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Wednesday Baking | Basic Rolls

basic yeast rolls from The Frugal Girl

As promised, I’ve got a very straightforward yeast dough recipe for you today!

Rolls are a great beginner yeast recipe because they are really forgiving.

If you don’t get the kneading down quite right, or if your dough isn’t quite the proper consistency, odds are that your rolls will still turn out ok. Since they’re smaller, they don’t require quite such a strong gluten development, and it’s also easier to avoid over or underbaking these.

In short, I thought these would be simpler than loaves!

A basket of dinner rolls.

These are the rolls that I’m forever bringing with me when we eat at other people’s houses…I think I could probably make them in my sleep by now.

A printable version of this recipe (one picture instead of thirteen!) is here.

Basic Rolls-makes 24 rolls


1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt

2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 1/4-4 1/2 cups flour

2 eggs

1. Combine milk, sugar, butter, and salt in glass measuring cup or bowl(if you do it in the measuring cup, you’ll save yourself a dish!).

Microwave(or heat on stovetop over medium heat) until the butter is melted and the mixture reaches 120-125 degrees.

2. Combine yeast and 2 cups flour in the bowl of a stand mixer.


3. Add warm milk mixture and eggs and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can by hand(well, that’s what the recipe says…I do it in the mixer!). The dough should be relatively thick, like so:


4. Turn dough out onto floured surface,


and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.


5. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for one hour(mine is obviously missing the tea towel!)


Risen dough should look like this:


6. Punch dough down, divide in half, and follow instructions below to shape the rolls (just to be extra clear, each type uses half of the dough, so you can pick up to two shape varieties.)

Cloverleaves: Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. Take half of the dough and divide it into 12 pieces. Cut each of these pieces in three (you will have 36 small pieces).

Roll each piece into a neat ball, and place three into each muffin cup.


Knots Grease a large cookie sheet. Take half of the dough and divide it into twelve pieces. Roll each into a 6 inch strip and tie into a loose knot. Place on greased cookie sheet.

Rosettes Follow instructions for knots, but after tying the knot, tuck one end into the middle of the knot and one end underneath the knot to form a rosette shape.

Below you can see the six inch strip, a knot roll, a rosette in progress(so you can see where to tuck the ends), and a finished rosette.

how to make a rosette roll

7. Cover rolls and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.

8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on wire rack. Serve warm(with butter!).


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Sunday 21st of November 2021

Hi Kristen, the recipe says it makes two dozen, but the directions for the cloverleafs say to use one 12 cup muffin pan. So, if I want 24 cloverleafs, should I double the recipe?


Monday 22nd of November 2021

@Kristen, yes it does. Thanks for clarifying!


Sunday 21st of November 2021

Ahh, I see the confusion. So, there are multiple shape options there, and each shape option uses half the dough. If you want to make all cloverleaf rolls, that's fine! You'll just need two muffin pans.

I hope that clears it up!

Giselle D

Saturday 10th of December 2016

Just made these for the first time. Eating my first roll out of the oven. Tastes delish, but I think I added too much flour. The dough was kind of stiff and wouldn't roll out well (I had intended to do rosettes, but was forced into doing knots). Sound like an accurate bread trouble diagnosis?


Monday 23rd of November 2015

I know this is an old post, but I just jumped online to print this recipe again (I thoroughly wore out my old copy) and had to tell you how much I love these rolls. My family devours them, and we take these or your french bread to gatherings all the time. My sister probably makes them even more than I do, and hers are always a hit with friends and family too. Now, another sister has gotten in on the action. (I come from a family of nine...six girls.) Thank you for sharing your recipe. It's become a family recipe for us too. :)


Monday 23rd of November 2015

Yay! So glad these are working out well for you.

Margaret murday

Monday 1st of July 2013

Looks delicious! May I use all purpose flour? Thanks! Margaret


Monday 1st of July 2013

Yep, all-purpose is fine. My favorite flour is Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour.


Friday 21st of June 2013

I just got everything measured out and realized that I assumed this needs bread flour! Is that right?


Friday 21st of June 2013

Nope, it's just fine to use all-purpose flour. Bread flour will work well too, though, so use whatever you've got!

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