Lion House Dinner Rolls

There isn’t much more I can say about these rolls than they make an appearance at my dinner table several times a month and are probably only one of two or three roll recipes I make regularly. I usually substitute half the white flour with white wheat flour, but when made with 100% white flour, they are almost indulgent enough to eat for dessert. Tender, buttery, perfect. I love them and it would have to take a mighty good roll recipe to replace these beauties.

Lion House Dinner Rolls

Lion House Dinner Rolls

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen rolls

Lion House Dinner Rolls

Note: The recipe calls for active dry yeast. I always use instant yeast because that’s what I have on hand. To use instant yeast, cut down the amount of yeast to 1 1/2 tablespoons and then there is no need to proof the yeast in the water. Instead, add the yeast and water together with the following ingredients in the recipe and proceed with the directions.

Also, I always used to roll the dough into three circles and cut the rolls into triangles and roll up like crescents; however I saw this tutorial online and it has changed how I roll them out. Feel free to check out the video. I also included a few step-by-step photos below the recipe.

Also, as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.

Lastly, I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat) but the bread is a bit more dense with 100% whole wheat flour. If using part or all whole wheat flour, add a few minutes to the kneading time to help develop the gluten.


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 5-6 cups flour (see note)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and water. Let stand 5 minutes (no need to do this if using instant yeast – just add the yeast and water together with the other ingredients). Add sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, 2 cups flour and egg. Beat together until very smooth. Add remaining flour gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Knead the dough for at least five minutes if using an electric mixer and for at least 10 minutes if mixing the dough by hand. When the dough is smooth, supple and elastic, place it in a lightly greased large bowl covered with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled.
  2. Separate the dough into two portions. Roll each section out to an 11X14-inch rectangle. Brush the top with melted butter. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into two pieces, the long way (see photos below). Then slice the dough into five or six strips across so you end up with 10 to 12 small rectangles. Roll each small rectangle up like a snail and place on a silpat-lined or lightly greased baking sheet with the roll resting on it’s open edge. Repeat with the second portion of dough.
  3. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes until they are nicely browned.


Freezable: I freeze the baked rolls in freezer-safe ziploc bags. I microwave the frozen rolls (about 6 at a time) for 2 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: from The Lion House

Roll out the dough to about an 11X14-inch rectangle.

Brush with melted butter than slice the dough in half the long way.

Use your hand measure in an “L” shape to measure the approximate distance to slice each rectangle for the individual rolls.

Continue with that method until the rectangle is sliced into five or six sections across, giving you 10 to 12 rectangles total.

Roll each rectangle up like a snail.

Place on the sheet pan with the roll resting on the open edge.

185 Responses to Lion House Dinner Rolls

  1. Leigh Anne says:

    I made these for Sunday dinner today and they were so yummy! I ate way too many!! I dug out my old Lion House cookbook after I saw this post – thanks for reminding me about it! Good luck with that sweet new baby!!

  2. Leigh Anne says:

    I made these for Sunday dinner today and they were so yummy! I ate way too many!! I dug out my old Lion House cookbook after I saw this post – thanks for reminding me about it! Good luck with that sweet new baby!!

  3. JoAnn says:

    Well, I did throw one batch in the fridge and then baked it the next day…and it tasted very…yeasty. It was almost overpowering. So next time I make these(and I will!) I’ll bake them all off.

  4. JoAnn says:

    Melanie,if I split up the dough and throw some in the fridge, will it still be OK to bake when I pull it out?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I tried this recipe but they weren’t light and tender. What might have gone wrong? Do you use bread flour?

  6. Melanie says:

    Jenica – way to go on your first time making homemade rolls. I’m relieved they turned out for you! Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Jamy says:

    Guess what? I got a KitchenAid for Christmas!!! I cannot WAIT to make these rolls! I have a new food blog @ and I linked all your recipes back to your site. Hope that’s okay!!!

  8. Dixiechick says:

    I have a go-to recipe for rolls that is lovely, but I must say you are making me want to try these. Wow, I love rolls. I need these.

  9. Melanie says:

    Deborah – glad these turned out – although with your cooking expertise, I’m not sure I believe that you aren’t great at making rolls!

  10. teresa says:

    I’m pretty sure that this is the roll recipe that I’ve been searching for!! I’m so glad you posted this!

  11. Patsyk says:

    I love rolls like these! I have a hard time resisting them, which is why I don’t make them often at all!

  12. Melanie says:

    Amy F. – good question, in fact, I am going to edit the recipe because I always use butter instead of shortening. So the answer is yes, you can use butter (and I actually prefer it with butter!).

  13. Melanie says:

    Tammy – thanks for noticing the error. Actually they DO need to rise again after you shape them into rolls. I have edited the recipe. Sorry for the mistake!Also, I’m pretty sure instant dry milk is the same as non-fat dry milk (mine also says instant on the label) but if anyone has other clarification, please let me know!

  14. Loralee and the gang... says:

    I’m usually hesitant to make dinner rolls – mine usually turn out like rocks – but I love your style of recipe editing(?) so adding your own extra dirctions to the recipe helps me to keep on and not give up, like with the Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake…turned out Delicious, by the way.😀

  15. Priscilla says:

    Hi, I hope you had a wonderful christmas! I love the look of these rolls, I think give them a try!Priscilla x

  16. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – no, I don’t use bread flour, I normally just use all-purpose. If they weren’t light and tender, I would suggest using less flour altogether and not overbaking. I usually find if my dough is on the soft side (where you can easily push your finger into the dough and your finger may come out slightly tacky with dough) then my rolls come out lighter. I hope that helps!

