Countdown to Thanksgiving- The Best Dinner Rolls- Step By Step Tutorial

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Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of men and women like the thought of making homemade rolls. Especially for a high stakes meal like Thanksgiving. When mother-in-laws and grandmothers will be in attendance. Snickering and judging.

Best Dinner Rolls

It seems like a requirement for you to fail miserably the first time you try your hand at rolls. Or maybe the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 11ieth time as well.

Never fear, I’ve made my share of bad bread and rolls. But today, I’m going to walk you through step by step my favorite dinner rolls.

I have a thing against butterhorn shaped rolls for Thanksgiving.  They aren’t a good enough size to make a good Thanksgiving leftover sandwich with. That’s why I like to make round, bun-like rolls instead of fancy shaped ones. It’s my preference, but you can use whatever shape you want.

The way you make this is a little different than a standard method. But it works really well.

Let’s begin.

In the mixing bowl of a electric mixer pour in 1 3/4 cup warm milk.

The Best Dinner Rolls

Add 1 tablespoon yeast and let stand for a few minutes.

best dinner rolls

Add 1/2 cup, (4 tablespoons or half a cube) of melted butter that has been cooled.

Best Dinner Rolls

Add salt.

best dinner rolls


Sugar. Mix them all together for a minute.

best dinner rolls


Now add 19 ounces or about 4 cups of flour and slowly mix in until incorporated.

Best Dinner Rolls

Now turn the mixer onto medium high using the paddle attachment (which isn’t usual. Usually people recommend the dough hook, but don’t use that with this recipe. Use the paddle.)


This is where you do the magic.

Beat the stuffing out of the dough. At first it will look like this. It’s gloppy and super sticky and doesn’t hold together at all. You are going to be tempted to add extra flour, because this just doesn’t look like it’s going to work. But have faith and DON’T ADD MORE FLOUR. That is the biggest mistake of novice bread bakers.

Best Dinner Rolls

Then after about 5 minutes of beating it will start to look like this. More satiny, less sticky and starting to hold together better. But it still isn’t forming a cohesive mass. And when you stretch a bit of it, it just pulls apart.

Dinner Rolls 9 Best Dinner Rolls


Keep beating. After another 5 minutes. It is starting to be even more satiny. Even less sticky and when pulls apart it offers a little more resistance, but still pulls apart.


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Another 5 minutes and the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. This is what you are looking for.


Best Dinner Rolls

And when I try to pull off a piece. This is what happens.

Best Dinner Rolls

The dough is still very soft and pliable, but the gluten has been developed well. It isn’t sticky really much at all.

If I take a portion of the dough and carefully stretch it, I can form this. It’s called a baker’s pane. When your dough is stretchy enough that you can see the light through the stretched portion, then you know you’re in business.Best dinner Rolls

Remove the dough from the mixer and knead it by hand a few times with a little extra flour to make it into a nice smooth ball.

dinner roll 15 Best DInner rolls

Place it back in the mixing bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.

best dinner rolls

Let is rise for about an hour or so. It should double in size. If you want to slow down the rising, place it in the refrigerator, but you may want to drizzle a little olive oil over the surface of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.

best dinner rolls

Remove the dough from the bowl and deflate it. Next you will shape you rolls.

I like to make 70 gram balls of dough. This recipe make 16 – 70 gram rolls. That is about a golf ball in size or a little bigger.

This video shows how I shape rolls. As you can see I was watching Jim Gaffigan while I was making rolls. Ignore that part. It’s not crucial to your success.

–A couple of trouble shooting tips. If your dough breaks on the top of the roll when you try to stretch it taught instead of going nice and smooth, then you either need to knead your dough more to make sure the gluten is developed enough or your dough is too stiff because you added too much flour.

Knead your dough in the mixer for a few more minutes until you can form the baker’s pane.

If you dough is too stiff, you can add 1 teaspoon of water at a time back to your dough while mixing in the mixer again. It doesn’t look like it will ever combine, but it will, eventually. It’s kind of a pain. So it’s always better to err on the side of too little flour. Way easier to add flour than water to a finished dough.–

Once they are all shaped, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a sil-pat.

Best Dinner ROlls


Now paint them with melted butter. I’m pretty much drooling right now.

Best Dinner rolls

Cover them loosely with plastic wrap.

Here comes a decision. You can either place these in the refrigerator to rise overnight (which is a great way to save time on Thanksgiving day.) or you can let them rise at room temperature.

Best Dinner Rolls

If you refrigerate the rolls, overnight. You can just pull them out, carefully remove the plastic wrap and put in a cold oven. Turn the oven on and bake.

If you let sit out at room temperature. Let them double in volume like this.

Best dinner rolls

Bake in a preheated 425 oven for about 15 minutes. Or until golden brown on top. The interior temperature should be 95.

best dinner rolls.

You really should let them rest for a good 15 -20 minutes before serving. If you can wait. If.

Best Dinner Rolls

Countdown to Thanksgiving- The Best Dinner Rolls- Step By Step Tutorial

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 16- 70 ounce rolls


  • 19 Ounces (about 4 cups) flour
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter.


  1. Pour warm milk into mixing bowl of stand mixer. Add yeast and let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Stir in melted butter and sugar and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. Slowly add flour. Mix slowly until incorporated.
  4. Turn mixer on to medium high and beat until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. This takes about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand a few times and form into a smooth ball.
  6. Replace in bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Allow to double in size. This takes about 1 hour at room temperature or as long as overnight in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, drizzle olive oil over surface of dough.
  7. Remove doubled dough from bowl and punch down. Separate into equal pieces. (I use 70 gram portions).
  8. Roll into desired shape. (I prefer round, but you can also do butterhorn, parker house etc.)
  9. Place on a parchment or sil pat lined baking sheet;.Paint with 3 tablespoons melted butter.
  10. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled again. Either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Let raise about 1 hour at room temperature, or overnight in refrigerator.
  11. If refrigerating, remove rolls and remove plastic wrap. Place in a cold oven and turn oven to 425.
  12. If rising at room temperature. Preheat oven to 425, then place rolls in hot oven.
  13. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown and interior temperature should be at least 95.
  14. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before eating.
  15. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  A Forum on the Fresh Loaf. I can’t find that thread for the life of me!

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