The Best Basic Roll Recipe


It was Saturday morning, 7:16 a.m. We had an early start to the day. A merit badge clinic for our resident scout began at the crack of daylight, so I was driving through the nearly empty streets of our city when it happened. I tuned the radio away from 99.9 (Pop music. Can’t do it before 10 a.m., thank you very much) and honed in on the “old person” music. A brief commercial. The soothing voice of a morning radio man. Then…music. Christmas music. On November 13.

I had a sneaking suspicion that I should be horrified. It occurred to me that there should be some law banning Christmas music before the Thanskgiving holiday is properly relished. But, how could I feel such opinions swell in my heart while listening to George Michael sing about how he gave me his heart last Christmas? I couldn’t. I turned up the music and swayed my head happily back and forth.

The scout sighed. “Mom, you’re dancing like an old person.”

Maybe I was. But, it was 7:16 a.m. on November 13th and I was rolling down the road, grooving to Wham!, feeling just like a kid again.

A feeling I was delighted to kick off this weekend. Even if it is a tad early.Photobucket

Ready to delve into some holiday baking? You’re gonna need a good roll recipe (below).


And some cinnamon. And butter. And sugar. And some really great Christmas music.

You ready? Let’s roll!



The Best Basic Roll Dough


4 cups very warm water
3 packets yeast
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
½ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
10-12 cups flour


1. In a very large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Whisk together and allow to proof (sit untouched on your counter) for about 5 minutes.

2. Whisk in the eggs, butter, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir the batter as you slowly begin adding the flour. Add 9 cups of flour. The dough will become very sticky.

3. Sprinkle the dough generously with flour and start to knead it, adding flour as needed until the dough becomes soft, but not sticky. Continue kneading until the dough becomes elastic. Cover loosely with a clean towel and set in a warm area, allowing dough to rise for about 1 hour (or until double in bulk).

4. Once the dough has risen, roll small bits of dough into balls (about 2 tablespoons of dough makes a nice sized dinner roll). Place on a cookie sheet which has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes, or until rolls are again doubled in bulk.

5. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes, or just until the tips of the rolls are lightly browned.


Now that you have your perfect batch of roll dough, you’re gonna want to make these three favorite variations of dessert rolls. Just click on the links below to find the recipes & baking instructions…Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting


Caramel Sticky Buns & Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns


Apple Butter Rolls with Cider Icing
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14 Responses to “The Best Basic Roll Recipe”

  1. 1

    ButterYum on November 15, 2010 at 6:11 am Reply

    Too many cinnamon roll doughs don't bake up soft enough for me, but this recipe looks very promising. Thanks for sharing it!

    PS – a little Wham every now and then never hurt anyone ;).

  2. 2

    Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out a Choice, Not a Chore} on November 15, 2010 at 10:36 am Reply

    I just purchased a bread machine and have since come across so many great dough recipes… that I'm taking it back. Instead I'm determined to get comfortable making my own dough. Anxious to try this one!

  3. 3

    Ashley on November 15, 2010 at 11:22 am Reply

    Hey, I'm listening to Christmas music already. No shame. And those apple butter rolls are calling my name…

  4. 4

    Shaina on November 15, 2010 at 11:44 am Reply

    I won't tell you that I am singing along in my head right now, nor will I tell you that I haven't slept. I will tell you, however, that I could totally go for some apple butter rolls with cider icing right now.

  5. 5

    Cupcake Activist on November 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm Reply

    I've been waiting to hear my first Christmas song of the season, but it hasn't happened yet. I used to despise hearing Christmas music early, but now embrace it. I love this time of year!

  6. 6

    Piper on November 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm Reply

    Those Apple butter rolls sound perfect to me- we just finished canning over 700 lbs of apples right here in my home kitchen and that apple butter needs to be put to good use!! Thanks for the recipe- Sorry to Musselman's, I will not be using their product. ;)

  7. 7

    Elizabeth on November 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I have a confession to make. One that I've been to shy to tell you, up til now. I have a girlcrush on you. Oh, it's completely platonic, but it is hardcore.

    It started with your always entertaining anecdotes (whether funny or poignant, they are always charming). And your love of food — well, that goes without saying.

    Then you confessed your love of nearly green bananas, and I thought "aha! She is my soul sister!" because…obviously, bordering on green is the only way to fly with bananas (so to speak).

    But then…then today you talked about Wham! and George Michael, and knowing/dancing to their songs, and I thought "I could not adore her more than I do." But just when I thought that, boom! There was your recipe for roll dough, including pictures with scandalous amounts of cinnamon and what is undoubtedly cream cheese frosting, and then I knew, for sure: unadulterated girl crush. I just had to tell you. ;-)

    In all seriousness, I love your blog! Your personality shines through, and it always seems like I'm reading a note from a BFF. :)

  8. 8

    theblogisthenewblack on November 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm Reply

    I have intentions of trying cinnamon rolls this weekend- your recipes are all inspiring!

  9. 9

    bluecottonmemory on November 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm Reply

    I use an Angel Biscuit dough recipe with buttermilk! Yum! However, I'll try yours and see if they look as fab as the pictures! LOL
    Sunday, we were in the car listening to Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band rocking to "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." I think it's safe to say that my son's friend tried very hard not to run screaming from the vehicle!

  10. 10

    bluecottonmemory on November 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm Reply

    I use an Angel Biscuit dough recipe with buttermilk! Yum! However, I'll try yours and see if they look as fab as the pictures! LOL
    Sunday, we were in the car listening to Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band rocking to "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." I think it's safe to say that my son's friend tried very hard not to run screaming from the vehicle!

  11. 11

    ColeyBugg on November 17, 2010 at 9:57 am Reply

    First, those cinnamon rolls literally made me tingle with delight. Thank you. Next there is no greater joy than sitting at you're totally average job and with the miracle of cellular technology having the opportunity to me swept away into the magical world of Sugar & Gluten (my favorite place). And how did you know of my eternal search for dough perfection? Again Thank You. And my favorite additive, well all manners of fresh herbs of course.

  12. 12

    Michelle on November 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm Reply

    I made these tonight, and they are absolutely fabulous. We made the cream cheese icing variation, and they are soft, gooey and perfectly…perfect. Can't wait to try the other variations, too.

    One question for you. In the pictures it looks like you mix the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and then spread it. The instructions say to spread the butter and then add the cinnamon and sugar. Which did you do? I did a split…spread half of the butter on the dough and then mixed the other half of the butter with the cinnamon and sugar and spread it over the buttered dough. Turned out great, but I'm curious if you mixed it, too.

  13. 13

    DreamgirlLisa on November 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm Reply

    Those look heavenly!!

  14. Pingback: Food Blog Holiday Recipes: Thanksgiving 2010 Round-Up & Fall Favorites — Family Fresh Cooking

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