With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, I decided it was high time to dust off a favorite old recipe and bring it back into the spotlight.  As long as I can remember, simple dinner rolls have been my favorite food on any holiday table.  I first encountered this recipe for honey yeast rolls in my early days of blogging and they instantly won my heart.  I make them often throughout fall and winter to accompany soups and stews, and they are a certainty on our Thanksgiving menu.  (Alongside this garlic herb compound butter – an absolute must.)

Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe slightly to ensure a better texture.  Many readers have also asked whether these could be made in advance.  Previously I had no good answer to that question.  This weekend I experimented with a make-ahead strategy and it worked beautifully.  So, I give you the new and improved version of my beloved honey yeast dinner rolls, now with a make-ahead option.


  • 2¼ tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115˚ F)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3½-4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. honey


  • 01

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast and warm water.  Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.  Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  With the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining ½ to 1 cup of flour a few tablespoons at a time.  Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  • 02

    Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

  • 03

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.  Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.*  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

  • 04

    Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.  Cover loosely with foil and continue to bake about 10 minutes more, or until the the center of the rolls registers 190˚ F on an instant-read thermometer.  Let cool slightly before serving.

  • 05

    *To make the rolls a day in advance, prepare the dough as above through to shaping.  Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer.  Leave there to stop the rise, 2-4 hours.  Transfer the baking dish to the refrigerator and leave overnight.  The rolls will begin to rise again slowly while refrigerated and will eventually puff up and into each other.  The following day, about 18-24 hours after the dough was prepared, bake as directed above.  You may need to add 2-3 minutes to the baking time, but monitoring the internal temperature is the most reliable way to check for doneness.


  • Looks beautiful!!

  • Divine! :D

  • Lauren Ochoa

    My faves! I was wondering how to handle bread for thanksgiving since I’m working and I have to make everything ahead of time. Problem solved!

  • Shelly

    Warning…….you can’t eat just one! So delicious!

  • Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be bringing bread to Thanksgiving this year, but I have been baking it up nonstop to go with soups for lunch every week so I’ll definitely still get a chance to make these this season!! The honey flavor is one of my favorites in rolls.

  • auntie_beak

    your timing is perfect! i just added these to my t-day menu, and also wondered about doing a make-ahead. thanks!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm these rolls sound perfect!

  • Victoria Luhrs

    Dough hook or paddle on your mixer?

  • annieseats

    I always use the dough hook for kneading dough. Enjoy!

  • Amanda

    These rolls have been a favorite in our house after discovering them on your site a few months ago. I’m excited for the make ahead strategy!

  • Valarie Dobbins

    Serves 10-12?! Eek! We have 20ish at our Thanksgiving with most of them being bread lovers! Have you doubled (tripled? Quadrupled?!) this recipe before? Wondering how big of a batch my KitchenAid can handle!!

  • annieseats

    Sure, you can easily multiply it. You don’t have to use the electric mixer either, you can always make the dough by hand. (See the FAQ page for more info on that.) Hope that helps!

  • Anne

    I think I pin everything you make, and made most of the things I pin! Your recipes are consistently good, your directions perfect, and everything always comes out just the way I hope it will. Thanks for such reliable recipes time after time!

  • Melanie G

    Lovely rolls, Annie – and I agree that homemade rolls are what I look forward to most at Thanksgiving. Thanks for including make-ahead instructions. So valuable with the huge holiday dinner looming!

  • Anna Nienhuis

    I have yet to master a good dinner bun – yours look wonderful, I’ll have to get my game face on and try again!

  • annieseats

    Aw, thank you! I am so glad that you enjoy my recipes. I work hard to make sure they will be reliable and worth your while, so I’m very glad you feel that way!

  • Guest

    Would these be just as good if frozen for more than one day? (say… 10 days)

  • My hubby would love me if I finally started making my own rolls.
    He is such a carb junkie.
    He will gladly take a sourdough roll over a slice of chocolate cake, and you of course, know which one I’d choose. lol

  • Jenn

    Why do you cover with foil the last 10 or so minutes? Is that to keep the crust from getting too crusty and hard? Thanks!

  • Yum, they look so delicious!

  • Dinner rolls are my favorite too – especially when they’re hot from the oven! I’ll definitely have to try this one – I love that you can make it ahead of time too!

  • annieseats

    Yes, if you do not cover them, the tops will burn.

  • annieseats

    To make ahead as described above, you only freeze for a couple of hours to stop the rise. If you freeze fully (overnight), the rolls will have to thaw before rising again and I’m not sure how long that would take. If you want to make several days in advance, I would just make and bake through completely as directed, and then freeze the baked rolls. Freshly baked bread/rolls freeze very well and I often do this. It still tastes very fresh when thawed and rewarmed.

  • Tori

    Thank you for all the work you put into creating some of the most fabulous, fool proof, reliable, delicious, beautiful food my friends and family have enjoyed. You are a cooking inspiration. When people ask about my food my usual reply is “Annie Eats”. I can’t wait to share this recipe with my family. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Sara Hynds-Scates

    This recipe works really well when fully cooked and then frozen. I have kept these rolls in the freezer for a few weeks, warming them one at a time in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds each.

