The dinner roll is a delicious addition to literally any meal. These tender, fluffy, buttery rolls complement most meals and are very popular. That being said, they play a huge part in taste regarding the overall meal, and proper care should be taken into effect when making them. This guide breaks down the types of rolls you can make and the best recipe to achieve this perfect dinner add-on. 

Why Use Yeast? 

Yeast-risen rolls are often the most popular types of dinner rolls that you can serve. They are buttery and soft and complement well with most main dishes. Adding yeast to the rolls themselves is what makes them rise during baking. It produces the gasses needed for the roll to rise, allowing a fluffy and delicious roll out of the oven. 

Another function of yeast in the roll is that it strengthens the gluten structure within the roll, allowing that fluffy bite instead of a dense and packed piece of baked flour. All of these reasons are why yeast-risen rolls are the preferred dinner roll. They can be topped with many different ingredients, dipped and dunked, or even eaten on their own with a spread of butter and a sprinkle of salt. 

The Ingredients

Dinner rolls are relatively simple to make and only require a few ingredients. This simplicity makes them such a great addition to any dinner or meal you are preparing. You can even top the rolls with different seasonings and eat them on their own as well! The ingredients in the dinner roll are: 

Bread or All-Purpose Flour

The structure of the roll is flour. Bread flour is made specifically for recipes like rolls. It has a higher protein and gluten content, which helps with the texture of airy and risen bread. AP will work, but Bread flour gives a superior texture.

Instant Yeast

Instant yeast achieves what we discussed above. It is the leavening agent in the roll and allows for the rolls to have a fluffy and risen texture.

Granulated Sugar

Sugar is needed in this dough to tenderize the roll itself and to allow it to have a pleasurable texture. Sugar also feeds the yeast, allowing it to perform its function during baking.


Milk is the liquid that folds this entire recipe together. Whole milk is preferred, as it offers the best texture. Dairy alternatives can work, but you will not have a fluffy or chewy texture. 


Egg helps the rolls in their ability to form structure. The added protein during the baking process makes for a sturdy structure within the rolls themselves. 


Butter adds flavor and fat to the rolls, which will help them taste great and have a buttery texture post-bake. You can add more butter on after they bake for more flavor, but in the recipe it will give you that flavor you are looking for from a buttery roll.


The last ingredient, salt, adds flavor and seasons the roll so that you can taste all of the other ingredients you have put into it. 

Different Roll Shapes

The traditional dinner roll shape is simply a round roll that is baked in this simple shape. Below are some other fun shapes for when you make these rolls.

Crescent Rolls

Crescent dinner rolls are relatively easy to make. Simply cut the dough into wedges when dividing it into pieces. Roll the dough from the wide tip up and then curve the roll into a crescent shape. This will give you a beautiful crescent-shaped dinner roll.

Parker-House Rolls

Parker-house rolls are famous for their signature shape and are quite simple to make. You simply need to form your dough piece into a regular-sized roll and then make an off-center crease into the roll and fold. When the roll bakes, it will give this iconic shape.

Knotted Rolls

Knotted rolls are fun shapes that make eating or dipping them into food easy. All you need to do is roll your dough into a rope shape, cut it into pieces, and then tie it into a knot. When the dough bakes, it will rise and make the look of a knotted dinner roll.

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The Tastiest Dinner Rolls

Servings: 15
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
fresh baked dinner rolls
These rolls are very easy to make and lend themselves to more creativity. You can add toppings such as flavored butter, cheese, herbs, and even honey. The opportunities are endless for these rolls.


  • stand mixer



  • 8 oz whole milk
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 oz unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3 ¼ cup Bread or All-Purpose flour

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water


  • Warm the milk in a saucepan.
  • When warm, whisk in the yeast. Allow sitting for 5 minutes so that yeast is activated.
  • In a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients: bread flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly add the warm milk/yeast mixture, butter, and eggs on low speed.
  • Mix on medium-low speed for about five minutes.
  • If the dough is very dry, add a touch more milk. If the dough is very wet, add a touch more flour. The dough should be smooth and elastic enough to work with your hands. Mix for 5 minutes.
  • Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. The dough should rise, almost double in volume.
  • After the hour, punch down the dough and break it up into 15 pieces. Shape the rolls to your desired shape. Once shaped, line them on a lined sheet tray.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30-45 minutes to rise again.
  • Once they have risen again, brush the rolls with egg wash and bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.


Serving: 56gCalories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 4.2gFat: 5.5gSaturated Fat: 3.3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 161mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3.5gCalcium: 13mgIron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
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Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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