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This is the last Thanksgiving that Betsy and I will have without a baby. As you might guess, that has made me think more about the dishes I’m making this year. Not only because I have a ravenously hungry wife to feed, but also because I feel like I’m setting the tone now for hopefully years of happy holidays.

Growing up, I can’t think of a holiday year where some version of these yeast rolls from scratch wasn’t on the table. Even if shortcuts were taken on other dishes, these rolls were always made from scratch.

To be honest, I still feel like I’ve never been able to completely master these rolls like my grandmother. As seemed to be the trend though (before the days of food blogs), she took her secrets with her!

This recipe is the closest I’ve come though and leaves you with a roll that you can eat alone, with a pat of butter or some jam, or use it to sop up leftover gravy.

I look forward to sharing these yeast rolls from scratch with family and friends every year.

Buttered Yeast Rolls

4.50 from 4 votes
Author: Nick Evans
Servings: 20 rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Rise Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
For special times of the year, there’s no better side dish to a big meal than a fresh homemade batch of yeast rolls from scratch. Here’s how to make them!



  • 2 heaping Tablespoons active dry yeast, or instant
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 Cups warm water
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter, softened for shaping rolls and melted butter for brushing rolls


  • Add water, yeast, sugar, and honey to a mixing bowl and stir together. Let sit for a few minutes until yeast starts to foam.
  • Whisk in eggs, melted butter and salt and stir to combine. Make sure everything is dissolved.
  • Add all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour in two-cup batches, stirring between each batch.
  • If you’re using a stand mixer, use a dough hook to mix for 5 minutes on medium speed. If dough is really sticky, add more all-purpose flour in 1/4-cup increments. The dough might stick to the sides of the bowl a bit, which is fine.
  • If you’re using hands, add flour until dough is together, then heavily dust the dough with flour and use your hands to work in the bowl. It should be a soft and slightly sticky dough so it will be important to keep it floured well so you can knead it. Knead it for 4-5 minutes until the dough is a smooth consistency.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl and cover loosely. Let the dough rise until it doubles, about 2 hours.
  • When you’re ready to make the rolls, rub some softened butter on your hands and shape rolls into 2 1/2 inch balls (about 4 ounces). Add rolls to a half sheet pan. Grease or butter the sheet pan so the rolls don’t stick while baking.
  • Cover the shaped rolls with a warm damp cloth and let rise a second time for 30 minutes.
  • Bake rolls at 350 degrees F. until they are golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Make sure the rolls in the middle are cooked through.
  • Let cool for a minute and then brush rolls with melted butter.
  • Leftover rolls will store fine in an airtight container for a few days.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Breads, Side Dishes
Cuisine: American

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Yeast Rolls From Scratch

Starting the Rolls

These rolls are enriched with eggs and sweetened with honey. They have a lot of yeast in them as well which gives them a very specific flavor and also makes it pretty reasonable to make these in a few hours since they rise really quickly.

Bubble bubble - yeast rolls from scratch
Bubble bubble.

Start by stirring the yeast together with the warm water, sugar, and honey and let that bubble for a bit.

When that mixture is foaming, mix in the eggs and melted (cooled) butter.

Butter is best - yeast rolls from scratch
Butter is best.

Now you can start adding the flour. I like to use a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Mix the flour into the liquid base in 2 cup batches. You can either use a stand mixer with a dough hook or just your clean hands!

Sticky dough - yeast rolls from scratch
Sticky dough.

The dough for these yeast rolls from scratch will be pretty sticky so if you’re using your hands, you’ll need to flour the dough liberally so you can knead it.

Just a few minutes of kneading or mixing will do the trick. Then let the dough rise until it doubles in size (maybe two hours).

Ready to rise! - yeast rolls from scratch
Ready to rise!

Shaping and Baking the Yeast Rolls from Scratch

Super stretch.
Super stretch.

I like to use softened butter to shape my rolls. I recommending weighing out about a 4 ounce ball of dough and then shaping that ball into a tight, round roll using your hands.

4ish ounces.
4ish ounces.

You should be able to get about 20-24 rolls out of this recipe. Don’t worry. People will eat them!

Shaping a roll.
Shaping a roll.

Place the shaped rolls in a baking dish greased with butter and let them rise a second time for 30 minutes.

After second rise. - yeast rolls from scratch
After second rise.

Then bake the rolls at 350 degrees F. for about 18-20 minutes. Be sure to check on the center rolls and make sure they are cooked through. Don’t worry if you need to add on a few minutes. The rolls on the outside will still be really tender and fluffy.

When the rolls come out the only and best way to finish them is with a good brushing of butter!

Brush it on. - yeast rolls from scratch
Brush it on.

If you have leftover rolls, you can keep them at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days.

If your house is like my house, people who pass by the rolls will snag one and any leftovers will be gone in a day or two.

These are fantastic fluffy yeast rolls from scratch. Perfect for a special occasion or holiday meal!