  • I absolutely love those rolls! I made them on a whim last Thanksgiving from your old recipe and my family was obsessed with them! I even made 60 of them for a Christmas dinner party my grandparents hosted. Almost everyone in my family has already mentioned them to me and is highly anticipating them next week!

  • Juli Marie

    Just to clarify, do you do start to finish with the dough hook, or mix with the paddle and then switch to the hook for kneading?

  • Nicole @ Culinary Cool

    Seriously, who doesn’t love a good dinner roll? So glad you played around and came up with a make-ahead strategy. Sometimes you need to prep as much as you can ahead of time!!

  • Kim

    So if you make ahead and freeze, how do you cover them? Foil or plastic? Once thawed, what is the reheat temperature?

  • annieseats

    I would probably cover with plastic wrap, two layers would be best. Reheat however you like, there is no one right way.

  • annieseats

    You can do either. I usually just do it all with a dough hook to avoid having the paddle messy as well.

  • annieseats

    Thank you so much, Tori! I do my best to make sure the recipes are reliable because I know all too well the disappointment that comes with trying a new recipe with high hopes and then having bad results. I’m so glad you find inspiration and recipes you love here!

  • Holly Drainer

    Have you ever tried adding some whole wheat flour to this recipe? I love how you’ve been including whole grains in many of your recipes. I’m a big fan of your blog.

  • annieseats

    Shoot, I meant to mention that in the post. I have tried it with these but I wasn’t happy with the texture. I think I did maybe half bread flour and half white whole wheat. I ended up deciding that I love these best as they are, and they are worth the white bread splurge. I’ll just keep doing as much whole grain baking as I can with other recipes.

  • Holly Drainer

    Thanks Annie. I appreciate the feedback :)

  • Mary Susan

    This is my go to roll recipe. My husband calls them donut rolls.

  • Kristi Kay Ellsworth

    I just discovered the cross out function of the ingredients! That is fabulous! And I can’t wait to make these!

  • Jennifer Flynn

    These rolls are a staple in my house! My husband is a bread fanatic and these are his favorite. Since he eats them so much I have to stockpile them, baking two or three dozen at a time. I cook them for about 15 minutes, freeze them, and then bake at 350 for 3-5 minutes when we want them with dinner. They are just as delicious as they are when made and eaten in the same day!

  • Alanna Migliacci

    Is it possible to use all purpose flour? Or another flour? I can’t find bread flour in NZ, just pre-mixed bread mixes.

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks!

  • amy

    Yet another “Annie” recipe now printed and ready for Thursday. (I am clearly not the planner that you are!) Thanks so much for sharing. Thinking of you!

  • Kaitlin

    I’m glad I’m not alone! My friends and I text about Annie’s recipes, as if she is either someone we know or someone famous. :)

  • stupendous

    I make these and put them in plastic wrap, and then into a zip lock bag. When I reheat, I just reheat at 350 until they are heated through :) They freeze great!

  • annieseats

    I love this!

  • auntie beak

    made these for my dinner today and they came out perfect! thanks for the recipe. even did the “make-ahead” option and it was great!

  • John S

    My daughter made these for Thanksgiving yesterday. Best bread I have ever eaten. Better yet, she told me about this site. Can’t wait to explore it!

  • Cassie

    I was a devotee of these rolls before this update and they are even better now! The make ahead option is great and although I was skeptical of the salt on top it really was a nice touch. Thank you for another delicious and clearly written recipe!

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed them!

  • Lil

    These are delicious! I love that they make a normal size batch. Definitely make again!

  • leanne.avila

    Thank you for this recipe!!! I made them for Thanksgiving and the rolls were a huge hit with my family!

  • amy

    I made these on Thanksgiving (using your make ahead method.) The day after my dad said, “Am, you know what the BEST thing I ate on Thanksgiving was? Those ROLLS you made!” :) Thanks Annie!

  • annieseats

    Awesome! I agree with him :)

  • MamaMackey

    I just have to say I made a batch for Thanksgiving to such rave reviews that I wasn’t allowed back for Christmas dinner unless I brought these rolls again. I left off the honey from butter glaze (I know, I know), but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. I think I have super-yeast or something, because after doubling the recipe I got 3 pans huge rolls…not complaining one little bit on that one. Thank you so much for a detailed and trust-worthy recipe! It makes my holiday fun and stress-free.

  • I make these often, and they turn out fantastic every time! My boyfriend loves to eat these, and always requests that we have some in the freezer for easy dinner accompaniments :)

  • Mindy Pannell

    I forgot how yummy the dough is…I hope I have enough leftover for the rolls! :)

  • Mechelle Gilbert Doula

    I used to big of a pan, there was some space between the rolls, not much but just enough that the honey ran down in some spots and burnt during baking. I had to cut the bottoms off of the rolls. We will use them for ham sandwiches. Im glad I tested these. I will be making them for thanksgiving but I will not be using a bigger pan I will just do a double batch and fill two pie plates. Also I tried a few rolled out into logs and then tied them into knots. The looked fantastic. I made a double batch and did not glaze with the honey butter mix until they had baked an initial 15 min at 350, then I baked an additional 10 min uncovered after adding the glaze. They look fantastic I wish I knew how to post a photo

  • Shari

    How do you avoid them burning at the bottom? Should it be glazed when almost done baking in the oven?

