Lion House Dinner Rolls

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Lion House Dinner Rolls are soft, buttery rolls that deserve placement in the center of your dinner table.

Soft and buttery Lion House Dinner Rolls by

Although Lion House Dinner Rolls seem to be widely-known, I found out about them only recently through Pinterest.  I was led  to a recipe on one of my favorite blogs where Mel’s photos almost had me breaking a finger when trying to grab one through my computer screen! 😉

Buttery soft Lion House Dinner Rolls by

Since I had never heard of these rolls, I did a Google search and found that they are linked to the Lion House Bakery which is a part of Temple Square Hospitality Corporation.  Although I am not LDS, after checking out the restaurant’s website, I would love to visit the Lion House Pantry Restaurant (and the bakery) someday!  They claim to “rival the best of home cooking!”  Why wouldn’t I want to try that??  🙂  Tell me, Mormon friends, is it open to the public?  <crossing fingers>

Lion House Rolls - Soft and buttery -

I think the photos can tell you most of what you need about these rolls.  (I forgot to take a photo of the inside…but they are soft!)  Don’t be afraid of these.  I’ve included step-by-step photos of how to cut and roll the dough.  As long as you have a pizza cutter, it’s easy peasy.

Lion House Rolls - Soft and buttery -

I definitely see this appearing at my Thanksgiving feast!  How about you?  Do you have a favorite bread, biscuit or roll you serve at Thanksgiving every year?  If not, try these!

(I prefer using instant yeast, as reflected in the recipe below.  For instructions using active dry yeast, please refer to Mel’s recipe.)

Lion House Dinner Rolls

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 24 rolls

Light and buttery rolls, famous from The Lion House Pantry restaurant and bakery.

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Mix in the sugar, butter, egg, salt, dry milk, and 2 cups of the flour. Use the dough hook of a stand mixer (or a wooden spoon by hand) to beat together until well combined. Slowly add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a dough forms. Knead by hand or with the dough hook until the dough is elastic and tacky (does not stick to the bowl or your fingers) adding more flour as necessary. This will take about 5 minutes if using the stand mixer and 10 minutes if by hand. Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased bowl. Cover tightly with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface or pastry mat. Divide the dough into two equal halves.

Working with one portion at a time, roll into an 14x11-inch rectangle. Brush the surface with melted butter.

Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough in half, long-wise. Slice each half into six strips so you have 12 strips of dough.

Gently, but somewhat tightly, roll each strip then place on a parchment lined baking sheet with the seam side facing down.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Cover the rolled dough with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden.

Serve warm brushed with melted butter on top.

To freeze: Allow rolls to cool to room temperature, then place in freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat in microwave for about 30 seconds (for one) or 2 minutes (for a batch of 6) or until heated through. For best results, freeze the same day they are made.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe, originally from The Lion House


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  1. Love Lion House rolls! And yes, the restaurant is open to the public. You can even order their rolls for holidays and such. Your rolls look so good and perfect, though, that I don’t think you need to try the real thing.

  2. Yes, open to the public! Had my wedding luncheon at the Lion House… their rolls are my very very favorites! YUM!!!!!

    If you’re ever that way stop and have lunch or visit their bakery… SO worth it!!!

  3. These look great. Pinned.

  4. Jenneylyn F. says:

    Thanks for posting a step by step for these rolls! They are my most favorite in the world and I always get the rolling up part wrong. Also, try the chicken salad (on a roll!) when you to the Lion House. It is the best! Yum!

  5. These rolls are amazing. A new favorite for my family!

  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a 16 by 3-inch log. Use a bench knife to cut the dough into 1 3/4-ounce portions, about 16 rolls. Using your loosely cupped hand, roll each portion on the counter until they tighten into small balls. Working 1 at a time, use a rolling pin to roll each small ball into a 3-inch circle or oval. Use the side of your hand or a small dowel to make an indentation across the middle of the circle. Place a small pat of chilled butter into the center of the indentation, then fold in half and gently press to seal the edges. Place the rolls, top-side down, onto the prepared sheet pan , spacing them evenly. Melt the remaining 1 ounce butter and brush the tops of the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, dry place to rise until doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes.