  17. Melanie says:

    Loralee – I’m glad the caramel cheesecake turned out for you! If you ever have questions on the directions in a recipe, feel free to email me or comment. I try to add as much as I can to help – so thanks for letting me know it really does help!

  18. Tyler and Jenica says:

    I made these rolls tonight and my whole family was impressed! It was my first time making homemade roll by myself, and I was so impressed by how they turned out! I loved them!

  19. Amanda says:

    I just wanted to comment that I make these all the time. We love them, but my small family can only eat so many of them. I freeze the left overs. They freeze and reheat beautifully.

  20. Marisa says:

    Oh how I love rolls! These look amazing. I’m pretty sure these are the ones that my mom made growing up–I realized that just as I read it. I’ll for sure be trying these.

  21. Melanie says:

    JoAnn – I’ve never done this but I think it should be fine as well as the dough is well-covered in the fridge and you bring bring it to as close to room temperature as you can before rolling it out (cold dough is so hard to work with). I wouldn’t leave it in the fridge for longer than one or two days. Let me know if it works for you if you try it.

  22. HoneyB says:

    These look awesome! I’m bookmarking this recipe!

  23. PheMom says:

    Mmmm… my favorite! I love making them into the orange rolls too. I hope you guys are doing well buried in all that snow!

  24. grace says:

    rolls that are buttery and tender will always be welcome in my mouth. however, regardless of how buttery they may taste, there’s always room for more butter. 🙂

  25. Amy F. says:

    Hi, is it possible to substitute butter for the shortening in this recipe? Will it ruin the consistency? I just never have shortening on hand. Thanks!

  26. Melanie says:

    Amanda, I do the exact same thing with these rolls! Thanks for the tip to others. I’m so glad you like them.

  27. Patti says:

    I had every intention of making these rolls for Christmas, but time got away from me and it didn’t happen. I had several other pages tagged in the Lion House Christmas cookbook to make as well. Only one of them (Holly Berry Slush) was accomplished, and it was yummy!

  28. Melanie says:

    Leigh Anne – that sounds like me – I always eat too many of these when I make them. The old Lion House cookbook(s) are classics!

  29. Tammy says:

    Can I use instant dry milk? And do they really not have to raise again after you form them into rolls (that’s great!)?

  30. Melanie says:

    JoAnn – thanks for letting me know the results of your “test”! Now I’ll know not to keep any dough in the fridge.

  31. Deborah says:

    I made these same rolls for Thanksgiving, and they were a huge hit – and I’m not usually very good at making rolls!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! These are awesome!

  33. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – glad you liked these rolls!

  34. Anonymous says:

    These rolls look scrumptious. Can’t wait to try making them. My family love sweeter rolls, and I’m wondering…would adding more sugar affect the end product?

  35. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – sometimes adding more sugar to a bread recipe causes the bread (or rolls) to brown and get too dark, so I’m not sure how more sugar would affect these. If you like a sweeter dinner roll, you should try this recipe (below), they are sweet and delicious:

  36. Sara says:

    I love Lion House rolls! I’m so glad I found this recipe. I was just wondering how big of a circle do you roll them into? Thanks!

  37. Melanie says:

    Sara – oh dear, I’ve never measured the circle, but I’m sure it is about 9-11 inches in diameter.

  38. melanee says:

    I made these today too- they turned out awesome! Thanks again for the AMAZING recipes 🙂

  39. Melanie says:

    Hey Mel – glad you liked these rolls!

  40. Fife Family Forever says:

    can I use a bread maker to help me out?

  41. Melanie says:

    Fife Family – I’ve never used a bread maker so I don’t know the answer to that because I don’t know the capacity of a bread maker. If anyone else has input, let me know!

  42. Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" says:

    I recently got the Lion House Bakery book for my Bday from my parents. I looked up online about their famous rolls and they have a video how to on how to shape them!

    I use another roll recipe but roll mine like they do now. I used to do them crescents also.

  43. Alycia says:

    I am just wondering if you can use warm milk, rather than warm water and dry milk powder. Also, I think my dry milk powder is more concentrated than most, but I didn’t realize till after I dumped it in. It takes 1/2 C. powder to make 4C. of reconstituted milk. Is this normal concentration? Hopefully the rolls still turn out…we shall see. Thanks for the all the great recipes–I really love your blog.

  44. Melanie says:

    Alycia – how did these rolls turn out? Sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve been out of town without access to email. I’ve never thought about using regular milk but I think it would work just fine.

  45. Michelle says:

    Melanie – I just finally got around to trying making these last night and they turned out very well! I really haven’t done much working with yeast breads at all, and am really wanting to make myself venture into them now. I remembered how many roll recipes you’ve posted that you are crazy about, so of course I came here when I was ready to make rolls to bring to a dinner at a friend’s house last night. Everyone loved them, especially my hubby.
    One question though, I used my Kitchenaid to do the kneading for me much like you used your mixer to do, but I really had no idea how long to have it do it for. Could you mention about how long you have your mixer knead the dough for you?
    Thanks! I don’t comment often, but I read your blog all the time and love all your recipes!

  46. Melanie says:

    Michelle – thanks for your comment! I am so excited (and impressed) that your rolls turned out great, even though you haven’t had much experience with yeast breads. When I make them, I knead them for about 4-5 minutes in my mixer. The best way to judge is the texture of the dough – when it is smooth and supple and still soft, it is usually ok.

  47. Alycia says:

    They were great! I used half wheat flour so they weren’t as heavenly as they could have been, but they were still delicious! Also after I shaped them I froze some of them. Then the day I wanted to bake them I took them out in the morning and they were ready to bake that evening. To me they taste more fresh this way rather than just freezing them after they bake. Thanks again for the great recipes!

