Looking for the best homemade dinner roll for your next family gathering or Thanksgiving? We tested 9 different recipes in search of the most soft and plush yeasted dinner rolls!
This post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar! I’ve used Imperial Sugar for years and I am thrilled to be partnering with them. Thank you for supporting the partners that keep the bake offs coming!
Although I’ve covered Parker House rolls in a previous bake off, one reader politely requested just a “plain dinner roll” bake off. While at first I found it hard to imagine why you would ever pick a plain roll over a Parker House roll, I love a challenge!
What’s the difference between a Parker House roll and a regular dinner roll? Parker House rolls are a type of dinner roll. The main differentiation is its classic “pocketbook” foldover shape, which gives it fun pull-apart abilities. To me, the best part about dinner rolls are the shaggy sides where you pull the rolls apart–and PHRs have this built in. (I do think you could turn any of these recipes into a Parker House roll if you wanted.)
So if you’re looking for the perfect fluffy and soft (and easy!) dinner roll for your holiday table, keep reading!
- 42 total tasters
- All ingredients were measured by weight according to King Arthur (unless the recipe already included weights)
- All recipes were baked the day of tasting
- I used the overnight rest for any recipes that offered one (Cloudy Kitchen, Sally’s Baking Addiction, Alexandra Cooks, King Arthur, Erin McDowell)
- Each taster ranked each roll on a scale from 0-10 for flavor, texture and overall as a whole
- Gold Medal Flour (bleached, all-purpose)
- King Arthur unbleached bread flour
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Kirkland butter
- Crisco vegetable oil
- Imperial granulated sugar
PARTNER NOTE: I’m delighted to be partnering with Imperial Sugar on this bake off as I’ve consistently used their consistent, high-quality pure cane sugar products throughout my bake offs. Imperial Sugar is non-GMO verified, allergen free and gluten-free!
For more sweet inspiration, you can visit Imperial Sugar to find more than 4,000 expert-tested recipes, free downloadable vintage cookbooks, sugar scrubs and bath products at the Sugar Spa, and lots of helpful guides on their blog. You can also check out their Pinterest, You Tube, Instagram for even more recipe inspiration!
How I Selected the Recipes
For this bake off, I only selected enriched, yeasted roll recipes. My goal in doing this bake off was to find a perfectly fluffy and soft dinner roll. This was not a bake off for crusty, lean rolls!
I eliminated any recipes that used other flavorings like garlic, sour cream or chive. (Claire Saffitz’s sour cream and chive rolls were popularly requested but didn’t fit the bill for a plain dinner roll.)
From there, I tried to select 9 recipe that had distinct differences, techniques or ingredients. Here are the 9 finalists and similar recipes for reference in case you’ve tried them:
|Recipe||Unique characteristics||Similar Recipes|
|Joshua Weissman||Tangzhong method + bread flour||Cook’s Illustrated (JW has slightly more sugar, flour, yeast + a slightly different tangzhong)|
|Cloudy Kitchen||Tangzhong method + bread flour + milk powder + no egg||Similar to Cook’s Illustrated but no egg + adds milk powder|
|Erin McDowell||Uses mashed potatoes + baked in a muffin tin|
|King Arthur||Uses potato flour + dry milk|
|Sally’s Baking Addiction||Benchmark recipe with egg + milk + butter + AP flour||Preppy Kitchen, Smitten Kitchen|
|Spend with Pennies||Oil + butter|
|Sugar Spun Run||Cornstarch + extra egg yolk|
|Cooking Classy||No egg + lemon juice for rapid rising|
|Alexandra Cooks||No egg + buttermilk + no knead technique|
Results of the Dinner Roll Bake Off
Although baker’s error can occur with every bake off, yeasted bake offs are particularly rife with lots of tricky elements. While I did my best to adhere to the rising ranges/bake times of each recipe, I encountered more error than usual in this bake off.
