Soft Dinner Rolls

There is almost nothing I love better than a soft, buttery, freshly baked roll. Still slightly warm from the oven, smeared with softened butter, it can't really get any better than this. I've been making these rolls for several years now and they are my absolute favorite. I found the recipe in a memoir by Katherine Darling about her time at The French Culinary Institute. She calls them Mama's Rolls because the recipe came from her mom, obviously. I don't know her or her mom but every time I make these rolls I thank both of them for sharing the recipe.

Throughout the years I've made this recipe into dinner rolls, sandwich rolls, hamburger buns, whatever I need. I just change up the size depending on what I want. The recipe makes quite a big batch, which usually isn't a problem for me. I just stick the leftovers in the freezer to have whenever I need them. However, if you really don't need a huge batch this recipe halves very nicely too, I've done it several times. So whatever you need, these rolls will work beautifully for. Give them a try, I promise you you won't regret it.

Soft Dinner Rolls

Adapted from:

Under the Table: Saucy Tales from Culinary School

by Katherine Darling


  • 7 to 8 cups (36 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups (about 18 ounces) milk


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Mix briefly to combine. Add the oil or butter, water and milk. Knead dough until a soft, supple dough forms, about 5-6 minutes, it should not be too sticky or too dry and tough. Place the dough in a oiled bowl and let rise until doubled, about an hour and a half. 

Butter a rimmed baking sheet. Cut the dough into 36 equal size pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball and place on the baking sheet. When all the rolls are formed, let the dough once again rise until doubled in volume. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the risen rolls with a little butter if desired and then bake for 25 to 30 minutes. If they begin to get too brown, cover the top with foil.