  48. Melanie says:

    Alycia – good for you for “healthifying” these with whole wheat flour! Great tip on freezing them before baking…

  49. Lauren says:

    Melanie, Thanks for the roll recipe- we loved them! We made your breadsticks to go with soup tonight, and plan on trying the buttermilk and french rolls, too. We'll see which ones we like best! And thanks for the comment, it's nice to know someone's looking!

  50. Helen says:

    I was thrilled when i made these yesterday and they came out perfectly! Finally, I can make dinner rolls that melt in your mouth. Thank you!!! My husband thanks you too 🙂

  51. Kensi says:

    I finally made these after wanting to for a while!! They are fantastic! And my kids loved it because they helped me roll them up! Thank you Mel!!

    • Mel says:

      Kensi – these are my favorite rolls, I think. It’s hard to pin down a favorite but these are right up there. You are a good mom to let your kiddos help with the rolling! So glad you liked them.

  52. debby says:

    YUM this looks tasty 🙂

  53. Tori says:

    Hi Mel, I went to time-out for women this last weekend. We decided to have a picnic for lunch and I of course forget the rolls I was supposed to bring. The Lion House bakery was at the conference, so I had to buy their rolls. They were amazing and all I could do was think of you and wish you were there with us. I hope all is well with you!

  54. Tessa says:

    Mmmm just the thought of buttery, soft dinner rolls makes my mouth water.

  55. Melissa Cottam says:

    Thank you so much for posting the pictures of how to roll them up and what they look like on the pan. I have been trying to figure it out and they never turn out looking like they should. Thank you so much! I love your blog. Amazing recipes and pictures.

  56. Jenn says:

    I agree with you, Lion House Rolls are amazing. I saw that same video a few months ago and have been following that same method for shaping my rolls. It is so easy. I like these rolls best with 2 cups wheat and 3-3 1/2 cups white flour.

  57. Anne says:

    I have made these many times, and love the new tutorial for rolling them out! I have a question about the yeast. I have read that instant yeast doesn’t need the first rise, just a short rest period before you shape the dough. Does this apply to rolls, or only bread loaves? Or is it just completely off? I would love to cut down on the rising phase if possible. What would happen if I didn’t let it rise long enough the first time?

    Also, have you ever made these with 100% whole wheat flour? I grind my own, and really hate using white flour. Thanks for your awesome site! I spend way too much time on here!

    • Mel says:

      Anne – the simple answer is that yes, in theory, if using instant yeast, you can supposedly skip the first long rise and let the bread/rolls rise just prior to baking (after they’ve been shaped). I do that for my bread recipe. After the bread kneads, I instantly take it out and shape it into loaves and then let it rise then bake. However, I’ve never skipped the first rise for rolls. I don’t know why, probably because I am just a creature of habit. Also, I do think that the rising allows the dough to develop more flavor and so I don’t want to short my rolls any chance for goodness. I would use your own judgment, though – and do what works best for you. Basically I think you’ll be fine either way. As for the whole wheat question, I have made these 100% whole wheat (I grind my own, too) and they are good but I’ve found the best ratio is 75% wheat (I use white wheat) flour and 25% white flour. It allows them to be wholesome but still light and fluffy. When I’ve made them 100% whole wheat they are just too dense for my liking. My REAL preference is to make them 100% white flour because they are so ethereal and tasty, you could eat them for dessert. But I just can’t justify making them like that all the time!

  58. asami says:

    This was my first time working with yeast dough but I think the end product is pretty successful! Thanks for the recipe.

  59. Lorie Hainsworth says:

    I’ve never made my own rolls before, but I made your delicious buttermilk cinnamon rolls for the teachers at my sons’ school earlier this week and they got rave reviews (I didn’t actually get to taste them cause I’m on a diet 😛 ). After that success, I’m ready to give the Lion House rolls a try. I’m wondering when to start them though. I’d like them to come out hot from the oven and go right to the table. About how long will it take the dough to rise to double in size each time? I know there are variables involved, like the temp of my kitchen, but I was hoping to get a general idea. Also, have you tried letting them rise in the oven set on warm? Thanks. I LOVE your blog and have tried lots of the recipes. Many are now staples in our dinner menu. Thank you SO much!

    • Mel says:

      Lorie – glad the cinnamon rolls were a hit with your son’s school! As for the Lion House rolls, whenever I plan to make them I plan for 3 hours. I know in that timeframe that I can mix them, let them rise twice and bake them. Like you mentioned, it will depend on rising times, but that is what I always plan for. I have never let this roll recipe rise in the oven but I have others – usually I preheat my oven to 250. Once it is preheated I turn it off. I place the dough (in a lightly greased bowl covered with greased plastic wrap) in the oven with the door open a crack until the dough is risen. Good luck!

  60. Lauren says:

    I made these for a baby shower last week, by first roll baking experience, and they were fabulous! They rose beautifully and the taste was so buttery and delicious. I was wondering if the shape of them is important to how they turn out. Would it work to use this recipe but shape them using your “shaping the perfect dinner roll” technique (rolling them into balls)?

    • Mel says:

      Lauren – I’ve never tried rolling these into balls so I’m not sure. The dough is a bit more dense than other recipes where I’ve shaped the dough into balls, but it’s probably worth a try. I think the advantage to rolling them out in a crescent-type shape is that they kind of peel apart into layers and I’m not sure, but it may help with the rising process to have them shaped like that. Let me know if you try shaping them another way!