The pattern? All the recipes I had issues with were rested overnight in my fridge. Given the issues with rising the next day, I think the issues stemmed from inconsistent cold spots in my fridge. Some places get freezing cold, which likely affected the yeast 🙁
As you’ll see below, I still include commentary on the recipes that I think were affected (King Arthur, Sally’s Baking Addiction, Cloudy Kitchen). But I hope that you consider them in spite of their low rankings in this bake off. They all have TONS of positive ratings and I’ll tell you why I think they would do well when made properly below.
Factors affecting yeasted dinner rolls
At least 3 recipes used a quick-rise technique (Cooking Classy, Spend with Pennies, Sugar Spun Run) while others used a more standard 2-4 hour rise time. Joshua Weissman (with a 2-4 hour rise time) took first place. But the 3 quick-rise recipes followed with top honors! This could be, of course, because I didn’t mess up these recipes. But my ultimate takeaway: you don’t necessarily need a long rise time to develop great flavor. Flavor enhancers like butter and sugar can help create a rich, balanced roll without needing the benefit of lots of rising time.
The downside to a faster rising time is that more yeast is typically needed, which can lead to a more yeasty flavor. This was most evident in Spend with Pennies, which uses 2 tablespoons of yeast. However, recipes like Cooking Classy and Sugar Spun Run rose almost equally as fast with just 2.5 tsp of yeast.
All of the recipes that were rested overnight had a significantly more fermented flavor. If you love sourdough, I’d recommend resting your dough overnight for more of that tangy flavor.
The amount of water in bread is key for providing moisture and helping with the development of gluten, which gives bread its structure.
The typical ratio of bread to flour is 5:3, which means 5 parts flour to 3 parts water. 5 divided by 3 = 66%, which was the rough average hydration level of most doughs I tested. (A great explanation on how to calculate hydration with enriched doughs.)
A higher hydration dough (like Alexandra Cooks) leads to dough that’s wetter and stickier and generally harder to handle. It’ll also typically bake up with larger holes and a crisper crust. In Alexandra’s case, it yielded a moist, stretchy crumb akin to focaccia.
Meanwhile, lower hydration doughs like Joshua Weissman were pliable and easy to handle. Virtually all recipes besides Alexandra Cooks baked up with a closer crumb more characteristic of a class dinner roll.
Fat and protein content
Aside from water content, bread texture is heavily influenced by its fat and protein content. In this bake off, most recipes included fat in the form of butter or oil, egg yolks and whole milk. Protein generally came from either bread flour or egg whites, which contribute to a chewier texture.
My hypothesis was that the higher fat recipes would generally do better. This was kind of true. Sugar Spun Run was one of the highest fat recipes (9% from butter) with an extra egg yolk, and landed in the top 3. However, Erin McDowell (8.4% fat from butter) was also one of the highest fat recipes, yet didn’t do quite as well. I think this was primarily due to the crust factor (Erin’s gets baked in a muffin pan). Spend with Pennies had 8.8% fat from butter, but also landed a little lower due to lack of flavor.
A slightly better predictor of performance actually turned out to be…
Sugar (from our friends Imperial Sugar!) is key for both flavor in texture in bread. Because sugar is hygroscopic (attracts moisture), it helps retain a moist, plush texture. But it also adds sweetness and flavor to a recipe with minimal ingredients.
JW took top honors with the highest proportion of sugar (8.45%). Erin McDowell also had a higher proportion of sugar (7.5%) but again, was confounded by the crust factor. Spend with Pennies (5.5%) and Cooking Classy (5.2%) followed. SWP was generally marked down for a too-yeasty flavor, but Cooking Classy, with no other hindrances, rose to second place.
If you recall from the Parker House roll bake off, King Arthur’s potato-enriched rolls won thanks to a plush texture and great flavor. Per Nicola Lamb, potato starch is actually more effective than the tangzhong method for retaining moisture in bread. Because potato starch is bigger and absorbs liquid more easily than wheat, adding a small amount of potato not only increases the effective hydration of the dough, but it also keeps bread fresher for longer and can add subtle flavor benefits.
