Tried & True Honey Butter Rolls

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

Soft, fluffy, tried & true honey butter dinner rolls recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com-- step by step photos included!

Carb overload today.

I have, I don’t know, a MILLION sweet roll recipes on my blog. 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!

Soft, fluffy, tried & true honey butter dinner rolls recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com-- step by step photos included!

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.

How to make soft and fluffy honey butter dinner rolls! Grab the tried & true recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make soft and fluffy honey butter dinner rolls! Grab the tried & true recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!!

Soft, fluffy, tried & true honey butter dinner rolls recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com-- step by step photos included!

Anything but plain.

Honey Butter Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F*
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star® Platinum 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 (452g) bread flour (spoon & leveled)

Topping

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

Directions:

  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 9x13 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.

Make ahead tip/overnight: 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.

Recipe Notes:

*Lower fat milk or water can be substituted, butt he rolls won't taste as soft and rich. They'll be more chewy, dense, and bread-y.

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.

I've gotten some questions about these rolls being made in a bread machine. The answer is yes, on the dough cycle.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

This recipe is sponsored by Red Star®. All opinions are completely my own. Thanks for working with me, Red Star®!

Sally's Candy Addiction Toffee Recipe

Toffee in Chicago!

See you on my book tour this weekend, Chicago. ☺️ I’m so excited to be in one of my favorite cities! It’s been far too long– 4 years, maybe? I have two book tour stops/cooking demos this weekend. I’ll be making toffee recipes from Sally’s Candy Addiction!

Saturday, November 14th – 2pm. Candy cooking demo, book selling, and signing at America’s Sweets & Baking Show (yes, a show about all things dessert) at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. This is a ticketed event. Click above for show details. I’ll be making toffee!

Sunday, November 15th – 1-4pm FREE candy cooking demo, book selling, and signing at William’s Sonoma Lincoln Park 1550 N. Fremont St. Chicago, IL 60622. I’ll be teaching you how to make pumpkin spice toffee!

My FAVORITE dinner rolls! Soft, fluffy, and dripping with sweet honey butter!
How to make soft and fluffy honey butter dinner rolls! Grab the tried & true recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

186 Comments

All Comments

  1. For little bits of butter, just freeze, leave in wrapper, take half wrapper off hold onto other half, grate on food grater, freeze, measure if you want certain amts, put seasoning on some, grab a bit and it is ready to soften or go into hot food. Makes it easier for some who are watching intakes, or little or older hands to manage, also easier to mix wth other things.

  2. I made these tonight as I was tired of my regular roll recipe. They were amazing! I can not get over how perfect they were. Definitely making these again and again. I made your cornbread with gluten free oat flour for my husband and he loved it. Several of your recipes I’ve adapted to gluten free with great success. We are huge fans of your Apple crisp and almond butter cookies.

  3. Can I use AP flour instead of bread flour, only have AP flour? Also can I use almond milk in this my daughter can’t have reg, skim, 1% or 2% milk?

  4. I just made these, and they are piping hot out of the oven. Mmmmm! I made a few minor alterations, like 2% milk, since that is what I had, and I used becel instead of butter.

    I don’t know if I will include the honey next time, they do have a nice taste, but it’s not my preference.

    As a side note I totally forgot to add salt, so they are a little off. Good thing I’m dipping them in my chicken soup!

  5. Hi Sally!

    Have made these rolls many times over the past few weeks! Thank you for a great recipe!

    I have a quick question – I know in your notes it says to freeze the dough prior to step 4 (separating the dough into balls). My question is – could you separate the dough into balls, freeze it in a disposable aluminum pan, and then thaw/proceed with the recipe? What would (potentially) change between step 3 and step 4? I ask because it’d be nice as a busy mom of 3 to just pull a pan out the night before and defrost/bake the next day.:-)

    Thanks again for a great site!

    1. Hi Kat! I’ve never attempted it that way before, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. Make sure the dough balls are super securely covered tight when freezing.

  6. I bake a lot of bread and decided to try your recipe with just one change I rise dough in the fridge over night (Yes it a very slow way to do it) But the longer dough rises the more flavor it has. I punched it down shaped it in the morning then back to the fridge for the second rise. By the time I was ready to cook them for dinner they were just perfect. Full of flavor and delicious. For working women this is a perfect way to have these wonderful rolls ready to pop in the oven without having to worry about thawing
    . I also tried the shaping then freezing Let them rise before you freeze then you can go fro freezer to oven in 30 min they don’t have to be completely thawed they just need to cook a little longer. Great Recipe

  7. In the pictures, the rolls are baked in a glass pan.  Is this correct?  Would it be necessary to change the baking temperature if not using glass.  Thank you

    1. The temperature stays the same. The bake time would be pretty similar, maybe a few minutes more/less depending on what type of pan you use. Just keep your eye on them.

