Food Network Kitchen’s Small-Batch Dinner Rolls.
Recipe courtesy of Scott Hocker for Food Network Kitchen

Small-Batch Dinner Rolls

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 17 hr (including rising times)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 rolls
Timing homemade dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner can be tricky, but this recipe makes it simple. Although these rolls require a few rises, the longest one happens overnight. That means you can pull the rolls from the fridge a couple of hours before dinner, then bake them right when the meal is almost ready.



  1. Heat the milk, sugar and shortening in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to help melt the shortening, just until the mixture begins to simmer. Pour into a bowl. Set aside to cool to about 125 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk mixture, then add 2/3 cup of the flour to the mixture. Stir until no lumps remain and the mixture looks like pancake batter. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 2 hours. 
  3. Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda and 1/3 cup of the remaining flour to the yeast mixture. Stir well and add the remaining 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Start using your hands after the final flour addition, kneading the mixture for a couple of minutes to form a smooth, elastic dough. Lightly oil a bowl, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. 
  4. Lay the dough on a work surface and press it out to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 12 inches by 14 inches) using your fingers. (The work surface doesn't need flour. Just keep picking up the dough between presses.) Cut the rectangle into 4 equal strips crosswise, then cut each of those strips into 2 equal pieces, for a total of 8 pieces. Starting on the shorter side of a piece, roll each piece into a tight cylindrical coil. Pinch the edges to seal.
  5. Place each cylinder seam-side down in a 9-inch cake pan, putting 7 of the cylinders in a ring around the pan's edge. Each cylinder should point inward, like the hands of a clock. Put the last 1 cylinder in the center of the pan. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled in size, about 2 hours. 
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  
  7. Bake the rolls until golden, about 15 minutes. Brush with the melted butter and serve immediately.  

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)