  • annieseats

    I’ve never had them burn at the bottom. Are you using a dark metal baking pan?

  • Shari

    I was using a white pyrex pie dish.

  • annieseats

    I’m thinking this may be an issue with your oven or pan. I have made these countless times (just made them today in fact) and though I have burned the tops when I wasn’t paying attention, I’ve never had the bottom burn. Maybe try moving to a different oven rack and see if that helps.

  • Shari

    Ok so I made this again last night and I used a clear pie dish and reduced the temp to 350º and brushed the top with they honey butter after it was golden brown. Baked for an additional 15 to 20 minutes and covered with foil at the last ten minutes and they were perfect!!! Awesome recipe! Thank you for replying

  • annieseats

    So glad to hear they worked out this time!

  • Amber

    Annie, have you ever tried to make these rolls separated on a baking sheet? I personally love the pull-apart texture of them, but wanted to make homemade tomb rolls with my kids this weekend and was hoping to maybe use this recipe for it.

  • annieseats

    I haven’t but you certainly could. Enjoy!

  • Melissa Brooker

    Here in Canada thanksgiving is in about 3 weeks (!) and I’m already planning ahead, this will be my first time ver making my own rolls, but you have gotten me so much more comfortable in baking that I will be making these (ahead of time fully baking and freezing) and a couple of pies. My family loves that I am becoming so much more adventurous! I will let you know how these are received!

  • Melissa Brooker

    I made these over the weekend to try out and freeze for thanksgiving and they turned out beautifully! I could hardly believe that i made them! They were so good i will need to make an extra batch to make up for the ones that we ate ;) I made a double batch and used a glass pie plate, a white corningware dish and a dark nonstick cake pan, the bottoms got slightly burned in the glass dish but were perfect in the others, so now i know what dish to use! I also froze and reheated a few to get an idea of how they will work, i thawed them on the counter, wrapped in foil and threw in the oven for about 10 minutes and they were just as amazing as the first day! Thanks so much Annie! my family will love them.

  • Melissa Brooker

    Just wanted to give you an update, these were a major hit at thanksgiving! Everyone loved them! my sister even took some home with her! Thanks again for this recipe!

  • Glen Verkins

    I have an amish white bread I think I’m going to adjust and add honey. a lot of honey and see how it goes. I’ve modified a whole wheat roll to add honey and it turned out ok, just didn’t add enough honey.

  • Lindsay

    I’ve made these rolls for countless Thanksgivings and Friendsgivings – always paired with your compound herb butter – and they have always been well-received. In fact, they’ve been requested! Sadly for me, there are usually no leftovers. :) Thanks for the amazing recipe. It has been a no-fail recipe for me that has amazing results every time.

  • Megan Kinyon

    I make these rolls all the time! It is one of our favorite roll recipes. I sometimes replace one cup of the white flour with whole wheat flour and I usually use a high quality unbleached all purpose flour because I like the slightly less chewy texture that all purpose gives. I usually double the recipe and always used two round cake pans but recently switched to using one half sheet pan and it works perfectly for me. 24 rolls made from a double batch fit for me on one half sheet pan that I line with parchment (I have maybe a little less than an inch of space between the shaped rolls before they rise). When they bake they merge together to have the same lovely pull apart texture as they do in a cake pan when they are finished. Just in case anyone else wants to try that! We have used these for little sandwiches too. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  • I made these rolls for a family gathering and they are completely perfect! The dough is such a perfect consistency, we were very impressed. I’ll make this recipe a lifetime favorite. It was so simple and the dough is literally perfect. I brushed mine with olive oil/rosemary/butter at baking time. Makes 2 nice round pans – 16 rolls. Fabulous recipe!!!

  • JB-ZR1

    Thanks for posting this comment. I’ve wondered whether I could use a sheet pan or larger baking dish to make a double batch, but have been to afraid to try it, as I only seem to have time to make them when we are having company. Do you notice any difference with the whole wheat flour (i’ve been considering that as well). Thanks!


  • Julia 2.0

    Do you think I could do this without a stand mixer?

  • Annie

    Yes, you definitely could. See the FAQ page for more info!

  • Lindsay

    I think I’ve posted previously, but had to come back just to say thanks again for this incredible recipe. This has become my boyfriend’s favorite Thanksgiving side and has been requested at every Friendsgiving / Thanksgiving I’ve attended. These are SO good and SO worth the extra work over buying rolls from the store. Thank you, Annie!

  • Annie

    I am so happy to hear it! It’s still a top favorite of mine after all this time too!