Soft White Dinner Rolls Recipe (2024)

By Nigella Lawson

Soft White Dinner Rolls Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 hours 15 minutes
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Getting supper on the table quickly makes you feel efficient. Baking a batch of soft dinner rolls makes you feel cozily competent. This may be an unfashionable virtue, but it is also a deeply satisfying one.

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Yield:30 rolls

    For the Dough

    • 3½ to 4cups all-purpose flour
    • 3teaspoons rapid-rise, bread-machine or other instant yeast
    • teaspoons salt
    • 1tablespoon superfine sugar
    • cups milk
    • tablespoons butter, softened
    • Vegetable oil for bowl and baking sheet

    For the Toppings

    • 1large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1tablespoon milk
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1teaspoon sesame seeds
    • 1teaspoon poppy seeds

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (30 servings)

80 calories; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 2 grams protein; 75 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Soft White Dinner Rolls Recipe (2)


  1. In a large bowl, combine 3½ cups flour, yeast, salt and sugar. In a small saucepan, combine milk and butter, and place over low heat until milk is lukewarm. Pour into bowl of dry ingredients. Mix with a fork to make a rough dough, adding more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

  2. Step


    Using a mixer with dough hook, or by hand, knead dough until smooth and silky. Place in an oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

  3. Step


    Punch air out of dough. Oil a baking sheet, and set aside. Pull off pieces of dough the size of walnuts, and form into round balls. Place on baking sheet almost touching, about ¼ inch apart, in 6 rows of 5 each. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees.

  4. Step


    When rolls have risen, make a glaze by beating together the egg, milk and salt. Paint rolls with glaze. Sprinkle one row with sesame seeds and the next with poppy seeds; leave the third row plain, and then repeat pattern. (A teaspoon of seeds should decorate 2 rows.)

  5. Step


    Bake rolls until risen and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack or serve immediately. To serve, place on a plate so rolls can be torn off to be eaten.



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Cooking Notes


Just for anyone who is new to this recipe, they actually changed the amount that is listed so now it is consistent with what the commenters "reduced" it to. I found that all very confusing until I read the very last comment by the administrator that says they updated the recipe to reflect the change in salt. Now it should be good and not overly salty the way it is.

Margaux Laskey, Senior Staff Editor, NYT Cooking

Thanks for the flag, all! We've updated the recipe.


These are good and easy. I think they are a tad too salty, so I might reduce that next time. I made 24 rolls, and they were on the small side, so I don't think 30 rolls is realistic from this recipe.


Can the last rise be in the fridge the night before? If so, how long to bring them to room temp?


On the Nigella website this recipe is posted with 1/2 the salt. Other than that I followed the recipe as written and ended up with 30 beautiful little rolls!


After reading the previous comment I reduced the salt in the dough to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons,used the dough hook on my KitchenAid to mix right from the beginning. Also used a half sheet pan for the rolls and fit 24 nicely,the other 6 I put in a separate dish to try when they come out of the oven. Excellent texture,while light on the inside,crunchy crust on the outside,flavor very,very good. These will be a hit for Easter dinner!! Thank you!


Boy, I agree about the salt. I know that some breads need more salt than others, but in a soft roll I think that 1 1/2 tsp is plenty. Thanks for the heads up!

Julie Linderman

Made these with Thanksgiving dinner, and they were my favorite thing on the plate. They were tiny though. Walnut size seems too small. Very tasty though.


The recipe was vague about how long you need to knead the dough. I stopped when it was still a little sticky, but wasn't too sure, because it was already smooth and silky then. As other comments, I made my balls about an inch big and they rose twice as big cooked, which is still small. I only did half of the recipe thinking I wouldn't want to make 30 rolls or 15 rolls but they came out so good that within a few hours the rolls were all gone. Thanks for the delicious recipe- will make them again


I made 24 with this recipe and they were all still pretty small. Still baked them for 15 minutes as called for in recipe -- turned out perfectly. Reduced the salt to 1.5 tsp., per other comments. Saltiness was just right.


Definitely reduce he salt. 1.5 teaspoons is plenty. Not as fluffy as other rolls. Perhaps too much flour?


I have these rising and expect a good dinner roll. Pan size would be helpful.

Christine H.

I made the dough in a bread machine through the first rise cycle. I then rolled them into balls and let them rise another 30 min after putting sesame seeds on top. They turned out perfect. Fast, easy and delicious!

Buckaroo Banzai

Mine came out garlic knot size and consistency. Not bad at all but I was hoping for a slightly larger, lighter roll. I added some chopped rosemary to the dough (stolen idea from another roll recipe). Definitely will make again for a holiday or other fancy dinner.


Easy, and turned out exactly as promised.


The recipe is pretty vague but I used a stand mixer and mixed for 8 minutes on low speed. I also let the buns proof for 45 minutes because my kitchen was cold. The buns are good but a little dense. I may try extending the final proof. They’re also not as flavorful as I’d hoped.


Experienced baker here. I used 420g of King Arthur A/P flour, equivalent to 3 1/2 cups, but the dough was very wet, so I added about 60-70 g more. Followed the recipe to a T and they came out perfect

Flailing in the Kitchen

I would make these a bit bigger.

J Myers

So I made these and they were quite dense. Was I overzealous with the punch after first rise? Still new to baking!


These came out looking amazing and the texture was great, but they were not very tasty.


Quick, simple, and delicious! The rolls came out soft and glossy. The small size makes a perfect serving.


Fewer, larger rolls would be better but I wanted them touching each other after 2nd rise to get the soft sides, so I eeked out 35 rolls in a 9x 13 pan. To Those of you who made larger rolls, what size pan did you use?


Made these with oat milk (no regular milk at home)—they worked out fine! I would make them more evenly sized the next go around.


I used a scant 1.5 tsp salt and I would've liked more, but I like a lot of salt. I found them a little bland. Also I let them rise an hour after forming into rolls because they didn't rise much in 30 minutes. I don't know why, but things never rise right for me. I don't usually bake bread, so perhaps I did something that caused my problems.


Good when you need rolls fairly quickly, but a little dry. I made them about 2x the size called for in the recipe.

Mallory Busch

Okay so I did something a lil bit crazy here:- Ran out of milk, put 1cup milk 1/2 cup half & half in instead- Over-worked & over-kneaded the dough (whoops)- Ran out of milk AND half&half, used heavy whipping cream for the glaze- Put sea salt and fennel on the top along with sesame seedsThe result was a far more dense, but delicious bread roll that was almost like a biscuit. It was a tasty treat and a hit at Thanksgiving!

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Soft White Dinner Rolls Recipe (2024)
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