Soft Rolls

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’ll be focusing my next few recipes on delicious baked goods that will go perfectly with your Turkey Day feast.  What better way to start than delicious soft dinner rolls you can use to sop up that extra gravy on your plate?

These rolls are soft, buttery, and best of all, easy to make!  Let’s start!

The first thing you want to do is prepare the dough I showed you how to make in the White Bread 101 recipe.

Here’s the recipe as copied from my own King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion:

  • 3 cups (12 and 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons (1 and 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
  • 1/4 cup (1 and 1/4 ounces) nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup (1 and 1/2 ounces) potato flour, or 1/3 cup (3/4 ounce) potato flakes
  • 1 and 1/8 cups (9 ounces) lukewarm water


Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead them together – by hand, mixer, or bread machine – until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough.  Adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water as needed.

Learning Tip: For the first white bread loaf, I used potato flakes.  This time, I went out and bought some potato flour, and I was even happier with the way the dough turned out.  As always, I’d love to hear what your preferences are!

Once I made the dough from the King Arthur Flour white bread recipe, I sprayed a large bowl with non-stick baking spray and placed the dough in the bowl.

Dough pre-rise.jpg

I then covered the bowl with a clean dish towel and set it in a warm place to rise for 90 minutes, which allowed it to double in size.

After 90 minutes, the dough looked like this:

Dough risen.jpg

I then punched the dough down and weighed it on a baking scale so that I could divide the dough into sixteen even pieces.

sixteen doughpieces.jpg

From here, you now have some choices to make.  You can shape the dough to make a number of different-shaped rolls.  My choice was to make a Parker House roll, and I’ll show you how I was able to achieve that.

I took a dough ball and placed it onto my non-greased, non-floured counter top.  I cupped my hand over the dough ball and rolled it around until I got a nice, smooth sphere.

dough ball.jpg

I then took the heel of my hand and pressed it down to make a flat, circular disc of dough.  Next, I melted three tablespoons of butter and brushed butter onto the top of the dough disc.

Brush butter

I then took the circle and folded it almost in half, leaving a slight overhang of dough on the bottom of the circle.  I repeated the steps with the remaining 15 dough balls, and placed them in a greased 13″x 9″ baking pan.

Dough pan.jpg

The next step was to cover the pan with a clean dish rag and place them back in that warm area to rise.  I let mine rise an hour, which turned out to be perfect.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and baked them for 18 minutes.  Once they came out of the oven, they looked like this:

Out of the oven

I then took the remaining melted butter I had from when I brushed the dough discs and brushed the tops of the rolls.


I placed the pan onto a wire baking rack to cool for about 15 minutes, then cut the rolls out and placed them in a serving bowl.

Finished Rolls

Though the rolls are good the next day, if you can serve them within an hour or two of pulling them out of the oven, you’ll be rewarded with a soft, buttery treat sure to please your Thanksgiving guests.

If you gave these a try, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you!  As always, happy baking and happy Thanksgiving!