Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 55 votes

Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls Recipe

These Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls Recipe are rich, fluffy, salty, a little sweet, and absolutely delicious. Between the heavy cream and the honey butter, these dinner rolls are full of moisture. So addicting and worth all of the work, I promise.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 rolls
Author: Brianna May



  • 1 cup half and half warmed to 110 degrees
  • 2 Tablespoons honey*
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry instant yeast 1 standard packet*
  • 3 Tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter melted & cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ¾ - 3 cups (357-390g) bread flour*
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 Tablespoon honey


  • Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the milk, honey, and yeast to the bowl. Whisk until combined. Let stand for 5 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly/frothy.
  • Add the melted butter, egg, 1 cup of the flour, and the salt. Mix on medium until just combined.
  • Add another 1 ½ cups of flour. Mix on medium until a dough forms.
  • Depending on what your dough looks like, you may need to add more flour (see photo above). I typically add another ⅓-1/2 cup of the flour. The dough should be slightly wet but not sticking to the sides of the bowl. Mix on high for 4-5 minutes. The dough should have more elasticity now.
  • Place the dough into a bowl greased with melted butter or oil. Let it rise in a warm environment (see recipe notes) for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  • Punch the dough down and gently form it into a thick rectangle (see photo above). Use a knife or bench scraper to divide the dough into 15 pieces.
  • Take each piece and form it into a ball. Pull the sides around toward the bottom and pinch the seam. This should form a round top. Place into a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
  • Let the rolls rise for another hour in a warm environment. They should puff up quite a bit. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees about halfway through the second rise.
  • Microwave the heavy cream for 10-15 seconds to take the chill off it. Brush the rolls with it and pour the remainder on top of them.
  • Bake for 22-26 minutes or until the tops are golden and the rolls are cooked through. Mix the melted butter and honey together while the rolls bake. Brush warm rolls with honey butter and serve immediately.


  • Honey: Swap for white sugar.
  • Instant Yeast: Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast is my favorite. It is an instant yeast, but active dry yeast can be used as well. Rising may take longer though.
  • Bread Flour: You can substitute this for all purpose flour without making any other changes to the recipe. I prefer to use bread flour because it produces a chewier dinner roll.
  • Use a thermometer to take the temperature of the half and half. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Pour the milk into a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave it in 10 second increments until it is about 110 degrees. 
  • Cool the butter to room temperature. After you melt the butter, let it cool while you prepare the other ingredients. This will ensure it does not cook the egg. 
  • Measure the flour with a scale or carefully spoon & level it. A scale is the best way to accurately measure the flour. If you do not have one, you can just use measuring cups. Gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup and use a knife to level the top of it. 
  • Use a stand mixer with a dough hook. While these rolls can be made without a mixer, it really makes the process so much easier. The dough hook does all of the kneading for you resulting in a dough with the perfect texture. 
  • Grease the bowl and pan well. Don’t skimp on the butter or oil. The dough should be greased enough that it doesn't stick to your hands while shaping the rolls. I don’t even use flour. 
  • Let the rolls rise in a warm environment. If it is warm and sunny outside, put your covered dough on a window sill. You can also use your oven. Preheat the oven as low as it can go, then turn it off once it has come to temperature. Wait above 5 minutes and then put the dough in the oven with the door cracked. After 20-30 minutes, close the door so that too much heat does not escape. You can repeat this for the second proof as well.
  • Don’t overwork the dough. After the first rise, gently punch the dough down and shape the rolls. They do not need to look perfect and some may be different sizes. That is okay! The more you work the dough, the tougher and more dense the rolls will be. 
  • Keep an eye on the rolls while they bake. If the rolls reach desired color before they are finished cooking, loosely cover them with foil for the remainder of the baking.  
  • Don’t skip out on the honey butter & salt. Brush the rolls with the honey butter right when they come out of the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.