  8. For my tastes, I would like more salt in the dough to get that salty/sweet combo with the honey. Can I add more salt without ruining the rise or texture? I’m a novice when it comes to yeast breads. Thank you

  9. Took these to a Thanksgiving potluck and they were a major hit! The pan was cleaned out in no time. Everyone raved about how fluffy and soft they were. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  10. I made these for thanksgiving and they were great! For Christmas I wanted to make these again. But I wanted to know if I could add seasoning to these. Would it work if I added garlic and italain season into the dough and instead of the honey butter on top, a garlic butter?

    We are having a pot roast this year, so I was thinking these flavors would go well with it.

    1. Yes yes yes! I would add at least 1 Tbsp (yes, Tablespoon!) of garlic powder and Italian seasoning. You really want to be able to taste those seasonings. Maybe brush the tops (after they come out of the oven) with melted butter and a little Italian seasoning too.

  11. I made these for our Christmas Eve dinner tonight and they were a BIG hit!!! I am a novice bread maker and a couple of times made “quick” or 30 min roles that used yeast but did not need to rise. They were not good at all. I had decided I wasn’t going to try again. But I saw your recipe the other day and decided, ok one more try. I got bread flour and even found the platinum yeast. They were awesome!! Thanks so much!! Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Savannah! You can use active dry yeast or an instant yeast. If using active dry, the rise time will be slightly longer. (Not much.)

  12. Beautiful rolls!  The first rise took 1.5 hrs in a warm oven. Then a second rise for an hour per the recipe.   They smelled wonderful baking and were a hit at our family dinner tonight. There were none left over for tomorrow!

  13. Has anybody tried making the dough in a bread and dough maker? I just inherited one and wanna give using it a try. Thanks!

    1. I don’t have a bread machine so I haven’t tried it this way – but hopefully someone else will chime in!

    1. Hi Pam! You can use almond milk, but the texture of the rolls will slightly change. They won’t taste as fluffy and rich.

  14. I have never baked with yeast before.. lol, I’ve actually avoided it. It would be really helpful if there were a pic of what the yeast, milk and sugar should look like. I have no idea if my yeast is good or not!

  15. I’ve made these delicious rolls many times to perfection. However the last three times they have been dry. What am I doing wrong? I stopped making them because I was so disappointed in myself

    1. Hi Sandra! That’s so interesting and I’m sorry you’re all of a sudden experiencing trouble. Are you doing anything at all different? Even as simple as a different baking pan? The recipe hasn’t changed. If you’re still experiencing problems, try adding another 2 Tbsp of warm milk.

  16. Thank you for replying. I’ve done nothing different. Its very disappointing because my entire family loves this recipe. Thank you for it. They turned out a little dry again today! I don’t understand it. Could I be adding too much flour or something? However next time I ll try more milk. My dough is pretty wet though. Do you have a video to show the consistency of yours? Don’t wanna try another recipe because I know this one is delicious.

    1. Too much flour could definitely be the culprit. A sticky soft dough is ideal– that means the rolls will be soft and moist. I don’t have a video for these rolls at this time, but I hope to eventually. Thank you!

  17. Thank you. I was wondering the same thing about too much flour but I’ve always went strictly by recipe. I all try less next time though. I even wondered if it was because I used red star yeast before but can’t find it anymore so settled for cheap Fleischman’s active dry yeast. It was $1 for 3 packs. But I think your right about too much flour. Hope you can get a video though. I’m 51 years old and am not a baker. However my first three batches were outstanding. Gonna keep reading your recipes .they yummy.

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  1. Has anybody tried making the dough in a bread and dough maker? I just inherited one and wanna give using it a try. Thanks!

    1. I don’t have a bread machine so I haven’t tried it this way – but hopefully someone else will chime in!

    1. Hi Pam! You can use almond milk, but the texture of the rolls will slightly change. They won’t taste as fluffy and rich.

  2. I’ve made these delicious rolls many times to perfection. However the last three times they have been dry. What am I doing wrong? I stopped making them because I was so disappointed in myself

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