. This softens the surface of the rolls and adds extra flavor.

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