Unfortunately, this bake off wasn’t a good test for our potato rolls! I think I overproofed the King Arthur rolls and Erin’s rolls were a tough comparison to others given their crusty form factor. But the Parker House roll bake off is a better indicator to show that using potato can result in really excellent rolls.
The tangzhong method consists of cooking flour and water (or milk) together until thick and pasty. By gelatinizing a portion of the flour, this allows you to achieve a higher proportion of hydration into your dough, yielding a softer, plusher texture. This is a popular technique used in Japanese milk bread.
Two recipes in this bake off used this method–Joshua Weissman and Cloudy Kitchen. JW took top honors with a seriously plush roll! Cloudy Kitchen didn’t fare as well due to baker’s error–but I have a feeling if made correctly, this roll would have done very well. If you have the time, give the tangzhong method a try for a reliably soft texture!
Tips and FAQ on making the best yeast dinner rolls
Yes, you can use active dry yeast in place of instant yeast and vice versa at a 1:1 ratio. The main difference is how quickly the dough proofs–active dry yeast generally takes
It literally means your dough has risen so much, it’s doubled in size! I like to take a picture of my dough before it starts rising so I compare the end result. It can be tricky to properly eyeball. Erin McDowell has a tip to use a bowl that is roughly double the size of your dough. That way, when the dough reaches the top of the bowl, you’ll know it’s doubled!
If you’ve old yeast sitting in your freezer, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s still active before starting a recipe. To proof the yeast, heat some water or milk to between 100-110 degrees F. Add the yeast along with a pinch of sugar (this will jumpstart the yeast). If the yeast has started to foam up after ~5 minutes, it’s active and ready to use!
Most of the rolls I tested used all-purpose flour and resulted in a great texture. If you prefer a chewier texture, try using bread flour instead.
In my experience, the glossiest, most vibrant and appealing looking rolls used an egg wash before baking. However, you can also brush with milk or butter for a finish that includes milk proteins that will brown in the oven.
Analysis of the Best Dinner Rolls Recipes
Sally’s Baking Addiction: victim of baker’s error 🙁
Sally’s rolls are enriched with whole milk, egg, a moderate amount of sugar and butter. She notes that you can use all-purpose or bread flour, noting that the latter will give a chewier texture. (I used AP flour.) These require 2 rises with flexibility to allow the first or second rise to be done overnight in the fridge.
When making these rolls, I did the first rise in the fridge overnight (from around 8pm-10am). Per the recipe, I set the dough out 2 hours before shaping and baking. However, the dough never quite recovered out of the fridge (which has uneven cold spots). I had to let the shaped rolls rise for over an hour for them to get puffy. Out of the oven, these had a hint of fermented flavor from the overnight rest. While the outside looked good, the interior felt significantly drier than others. But I know they’ve been made to many rave reviews, so I encourage you to try them if you want a straightforward dough that’s easy to make. Given the similar ratios, these should taste similar to Cooking Classy when made properly.
- Nice texture, good bite and holds up well (a good gravy roll) but the flavor is on the salty side.
- This is what I picture when describing a dinner roll. Fluffy, bouncy, a little sweet
- Great crust and pillow-like texture; flavor was neutral for bread, not too sweet or salty
- Super bland in flavor and a little dense in texture. Could use maybe more butter or salt?
- This was one of the airier options, which I enjoyed, but I found myself wishing it could have more going on in flavor – sweeter, saltier, more buttery, just something a bit more.
- For me the texture on this one was most bread-like. It was dry, but still had a good fermented flavor.
- I found sample #6 to not have a lot of flavor beyond a little yeasty. The roll looked drier than it tasted. This roll would only really work when eaten with something else. It reminded of Jamaican Hardo bread so I’d be inclined to pair it with something salty and spicy.