  61. Stephanie B says:

    I can’t get mine to brown so beautifully. Maybe my oven temp is off, or maybe I could add more sugar? But they still taste wonderful. I’m still new to making rolls. I’m just wondering, how far apart would you say to space the rolls? The first time I made them, they were obviously too far apart, didn’t keep their shape as they rose. I tried to space them closer my 2nd try, like in your picture, but could you give me an estimate? An inch or two apart?

    • Mel says:

      Stephanie – I space the rolls probably around 1/2-inch apart. It kind of depends on how many I’m squeezing on a baking sheet, but I definitely keep it to 1/2-inch to 1-inch apart. As for the browning, make sure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven and that there isn’t another oven rack directly above the rolls. Sometimes that can make a difference in browning.

  62. hayley says:

    Made these today for my entire family, and they were seriously perfect. It was a little gross that 8 of us managed to eat all 24…but we managed!

    Thanks for another hit.

  63. Sonya says:

    I made these today and they were a huge hit. I forgot to put the butter on them before rolling them up, but they were still great. Thanks for a great addition to our Thanksgiving table!

  64. Katie says:

    I am in charge of the rolls for Thanksgiving….I have always been a failure with rolls before, and I am determined to master them. This may be a silly question, but can this recipe be doubled without negative consequences? I need to make A LOT of them.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – if you have a big enough mixer or don’t mind building your arm muscles, you can easily double this recipe. I actually never make it WITHOUT doubling it because I like to stash them in the freezer for future meals. So yes, doubling works great. One note, I use instant yeast in the recipe so in a regular batch of rolls (no doubling), I only use about 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast. When I double the recipe, using instant yeast, I don’t fully double the yeast amount. I only use about 2 1/4 tablespoons yeast. If you are using active dry yeast, I also wouldn’t double the amount of yeast in a doubled batch of rolls. I don’t like an overly yeasty taste. Just increase it to 3 tablespoons (active dry). Good luck!

  65. Katie says:

    Thanks for the tips! Fingers crossed.

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  67. Jenny says:

    I made these a couple weeks ago and they were so good and probably the best rolls I’ve ever made. I want to make them for Thanksgiving and wanted to ask for your advice. I’m worried I won’t be able to time it right so that they will rise the appropriate time if I try and bake them after the turkey. If I make them in the morning can I reheat them in the oven. Or should we just eat them at room temp. Or something else?

    • Mel says:

      Jenny – glad you love these rolls! I’m making these rolls for Thanksgiving, too, and plan to make them in the morning, also. Once they cool (and even when they are slightly warm), I cover them with a kitchen towel so they don’t dry out during the day. I like them at room temperature but you could definitely warm them in the oven (but don’t overdo it or you’ll end up drying out the rolls). Another option is to heat them for about a minute in the microwave…softens and warms them right up. Good luck!

  68. Kim says:

    I’m taking these to my mom’s for Thanksgiving tomorrow and gave them a shot with the milk instead of the dry milk and water. Now I’ve never had an actual Lion House roll or one made with the dry milk and water, but these turned out pretty darn good to me. If the dry milk has been stopping you in the past (like me), give it a try with some warm milk.

  69. Caroline says:

    Just made these for the big day tomorrow!! About a third of them are gone already…whoops. They really are as good as you say they are–they’ll be in my dinner roll arsenal forever! Thanks so much, and check them out here if you like:

  70. […] Lion House Dinner Rolls – adapted from My Kitchen Cafe […]

  71. Danny says:

    THANKYOU THANKYOU THANYOU! I am a first timer with yeast, i tried these on my husbands family for thanksgiving & they turned out fabulous! Thankyou!

  72. […] dip (even better after sitting in the fridge overnight), and the rolls. I used the same recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe that I used at Tgiving, you know, the Lion House dinner rolls. They were fantastic then and […]

  73. Tiffiny says:

    I’ve never made homemade rolls before, and after making these I’m going to have a hard time trying any others. I made these at Thanksgiving (served with the fluffy honey butter, yum!) and they were such a big hit that I had to make them again for Christmas dinner. So delicious, so soft, so buttery, so perfect!

    • Mel says:

      Tiffiny – I’m so happy these rolls worked out so well for you! They are a good roll recipe to stick with – I figure once you conquer these, there isn’t a reason to try any others!

  74. Katie says:

    Hi Mel,
    Are you using a pizza cutter on your Roul Pat? I just got one for Christmas and I am wondering if it is okay to cut my dough on the mat.

    • Mel says:

      Katie – yes, I am using a pizza cutter, but don’t tell! I think officially you aren’t supposed to cut at all on the roul’pat but I use my pizza cutter (it’s fairly dull but cuts through dough just fine) all the time and it seems to be fine.

  75. I was wondering the same thing as Katie! And I thought if Mel is using a pizza cutter on her Roul Pat, then I will too! I just made these again tonight and was also very careful with the cutting, not to press too hard, and there didn’t appear to be any marks.

    I’ve followed your Lion House rolls recipe a few times and have it transcribed into my own handwriting into a tiny spiral notebook that I keep in my kitchen filled with recipes that I like. For the second or third time of making this recipe, I accidentally omitted the salt! It’s amazing how much flavor a couple of teaspoons of salt can add! I was so mad that I did this again, then wondered why I keep forgetting it. I looked into my little notebook and realized that I had somehow skipped that part of jotting down the salt for the recipe! No wonder. So the next time I make these, they WILL have salt! I wrote it in bold lettering to prevent the mistake for next time.

    Thanks again for the great pictures and recipes.

