Bread rolls are often a staple at dinners and for good reason. They go well with almost everything and they’re pretty filling to eat.
When making bread rolls, you have to first make the dough, knead it, and then cover it to let rise. Once properly risen, deflate the dough to release air and shape it into circles. Let it rise again for another hour and then bake anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
The good thing about bread rolls is that it’s easy to change up. Instead of plain bread rolls, you can also make milk bread rolls, french bread rolls, and many others.
Making Your Own Bread Rolls
If you’re looking to make your bread rolls, you should first have the basic ingredients in hand. These are flour (all-purpose or bread), sugar, butter, yeast (instant or active dry), egg, and salt.
Most bread rolls recipes online yield around 12 pieces of bread rolls. This serving size is usually enough for a family of five. If making bread rolls for a small party of 10 to 20.
We recommend creating at least three times the amount stated in most online recipes.
For those who want to bake their bread rolls from scratch and want several recipes to choose from, here are a few top-rated recipes we’ve collected from the web.
- 1 cup or 240ml of whole milk, warmed
- 2 and 1/4 tsp. of yeast
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup or 60g of unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 cups (around 375g) of all-purpose or bread flour
- Glaze: 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter mixed with 1 tbsp honey
Make the dough: Mix the warm milk, yeast, and 1 tbsp of sugar in a bowl. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom.
Once 5 minutes is up, add the sugar, egg, butter, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Using a dough hook or paddle attachment, whisk on low speed for 30 seconds. In between, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula. Proceed to add the remaining flour.
Mix on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
This will take about 2 minutes. If the dough seems too wet that kneading wouldn’t be possible, add in more flour—1 tbsp. at a time until your dough becomes workable.
The final dough texture should be soft and a bit sticky, but can still be kneaded with lightly floured hands.
Knead the dough: Mix the dough for an additional 3 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for the same amount of time.
1st rise: Grease a bowl with oil or nonstick spray and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm environment for about 1 to 2 hours or until doubles in size.
Proceed to grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or two 9-inch square or round baking pans. You can also bake the rolls in a cast-iron skillet or on a lined baking sheet.
Shape the rolls: When the dough has risen enough, release the air by punching it. Then start dividing the dough into 14 to 16 roughly equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
2nd rise: Cover the rolls again and allow them to rise for about an hour or until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°F or 177°C.
Bake the rolls: Bake the rolls on the lower rack for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan halfway through for even browning. If the top of the rolls is browning too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil.
Once golden brown, remove from the oven and brush with optional honey or maple butter topping. Allow rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving.
To store, put leftover rolls in a tight container and store them at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp. sugar or honey
- 2 tbsp. canola, vegetable, or any neutral-flavored oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 ½ to 4 cups (497 to 569 g) all-purpose or bread flour
In a bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Begin mixing either by hand or using the dough hook of your stand mixer.
Continue to add the remaining flour gradually until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. After that, knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 7 to 9 minutes if mixing by hand.
The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch. After kneading, grab a small piece of dough to test if it needs more flour.
If it leaves a little bit of sticky residue on your fingers but can be rolled into a small ball without it sticking all over your hands, it’s ready to be shaped. If not, add a bit more flour as needed.
Once done, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rise until doubled, which is about 1 to 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, lightly punch the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces (about 78g, more or less). You can then form the dough into round balls.
You can then proceed to place the rolls in a lightly greased 9×13-inch pan or on a large greased baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper). Space the rolls about half to 1 inch apart.
Cover the rolls with cling wrap but make sure it’s not too tight so it doesn’t flatten while rising. Let the rolls rise until puffy or double in size, which is about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 to 17 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
Once out of the oven, immediately brush with butter.
Bread Roll Types
Milk Bread Rolls
Milk bread rolls, also called Japanese/Hokkaido milk bread, are popular in Japan, especially the Hokkaido version. Today, have slowly gained traction elsewhere in the world. Milk bread rolls differ from your standard bread rolls because it’s slightly sweet and often use milk instead of water which is what some common bread roll recipes use.
Keto Bread Rolls
Keto bread rolls differ from classic bread rolls since it uses almond flour instead of bread or all-purpose flour. Most recipes of keto bread rolls are simple and use 4-5 key ingredients to keep it low carb.
Sweet Bread Rolls
Like milk bread rolls, sweet bread rolls are made with sugar although the latter is slightly sweeter. It has a soft texture and is often topped with golden crumbs. These are usually eaten as desserts.
French Bread Rolls
French bread rolls differ from your standard dinner rolls because the dough is less rich since it typically used water instead of milk and oil instead of butter. Many recipes also don’t use sugar.
However, French bread rolls remain light and airy which is standard for any bread roll.
Classic Dinner Rolls
Dinner rolls are your classic bread rolls. It uses a richly made dough with milk and butter as opposed to just oil and water. It’s often hard as a dinner staple, hence the name, and eaten paired with other foods such as meatballs or stew, to name just a few.
Hawaiian Bread Rolls
Hawaiian bread rolls are sweet and slightly tangy. It’s often made with pineapple juice and buttermilk which imbibes it with its distinct mix of sweetness and tanginess. In terms of texture, it’s also light and soft, baked typically with a golden crust.
Sandwich rolls differ from your standard bread rolls in shape. These are oval-shaped as opposed to round. Sandwich rolls are also often eaten with your choice of filling inside like your typical sandwich, hence the name.
Using All-Purpose vs. Bread Flour in Your Bread Rolls
There is no one right flour you should use for your bread rolls. It all boils down to your choice or what your texture preference is. Since bread flour has higher protein content, it will give your bread rolls more structure. All-purpose flour is more versatile but has a slightly lower protein content than bread flour so it will be softer and with less structure.
How to Keep Your Bread Rolls Fresh
Baking bread rolls take time. Aside from making the dough, you have to let it rise twice and then wait for it to finish baking. That’s why it’s natural for most people to want to extend the shelf life of their bread rolls to keep them fresh.
Although there’s no clear-cut rule on how to store bread and buns, storing them in an air-tight and dry container can prevent them from going stale quickly. Make sure to put the container in somewhat a cool area of your kitchen as heat and humidity can hasten the growth of molds or harden its texture.
Maximizing the Shelf Life of Your Bread Rolls for Days
If you want to maximize the shelf life of your bread rolls for days then you can take it a step further. For one, you might want to place it inside a plastic bag or wrap it in aluminum foil.
This will keep its surface from drying out and hardening so your bread rolls stay fresh for longer.
Store it somewhere that’s not too warm (room temperature is fine). When stored in an airtight container, homemade baked dinner rolls will last anywhere from 2 to 3 days at room temperature.
Frozen bread rolls, on the other hand, can last anywhere from two to three months.