King Arthur: victim of baker’s error 🙁
King Arthur’s golden pull apart butter buns are enriched with potato flour (or instant mashed potatoes) and dry milk. This dough was so easy to make–just combine all ingredients and knead in a mixer or by hand. And it was a dream to handle! Unfortunately, the dough just never seemed to recover once out of the fridge, and baked up looking far less even than the photos.
With shaggy, dry bottoms, the tops of these rolls were actually tender and delicious! (Perhaps thanks to the melted butter topping). These also had a fermented flavor from the overnight sit in the fridge. I’d love to try these rolls again but without the overnight rest. This recipe is fairly similar to their bake off-winning Parker House roll recipe (but omits egg and adds dry milk powder). That tells me this lackluster performance is likely due to baker error and not the recipe itself!
- This is what I want a roll to taste like. Great texture and a nice classic flavor. Would make nice lil turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving
- Nice crusty exterior and fluffy interior; flavor was unremarkable
- A little dense and earthy tasting. Potentially a gluten free or different flour? A little bit of an odd after taste.
- There’s just a hint of nutty flavor to this that maybe is from the butter? Really enjoyed that aspect, but the crumb is denser than my preference for a dinner roll. This also has a bit of the floury feeling I got from [Sugar Spun Run], but it’s not nearly as pronounced.
- I really like the contrast between the top and the center in terms of texture. Definitely more fatty tasting
- I really enjoyed sample #3, but it did not meet my expectations for an ideal dinner roll. It was delicious, but it tasted like a delicious biscuit. I found the texture to be too dense for a dinner roll, but it held together really well. I really wanted to eat it with some breakfast sausage.
Cloudy Kitchen: victim of baker’s error (but also: a soft and fluffy roll with golden tops and a subtle yeast-y flavor)
Erin’s recipe is one of two to use the tangzhong method (along with Joshua Weissman). With a bread flour base in addition to whole milk, milk powder and butter, this recipe is quite similar to Cook’s Illustrated. (The main difference is the addition of milk powder and omission of egg.)
This was another dough that I rested overnight in the fridge for about 14 hours. The dough looked quite deflated when it came out, so I think it was definitely overproofed by the time it went into the oven. Erin suggests leaving the dough out to kickstart the rise for 30 min, but if you want to do a long overnight rest, I would stick the dough straight in the fridge next time.
Even if overproofed, these rolls had soft, fluffy crumb with a subtle crumbliness and golden tops that I liked. Once again, these had a hint of fermented flavor. I’d bump up the salt a tiny bit in these next time. In comparison to Joshua Weissman (a similar recipe), I found the crumb a little more coarse and not quite as soft. Still, a solid roll–and I think it would probably give JW a run for its money if you don’t overproof it.
- This was my favorite overall. No floury flavor, fluffy and well-balanced buttery but not too buttery crumb, textural difference on the outside. Great flavor.
- Taste like Grandma’s homemade bread! Not my grandma, but someone’s! Loved the flavor of this, texture was almost perfect, just a touch denser than pillowy perfection. The crust was delicious
- Almost like a biscuit crumb, but good flavor and butter coming through the bite. Also like the egg wash on top, as it added a thick, almost flakey, top crust.
- The texture is good (light and doughy), but this one just lacks much oomph when it comes to flavor. Needs salt or sweetness or something (I actually think this would be a great based dough with rosemary and salt.)
- It tastes like there is an egg wash on this one, leading to a beautifully golden top with an addictive flavor. If this was 20% lighter, with more height, the texture would have been nearly perfect.
- Just a mediocre roll. Texture is a little tough and crumbly yet cakey with a savory/salty flavor
Erin McDowell: a chewy, almost flaky roll with good textural distinction between the crust and bouncy interior
This family recipe comes from Erin’s great-grandma and was the second recipe in the bake off enriched with potato. Unlike King Arthur’s recipe, this uses freshly mashed potatoes. It also calls for a generous amount of butter inside the rolls and doused on top. This recipe had the highest overall percentage of flour (58%) and was the only one baked in a muffin tin. There are options to make these into split top rolls using two or three mini balls of dough, but I just used single balls.
