basic rolls

1 recipe, 6 shapes! These basic rolls will be your holiday life savers

Basic rolls are the best part of any holiday meal.

You can make one dinner roll recipe and shape them in six different ways! No matter the occasion, you will have unique and, most importantly, delicious rolls everyone will rave over. Plus, you can take the recipe in a sweet OR savory direction.

Lori Vaughn shares how to get your dinner roll game in tip top shape for the holidays. She gives the basic roll recipe that will be the favorite part of any meal. Lori has six different shapes to try, and demonstrates each one.

Find more of Lori’s recipes on Instagram, @loskitchenco,


Basic Dinner Rolls


  • 2 cups warm whole milk (at about 110 degrees F) any other milk will work; fattier the better
  • 1 ½ TB yeast
  • ¼ cup honey or sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  •  cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • About 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour*
  • + ¼ cup salted butter to brush on top after baking


  • Using a stand mixer* with a dough hook, place the warm milk (think baby bath water warm), yeast, and honey/sugar together. If you are using standard dry yeast, wait about 5 minutes to ensure it’s activating (yeast will begin to foam). If you’re using instant, you can proceed to the next step.
  • Turn the mixer on and add 3 cups of flour. Mix together. Add salt, softened butter and eggs. Continue to mix on low.
  • Slowly add the additional 2 1/2 cups of flour. In pouring your last cup, do so slowly, watching the dough. When you’ve added enough flour, the dough will be soft and just slightly sticky. It will barely start pulling away from the bowl. Leave the mixer on for an additional 8-10 minutes to knead.
  • Take your dough hook out, and cover the bowl to let the dough rest and rise for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • Grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper. When the dough has doubled, place it on a floured work surface. Gently pinch off pieces of dough, about the size of a small tangerine. Place the shaped dough on the baking sheet, and continue to shape the remaining dough, keeping the rolls about an inch apart (they’ll rise and spread).
  • When the rolls are shaped, cover with a sack cloth towel and place in a warm, draft free place for about 30 minutes, until dough has grown slightly and is soft. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Bake for 16-20 minutes. If the tops begin to brown too quickly mid-bake, place a piece of aluminum foil over top to slow down the browning.
  • The rolls will be done when the bottoms are lightly golden brown. Take out of the oven and brush with butter while warm.
*BY HAND: If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can still do this by hand by placing the ingredients in a large bowl, and when the dough gets hard to work with because of how thick it is, put on a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.

*STORING: Store in an airtight bag for a week. Best served warm by covering with foil and reheating in the oven at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes. These also freeze great!

MAKING AHEAD: See my tips above on the recipe page for different methods of making in advance.

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