Southern-Style Butter Yeast Rolls

Southern style butter yeast rolls split open with butter

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Rise: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 20 rolls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
160 Calories
6g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 160
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 67mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These incredible buttery yeast rolls are the ideal side for your Sunday dinner or holiday dinner but are easy enough for any occasion. They're also great for making extra special sliders and serving with pulled pork. If you've never made dinner rolls like this before, this recipe is not hard to pull off, and the rewards are indeed great.

The key to soft, moist rolls is to mix or knead until you achieve a smooth, elastic dough, and then stop. Make sure the dough has doubled in volume before forming the rolls, and bake just until cooked through. A healthy dose of melted butter adds lots of flavor and softness—it also adds moisture, too.

If you're having trouble getting your dough to rise, check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure your kitchen is warm enough (but not hot). If your kitchen is chilly, turn the light on in your cold oven and let the dough rise in there. With the majority of ingredients probably already in your pantry and fridge, you can whip up a batch of homemade dinner rolls in no time.


Click Play to See This Southern Style Butter Yeast Recipe Come Together

"This recipe makes a beautiful soft, supple, and smooth dough. The 15-minute knead in the stand mixer is the perfect amount of time. I didn’t have to add more flour. Instead, using a spatula, I brought up the dry flour bits that settled to the bottom of the bowl two times during the knead." —Carrie Parente

Southern-Style Butter Yeast Rolls Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk, about 100 F to 110 F

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 large eggs, divided

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed

  • 8 tablespoons/1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm

  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • Salted butter, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

    Ingredients for Southern style butter yeast rolls
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the warm milk with the yeast. Let stand for a minute or two.

    Combine yeast with milk in a mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  3. Add 1 of the eggs, sugar, salt, butter, and flour.

    Flour, egg, butter, sugar, and salt in mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  4. Using a dough hook, mix on low speed until combined.

    Mix dough on low speed with hook
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  5. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to mix for 15 minutes, adding small amounts (a teaspoon or two at a time) of flour as needed to encourage dough to separate from the sides of the bowl.

    Ball of dough with dough hook in a mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times to form a ball.

    Ball of dough on cutting board
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  7. Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl. Turn to oil both sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

    Dough in greased mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  8. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

    Ball of dough that has doubled in bulk
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  9. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Shape the dough into balls, about 1 1/4 ounces each.

    Balls of dough for dinner rolls
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  10. Place in large baking pan to make about 5 rows of 4 (20 rolls). Or, use a large buttered jelly roll pan or half sheet pan and make 1-ounce rolls, leaving a little space between rows to form a more rectangular roll (about 24 rolls). Cover lightly with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

    Balls of dough in baking pan covered with a towel
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic 
  11. Preheat the oven to 375 F. For the egg wash topping, whisk the remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt until well blended. Gently brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash mixture.

    Dinner rolls unbaked in a baking sheet with an egg wash
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when tapped. The internal temperature should be about 190 F on an instant-read food thermometer.

    Golden brown and baked dinner rolls
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic
  13. Serve the yeast rolls warm with butter. Enjoy.

    Yeasted dinner rolls split open with butter
    The Spruce / Ana Zelic


  • The dough for these great-tasting, buttery yeast rolls will be soft and slightly sticky, so a stand mixer with a dough hook is recommended. A heavy duty portable hand mixer with dough hook would work as well.
  • Shape as directed or form into cloverleaf shape and bake in muffin cups.
  • These rolls are particularly good with a compound butter, such as garlic or herbs.

How to Store

  • These rolls will keep for a couple of days at room temperature if well-wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.
  • You can also freeze these rolls for future use. Wrap them individually in foil and store them in a zip-close freezer bag. Remove and reheat in foil at 325 F until hot.
  • You can also freeze these after they rise but before baking them off. They'll keep for about a month well wrapped in the freezer, but after that the yeast will not be as reactive.

Why Are My Yeast Rolls Heavy?

A few factors can impact the texture of yeast rolls. Expired, dead yeast can keep dough from rising properly, creating a dense final product. If the dough isn't kneaded enough, the gluten won't develop properly leaving the yeast rolls flat and tough.

How Do You Know When Your Rolls Are Done?

Yeast rolls should look puffy and browned when done and will sound hollow when tapped. A foolproof way of ensuring your rolls are done is inserting a thermometer into the middle of one of the middle rolls—it should read 190 F.