IMG_5761Prepare yourselves: these are the best rolls you will ever eat.

They’re soft, buttery and very rich. I have tried a million bread recipes, and nothing comes close when it comes to taste and actual ease of baking.

Yes, they’re even relatively easy to make. You just need time. There’s two full 1 1/2 hour rises so you can’t remember at 3 p.m. that you wanted rolls with dinner (which is what I did yesterday). I rushed the first rise, and they were still delicious, but to get the full effect, start them in the early afternoon.

So here’s the backstory on these rolls: they’ve been in my family since I was little. This recipe comes from my mom, and they were at all of the family holidays and Sunday dinners. If I could think of any food that reminds being a little kid, it’s either these rolls or my mom’s apple pie (that epically awesome, award-winning recipe one will come here one day). The best part about this recipe is that they make your house smell amazing. Like by the time they come out of the oven (don’t rush them!), you’re starving and want to eat the whole, massive 9×13 pan of them. Don’t. But definitely splurge because these are worth every calorie.

So try this recipe, and let me know if you agree or disagree. If you have an ultimate dinner roll recipe, share it below!

Read on for the recipe.

Old Fashioned Pan Rolls

  • Servings: About 24 rolls
  • Difficulty: medium
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  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water
  • about 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of butter (plus more melted for brushing the top when they’re done)

In a stand mixer or large bowl combine sugar, salt, yeast and 2 1/4 cups flour. In a 1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat the water and 1 stick of butter until very warm (not too hot or you’ll kill the yeast!)

With the mixer on low, gradually beat the liquid into the dry ingredients until just blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl with a spatula. Beat in the egg and another 3/4 cup of flour to make a thick batter; continue beating for another 2 minutes, scraping the bowl. Stir in enough additional flour (about 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for about 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a greased large bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise about 1 1/2 hours in a nice, warm place.

Spray a 9×13 pan with some canola spray. When its risen, punch the dough down, and start to form small balls and line them up in the pan. It makes about 24 rolls, but I just fuss them in to fit. They don’t need to be all uniform. When the rolls are all formed, cover with a towel again and let sit for another 1 1/2 hours.

When they’re all big and puffy, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The rolls are done when they sound hollow. I bake the full 20 minutes, but if you have a hot oven, it’ll be closer to 15 minutes. Once they’re out of the oven, brush with some melted butter and let sit in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then turn them out onto a wire rack and let cool for another 5 minutes or so. Then enjoy!