  76. ann says:

    I made these rolls today. My husband said they were the best he’s ever tasted. My daughter who loves Pillsbury crescent rolls said you could tell these were homemade as they tasted so much better than the Pillsbury ones. Coming from her, this was high praise indeed. I used my food processor and needing took only 50 seconds. I so wish it was big enough to make your full recipe for Bosch whole wheat bread, which I make by hand as my hand mixer is not strong enough. I probably could make one loaf at a time. I just love your website Mel. Thanks so much.

  77. utku says:

    utku, utku çakır

  78. sosyal medya says:

    sosyal medya haberleri. great post!

  79. Bri says:

    So excited to try these at some point.

  80. Stephanie B says:

    Just wanted to let you know I made this, my favorite roll recipe, yesterday. But as I was covering the dough to rise, I noticed the butter softening on the counter; I had forgotten to add it to the dough! But they still turned out nice and tender, and still tasted great, my family couldn’t tell the difference. Just wanted to put that out there, that if you’re forgetful like me or health conscious, they’ll still turn out tasty without the butter.

  81. Heidi says:

    Hey! I am making these rolls for Easter dinner, Sunday, and was wondering if you use Salted butter for these? If you do use Salted butter, do you still add the 2 1/2 tsp called for in the recipe? Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Heidi – I always used salted butter because I am too lazy to buy unsalted and yes, I still use the regular amount of salt in the recipe. So far, I haven’t noticed them being too salty.

  82. Anissa says:

    These actually weren’t flavorful enough for us, but I can’t put my finger on what was missing. Not to say they weren’t good, because they definitely were, very soft and warm and yummy. I keep trying to find a recipe that beats out my MIL’s rolls and so far nothing has. 🙂 But it’s always fun to try and new roll recipe. Gives me an excuse to eat rolls, which is both a good and bad thing. Thanks for the recipe!

  83. Emily says:

    Yum! I made these for Easter dinner yesterday and got lots of compliments. I wanted them to be a little sweeter, but maybe it’s because I doubled the recipe and still doubled the yeast … (just read your advice in the comments above). I mean, they were still delicious, and the texture was perfect, but I just wanted a bit more flavor. One thing I love about these rolls, is that they don’t have to be fresh out of the oven to be edible. My other standby roll recipe is yummy fresh, but I don’t want to eat them later. 🙂 But my husband said these are the best I’ve ever made, so that is something to rejoice about. Thanks for your awesome recipes, Mel!! Oh, and doubling the recipe worked but was SUPER messy in my regular sized Kitchenaid–just a tip for anybody out there that might think of attempting it. It was somewhat disastrous and required some detailed cleanup. I advise against it!!

  84. Bri says:

    I love these rolls. I actually use a bit of whole white wheat in the recipe and they are still so yummy! However, has anyone had trouble getting them cooked enough? I added an additional 5 minutes in the oven and they were still doughy (especially the ones in the middle). I plan on adding more time next time, and believe me, there will be a next time. I’m new to using yeast (since finding your website) and LOVE making our own breads. These rolls are to die for, and I just need to get the cooking time perfect. THANK YOU!

  85. Heather says:

    Just wanted to let you know that these rolls are a new favorite in my house. I’ve made them twice already and they are FOOLproof. I usually find yeast breads daunting but I finally have a recipe (thanks to you) that will be in regular rotation. Awesome recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  86. […] Smoked Cheddar in these rolls, as it can add a delightfully unexpected flavor.) I have used my favorite dinner roll recipe for the dough, but feel free to substitute one you like […]

  87. tonya says:

    I love that Heather says these are FOOLproof. Ha!! I guess she’s right, though, because mine taste great. They just look like a mess!! I’m sure I didn’t add enough flour because the dough was too sticky to handle well.

    Part of my problem is that I don’t really know what mixer attachments to use & if I need to change them midstream. How dumb is that?

    The rolls are really yummy & I will make them again!

  88. stace says:

    MEL, I dont have any dry milk and wanted to make these.. not sure if anyone else commented on this already, but i read to substitute I can just reduce the water by 2/3 and add the 2/3 liquid milk after the yeast is proofed.. does this sound right?

  89. stace says:

    Mel.. it worked great! man these were so fluffy! Loved them! Thanks for another great recipe! love love love your website!

  90. […] Beef Stew (using leftovers from a roast from Sunday dinner) Some of these rolls (trying a new recipe) and some hot fudge brownies for dessert (sinful!) (and also a new recipe for […]

  91. tina says:

    I make these too, but not rolled up like yours, interesting.

  92. Amy M says:

    I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved them. I found the video tutorial to be a great help in measuring the rectangles. The only thing I didn’t think of is that turkey sandwiches would be hard with Thanksgiving leftovers with this particular roll. We made it work though 🙂 I do wonder what kind of salt you normally use with this recipe. I used salted butter and kosher salt and I felt the rolls where under salted slightly. Do you use salted butter and table salt in this recipe?

  93. mrsblocko says:

    I made these rolls and wrote about them here. They were so very tasty. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  94. Stacie says:

    Love these rolls, so delish! I’m making them today for two different Christmas parties. (One tonight and one tomorrow) and was wondering what you think about doubling the recipe. I’m nervous it would overflow in my standard size kitchen aid, what do you think? just make two separate batches??


    • Mel says:

      Stacie – I double this recipe all the time so doubling the ingredients won’t be an issue but I can’t speak for the size of your mixer being able to handle the doubled dough because I use a Bosch and not a Kitchenaid. If you are at all worried about it, I’d probably go to the extra work to make separate batches. Good luck!

  95. Tamar says:

    We LOVE these rolls and make them all the time, but I was wondering if you have every used the dough to make loafs??? Giving away jam and bread for gifts and the loafs would be easier to package up.

