Also known as sweet buns, these soft and pillowy old fashioned dinner rolls are a delicious recipe for bread-baking beginners! These rolls do require some planning and a few hours to make, but the results are totally worth it!
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I'm convinced that surest way to bring your meal from "ok" to "WOW" is by whipping up a batch of homemade sweet rolls!
With a golden brown exterior and a fluffy pillow-like interior, this recipe is what all of my bread dreams are made of. Serve them warm with some softened butter and we've really reached nirvana!
And if you're someone -- like I used to be -- who is intimidated by homemade bread recipes, you can relax knowing that this recipe is a great beginners bread baking recipe. Just check out my recipe tips, read the recipe well, and know that there are no complicated techniques or tools needed for this recipe.
Though this recipe calls for a bit of time (2 ½ hours) and patience, the soft and fluffy rolls are completely worth it. If your family and friends are anything like mine, these rolls will elicit many "oohs" and "ahhs" and will disappear in a flash.
Let's chat sweet dinner rolls!
- Approachable. Yeasted breads are still something I'm getting comfortable with -- a series of frustrating issues with rising yeast in the past initially turned me off, but my whole wheat naan bread recipe helped me turn a corner and here I am with this beginner-friendly yeasted buns recipe. Just take your time and read my recipe pro-tips below and you'll have a rewarding end result on your table!
- Tender and fluffy. These rolls remind me of the sweet yeast rolls my grandma used to serve us. Golden brown on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside, these pull apart rolls are a real treat to eat!
- Rich. Thanks to milk, butter, eggs, and sugar these sweet yeast rolls rely on an enriched bread dough for their rich flavor. The enriched dough does call for a slightly longer proofing time, but the difference is small (only 15-30 minutes).
- A go-to recipe. This sweet dinner rolls recipe is a great all-around bread roll recipe! They are sweet, but not dessert level sweet, making them they perfect companion to everything from dinner classics like soup, chili, and chicken and potatoes to holiday family meals.
More about this sweet rolls recipe:
Sweet roll ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Milk - 2% or whole milk is best
- Active dry yeast - packets of small Fleischmann's yeast work great; if you plan on baking often, I recommend buying the yeast in bulk.
- Honey - whatever type of honey you have on hand is great. There is no need for local or raw honey in this recipe.
- Granulated white sugar
- Unsalted butter - the recipe calls for melted butter. Let the butter come to room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using it in the recipe, however.
- Large egg
- Flour - simple all-purpose flour is best for this recipe. If you only have or want to use bread flour, that also works, but will result in a slightly less tender end result.
How to make sweet rolls:
For the complete recipe and ingredient measurements, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Whisk together the warm milk, honey, white sugar, and yeast together until combined. Let sit until the mixture is foamy and the yeast look puffy.
2. Whisk in the large egg and 2 ½ tablespoons of the melted butter until combined.
3. Stir in the salt and all-purpose flour until combined. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic and the bread stretches when you pull it apart.
4. Place the sweet roll dough in an oiled or buttered bowl. Cover and let proof (or rise) in a warm area until the bread has doubled in size.
5. Punch the roll dough down. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 equal-size portions.
6. Roll each portion into a ball and place in a greased 8 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the baking dish and place the covered rolls in a warm area and let proof (or rise) in a warm area until the rolls have doubled in size.
7. While the rolls finish up proofing: preheat the oven. Very gently brush the rolls with remaining 1 tablespoon of melted better. Bake the rolls until they are golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
8. Cool the pan of rolls on a wire cooling rack until room temperature or your desired serving temperature. Enjoy with butter or honey butter to serve!
- Weigh the flour. I know this may seem fanatical, but weighing the flour is key to baking consistency and recipe success! It is the only ingredient you need to weigh for this recipe to turn out well. Scales are available for only $10 on Amazon and are a great investment in your baking. If you don't have one or can't get one before you make this recipe, spoon the flour into the measuring cups and then level off the tops.
- Temperature of the milk. To be certain about the temperature of the milk, you can use a food thermometer. Or you can go by feel. The temperature should be between 90-95 degrees, or just warm to the touch.
- Temperature of the proofing area. Find the warmest part of your house to proof (or rise) the dough; ideally around 72-75 degrees. Depending on the weather and temperature of my house, I like to proof my bread sitting on the counter in the warm sunlight or sitting on our heated floors in my office. Other places that could be good for proofing are rooms that run warmer than others, on top of the fridge or other areas where heat rises to, or next to a heating vent.
- Covering the bread before proofing. To prevent the dough from drying out as it proofs, cover it with an oiled piece of plastic wrap or a dish towel. Oiling the wrap before using it prevents the dough from sticking to it.
- Grease the bowl and baking dish before proofing. To prevent the dough from sticking to the proofing bowl, oil or grease the bowl before adding the dough.
The best way to keep yeast fresh is by storing it in a cool or cold location. I prefer to store my yeast in the freezer. The yeast lasts much longer this way. Bonus: there is no need to defrost yeast before using.
Yes, you can certainly make this sweet rolls recipe at high altitude. In fact, I bake them at 5000 feet with no issue. Just follow the recipe as directed and keep an eye on the bread as it proves and you should be all set!
Save this recipe for later on Pinterest:
These buns are best enjoyed still warm with softened butter or honey butter. They are a great serving companion to almost any dinner recipe from roast pork tenderloin or brown butter chicken to shredded BBQ chicken or pot roast!
Leftover rolls keep covered at room temperature for 1-2 days. Alternatively, the rolls can also be kept in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Just defrost them at room temperature for 15-30 minutes and the buns will be like fresh.
Tools needed to make this sweet bun recipe:
- Stand mixer or large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Food scale
- Silicone spatula
- Pastry cutter/scraper
- 8 x 13-inch baking dish
More baking and bread recipes:
- Oatmeal Bread (No Yeast/Knead!)
- Air Fryer Bread
- Walnut Bread
- Whole Wheat Beer Bread
- Gluten-free Zucchini Bread
- Blueberry Lemon Bread
- Cinnamon Apple Bread
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!