With this quick yeast rolls recipe, you can have homemade rolls ready in one hour! These easy dinner rolls are buttery, fluffy, and so wonderful!
Many people are intimidated of homemade rolls because they are scared of working with yeast. I’m here to tell you that these quick yeast rolls are not intimidating at all! Trust me, you can make these!
What is rapid rise or instant yeast?
This recipe for homemade rolls uses instant yeast (the same as rapid rise yeast). I like using instant yeast because it makes yeast rolls rise faster. It can shorten the rising time by 50%! To use instant yeast, you simply sprinkle it into the mixing bowl with the warm water mixture and do not have to wait for it to “bloom.” Make sure the mixture temperature is between 95°F to 115°F before you add the yeast. Any cooler, the yeast will not activate, and any warmer, it will kill the yeast.
I like to make this super easy and use 1 complete packet of instant yeast, instead of scooping from a jar. If you measure from a jar, then 1 packet of instant yeast is about 2 1/4 teaspoons.
How to make Quick Yeast Rolls
To make these homemade rolls, follow this step by step. (Complete directions are found in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
Warm liquid ingredients in microwave, then sprinkle with yeast.
Stir in dry ingredients and mix until dough forms.
Cover and let rise 15 minutes.
Preheat oven and grease 9×13-inch pan.
Shape 20 dough balls and place in pan.
Cover and allow second rise for 15 minutes.
Brush with egg wash and bake 15 minutes.
Brush with additional butter and enjoy!
Can I use active dry yeast?
Although I recommend sticking with the recipe as written and use instant yeast, you may use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast. To use active dry yeast in place of instant yeast, you will use 1 full tablespoon. You will also need to proof the yeast, which means after sprinkling it into the warm liquid mixture, stir and let set for 5 to 10 minutes until it “blooms.”
When you work with bread dough, you want to use light hands. This means, work gently with the dough. Do not over-do it when shaping the rolls. To shape the dough balls, take a piece of dough and pull then tuck the sides under. It’s really very simple. When you have tacky dough, it’s really easy to work with!
Tips for shaping homemade rolls
- To make uniform sized rolls, first gently shape the dough into a rectangle, about 11×7-inch size. Cut into 20 equal squares.
- To shape the squares into balls, gently tug and tuck the sides under. Place the dough balls with the seams side down into the baking dish.
- While performing these steps, make sure you are very gently working with the dough. If you over do it, the rolls will not be as fluffy.
Quick Yeast Rolls
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 oz. instant yeast (one packet or about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon salted butter , melted (for brushing over top of hot rolls)
For the egg wash:
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Warm liquid ingredients: Combine the milk, water, 4 tablespoons butter, and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until temperature of the mixture reaches between 95°-115°F (about 1 minute). No cooler, no warmer. Use an instant read thermometer. Stir until butter is at least mostly melted.
- Combine with the yeast: Pour the heated mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over top.
- Stir in dry ingredients: Add 3 cups of the flour and mix on medium speed with the dough hook attachment. (I like to use the dough hook with my hand to get the ingredients combined then place dough hook onto the stand mixer to do the rest.) Continue to mix for 3 minutes. If dough is sticking to the sides, add 1/4 cup more flour at a time, up to 4 cups. I rarely use all 4 cups. You want it tacky, not too dry.
- Let rise: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
- Prepare oven and dish: While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan.
- Shape dough balls: Remove risen dough from the bowl and shape into 20 equal sized rolls. Place into the prepared dish. (I like to gently form mine into a rectangle and cut into 20 squares then gently tug and tuck the sides of each square to form a ball.) Make sure you handle the dough gently and do not over work it or you'll end up with tough rolls.
- Allow second rise: Place a clean damp towel over the rolls and let rise again for an additional 15 minutes.
- Brush with egg wash: In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the egg with the water. Brush the top of rolls with the egg mixture. (You will not use up the mix. Discard what's left.)
- Bake the rolls: Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until golden.
- Brush tops with additional butter: Remove the baked rolls from the oven and brush immediately with melted butter. (I like to use salted butter for this.)