My Mom’s Homemade Buns are the perfect dinner roll for any occasion! Incredibly soft and fluffy, use all purpose or whole wheat flour, make a big batch and freeze for later.
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This recipe is long overdue here, even though I just made my first batch of my Mom’s Homemade Buns a couple weeks ago.
My mom has been well-known for a few reasons for as long as I can remember.
These Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of them.
It took me entirely too long to ask my mom for her recipe for homemade dinner rolls, so once I snagged it and made them for the first time, I knew I had to share it right away!
I had to tweak my Mom’s recipe a little bit — swapping her original lard for butter (you can swap it back if you like or use shortening!), and increasing it to be a nice even amount when I halved the recipe.
I didn’t find that the extra butter made much of a difference, so I’m sticking with it!
This recipe makes 22-24 buns, depending on how large you make them. You can easily double the recipe and save some for later! See my tips below for storing these homemade buns after you’ve made them (although there might not be many left 😉 )
I know that most dinner rolls are taller, and baked closer together in a pan with higher edges, like a 9×13″ pan.
We always called them simply “buns” growing up, and we ate them with everything 😉
You can absolutely bake this recipe in a 9×13″ pan if you are going for the same look and height. For this recipe, you will likely need two 9×13″ baking pans and can put 12 rolls in each pan.
The baking time shouldn’t change.
You can definitely use whole wheat flour for this recipe, and I do now all the time when I am making them for our family.
I prefer to first test a recipe with all purpose flour, to see how using whole wheat flour might change it, but we tend to eat mostly whole grains and whole wheat breads.
You can start with 2-3 cups of whole wheat flour for a light whole wheat dinner roll, or use up to 100%.
When I make these for our family, I tend to stick with 50-75% whole wheat flour. I find adding even a bit of all purpose flour makes them fluffier than 100% whole wheat flour.
This homemade yeast dough is extremely versatile! You can easily make a big batch of dough, bake some plain buns, bake a few cinnamon buns, make some breadsticks, etc. — the options are endless!
By doing it this way, you can make a small batch of many different recipes, which is great if you’re cooking for a small family or you’re an individual.
Here are a few recipes that this dough would work great in:
Keep at room temperature:
These buns will keep at room temperature in an airtight plastic bag for 4-5 days. I will warn you though — they’re so delicious fresh out of the oven that you might find they don’t last that long!
How to freeze buns and bread:
We often freeze some of these for later, otherwise we would eat buns for every meal and nothing else!
Let cool completely — I usually let mine sit for 4-6 hours on a wire rack on the counter. Place in an airtight plastic bag and freeze up to 3 months.
To thaw, place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any extra moisture and let sit at room temperature for an hour or two. You can also thaw at a low temperature in the microwave.
We love having a side of these homemade buns to dunk in soup and chili! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Cabbage Soup Recipe
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Crockpot Potato Soup
- Sausage Tortellini Soup
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To proof yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F — warm but not hot)
- 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast (I use instant, but either works in this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
To make bun dough
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6-7 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour
Proof the yeast
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar.
- Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly — this is how you know your yeast is working. This step is technically not required when using instant yeast, but I do it always anyways, so that I know my buns will be a success.
Make the dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a very large bowl if you are kneading by hand), whisk together the 2 cups warm water, butter, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.
- Add the bubbly yeast mixture and stir to combine.
- Place the bowl in the stand mixer and put the dough hook on the machine. You can also knead by hand.
- Add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix until nearly combined before adding more. You can use all purpose or whole wheat or a combination. Start with 4-5 cups flour, mixing until each is incorporated.
- The closer you get to your dough being ready, the less flour you will add at once. We want a smooth, soft dough, never stiff, so we need to watch and stop adding flour at just the right moment.
- Add up to 6-7 cups flour total, very gradually at the end, until the dough comes together in a smooth, soft ball and does not stick to the sides of the stand mixer. When you touch it, it should be smooth and slightly tacky but not sticky.
- Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl (you can use the same bowl and grease it), and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.
- Set in a warm spot (I use the oven with the light on — turn the oven on to preheat for 2-4 minutes before turning off and adding the dough) and let rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours.
- Uncover dough, punch down, and roll out 20-24 rounds — smoothing the top and pinching the seam in the back to smooth (see video for additional details).
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise (you don't have to cover them) in a warm spot for 30 to 90 minutes (instant yeast will be quicker) until doubled.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.
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