These were by far the chewiest rolls with a dense bite. For those who like crust, these also provide a generous amount of crust from being made in muffin tins. I liked the yeasty, plain flavor of these but generally prefer a less chewy, crusty roll. There was also an interesting flaky quality to the bread interior vs. the strictly pillowy soft quality of others. I’d be curious to make these again baked without the muffin tin to see if these could yield a more pillowy quality. But great for chewier, crustier bread lovers!
- I love a classic brioche/enriched dough. My partner said he thought this one was dry. This LOOKED the most appetizing and the fact that it was baked in a muffin pan gave it that crusty brown layer around the whole thing. LOVED it! I only rated it an 8 because to me this wasn’t really a classic dinner roll.
- I like the outside texture (maybe I just have a thing for crunchy exteriors in dinner rolls), but the inside texture was denser than I’d prefer without enough flavor to balance it out.
- Once you get past the exterior, the inner roll is actually lovely in texture. Flavor is lacking. Looks like a Brazilian cheese ball though or a muffin. Didn’t give me rolls vibes.
- This roll has a distinctly flakier texture than any of the other samples, and it’s almost shaped like a mini popover, with a nice textural distinction between the edges, the top, and the center. The flavor is nicely buttery.
- This roll seemed to have been baked in a muffin pan as it had a thick crust on all sides. The outer crust was dry and chewy. The interior was great, very elastic in texture and had a lot of “pull.” The flavor was yeasty and a tiny bit buttery.
- Tough texture and bland flavor.
Spend with Pennies: a tender and yeasty fast-rising recipe that can be made in under an hour!
This recipe caught my eye for its use of both oil and sugar in the dough. It’s a simple recipe with just flour, salt, butter, egg, yeast, sugar, oil and water. This dough calls for the shortest bread rise I’ve ever seen–just 10 minutes. (I did take the recipe option to allow mine to rise for an additional 30 minutes.) These get brushed with milk and baked for just 10-12 minutes.
I was surprised at how much I loved these rolls! While they baked up slightly more pale than others, the texture was soft and doughy with a soft crust. One comment on the blog post mentions these rolls smelling and tasting far too yeasty. While I do think these taste slightly more yeasty than others, I tend to like a yeasty flavor and didn’t think it was excessive (some tasters disagreed). Overall, the main complaint was that they’re a tiny bit bland. I liked the mild sweetness but would bump up the salt slightly next time. I would not complain with these at the table!
- First one that I really liked! It was very soft and pillowy, and I would eat this one again. I chose this to reheat and eat with butter and jam which was delish!
- So soft and doughy and a little on the sweeter side, but in a good way.
- Very soft and moist. It was quite sweet compared to the first three samples and reminded me of red bean buns I would find in a Chinese bakery. Because of its sweetness it would be a really good match for savory foods, but I would understand if some people found it too sweet on its own.
- This roll was on the sweeter side, with a texture that I felt was similar to Wonderbread. It was airier and tasted yeasty.
- The first one that has a bit of a sweet touch. Initial texture wasn’t especially noteworthy, but on chewing, the texture/mouthfeel is pasty or gummy, a bit like when you overwork mashed potatoes. Too doughy
Alexandra Cooks: stretchy, yeasty, chewy, sourdough-like rolls
Alexandra’s recipe was the only no-knead recipe, and also the only recipe to use buttermilk. The dough was extremely wet and sticky and a bit hard to handle. I took the overnight refrigeration option and allowed the rolls to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Out of the oven, these rolls get brushed with butter and finished with flaky salt.
