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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!
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!
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.
Watch how to make these dinner rolls
Honey Oat Dinner 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.