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My favorite roll recipe for dinnertime. This is a recipe to hold onto.

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

honey butter rolls

Carb overload today.

I have, I don’t know, a MILLION sweet roll recipes on my blog. And a recipe for brown butter sage dinner rolls. But no plain dinner rolls. And after today I still won’t have plain dinner rolls on my blog because who wants a plain dinner roll when you can have a warm, honey-buttered, golden brown, soft, tender, luxurious dinner roll? Really. Who?

It goes without saying that these are my favorite dinner rolls. In fact, I may never eat another form of bread again. Until, of course, I make cinnamon raisin bagels next week. I love those!

honey butter rolls

This is an old-fashioned, made-with-love dinner roll. Nothing out of the freezer or worse, out of a can.

The homemade dough is made with basic bread ingredients. I’ve added a few extras like melted butter and honey for comfy cozy sweet flavor and an extra egg yolk for richness. Because of these extra liquids, I use a little more flour to compensate for added moisture. Speaking of flour, we’re using bread flour today. Because we’re making bread! But that’s not all. I use bread flour in my honey butter rolls because it contains more gluten than all-purpose. Extra gluten helps make finished rolls extra chewy and, um, more bread-like. Technical terms here.

2 images of rolls dough in a red bowl and dough cut in half and into balls for rolls

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

2 images of dough formed into rolls in a glass baking dish before and after rising

There are two rises. The first rise is right after the dough is prepared and takes about 2 hours. The second rise is after you shape the dough into 16 balls and takes about 1 hour. All yeasted dough… no, scratch that. All good yeasted dough takes time to develop its flavor, its gluten, and rise– so don’t expect to breeze through the recipe’s steps. You can rush a lot of things in life, but you can’t rush bread.

This is not a recipe for someone in a hurry.

Because really good, quality-tasting bread cannot be made in a hurry. Though the dough does take time to develop and rise, there is more wait time than work time in this honey butter roll recipe. Which gives you time to actually prepare the main event of the meal! Like creamy chicken noodle soup, healthier macaroni and cheese, and Thanksgiving turkey. (!!!)

And, luckily, you can get started on these rolls in advance. Make-ahead rolls to the rescue! Make sure you read my make-ahead instructions in the recipe.

After the rolls bake until golden brown, slather them with honey butter. I prefer spreading the honey butter on the rolls after they bake as opposed to before they bake. Why? Spreading or brushing butter on top of the delicate, airy unbaked roll weighs them down and encourages them to deflate. Losing puff! We don’t want to lose puff! So, wait until they are golden, warm, and toasty right from the oven. Then, spread on the good stuff and let it soak into each crevice.

These soft and fluffy honey butter rolls. Oh man. You need to bake them right this very second! They will steal the show at any and all future dinners. They will be the talk of the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. They will comfort you on dark days. They will save your plate full of tomato sauce. They will take over the world!!

honey butter rolls in a glass baking pan with honey butter

Anything but plain.

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honey butter rolls

Honey Butter Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 rolls 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These tried & true honey butter rolls are my favorite dinner rolls to make! They’re unbelievably soft, fluffy, and just melt in your mouth.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F*
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast from Red Star instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (84g) honey
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (455g) bread flour (spoon & leveled)

Topping

  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 Tablespoons (42g) honey

Instructions

  1. Pour warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the honey, egg, egg yolk, melted butter, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle– add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl– I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
  4. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 8 equal pieces for a total of 16 pieces that are about 1/4 cup each– golfball size, give or take. They don’t need to be perfect! Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 18-21 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the edges of each roll look cooked. While the rolls bake, mix the topping ingredients together to make a creamy honey butter. Remove the rolls from the oven when they are done and brush or spread a generous amount of honey butter onto each warm roll. Serve with any remaining honey butter.
  6. Cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Overnight Instructions: After dough has risen two hours in step 3, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, then remove from the refrigerator and continue with step 4. OR freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4.
  2. Bread Machine: I’ve gotten some questions about these rolls being made in a bread machine. The answer is yes, on the dough cycle.
  3. Milk: Lower fat milk or water can be substituted, but the rolls won’t taste as soft and rich. They’ll be more chewy, dense, and bread-y.
  4. Don’t leave off that honey butter topping! The rolls will be lacking a little flavor without it. I prefer spreading the honey butter on the rolls after they bake as opposed to before they bake. The reason is because spreading or brushing butter on top of the delicate, airy unbaked roll weighs them down and encourages them to deflate. Best to spread on the honey butter right after baking.
  5. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: honey butter rolls, dinner rolls

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. These rolls have become a requirement at every family holiday. As in, if I did not bring them there would be many unhappy people. They are so easy, I actually double the recipe and bake one immediately on Thanksgiving and freeze the second for leftovers!