  96. Mel says:

    Tamar – no, I’ve never made this dough into anything other than rolls. Sorry!

  97. Jen says:

    Mel— in your photos, it looks like you have some kind of fabric or something on your counters that you roll your dough out onto… What is that???

    I tend to avoid “roll out” dough recipes (like this or cinnamon rolls) b/c it ALWAYS sticks to the counters no matter what I do and I just get angrier and angrier!! lol

    I’ve floured and sprayed Pam, nothing helps. Once I roll it out enough, it pushes the flour away and then the really sticky inside of the dough starts sticking to the counter one the floured exterior is stretched.

    Please help!!!

  98. Mel says:

    Hi Jen – what you see in the pictures is a roul’pat (manufactured by DeMarle). I love it. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it “nonstick” since I usually sprinkle a bit of flour but it definitely doesn’t stick like the counter. I used to avoid making roll-out recipes for the same reasons you stated until I bought one. It’s fantastic. I’m pretty sure you can get them on – I have the large square one but they come in all different sizes.

  99. Jaime says:

    I did it, I did it, I did it! Using this recipe, I successfully, for the first time after numerous attempts at making rolls, baked fluffy, delicious rolls! Everyone raved over them, including the neighbors who I took dinner to the other day. Thank you so much, I know I shouldn’t be shouting it from the rooftops but this small success has been hanging over me for a long. You rock! P.S. – Congrats on your newest bundle, I’m so thrilled for you and your family to have a little girl, she is a doll!

  100. Ali says:

    When you make these, do they have a very strong “yeasty” flavor and smell? Mine did. They were still good but made my house smell a bit like a brewery. haha Also, even though I baked on the top rack, they did not brown like yours. 🙁 I know my oven temp is right, I just checked it with a thermometer a week or so ago. Any clue why?! One more thing, can you estimate about how long it takes yours to rise each time? I don’t make yeast breads/rolls too often so an estimate would be helpful. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  101. Mel says:

    Ali, you might consider halving the yeast if yours have an overly yeast taste or smell. I’ve kind of noticed that in the past but I like the stronger yeast flavor. The recipe calls for a lot of yeast so decreasing it a bit probably won’t hurt. My rolls usually rise anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of my kitchen.

  102. Ali says:

    Thanks so much, Mel! Will decreasing the yeast affect how they rise? I took the rolls to dinner last night with about 10 good friends and they all gobbled them up so nobody seemed to mind the “yeasty” flavor. haha 🙂 Also, is the “1-2 hours” of rise time EACH time (first 1-2 hours with the dough ball, then 1-2 hours with the rolled rolls) or 1-2 hours TOTAL (meaning each rise will take 30 min. – 1 hr)? Does that make sense? Thank you again!

  103. Mel says:

    Ali – for me, it is about 1 to 2 hours for each rise but again, that will vary for each person just a little. If you decrease the yeast, it may take a bit longer to rise so just keep an eye on the volume to make sure the dough doubles in size. Glad they were still a hit with your friends!

  104. Jill says:

    I have been trying out roll recipes to find the perfect ones to make this year for Thanksgiving. I tried a few others from other recipe blogs that looked good, but they all had slight “problems” with texture or flavor. Then I remembered your “the best recipe” list. DUH! I don’t know why I didn’t try that first, because these rolls really are the best! The dough was beautiful and easy to handle, this way of shaping rolls is not too tricky, they rose amazingly well, and they were absolutely delicious! Not to mention that my house smells like heaven after baking them! I did alter the method just a bit–I like my rolls on the smaller side, so I rolled the dough out a little thinner (probably a rectangle that was 11×16 and about 1/4 inch thick) and cut 14 rolls out of each half of the dough. Perfect!

  105. […] was looking for a basic dinner roll – one we can slather with butter and devour – so these basic rolls caught my eye.  If they’re great, I’ll make them more often.  They seem to be a […]

  106. Adrienne says:

    Oh Mel,
    You’ve done it again. Brought these to Thanksgiving tonight and no one could believe they were homemade. Thanks for the recipes I can always count on!

  107. […]  Lion House Dinner Rolls.  These tasted amazing, but their appearance left something to be desired. I used instant yeast […]

  108. Kari H. says:

    Substituted the 2 cups water with 2 cups whole milk (warmed to 100 degrees) and left out the powered milk. I took time to watch the tutorial; it was simple to follow and gave the rolls a flare. Used all organic ingredients for this recipe – incredible rolls, thank you for posting!

  109. Emily says:

    I made these with the autumn minestrone like you suggested- perfect! I love these rolls and I am going to make them again!

  110. Traci P says:

    Hi Mel- I have tried sooo many of your bread recipes and have loved them all! The front runner in our family so far is the Lionhouse Roll. My boys devour them. I think we like the fact that they are so, so soft and have just a touch of sweetness. My question is, if I’m looking for a roll to make them little sandwiches on that is similar to the Lionhouse, what do you reccomend? We like the french bread rolls too, but they still prefer Lionhouse. I was actually wondering if I could make the Lionhouse recipe and just shape it differently so it was more conducive to making sandwiches on? Thanks!

  111. Mel says:

    Hi Traci – I’ve never tried shaping these differently but I think it’s worth a try!

  112. Boedee says:

    Will I ever succeed at making rolls?! First try I used wheat and white flour….hardly rany rise. This time only white and then I think I added too much flour! Can you just make all my rolls for me?! 😉

  113. Alyssa Pruitt says:

    I think I have found my blog soul mate! These rolls were amazing! Perfectly fluffy and seriously tasted better than store bought! I would rather make bread than buy it anyway and these were such a hit at my dinner party, I will be making them again and again! I can’t wait to try out your ciabatta bread next! Thank you so much for all that you do and have a very merry Christmas!!

