This fluffy Honey Butter Dinner Roll Recipe (Small Batch) is made from scratch using yeast then brushed with homemade honey butter on top. Recipe makes 6 rolls, making them ideal to serve alongside dinner for two.
Kneading homemade dough is therapeutic, but often times it requires patience.
Patience for two rise times. Patience for kneading the dough. Patience for them to bake and cool slightly before diving in.
However, the reward is worth it. Nothing beats eating this fresh Honey Butter Dinner Roll Recipe (Small Batch) from scratch.
The dough actually doesn’t take long to make. Really most of the time is spent waiting. That means while it’s resting, you can finish prepping the rest of dinner.
I make these honey butter rolls to eat with soup and to eat at holiday meals.
If you’re scared of baking with yeast, don’t be! I’ll walk you through how to make bread dough from scratch.
Really all you need to worry about is using yeast before its expiration date and making sure your liquid is the correct temperature. Two very easy tasks.
Also this is an eggless dinner rolls recipe. Whether you don’t have any egg in your fridge or you have allergies, you can still eat these homemade honey rolls.
What is yeast?
Yeast is a living organism: single-celled fungi to be exact. If that scares you, it’s similar to eating edible mushrooms or blue cheese with the mold.
In other words, it’s perfectly safe to eat.
You can find yeast often sold in packets in your baking aisle.
Which yeast should I buy?
When buying yeast at the store, you may notice two types: active dry yeast and quick rising yeast.
Active dry yeast is your traditional yeast used in most bread recipes. It requires two rounds of resting and rising before baking.
Quick rising yeast is a fast-rising yeast that shortens rise time by 50 percent. This means it only requires one round of resting and rising.
My honey butter rolls call for active dry yeast. However, if all you have is quick rising, the first resting period will only take 10 minutes before shaping into rolls.
Do I need to proof yeast before using?
Proofing yeast is a step done prior to adding yeast to a recipe. You add yeast to warm water and wait until the mixture starts forming. This proves the yeast is alive and ready to bake.
It certainly never hurts to proof yeast before using, just in case your yeast is dead.
However, as long as the packet hasn’t expired, it’s not a necessary step. The liquid in the recipe is enough to activate your yeast as long as it’s still alive.
How To Make Honey Butter Dinner Rolls
At first glance, this recipe may seem time-consuming. However, most of it is resting and rising time. You can work on other tasks while the dough rests.
The bake time for honey butter rolls is 12-14 minutes, so you can pop them in the oven when dinner is almost ready.
First, you need to prep your ingredients, starting with the water.
It’s important you measure your water temperature with a digital thermometer (Amazon affiliate link) and making sure it’s between 120F-130F degrees.
Too cold means the yeast won’t activate. Too hot and the yeast will die.
I put the water in a heat-proof measuring cup then microwave it in 10 second increments until hot enough.
If the water does get too hot, let it sit while you measure the rest of the ingredients. That’ll give it some time to cool down.
Next, add your dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. On low speed or by hand, stir in the water and melted butter.
Then stir in cheese and additional flour to form a dough.
Is there egg in dinner rolls?
Honestly, I’ve seen dinner roll recipes with and without egg. I adapted my recipe from a dough without eggs, so my recipe is eggless.
How To Knead Dough For Dinner Rolls
Kneading is working the dough with your hands until a smooth ball is formed.
This process helps strengthen the gluten in the dough, which gives the rolls their structure and texture.
After mixing your dough, transfer it to a flour-dusted surface. The dough should be slightly sticky but not too sticky.
If it’s too sticky to handle, add a little more flour. However, don’t add too much or your dough will become too tough.
Gather all the dough pieces together and form a ball with flour-dusted hands.
Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you. Fold the dough in half, rotate 90 degrees, and push the dough again. Keep doing this until a smooth dough forms.
Normally kneading takes about 10 minutes, but since we’re working with small batch dinner rolls, it’ll take about 4-6 minutes.
Your dough is well kneaded when it holds its shape (aka won’t droop) and indentation in the dough with your finger quickly fills back in.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover loosely with a towel, then let rest in a warm spot for 1 hour.
Your dough is ready when you can leave a finger indent and the dough does not rise back up.
How Warm Does The Dough Need To Be To Rise?
Recipes call for dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area. But how warm is warm?
Your dough needs to be between 80F-90F degrees when rising.
Sounds easy enough, but what if you don’t have a warm spot in your kitchen?
One trick I’ve learned is turn your oven on for 1 minute to warm up then immediately shut it off. Let some of the air escape a bit then add your dough.
Just don’t forget about it when you preheat the oven!
How To Shape Small Batch Dinner Rolls
After your dough has rested, divide it into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place the dough balls into a greased 8-inch round pan.
They may seem small, but the dough will double in size when it rests again. Cover again with a towel and rest in a warm area for 30-60 minutes.
Don’t have a round cake pan? You can put the balls into muffin cups. They won’t have that rustic look from pulling the rolls apart, but they’ll still be equally as delicious.
How To Make Honey Butter For Rolls
Want to know how to make this eggless dinner rolls recipe even better?
Brush them on top with a honey butter glaze.
While the dinner rolls are baking, whisk together the honey, butter, and salt. Please make sure you use salt if you’re using unsalted butter. Trust me.
Once the rolls are done, immediately brush them with the honey butter. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
How To Make Dinner Rolls Ahead Of Time
Because homemade dinner rolls do require time to rest, sometimes it’s best to break the steps up over several days.
Bread dough rises the fastest at a warm temperature. However, it’ll still rise in the refrigerator, just at a much slower pace.
This means after shaping your dough into rolls, you can let the dough rest overnight in the fridge. Let the pan sit out at room temperature until no longer cold to the touch then bake as directed.
How To Store Eggless Dinner Rolls
Honey butter rolls are best eaten the day they are made. However, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
More Yeast Recipes
Since you’ll have yeast leftover, here are more bread recipes using yeast:
*If you're using quick-rising yeast, you only need 10 minutes for the first rise time. **If you're making the dough ahead of time, once they're shaped in the pan, loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let the pan sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
*If you're using quick-rising yeast, you only need 10 minutes for the first rise time.
**If you're making the dough ahead of time, once they're shaped in the pan, loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let the pan sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.