Thanksgiving Side Dishes: Homemade Dinner Rolls

Fresh, warm and buttery bread is one of my favorite things. I just cannot resist the temptation of homemade bread. I’ve always been the one in my family to grab the extra roll at the dinner table and the end of a fresh loaf of bread slathered with butter is one of life’s simple pleasures for me. My mom had a friend from her church make dinner rolls for our wedding that were delicious! I loved them so much that the sign next to them read ‘Ashley’s Favorite Dinner Rolls.’

This particular recipe is similar in flavor and texture to those rolls, but it is meant to be made using a bread machine so it it is a little different. I have made bread and rolls without a bread machine but it’s a bit trickier to get it just right. So I was thrilled when my mom found a like new bread machine at a yard sale a couple of years ago and she gave me her older one. I started making bread and then discovered it could be used to easily make dough. I was in heaven! Now my favorite use for it is to mix dough for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls or pizza.

Using a Bread Machine

  • I prefer using a bread machine for making dough because it is much easier. All you have to do is put in the ingredients and it basically makes the dough for you. This particular recipe is specifically for using in a bread machine on the dough cycle. You could probably do the same the traditional way, but I have never tried this recipe that way.
  • Be sure to check the dough a couple of times at the beginning of the cycle just to make sure you are getting a good consistency. It will take a few minutes to form the dough, but you want to make sure it is not too wet or dry. If dough looks very crumbly and dry, add a bit more liquid (about 1-2 tablespoons at a time). If dough is very wet, add a little flour (about 1-2 tablespoons at a time).

NOTE: If you don’t have a bread machine but still want to try making these rolls, check out this video tutorial on Fine Cooking for instructions on how to make rolls in a stand mixer. You could mix it in a bowl and knead by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer either. It also has instructions on how to shape different types of rolls.

About Making Dinner Rolls

  • It is important, especially when using a bread machine that you carefully measure your ingredients. To measure flour, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife.
  • There are a number of ways to form rolls. The recipe below has instructions for a basic round roll.

Types of Rolls (Click the name below for instructions on how to shape each type):

  • Parker House Rolls : These rolls are slightly flattened balls that are folded over.
  • Cloverleaf Rolls: These rolls look like what the name suggests, a cloverleaf. They are made by placing three small balls of dough in a muffin tin. They are much more time-consuming to make, but are my favorite.
  • Pull Apart Rolls: These are similar to regular rolls, but they are place closer together in a baking dish so that the sides end up touching when baked.
  • Knotted Rolls: These rolls have a twisted shape.
  • Butterflake Rolls: These rolls bake in muffin tins, similar to cloverleafs, but the tops look layered instead of rounded.

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Adapted: adapted from Betty Crocker


  • 1 cup milk (slightly warmed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3-1/4 cups flour (can use all purpose, bread flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1-1/4 cups white flour)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons bread machine or quick dry active yeast
  • 2-4 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Place all ingredients (except for melted butter) into the pan of a bread machine in the order listed; water, softened butter, egg, flour, sugar, salt, yeast.
  2. Place pan into the bread machine and close. Start the dough cycle.
  3. When cycle completes, remove pan from bread machine. Dump dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a ball. Cover with a thin towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with butter. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball, tucking the ends under at the bottom so any seam is on the bottom. Place each ball, seam side down on the baking sheet. Be sure each one is about two inches apart.
  5. Cover with a thin towel and let rest in a warm place for 30-40 minutes or until each ball of dough approximately doubles in size. You will know when dough is ready if you press your finger into it and the indentation remains.
  6. Heat oven to 375°. Bake for 12-25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
  7. Brush top of rolls with melted butter while still warm.
  8. Serve or transfer to a wire rack to cool.


You can refrigerate the uncooked rolls for anywhere from 4-48 hours after you place them on the baking sheet. When ready to bake, let sit for about 2 hours or until double in size then continue to bake as the recipe directs.

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Jane January 23, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Mmm, okay. I’ve got to go back to the grocery store now and get those cranberries that I saw on sale! Thanks for the recipe!

Sherryl January 23, 2020 at 10:05 pm

I love anything cranberry!


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