These dreamy lion house dinner rolls are tender, buttery, perfect, and almost indulgent enough for dessert!

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.

Basket full of golden brown rolls.

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.

Golden brown rolls on a green napkin in a black basket.
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Lion House Dinner Rolls

4.65 stars (109 ratings)


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • cup (71 g) sugar
  • cup (75 g) butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • cup nonfat dry milk
  • 5-6 cups (710 to 852 g) flour (see note)


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Yeast: 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.
Tutorial: 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.
Flour Amount: 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.
Flour: 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.
Freezable Option: 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.
Serving: 1 Roll, Calories: 145kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 288mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g

Recipe Source: from The Lion House

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

bread dough rolled in a large rectangle

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

bread dough cut into two long rectangles

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

hand making an l-shape on top of rolled out bread dough
Continue with that method until the rectangle is sliced into five or six sections across, giving you 10 to 12 rectangles total.

bread dough cut into 10 small rectangles

Roll each rectangle up like a snail.

small rectangles of bread dough with one rolled up into a snail shape

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

unbaked rolls on a sheet pan