Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
These buttermilk rolls are squishy, buttery and irresistible, especially when pulled straight from the oven.

Updated: Feb. 26, 2024

Soft, tender and lacquered with butter, these buttermilk rolls are the real side-dish deal. They’re perfect just as written, but are super easy to customize with herbs, spices, cheese and different flavored butter if you want an extra something. With just a little bit of time, patience and love, you’ll pull 20 golden buttermilk rolls out of the oven and start your meal right.

And if there are any leftovers, bring on the sliders.

Ingredients for Buttermilk Rolls

  • Active dry yeast: There are many types of yeast on the shelves, so make sure you’re reaching for active dry yeast.
  • Buttermilk: Tangy buttermilk makes these rolls soft, tender and delectable.
  • Butter: Softened butter is absolutely essential for this recipe. Forgot to take the butter out ahead of time? Learn how to soften butter quickly.
  • Sugar: Don’t start thinking this is a sweet bread! Sugar adds only a touch of sweetness and a lot of browning power.
  • Bread flour: We highly recommend sticking with bread flour for this one, and not swapping for all-purpose flour. Bread flour’s high gluten content gives these buttermilk dinner rolls their strong structure and pull-apart texture.

Directions

Step 1: Activate the yeast

Dissolve the yeast in warm water until foamy. Do not go onto the next step if your yeast hasn’t proofed properly.

Editor’s Tip: If your yeast isn’t activating, check the expiration date on the yeast package. Also, ensure the water is at 110° to 115°F.

Step 2: Mix the dough

In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine 1 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 cup butter, egg, sugar, salt and the yeast mixture, then add 3 cups of flour. Knead on medium speed until smooth, about one minute. Add the remaining flour, a 1/4 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.

Step 3: Knead the dough

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, six to eight minutes.

Editor’s Tip: New to kneading? Learn how to knead dough the right way with our helpful guide.

Step 4: Let it rise

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover it with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.

Step 5: Shape into balls

Punch down the dough. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Using a knife or bench scraper, divide the dough into 20 equal-sized pieces. Shape the pieces into balls.

Editor’s Tip: Who said your rolls need to be round? There are a few ways to shape dinner rolls if you want something other than a rounded shape!

Step 6: Let the rolls rise again

Place the rolls in a greased 13×9-inch pan. Cover the top of the pan with a clean and dry kitchen towel, and let the rolls rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350° during the last 10 minutes of rise time.

Step 7: Bake

Brush the rolls lightly with the butter. Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the rolls at room temperature in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove the rolls to a wire rack, and serve warm.

Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls served on a trayTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Knead in herbs: Rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, chives…there are endless herb possibilities for enhancing these buttermilk dinner rolls. Sprinkle them in when you add the flour.
  • Make them cheesy: Shredded hard cheeses like cheddar and gruyere are perfect for making these buttermilk dinner rolls deeply savory. Pair cheese with herbs and spices for the ultimate dinner roll.
  • Top with flavored butter: Instead of brushing plain butter on these rolls, whip up a fun, flavorful butter recipe first. Honey butter, garlic lemon butter, ramp butter and fresh herb butter are just a few of our faves.

How to Store Buttermilk Rolls

To store leftover buttermilk rolls, allow them to cool completely to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container or resealable bag and leave them at room temperature for up to three days. You can store them in the fridge to prolong their freshness, but know that doing so may dry out the buttermilk rolls a bit.

How to Freeze Buttermilk Rolls

To freeze buttermilk rolls, allow them to cool completely to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Store them in the freezer for up to three months.

To thaw, place the rolls in the fridge overnight or on the counter for up to two hours. Reheat them in a 300° oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Tips for Buttermilk Rolls

Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls served with butter on a tableTMB Studio

What buttermilk substitutes do you recommend?

We like plain yogurt as a direct replacement for buttermilk. You can also use milk, but only if you modify it accordingly. To substitute each cup of buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice, plus enough milk to measure one cup. Stir, then let it stand for five minutes.

Or, use 1-3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk to make buttermilk.

What can I serve with buttermilk rolls?

Buttermilk rolls are the perfect starter to any dinner, luncheon or social gathering. Basically, they can be served with almost anything, but we especially love them with holiday mains like our Easter ham or Thanksgiving turkey or with brothy soups like our ultimate chicken noodle soup or seafood cioppino.

Soft Buttermilk Rolls

Prep Time 40 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 20 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon softened butter, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water until foamy. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup butter, egg, sugar, salt and yeast mixture, then add 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth, 1 minute. Add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide and shape into 20 balls. Place in a greased 13x9-in. pan. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; brush over rolls. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack; serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1 roll: 167 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 187mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

Warm, buttery dinner rolls are absolutely irresistible. I save time and use a stand mixer to make my dough. —Jennifer Patterson, Shoshone, Idaho