Breads (Yeast) - Buns/Rolls

Easy Dinner Rolls

December 10, 2023 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Dinner Rolls

Dinner Rolls

Easy Dinner Rolls

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This is a fantastic super easy recipe that was adapted from Easy Shokupan.  

It does not require Yudane Method, Sponge Dough or Pate Fermentee/Old Dough, but it still achieves a very soft texture with good self-life.   There is no need to knead to a thin window pane stage either because the long overnight retard in the fridge allows for adequate gluten development. 

Just prepare the dough in the evening or night before, shape and bake the next morning.  It is ideal for  Christmas/New Year dinners at home when you need to focus on other cooking.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Easy Dinner Rolls 

Yields: 16 Buns (8" Square Pan)


330g bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour, 12% protein)
1 tsp instant yeast
15g caster or brown sugar
1 tsp salt
150g full cream milk, cold (whole milk)
85g water, cold (Reserve 20g first, add in later if too dry. I used all 85g of water)
30g butter, room temperature

Egg Wash (Optional):
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, whisked

Butter Sauce:
40g butter
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Pinch of salt if unsalted butter is used

8 inches square pan

  1. Kneading:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer.  
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the hook attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  
    3. Knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead for 10 - 12 minutes or until the dough come together. But, the dough is not very silky and smooth. You also do not need to achieve  window pane stage because the long overnight retard in the fridge will allow adequate gluten development.  The whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
  2. 1st Proofing:
    1. Cover the bowl and transfer dough to the fridge to retard overnight for about 8 – 12 hours.  I retarded in the fridge for 10 hours.
    2. You may also do the same day bake - Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes until double in size.  But, the result is not as good as long retard in the fridge. I usually left the dough in the same mixing bowl and cover with cling film. 
  3. Shaping:
    1. Take out dough from the fridge and leave on counter for around 15 mins to soften and relax the dough. 
    2. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 16 equal portions (around 38g each).  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
    3. Form each portion to a ball.  
    4. Place all the dough in the prepared loaf pans. 4 X 4
  4. 2nd Proofing:
    1. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or double the size.  Lightly press the the dough with your finger. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready.  My kitchen room temperature is about 29C - 30C.
  5. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) 170C (fan-forced)  for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash (optional)
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Meanwhile, melt the butter together with parsley in a sauce pan over low heat.
    5. Once the buns are ready, remove buns from oven and pan, brush them with the melted butter sauce.


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Hi bwp. Always looking forward to your uploads. You must have read my mind. I was actually looking for a easy dinner roll recipe and was so happy u posted this . Will try out soon and update u. By the way do u line the pan bottom and sides? Also have u posted any panetonne recipe before. I can't seem to locate it. Thanks and happy holidays. Regards Chloe

    1. Hi Chloe, Always nice to read your comments too. Yes, please line the base and sides of the pan. Mine is a non-stick pan so I didn't line.

      I removed the old Panetonne recipe because it is not really a Panetonne bread. You can use the Brioche recipe in my blog and added the dry fruit that you like.

      Cheers and happy baking :)

  2. Hi bwp. I just baked your dinner rolls . Due time constraints I wasn't able to do overnight retard but the buns still so soft and fluffy. So if I want to do 1 1/2 times the recipe do I bake in 9 or 10 inch pan. Also do I do 16 rolls or 25 rolls. Thanks so much. Happy holidays.

    1. Hi, thank you for trying this recipe and your feedback. If you use 9 inch pan, then you will get taller buns. 16 or 25 rolls also work. It is much depend on how big the buns you want to be. If 16 then you will ben bigger buns.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)


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