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Pillow-Soft Classic Dinner Rolls Recipe

The Pillow-Soft Classic Dinner Roll recipe makes a very light and airy dinner roll. The dough can be divided into 24 medium dinner rolls or 16 large dinner rolls. Your guests will love them!

Prep: 30 minutes | Total Rising: 1-1/2 hours | Bake: 25 minutes | Yield: 24 medium-sized rolls

Pillow-Soft Classic Dinner Rolls


  • 2 packages (4-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water*
  • 2 cups warm milk*
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour

*Note: When working with yeast it is very important to get the temperature of the water and milk correct. Use a thermometer to make sure your warm water and warm milk is between 110 to 115° F


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter 2 large baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow yeast mixture to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (dough will be sticky). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and pull off 24 equal sections. Shape each piece into a roll. (See below for tips on shaping dinner rolls.) Place in buttered baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Switch position of baking sheets halfway through cooking. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Tips for shaping dinner rolls:

  1. Place a dough section in the flat palm of your hand. The side of the dough on your palm is the bottom of the roll and will remain in the palm of your hand.
  2. As you shape the rolls, you want to stretch the top of the dough ball and tuck under. Keep your palm flat. You are not rolling the dough into a ball, but using your other hand and fingers to rotate and shape the dough in a nice round or oval shape, that is smooth.
  3. As you work each piece be sure to cover the shaped and unshaped pieces to keep from drying out.

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