These rolls were definitely on the smaller side compared to some (but close to my ideal roll size). The crumb was uniquely open, holey and stretchy compared to the others. Similarly, the flavor was remarkably sour and fermented in comparison to the others. This felt more similar to focaccia than a typical close-crumbed dinner roll. I enjoyed these, but they weren’t exactly what I thought of as a dinner roll. I might try these again but without the overnight rest to see if that would help reduce the fermented flavor. Some people did think these were a bit salty, especially with the flaky salt on top. Alexandra notes that she recommends 2 tsp of salt if you’re sensitive, so I might take these down to 2 or 2.5 tsp of salt next time.
- Saltier and almost biscuit-like in outer texture. I like the bite of the outside, and combined with the saltiness, this one probably ended up being my favorite. There’s a fantastic crispness to the bottom corner
- I think this one had the best fermented/yeasty flavor. It also was the only one that tasted like it had added salt. Really really good flavor. Not a fan of the sponge-like texture.
- Tasted like focaccia in both flavor and texture — texture was springy/chewy with an open crumb. It was the saltiest of the samples, which I enjoyed.
- Sourdough vibes are great!! Sour, yeasty, coarse texture, tasty and intriguing, would like with a soup
- I really enjoyed the texture of this roll and the contrast between the crust and inner part of the roll. I did find this roll REALLY salty and I wouldn’t want to eat it with anything salty and savory on its own. I did like the yeasty flavor, but it would pair best with unsalted butter and something sweet.
- This rolls is really salty and sort of tastes like baking soda. It has a nice texture and if less salty would be great
Spun Sugar Run: my ideal squishy-textured roll with great browning and mild flavor
While the general ratios of this recipe are similar to Spend with Pennies and Sally’s Baking Addiction, Sam’s recipe had a few interesting elements. This was a rare recipe that adds an extra egg yolk for tenderness. It also includes a tablespoon of cornstarch for the same reason. This was also the recipe with the second highest percentage of butter–at 9%, this clocks in after Cloudy Kitchen at a little over 10%.
This recipe knocked my expectations out of the park with a feathery light, fluffy yet squishy roll. When you squish the crumb between your fingers, it remains compressed and almost fudgy–a quality I like but some tasters did not. My only note is that the flavor is a tiny bit bland on its own. But this would make an amazing sandwich/a starring supporting actress in a larger feast!
- Almost perfect to me! Light and airy, but I would’ve preferred just a little sweeter
- Light and flakey, almost crumbly texture reminiscent of a biscuit but lighter and fluffier. Nice and buttery flavor.
- texture is too light, reminds me of cafeteria bread, bland with sour aftertaste
- This roll didn’t have much in the way of crust, but I didn’t mind that. I enjoyed this texture—it was drier, less springy, and more soft in texture. The flavor was on the sweeter side and lacked salt — for me, it teetered toward bland.
- Sample #2 was much drier than sample #1 but still tasted moist. It did kind of fall apart when split in half. It would be great for sopping up something saucy, like gravy. I think it would be good paired with anything as the flavor is lightly yeasty but not that strong.
- This looks like a dinner roll you’d get at a mid-range buffet. The texture is pleasantly pillowy and fluffy, but the flavor is almost non-existent/a little doughy.
Cooking Classy: pillowy soft, lightly sweet quintessential yeast rolls that only take an hour to make!
While there were a number of quick rise recipes, Jaclyn’s recipe stood out for its use of lemon juice, the acidity of which encourages more rapid rising. This dough calls for just a 5-minute rest before being cut and shaped. Another 20-25 minute rise and the rolls are ready to bake! These rolls don’t call for being topped with any liquid (butter/milk/egg) before baking.
To me, these were visually exactly what I think of as a quintessential dinner roll. They’re perfectly round and fluffy with great height and an evenly crumbed interior. They have a stretchy pull with a tight, squishy crumb. These were one of the sweetest rolls–kind of like a less sweet Hawaiian roll. One of my favorites flavor-wise and texturally. I absolutely loved these and would easily make them again!
- Absolutely perfect. All of our jaws dropped when we tried it and the flavor was amazing.
