Table of Contents
  1. What is instant active yeast?
  2. How do you know when dough has risen enough?
  3. Watch how to make these dinner rolls
  4. Honey Oat Dinner Rolls Recipe

Making bread does not have to be complicated. I find that simple bread made with easy ingredients and instructions is all that is needed for a perfectly soft dinner roll. Growing up in the midwest United States, artisan breads were uncommon. Instead, breads were traditionally on the sweeter side with uncomplicated components. And that’s exactly where this dinner roll recipe comes into play.

These honey oat dinner rolls are nostalgic for me. Honey, old-fashioned oats, and butter are softened with hot water. A little milk tenderizes the dough along with flour and yeast. The best part? These really are foolproof. Once they rise, they’re formed into balls where they rise once more into soft, pillowy rolls. While baking, they become golden, and once slightly cooled, they’re ready to be devoured!

Top down view of white baking dish filled with golden brown dinner rolls after being taken out of the oven

What is instant active yeast?

Yeast is found often in two different forms: instant and active.

  • Active yeast is more traditional and means that the yeast needs to be activated in warm water to ensure it will rise.
  • Instant yeast is made of smaller granules and does not need to be dissolved in water. Instant yeast is guaranteed to be active and ready to use.

I have always used instant yeast and find it to be fail-proof. No activation with water makes it easier and quicker. That’s a win-win!

A single golden brown dinner roll sitting on wooden board with white baking dish in background filled with more dinner rolls

How do you know when dough has risen enough?

Most recipes will say that when the dough has doubled in size, it has fully risen. If you are new to making bread, this can be hard to decipher. Here are two methods to know when it’s ready:

  • Chose a bowl and make a mark where the dough begins. This way, there is a baseline to track the dough’s growth. This does involve some approximation, but is a great way to visually see the progress.
  • Press a finger into the dough. If it springs back quickly, the yeast is still producing gases and is not fully risen. If the indentation stays or springs back slowly, the dough is ready.

Dough always rises best in a warm environment. Keeping a light on in an unheated oven can produce just enough warmth for the dough to rise quicker.

More Thanksgiving recipes

Watch how to make these dinner rolls

Top down view of golden dinner rolls sitting in white baking dish on wooden board with pot holders underneath

Honey Oat Dinner Rolls

5 from 10 votes
Made with simple ingredients that really let the flavors shine through, these honey oat dinner rolls are fantastic! And the best part of the entire recipe is how easy these rolls are to make!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings 15 rolls


  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 ¾ tsp instant active dry yeast (1 package)


  • In a large bowl, combine the butter, honey, oats, and salt. Pour in the hot water and stir until the butter is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool to no less than 110°F, 5-6 minutes.
  • Stir in the milk with the beaten egg and add 2 cups of the flour and yeast. Stir to incorporate, creating a sticky dough. Add more flour, 1 cup at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Stir and eventually knead the dough. Do not add more flour, but knead the dough until it is slightly tacky and clears the side of the bowl, 3-5 minutes. Form the dough into a smooth ball.
  • Drizzle the sides of the bowl and the dough with 1 tbsp neutral oil. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, 40-60 minutes.
  • Once doubled, punch down the dough and knead into a ball. Separate the dough into 15 even-sized dinner rolls and place in a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Cover and let rise until doubled, 35-50 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Once dinner rolls have doubled, place in the preheated oven and bake until the tops are golden, 20-25 minutes. The center of the bread should reach 190°F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 20 minutes before pulling apart and serving.


Serving: 1rollCalories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 34.4gProtein: 5.2gFat: 6.8gSaturated Fat: 4.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 28.8mgSodium: 165.9mgPotassium: 134.8mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 5.2gVitamin A: 57.3IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 22.4mgIron: 1.8mg
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. In the dinner roll recipe….did you use instant oats or old fashion oats or does it matter. Also if you didn’t have instant yeast could you bloom the yeast in the hot water? Thanks Melissa

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve tried making rolls before with mediocre results. These were so easy, my 4 and 2 year old even helped! They turned out perfectly and taste amazing!

  3. 5 stars
    Watched your video with Mom and decided to try this when I made ham and bean soup on a chilly day. It was a very easy recipe and turned out better than I anticipated. They were fluffy and yeasty and substantial. I had to practice patience because they took longer to rise than normal in the Florida weather, however, it was the length of time you listed. My patience was rewarded by getting a delicious dinner roll. Thank you! I will make them again.

  4. 5 stars
    I test baked a batch of these rolls to decide if I wanted to serve them on Thanksgiving. Well I’m making my second batch for the holiday. They will be great with just butter or to make a sandwich. They are not heavy and doughy, but dense and light. Nice recipe, Kaleb and Mom.

  5. Kaleb: I love your recipes and your videos. I made the Honey Oat Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving and they were a hit. I wanted to let you know that in the printed version of the recipe the addition of the egg was left out. On your website the recipe has the egg but when the recipe is printed the egg is in the ingredients but not the instructions. Thanks again for all your fabulous recipes and tips.

  6. 5 stars
    These rolls got high marks, especially from the wee bairns! Grandkids always seem to grab a roll first and I served them with homemade butter and fresh honey.
    The recipe is easier than you think and almost foolproof. I used regular oats and instant active dry yeast as recipe suggested. They are a bit more hearty than, say croissants, but none the less were “gobbled” up at our Thanksgiving table.

  7. 5 stars
    Made the honey oat dinner rolls for Thanksgiving this year. They came out soft and fluffy, not heavy and doughy, with a great honey, oat flavor. You know its good when they go back in for seconds! Thanks Kaleb for sharing this wonderful recipe that I’ll add to my favorites!