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Homemade Thanksgiving Rolls: A Delightful Addition to Your Holiday Feast

As Thanksgiving approaches, the anticipation of a scrumptious feast filled with traditional delights is in the air. While the turkey takes center stage, it’s the often-overlooked side dishes that can truly elevate the dining experience. One such hidden gem is the homemade Thanksgiving rolls – soft, pillowy, and infused with the warmth of freshly baked goodness. In this article, we’ll explore the joy of baking these rolls from scratch and share a delightful recipe for you to try.

The Art of Baking: A Therapeutic Prelude

Baking has a magical way of bringing people together, and the process of making homemade Thanksgiving rolls is no exception. The journey begins with the careful combination of simple yet essential ingredients. The alchemy of yeast, sugar, milk, and flour creates a dough that will transform into golden, fluffy rolls that are impossible to resist.

A Symphony of Flavors: The Ingredients

Before embarking on this culinary adventure, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (plus an extra tablespoon for the yeast)
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted, divided)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour (divided)
  • Neutral oil or cooking spray (for greasing)
  • Flaky sea salt

Crafting the Dough: A Symphony of Textures

Begin by warming the milk and activating the yeast, creating a foamy mixture that sets the stage for the dough. The addition of egg, salt, butter, and sugar further enriches the mixture. Slowly incorporate the flour, allowing the dough to come together in a mesmerizing dance within the stand mixer. The result is a smooth, elastic dough ready to rise and fulfill its destiny as delectable rolls.

The Rise and Shine: Letting the Dough Flourish

After the initial rise, the dough is divided into individual pieces and shaped into round balls. Placed in a baking pan, covered, and left to rise once more, the rolls undergo a transformation, puffing up to perfection. This second rise is a crucial step, imparting an airy lightness that defines a perfect dinner roll.

Into the Oven: Aromas Fill the Air

As the rolls gracefully rise, the anticipation builds. Preheat the oven and bake until the tops achieve a golden brown hue, filling your kitchen with an irresistible aroma. The careful rotation and occasional foil tenting ensure an even bake, resulting in a tray of heavenly goodness.

The Final Touch: Butter and Sea Salt Elegance

No Thanksgiving roll is complete without a finishing touch. A brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt elevate the rolls, adding a touch of richness and a hint of savory indulgence. These final steps turn a humble roll into a centerpiece-worthy delight.

Conclusion: A Thanksgiving Tradition Worth Embracing

As you gather with loved ones this Thanksgiving, consider adding the charm of homemade rolls to your feast. The process of crafting these delectable treats is a labor of love, and the reward is a tray of rolls that will undoubtedly steal the show. Share the joy of breaking bread with those around you, and let the aroma of freshly baked Thanksgiving rolls become a cherished part of your holiday traditions.

Thanksgiving rolls

Homemade Thanksgiving rolls are a delightful addition to any holiday feast, bringing warmth and comfort to the table. Crafted with simple yet essential ingredients like milk, yeast, sugar, and flour, these rolls undergo a magical transformation in the baking process. The dough, a symphony of textures and flavors, rises to perfection, resulting in golden, pillowy rolls. The final touch of melted butter and flaky sea salt adds an irresistible richness. Baking these rolls becomes a therapeutic prelude to the Thanksgiving festivities, creating not just a side dish but a cherished tradition that enhances the joy of breaking bread with loved ones.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • mixing bowl
  • small heatproof bowl
  • stand mixer
  • 13"-by-9" baking pan


  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (from a 1 1/4-oz. packet)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp  kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 3 1/4 c all-purpose or bread flour, divided
  • Neutral oil or cooking spray, for greasing
  • Flaky sea salt


  • In a small heatproof bowl, microwave milk in 30-second increments until an instant-read thermometer registers 110° or until warm to the touch. Pour into the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add yeast and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and whisk to combine. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add egg, salt, 4 tablespoons butter, and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup flour and beat on medium speed until combined about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Continue to beat, scraping the dough hook when needed, until smoother and more elastic, about 3 minutes more.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Scrape dough into a bowl and toss to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Grease a 13"-by-9" baking pan with oil or cooking spray. Punch down the risen dough. Divide into 12 pieces (about 70 grams each). Shape each piece into smooth round balls and arrange them in a prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until puffed, about 1 hour.
  • Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350°. Bake rolls, rotating halfway through and tenting with foil if browning too quickly, until tops are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Brush rolls with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
Keyword rolls, Thanksgiving