- Absolutely delicious flavor that would make this roll an ideal compliment to most holiday dinners. The texture was SLIGHTLY denser than ideal but still light overall. The main downside here is the lack of more of a golden crust on top.
- This felt like a very classic dinner roll. It was on the sweet side with a nice salt balance, and a hint of yeast flavor. The inner texture was springy and the crust had a nice chew.
- I really enjoyed this; it’s similar to [Joshua Weissman] in texture and flavor, just slightly drier and less flavorful than #5. It would need to be paired with something as the flavor is not satisfying enough on its own.
- This gave [Joshua Weissman] a run for its money. This one had good texture, really nice flavor and had that classic look and taste. The crust breaks apart in a nice way and I personally like the powdery texture on the tongue.
- Decent flavor to this one, but the texture is maybe a little drier and more dense than I would prefer in a dinner roll.
Joshua Weissman: incredibly soft, fluffy rolls with gorgeous bronzed tops and a good salt balance
Joshua’s recipe is nearly identical to Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe with a few minor differences. Joshua’s recipe uses slightly more sugar, yeast and flour (but less butter!) and includes milk in the tangzhong mixture. Since Cloudy Kitchen’s recipe was also similar to Cook’s Illustrated, I decided to give Joshua’s recipe a go. Because making the tangzhong requires an extra step, this was one of the more laborious recipes with 2 required rises for 1-2 hours. The rolls get brushed with egg before baking, and are finished with butter and flaky salt. (Note: I omitted the garlic from the finishing butter for flavor consistency.)
With a lead up like that (more butter, sugar, flaky salt), how could these not win? These baked up extremely puffy and fluffy and were absolutely the star of the show visually. After breaking into a roll, we were all pretty thrilled that the interior matched the gorgeous exterior. The soft, pillowy texture inspired a lot of taster comparisons to challah, Portuguese bread, Japanese milk bread and Hawaiian rolls. This was my favorite flavor-wise–a good balance of sweetness with the right amount of salt. If I had to find fault, some found the flaky salt on top excessive. These rolls were also ENORMOUS–better sized for a sandwich than a side dinner roll. But I would happily make these again!
- Almost the platonic ideal of a dinner roll in terms of look, flavor, and texture. The impressive height of the roll allowed for a gorgeous texture. The golden crust on top, with visible salt flecks, tasted delicious, with an appealing sweetness, almost like Portuguese bread.
- Great glossy color on top. It had a very similar texture to challah bread with a perfect balance of sweet and salty and I really enjoyed that the top was brushed with butter and salt. This was the one dinner roll I couldn’t stop eating.
- This one is like a Hawaiian roll but not quite as sweet. Great texture, look, and sheen on the top! Buttery, slightly sweet, with a nice salty balance. The texture was light and soft, but still chewy and springy. Would definitely serve at Thanksgiving. For me, it was slightly reminiscent of a King’s Hawaiian roll.
- The top flaky, pretzel-y crust was exactly what we hoped and dreamed for. Great fluffy texture, almost like storebought in a good way. It doesn’t really have a strong flavor, subtly sweet like Japanese milk bread.
- It’s a bit large for a dinner roll, however its the most visually appealing and the golden color is beautiful! This is what I think of when I think “classic dinner roll”. I also chose this to reheat and eat with butter and jam and liked it even more than [Spend with Pennies].
- Very obviously the fluffiest in volume. This reminds me very strongly of Asian bakery style breads (e.g., milk breads, tangzhou/yu dane method breads). Maybe because of that, it’s not what I would look for in a dinner roll, but I’d love it for something like toasting.
Recommendations for the Best Dinner Rolls
Erika’s picks: Cooking Classy, Joshua Weissman, Sugar Spun Run
Most crowd-pleasing recipe: Joshua Weissman
Best quick dinner rolls: Cooking Classy, Spun Sugar Run, Spend with Pennies
Best potato dinner rolls: Erin McDowell, King Arthur
Most similar to focaccia: Alexandra Cooks
Best crusty/chewy rolls: Erin McDowell