Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Grandma's Homemade Yeast Dinner Rolls

Are you looking for the perfect old fashioned dinner roll? Well this recipe is sure to please. It's the perfect homemade yeast roll. The recipe is my Grandma's.

A few years ago after she passed away, I decided to put together a cook book with all of her recipes. I asked all my cousins and aunts and uncles what their favorite dishes were that she made.

The number one thing they all remembered and wanted the recipe for was her rolls. She was famous for them in her little corner of the world.

Grandma's Homemade Yeast Dinner Rolls

This post was originally published on 11-9-12. Content is mostly the same, with a few clarifications added and new pictures.

Making bread or rolls with yeast can be intimidating. I'm going to walk you through the whole process. My hope is that you will be less intimidated and more confident in the bread-making process. In this case, we're making rolls. Once you have the knowledge, you can apply it to making bread as well.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details. 

How to Proof Yeast

Let's get started with the yeast. 

There are two types of yeast - Instant yeast and dry active yeast. I learned to bake using dry active yeast, so that's what I use. 

"Proofing" yeast basically hydrating and dissolving yeast. During this process the yeast will expand and grow.

In order for yeast to thrive you need to create the perfect environment. If the water is cold, the yeast wont rise well. If the water is too hot, then it will kill the yeast. You want the water to be warm. But there are a lot of degrees of warm. I've found that "baby bottle warm" is perfect. Another thing yeast loves is sugar. It feeds off it and grows more quickly when you add sugar.

So fill your measuring cup with 1/2 c. of "baby bottle warm" water. Add 1/2 T. sugar and 1 T. yeast. Stir together {Image on the left} Let sit for 5 minutes and don't mess with it. {Image on the right} The yeast will expand and get foamy. If you use instant yeast, you don't necessarily have to go through this step, but I still do. That's the way I learned to make bread/rolls. I guess I'm a little old-fashioned. One reason I like to do this step anyway, is because you can tell if your yeast is cultivated. If it doesn't work you can start over with this step, instead of ruining all the other ingredients.

Making the Dough

1 - While your yeast is proofing, start measuring out your other ingredients.

2 -   Melt together 1/2 c. milk and 3 T. shortening {I use butter flavored shortening, but you could try substituting regular butter} on the stove top or in the microwave. LET COOL for a few minutes! This hot mixture can kill your yeast too.

3 - Combine 1 c. flour, salt, sugar and eggs. Then add milk mixture and yeast mixture.

4 - Then add more flour {2 1/2 - 3 1/2 c.} to make a dough. When the dough starts to stick together and mostly comes away from the bowl then you have enough flour. You don't want too much flour so start by adding 2 c. then add another 1/2 c. at a time until you get the right consistency. {If you add to much flour you can add some more water 1 T. at a time.} Knead for 5 minutes. {I use my Kitchenaid for convenience, but Grandma kneaded by hand}

5 - Cover and let rise until double in a warm place. This tends to take longer in the winter, since the temperature is cooler. I use a clean towel to cover the bowl.

6 - This is the first rise. It's about double in size.

7 - Punch down the dough {make a fist and punch it into the dough - usually punch it 3-4 times}. Cover and let rise again until double.

8 - This is the second rise

9 - Sprinkle the counter with flour. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. {You can also use cooking spray instead of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.}

10 - Cut into circles. I use a cup.

11 - Dip each circle into some butter, then place on cookie sheet and fold it in half. Press down to keep the dough folded over.

12 - Bake at 400 for 12 minutes.

This recipe is actually half of what my Grandma always made.

Here are some other recipes from my Grandma: Chicken Noodle Soup, Hot Fudge Sauce, Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls, Effie's Sugar Cookies, Monkey Bread, Ginger Snaps, O' Henry Bars, Pie Crust, Lemon Freeze 

Now that you've mastered making rolls, try these other bread recipes.

More Bread Recipes

Don't forget to PIN IT!!

Grandma's Dinner Rolls

Grandma's Dinner Rolls

Servings: 30
Author: Rachel Nielsen
Prep time: 2 HourCook time: 12 MinTotal time: 2 H & 12 M
Looking for the perfect old fashioned dinner roll? Well this recipe is sure to please. It comes from Grandma.


  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 1/2 T. sugar
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 3 T. shortening
  • 1/2 T. salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 c. flour, divided
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 3 T. butter, melted (for dipping)


  1. Combine water, yeast and sugar. Let sit 5 minutes. 
  2. Melt shortening in  the milk on stove top or in the microwave. Let cool a few minutes. 
  3. Combine 1 c. flour, sugar salt and eggs. 
  4. Add milk mixture, and mix together. 
  5. Then add yeast and mix together. 
  6. Add enough flour to make a dough. Knead 5 minutes.
  7. Let rise until double, punch down and let rise again until double in size. 
  8. Roll out dough and using a cup, cut into circles. 
  9. Dip each circle in melted butter and fold in half and place on cookie sheet. Pinch down the end to keep it in place. 
  10. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes.

Nutrition Facts



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Nutrition information is automatically calculated and not guaranteed to be correct.

homemade dinner roll, how to make dinner rolls, old fashioned rolls


  1. Great recipe. These rolls look delicious. I have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party and would love to have you share this with everyone. Here is the link to the party.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above

  2. That is awesome you are putting together a cookbook with all your grandma's recipes. I bet all of your relatives love you for that. These rolls look amazing and I can't wait to see what other recipes of your grandma's you post!

  3. These look really really good! Think I'll have to pin. :) Found your delicious recipe via Six Sisters' Stuff.


  4. Mmmmm Rolls!

    ~Allyson from DomesticSuperhero.com

  5. I want one of Grandmas dinner rolls right now. :) Those look so good. I appreciate you sharing this on "I Gotta Try That Monday"

  6. Doing rolls from scratch have always scared me, but these might change my mind!

  7. Oh wow. These look heavenly. The best recipes seem to come from Grandmas. :) Thanks for sharing this. I'm definitely going to try - pinning now!


    Jen @ Yummy - Healthy - Easy

  8. Wonderful recipes and great instructions!
    I would love to have you share this, or any other recipe of your at Wednesday Extravaganza - my Foodie Link Party with the chance to get a lifetime feature on my Wall of Fame. Here is the link:

    Can't wait to see you there!

  9. I'm always looking for a good roll recipe. This one sounds fabulous!
    Thanks so much for linking up at Artsy Corner. Can't wait to see what you share this week! :)

  10. these look like the potato rolls my mom made, I've been making them for a lot of years now, and I never bother with less than a double batch, that's for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners

    1. I'd love the recipe, if you'd like to share! My neighbor brought us potato rolls once hot out of the oven and I think I ate 4 right then.

  11. They look delicious, I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

  12. Congratulations!
    Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week and we have pinned it to our features board. Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

  13. Thank you for the recipe I was about to make these but I don't know,I'm not sure if the T. means teaspoon or tablespoon please help

    1. T. is for tablespoon. My mom always wrote a small t for teaspoon and a big T for tablespoon. I guess I should have wrote it out. Good luck with the rolls!