Soft Dinner Rolls

Now that we’ve got all the time in the world, can I introduce you to the fluffiest dinner rolls ever? Shiny tops. Sweet, tender interior. The Soft Dinner Rolls of your dreams.

All of the sudden, the COVID-19 quarantine has changed the way we live. We’re all at home, looking for something to do. And eat.

It’s the perfect time to master the art of the classic dinner roll.

You know the ones I’m talking about. The kind of buns that are impossibly soft and delicious. Light, airy rolls that break apart easily. Wispy, shaggy ends; delightfully fluffy center.

These are the kind of rolls that accompany dinner and end up stealing the show. Everyone will keep eating just one more roll.

But independently, they can also hold their own. In fact, they beg to be slathered with butter and jam. And taste so good with a hot cup of coffee. Or anything else, for that matter.

I’ve tried to eat just one. But failed, miserably. There is no other option but to eat multiples.

Yes, sourdough, I’ve left you for another lover. 😉

The texture of these rolls are reminiscent of Japanese Milk Bread (without the roux). Or the soft and fluffy buns you eat at Hong Kong style diners.

I’ve made the portion size large enough to feed a family and then some. Leftovers can easily be eaten for breakfast the next day or made into sandwiches for lunch.

Ethereal and dreamy, airy and light — these dinner rolls will become your new forever favorite!

How to Make Soft Dinner Rolls:

My favorite way to make homemade bread requires the use of a food processor with a dough blade. If you don’t own a food processor, I’ve included alternate directions in the recipe card below.

Place dry ingredients in the food processor. With the machine running, slowly pour in wet ingredients.

The end result will be a sticky, shaggy ball.

Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and place in a warm, draft-free place for the first rise.

Divide into rolls. Place in 9×13″ baking pan. Cover and wait for the second rise.

Now it’s time for the egg wash.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Enjoy!

baking pan full of brown, shiny dinner rolls

Soft Dinner Rolls

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
The fluffiest dinner rolls ever. Shiny tops. Sweet, tender interior. The Soft Dinner Rolls of your dreams.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Bread, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 32 small rolls


  • Food processor
  • 9×13" Baking Pan


Dry Ingredients:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp (instant) yeast *see note below if using active yeast

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup milk, warm
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg, beaten well


  • Attach the dough blade to a food processor. Place dry ingredients in the bowl: flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast (if using active yeast, see note below).
    white food processor on kitchen counter
  • Combine wet ingredients in a large measuring cup: milk, eggs, butter. (A 2 cup measuring cup will be very full. A 4 cup measuring cup is better, but not everyone has one.) As the machine runs, carefully pour the wet ingredients in a slow and steady stream until a rough ball forms. Let dough rest 2 minutes. Then pulse for 30 seconds more. The dough will be sticky and rough looking.
    sticky dough in food processor bowl
  • Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
    bread dough in white bowl
  • When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Then divide into 32 equal-sized rolls. I cut the dough in half, then keep cutting the dough in half until I get to 32. An easy way to keep track is to work with one half at a time and divide each half into 16 rolls. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
    unproofed dinner rolls in a baking pan
  • Heat oven to 350F/175C during the second rise. When the rolls are ready, brush each roll with egg wash.
    brushing egg wash on dinner rolls
  • Bake until tops are shiny and brown, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
    baking pan full of brown, shiny dinner rolls


*1 To mix the dough by hand, combine wet ingredients in a large measuring cup and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast dissolves and foams. Place remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients. With a spatula, mix wet and dry ingredients together until shaggy. Dump onto well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes.
*2 ACTIVE YEAST — If using active yeast in the food processor, I suggest blooming the yeast in the warm liquid first. Then pour it into the flour mixture while the food processor runs. Make sure to scrape down all the liquid yeast mixture with a small spatula.
*3 The dough is very sticky. Two tools will be especially helpful: a stiff spatula and a bench scraper. A stiff spatula helps to scrape the dough from the food processor to the kneading surface. A bench scraper makes kneading easier, as the dough will stick to the surface and need to be scraped off every so often. Feel free to sprinkle the dough ball and kneading surface with flour from time to time if it gets too sticky.
**Yeast is finicky. There are many ways to kill yeast. Yeast can also die if it’s too old. To determine if your yeast is still active, sprinkle a small amount (a pinch) over warm water. If it foams, it’s still good. If it doesn’t foam, then you may need to get a new batch.
Keyword Dinner Rolls, Soft

More Side Inspiration:

Duck Fat Roast Potatoes

sheet pan with roast potatoes in sheet pan with spatula and pepper mill in background

Instant Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice

Arugula Quinoa Salad

arugula quinoa salad in bowl with fork
All Recipes, Dinner with Friends, Holiday, Potluck, Side


  1. Lis, can you freeze these? They look delicious, but not sure that my family of little ones could finish a whole pan at once and unfortunately company is out of the question right now.. 🙁

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