  114. miffy-mad says:

    Hi from across the pond! I’ve just been introduced to your site today and would love to try your rolls as they sound yummy! Please can you convert cups to metric/ imperial please! I’m looking forward to trying them out! thanks and have a fab Christmas!

  115. […] decided to bake up two different roll recipes today. I have wanted to make both for some time now and being indecisive, I […]

  116. Michelle Garringer says:

    These were SO good and SO easy.. Thank you Mel for posting these and many other of my new favorite recipes!

  117. Glenis says:

    For anyone who had success using regular milk instead of dry milk, did you just use 2 cups of warm regular milk in place of the warm water and dry milk? Thanks a lot!

  118. Glenis says:

    I got my own answer from the video on making rolls that comes with the Lion House Bakery book. They said to go ahead and use 2 cups of milk but to scald it first because milk has an enzyme that can affect the yeast.

  119. Jackie says:

    If I substitute actual milk for the milk powder – do I eliminate all of the warm water (2 cups) or is there a different ratio? So excited to try these but have never used dry milk and the only boxes my grocery store had were huge! A big investment for an experiment.

  120. Lori says:

    Hey Mel! I am a HUGE fan of your rosemary bread recipe, as well as everyone who I have ever made it for (specifically the same crowd I’m feeding for Thanksgiving. That bread is the only type of bread I’ve ever tried to make, but rolls are more traditional, right? I’ve already made one batch of these rolls and they’re rising right now. I am going to make a second batch and had the thought of adding some rosemary in with it? How do you think that would turn out? What amount would you recommend adding in? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Lori – I think adding rosemary to these rolls would be absolutely delicious! I would probably add a couple teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary to the dough and then a bit more finely chopped rosemary to the tops right before baking. Good luck!

  121. Seth says:

    These are the best rolls I have ever made or ate; First I tried a mix then got the Recipe off line, very fancy taste soft rolls. I made the roll up kind then the rose rolls and people just caved the taste and look of these tender rolls. Now I’m a Pastry Chef by trade so I bake a lot of breads, cakes, ect….So anyone wanting a Great soft fancy dinner roll try theses. Great Job Mel and thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Signed Chef Seth.

  122. Nancy says:

    I LOVE your tutorial on these rolls–it has changed my life. 🙂 I saw on your Thanksgiving prep schedule post something about doing the rolls ahead but I have a more specific related question. I’m bringing rolls (4-5 dozen) to a family gathering on Christmas Eve. I’m trying to avoid the “spending all day in the kitchen” scenario. Would you recommend making the dough the day before and baking the day of or baking the day before and just try to rewarm the rolls before serving? If you make the dough the day before, do you shape them? I’ve just had such success with your recipe but I’ve always done the whole kit and caboodle in one stretch of time. I don’t want to jinx the success by trying to stretch it among a couple of days but spending all of Christmas Eve just baking rolls seems unrealistic. Any chance you would be willing to post a “how-to make rolls ahead of time” tutorial? 🙂 Thanks for your website. Yours is one of two sites that I look at daily because it is just the best!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Nancy – so glad you love this recipe! I won’t have time to post a tutorial on making these rolls in the next little while but I’d love to offer my two cents. If it were me, I’d make the dough, let it rise, then shape the rolls and place them on the sheet pan and cover with greased plastic wrap. Pop the sheet pans in the refrigerator and take them out on Christmas Eve to rise and bake (it will probably take 2 hours for the rise/bake). Good luck!

  123. Viktoriya says:

    How long do you let it rise?

  124. viktoriya says:

    Why didnt mine brown on the top at all? I did everything exactly like it said…

    • Mel says:

      Viktoriya – Sometimes it depends on where the oven rack is placed in your oven; in my particular oven I notice that my rolls brown best in the top third so that might be worth a try.

  125. Deb says:

    Loved these! Made them with 2 cups white whole wheat and the rest all-purpose flour. Great flavor and texture. Thanks Mel!

  126. Kim says:

    My family absolutely Adores these rolls will a capital A! I just have a little tip. I am the designated roll bringer for family functions and was having a hard time with making two batches because of timing, etc. I decided to try and make them half sized (since they really are ginormous anyway) and I’ve never gone back. I just roll them out like I would for full-sized rolls. I still cut the dough in half horizontally but then I double cut them the other way. So instead of having 5 wide rectangles across, I end up with 10 really narrow ones (for a total of 20 per rolling, 40 per batch). They are still a great size and we love it that way! I love that the kids can easily eat them and it’s prefect for taking “just one last roll” without overdoing it.

  127. […] I found out about them only recently through Pinterest.  I was led  to a recipe on one of my favorite blogs where Mel’s photos almost had me breaking a finger when trying to grab one through my […]

  128. Suzanne says:

    Can you substitute milk for the dry milk? I never have that on hand.

    • Mel says:

      Suzanne – Yes. Other commenters have omitted the water and dry milk powder and just used warm milk (in place of the water) with success.

  129. Jama says:

    Well written recipe. First timer baking Lion House Dinner Rolls and they turn out very well!


  130. Gail says:

    These were, hands down, the best dinner rolls I have ever made. Just perfect!
    Thanks, Mel.

