Nana's Buttery Dinner Rolls

There is nothing more comforting than the scent of fresh bread baking. For as long as I can remember my Nana and her sister, my Great Aunt Bett have been baking up warm batches of sweet and buttery dinner rolls, for every family event and holiday. As a kid I looked forward to eating roll after roll at meal time, and skipping the rest of the food served that day.

Now that I am a mom and I bake these rolls, my kids do the same thing. As soon as the bread basket gets passed around the holiday table, each kid takes at least two, and hardly eats anything else.

These rolls are the perfect dinner roll to prepare for Thanksgiving. While the recipe is not exactly like my Nana's, I've nailed down my own version that tastes exactly the same. Slightly sweet, soft and pillowy in the centers, and oh so buttery!

Nana's Buttery Dinner Rolls


1 tbs active dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar + 1 tbs

1/2 cup  warm water

1/2 cup whole milk,warmed

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 

1 large egg

1 tbs kosher salt

About 4 cups bread flour (or all purpose)


Mix yeast with 1 tbs sugar, and warm water. Set aside until the mixture is foamy.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix 1/2 cup sugar, milk, and melted butter together.

Add in 1 cup of flour, salt and the egg, mix until blended.

Mix in yeast and water mixture,  and remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, with the mixer on medium low speed. Once the dough has come together, and is slightly shaggy looking, turn the mixer to medium speed and all the dough to be kneaded.

If the dough is too sticky and not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add 1 tbs of flour at a time until it starts to pull away, while kneading.

Once the dough is elastic, turn mixer off.

Turn dough out into a large buttered mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise until it has doubled in volume. This could take anywhere from 45-90 minutes. The colder the room, the longer it takes to rise.

Once the dough has doubled in volume, lightly punch the dough down until it deflates.

Break off pieces of dough that are about the size of a golf ball, or just a tad larger.

Shape into rolls, and place onto a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set the rolls aside to rise again until they have doubled in volume.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the rolls with milk or cream.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are golden on the tops.

Spread room temperature butter of the tops of the rolls while they are still piping hot, and then serve!

Recipe makes about 1.5 dozen dinner rolls.


  1. That butter! Oh man. And totally, using all of your stomach space on rolls and nothing else is what being a kid is all about I say! I should be nicer to my kids about this. haha!

  2. The smell of bread baking really is the best!! And omg yes to that butter melting on top!!


  3. I saw these on Instagram and am pretty sure I had to throw my phone in rice after because they are completely drool worthy! I'd love to try these and share them with my family at Thanksgiving this year!