  7. Do you know if I double this recipe do I need to cut back on the yeast? Some recipes say to… others don’t say.

    If you don’t know that’s fine! I just thought I’d ask!


  8. These rolls look amazing!!

  9. Paige Godvin says:

    This recipe looks great! Is there any way to make it without dry milk and instead with the real thing?

    • Hi Paige. I have never tried with regular milk, but you would definitely need to alter other ingredients. I’m no expert, so not sure what exactly would need to change. If you come up with a solution, definitely come back and let us know! 🙂

    • Elaine Bleggi says:

      I have used real milk before. You just substitute the amount of milk for all or part of the water. Of course you will need to scald the milk first. But don’t burn it. These are the best rolls!

  10. I made these rolls for thanksgiving after never even making a recipe with yeast and they were easy and amazing!
    I was wondering how far ahead of time I would be able to make the dough before baking ?
    Thank you

    • Hi Jen,
      I’m a bad one to answer this as I haven’t tried making them ahead of time, myself, and I’m definitely not a bread making expert. If I were to try a make-ahead version, I would probably freeze them right after rolling them, then let them thaw before baking (put them in the fridge in the morning to bake in the evening). Not sure if this would work well or not, but it’s the first method I would try since freezing preserves it’s freshness. Otherwise, if you want to make ahead the same day, then I think you should be fine putting them together a few hours before, store in the fridge then allow to come to room temp before baking (about 20-30 minutes on countertop).

      If you try to do a make-ahead version, come back and let us know how it turned out and what you did! 🙂 Thanks!! -Nikki

      • So, I left the second portion of the dough in the fridge lightly covered. This morning the top of the dough was a bit hard. I left the dough out for about a half hour and it was still a little hard on top so I sat the dough in the bowl in some warm water. I flipped the hard top of the dough to the bottom of the bowl and after a half hour the dough was no longer hard, and back to its normal self.. I had to wait a bit longer for the dough to rise. After that everything was smooth sailing.
        What I would do differently next time: re-grease the bowl before putting away and tightly cover the dough..

  11. If these are not rolled up, they look like they would be good hot dog buns! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. lion house rolls are the yummiest rolls! They even carry them at most deseret book stores in Utah too! I can’t help but pick up a roll and some of their chicken salad if I’m in the area of one! Worth the stop if you’re in Utah!!

  13. As a seasoned bread baker, I wondered about the bake time. These are going to be my new go to fun shaped roll and I might add easy. This is a good easy recipe for that “new bread baker”. Most definitely you need to adjust the amount of flour you use. Also adjusting the oven rack to the higher shelf help give them a nice golden color. The baking time will need to be adjusted to each oven for me it took a longer bake time. These will definitely be my new go to dinner roll :-)))

    • Thanks, Jo! So glad you found them easy. We just ate them up with our Thanksgiving meal today, and this time I baked them so the rolls were all touching each other on one big baking sheet. It did take a little longer to bake this way, but they were even more fluffy inside! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Oh also I used all milk and they were just nice and light.

  15. Learning Life says:

    I made these for Christmas dinner last year, and they were amazing! I made them the day before and had some in the fridge and some in the freezer for the next day. You can put them straight into the fridge right after rolling and covering. They will rise over night in the fridge just fine, then bake. The frozen ones baked fine after thawing like you suggested. Just like rhodes rolls, get ready on sheet, cover, then let them thaw/rise (about 2-3 hours) before baking.

    I am mormon and familiar with the lion house pantry, you can buy their rolls in Utah at lion house pantries located inside Desseret Book stores, and you can get them frozen ready to bake, but I think these are quick and just as good! Very handy since I’m living in Wyoming now, and nowhere near where they sell them. Visiting the original Lion House Pantry in Salt Lake is an experience as well, you should go (if you haven’t already 🙂 ). Thank you so much for my new favorite roll recipe!

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