  131. danielle johnson says:

    I’m thinking these would make fantastic cinnamon rolls…

  132. Tracy says:

    After many failed attempts at other roll recipes from youtube and allrecipes these have never failed me. Even when I substitute for whole wheat, coconut oil, earth balance dairy free butter, and no milk powder these rolls are always fluffy and delicious. Due to the humidity in my area I usually need to hold back on some of the water and yeast. People always ask me about these. And my toddlers light up when it’s time to make these rolls together. Although theirs look more like crinkly brown stones. Sorry, “delicious” crinkly brown stones.

  133. Christina says:

    Hi – I made these last night, although I use “made these” loosely haha.

    I think I under-floured my dough. It turned out more like batter, even after the first rise. Because I didn’t want to waste the dough, I added ~1/2 – 3/4 cup flour to the risen dough, rolled the dough into balls, and proceeded to let them rise and bake (forgot the melted butter on top – oops!). They turned out so soft and tender and delicious!

    Anyway, I’d like to be able to actually roll them out next time and create the spiral look. Any tips for if they end up under-floured again and I don’t notice it until after the first rise? Can you just put it back in the mixer, add more flour, and let it rise again?

    Thanks in advance for your help 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Oh, and I JUST realized that I used a full 2 Tbsp of instant yeast. No wonder my apartment still smells like yeast! Haha I swear I’m not new to baking!

    • Mel says:

      When you were making the dough in the mixer, did it clear the sides of the bowl while mixing? I’d suggest stopping the mixer, getting a bit of dough in your hands and rolling it into a ball – if it is so sticky it can’t be rolled, add more flour then (before you take it out of the mixer to rise).

      • Christina says:

        Thanks for responding!

        It definitely didn’t clear the sides and definitely could NOT be rolled. *shifty eyes* Oops!

        I’ll be trying again though. AND I’m making french bread sub rolls for your meatball sub recipe this weekend – I’ll let you know how that goes 🙂

        • Christina says:

          French Bread sub rolls turned out AMAZING. I’m re-making the Lion House rolls for Thanksgiving and I’m SO looking forward to them.

  134. Elizabeth says:

    Have you frozen these rolls with much success? I’ve made this recipe a ton of times and think they would be perfect for Thanksgiving, but with all the other cooking going on, I just don’t think I could get fresh rolls made. I am wondering how they would reheat.

  135. Barbara says:

    All great ideas and hints. Have you ever frozen these after they are all rolled out, but before you bake them. I would like to take them out of the freezer and put in over for the fresh roll serving on Thanksgiving Day.

    Thanks in advance for your reply

    • Christina says:

      I just made these rolls last night (Sunday), for Thanksgiving on Thursday — I took them out of the oven *just* when they started to turn brown. My plan is to bake them for another 5 minutes right before we eat.

      To test this out last night, I let the rolls cool and then baked one (in a toaster oven) for about 5 minutes. It turned out perfectly.

      Essentially, I par-baked the rolls and they will bake up the rest of the way right before we eat, just like frozen / pre-packaged rolls, but so much yummier!!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t done that, Barbara. Usually I bake them, cool them and freeze. They thaw and warm up great (although someone else just left a comment on underbaking just slightly so you might follow her suggestion).

    • Sara says:

      I have made these and frozen them just as you said. I roll them out, cut them and then roll them up just as the directions say. Then I put them on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for about an hour. Kind of a par-freeze, I guess you could say. When they are pretty firm I put them in a freezer bag and throw them in the freezer.

      On the day that I want to bake them, I take them out of the freezer in the morning and follow the rest of the directions for how close together to put them on the pan and let them do their thing.

      IIRC, if I take them out of the freezer by 9am they are ready mid to late afternoon.

      I hope that helps!

      Mel- Great recipe! By far the best I’ve ever found! Thank you for letting us into your life.

      • Barbara says:

        Hi Sara:
        Thanks for this great info. As it worked out, I never had time before dinner to make them ahead, so just made them in the morning and baked for Thanksgiving dinner at 2. Truly they were delicious and very easy to make. I did substitute 2 cups of fat free half and half for the water and dry milk. I would also cut them smaller next time as another person had suggested. Even the left overs today taste great. I might just make a batch and freeze for future dinners.
        Thanks to all.

      • Mel says:

        Thanks for the tips, Sara!

  136. Barbara says:

    Thank you both for your reply. I will let you know which I do and how they turn out. Happy Thanksgiving.

  137. Kandel says:

    Hi! Can you tell me if the sugar in this makes them sweet? If so, I may reduce the amount. Thanks so much! Love your recipes!

  138. Melissa says:

    I made these rolls for the first time yesterday for Easter and they were AMAZING! I tried it with the instant yeast and it was SO easy! Everyone loved them and I will make them again for sure! Thanks!

  139. hayley says:

    I make these all the time and love them, and always double the recipe….but I never can remember how much yeast to use and have to search through your comments to find the answer….if you ever have time you should put that in the notes in your recipes! Thanks for this fabulous blog.

  140. Salem says:

    I know this is probably a silly question, but have you ever made these using your round dinner roll technique where you split them into twelve balls and roll them into a perfectly round ball? I need to take some to a church dinner tonight, and when I do the rectangle and roll them up, they never look uniform…I always have some big and some little and some sideways ones. But I do better with the round ball. Does it even matter?! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I think you could roll these however you want, Salem! So go for the round ball technique (that’s my vote). Just be sure to let them rise long enough once formed – part of the reason the Lion House Rolls are so delicious is because they are so light and fluffy. Good luck!

  141. Jenifer says:

    Have you ever used Eikorn flour to make these?

    • Mel says:

      No, but I’ve used Einkorn wheat in my every day bread recipe and it’s amazing so I’m guessing it would work pretty well here.

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