The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

If you have extraordinary bread and extraordinary butter, it’s hard to beat bread and butter.

-Jacques Pepin

Raise your hand if your Thanksgiving feast isn’t complete without soft buttery dinner rolls?

You can’t see me, but my hand is raised HIGH!

I FREAKING love dinner rolls. When I was a kid, I purposely didn’t over eat in the first round of Thanksgiving dinner (yes I said first round), so that I could save room for round two. This round was essentially made so that dad could heat up the Sister Schubert rolls, pull out the left over turkey, grab a jar of mayonnaise and make turkey sandwiches.

Last Thanksgiving I literally boarded a plane from Memphis, TN back to North Carolina with a ziplock bag filled to the brim with mini turkey sandwiches for my flight home. The love is REAL!

For years I have been testing recipes to find the best holiday dinner rolls. Three years later & more carbs consumed than I can count…I have finally figured out the best way to create soft, fluffy dinner rolls.

What is my secret? Whole milk!
The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

How to make the ultimate holiday dinner rolls:

This recipe is not difficult to make. In fact, there is only 10 minutes worth of real work that has to be done to make them. Seriously, majority of the 45 minutes it takes to make these rolls is patiently waiting for them to rise!

To start making the ultimate holiday rolls, begin by preheating your oven to 200 degrees. Next drag out your trusty stand mixer & warm up your milk.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

Make sure your milk is warm enough to activate the yeast but not TOO hot!

In order to achieve the perfect temperature for your milk, it is easiest to microwave it in 30 second intervals until it is around 110 degrees. (I can usually achieve this in 1.5 minutes). If you over heat your milk, don’t panic, give it a few minutes to cool down. If you add milk that is too hot to the mixer it could actually kill the yeast instead of activating it.

Once your milk is ready add it as well as your yeast, 1/2 of your butter, honey, salt, & egg into the mixer. Using a whisk or the paddle attachment, lightly mix all of your ingredients together.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

After your ingredients are decently combined, attach the dough hook to your mixer. Set it to the medium speed & slowly incorporate your bread flour 1/2 cup at a time.

When the dough begins to look sticky & begins to pull away from the sides, kick the speed to high for 2 minutes.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

If your dough is sticky to the touch once it is done that is okay! Dump your dough into a greased oven safe bowl & cover it with a kitchen towel or cheese cloth.

Now begins the 3 part proofing/baking process.

Normally making rolls takes upwards of 2.5-3 hours but we are going to achieve the same fluffy soft rolls in just 45 minutes!

Part 1: Once your dough is in the oven safe bowl, turn off your oven & place the bowl inside. Allow the dough to rise for 10 minutes.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

Part 2: After 10 minutes, remove the bowl from the oven. Preheat the oven again to 200 degrees.

Dump your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Tightly pull the dough and form a ball. Place your rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and again cover with a kitchen towel.

Turn off your oven and place the baking sheet into the oven. Allow rolls to rise for 15 minutes.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

Part 3: After 15 minutes remove your rolls from the oven and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. At this point your rolls will have doubled in size.

When the oven is ready, remove your kitchen towel and place the rolls back into the oven. Bake them for 10 minutes until the tops are golden brown.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

Immediately upon baking your rolls, melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the butter onto the rolls.

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

Look at that golden goodness!

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls

These rolls are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE…and not just because they only take 45-minutes to make!

They are soft, fluffy & have a sweet taste like a Hawaiian rolls.  I always volunteer to bring the bread to dinner parties and holiday get togethers just so I can eat them! If you need the perfect rolls for your holiday gathering, these are definitely for you!





4 from 4 votes
The Ultimate 45-Minute Whole Milk Dinner Rolls
The Best 45-Minute Holiday Dinner Rolls
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Servings: 12 rolls
Author: laurel
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tbsp yeast, active
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
Part 1
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Into a stand mixer add 1/4 cup melted butter, warm milk, yeast, honey, salt and egg.

  3. Using a whisk or the paddle attachment, lightly incorporate all the ingredients.

  4. Attach the dough hook to the mixer & turn to medium speed. Begin adding in flour 1/2 cup at a time until all mixed in.

  5. Mix the dough on high for 2 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky but not sticking to the edges of the bowl.

  6. Add the dough to a greased oven safe bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel/cheese cloth. 

  7. Turn off oven and add the greased bowl. Allow dough to rise in the oven for 10 minutes.

Part 2
  1. Remove bowl from oven. Again, preheat oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Form dough into 12 tight balls.

  3. Place rolls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover again with kitchen towel.

  4. Turn off oven and place baking sheet back into oven. Allow rolls to rise for 15 minutes. 

Part 3
  1. Remove baking sheet from oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. When oven is ready, remove kitchen cloth from baking sheet and place back into oven.

  3. Cook rolls for 10 minutes until golden brown on top. 

  4. When rolls are ready, remove from oven. Melt remaining 1/4 cup of butter.

  5. Apply melted butter onto dinner rolls with a pastry brush, serve & enjoy!


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Recipe Rating

  • 5 stars
    Oh. My. Heavens. These are the absolute BEST! SUPER easy to make and wonderful instructions! I actually made these a day ahead (Thanksgiving craziness demanded it), and refrigerated them overnight after shaping them (followed the recipe to the letter before that). I then brought them out of the fridge 30 minutes before giving them their second rise in the steamy oven (though they rose a little in the fridge overnight), then baking them! They were a HUGE hit with my family! I plan to mix up a few double batches and freeze them in smaller tins to use throughout the week when life doesn’t permit me the time to make them from start to finish! Thank you so much for sharing this PHENOMENAL recipe!

  • 5 stars
    My family loved these dinner rolls and I loved that it didn’t take 3 hours for dough to rise. I added a good squirt of honey to the melted butter that goes on top of the rolls and what was left my family was diping their rolls down into it as they ate. My oldest son said it tasted like the Hawaiian sweet rolls. I will definitely be coming back to this recipe again!