  2. Hi!

    My family loves these rolls. Ever since I made them my family has made me responsible for providing rolls for all my family functions.

    This includes the upcoming thanksgiving on the other side of the state and I’m considering parbaking for them. Do you have any advice for how to best do this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Thomas, We are so happy these have been such a hit! We don’t recommend par-baking these but you can make the dough ahead of time (see the recipe notes) or you can fully bake them and then just warm them back up before serving.

  3. I have been making these for several years now and my family would REVOLT if they weren’t at every holiday meal.
    Question: I’m do the “make ahead” version for the first time. When I take my punched down dough out of the fridge (overnight) and I shape the dough into rolls, can I “hold” them again in the fridge until I am ready for the 2nd rise and baking?
    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Linda! We’re so happy to hear how much you love these rolls! They will begin rising after you shape them in the fridge, so just keep that in mind during their second rise. Enjoy!

  4. I made these for thanksgiving! I’m glad I tried out the recipe before hand because when I followed the recipe exactly the rolls came out very bland. The texture was good though. So I added a whole tablespoon of salt instead of 1/2 and maybe 6 to 8 tablespoons of butter instead of 4. They tasted amazing the second time around and everyone else agreed!

    1. A whole TABLESPOON of salt? The recipe calls for a half TEAspoon. Was that just a typo, or did you really use a full tablespoon ?

  5. These rolls were delicious! Light and yummy from the honey. I will definitely make them again. The dough was beautiful to work with.

  6. Hi!
    I’ve made these rolls many times using the overnight instructions however, I was wondering if it’s possible to shape the rolls the night before, after the first rise, and then put them in the fridge overnight? Trying to serve them for lunch and was hoping to cut down on the work the next morning by just having to take them out and let them complete the second rise.

    1. Hi Susan, it’s best that the 1st rise is overnight in the refrigerator. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can do the 2nd rise in the refrigerator. I haven’t experienced over-proofing that way, but it does happen with some doughs (and then the rolls deflate when baking). If the rolls didn’t rise overnight in the refrigerator, remove the next morning and set them out at room temperature (covered) for 1-2 hours to rise before baking.

  7. What an amazing recipe! I haven’t even made bread much before. Yet this turned out so successfully. Will definitely be making it on the regular. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Kaitlyn, you can warm the milk in your microwave or on the stove!

  8. OMG Delicious!!!! Family clamors for these!!! Incredibly soft and fluffy – and the honey butter is perfect. Great with any meal or as sandwich buns.

  9. LOVE these rolls! Today I made the rolls about half the size, because my previous ones were SO tall!
    Anyway, everyone loves them. Thank you so much !

  10. Made this with oatmilk instead of milk due to my dairy sensitivity and it was amazing! It came out super fluffy. I had a second roll and now I’m debating if I have the space for a third!

  11. First time making these rolls and first time there have been issues with one of your recipes. I’m sure it’s me and not the recipe! Dough raised twice. All looked good going into the oven. Rolls came out “flat” for lack of a better word. Top browned up but rolls definitely did not turn out high and fluffy. They weren’t extremely dense like a biscuit…but not as high and fluffy as should have been. Too much flour? Kneaded too much? Yeast issue? Any help appreciated!

    1. Hi Lynda! Yeasted dough will deflate in the oven if it’s been over-proofed. Try letting the dough rise for less time or in a slightly cooler environment next time. Here’s more tips in our baking with yeast guide!

  12. First time making this recipe, and it was incredibly delightful. I was able to use a bread machine for the dough. I also used a metal pan, even though glass is recommended. They came out a perfect golden color, were super light and fluffy, and tasted excellent. Will be making again for Easter!

  13. Ever since I first made them, I’ve been craving them… Soo good and soo addictive… I’m off to making two more batches, thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

    1. Hi Alexandra, We typically use unbleached bread flour, but artisan bread flour should work as well. Let us know what you try!

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