Last updated December 20, 2014

Don’t let the idea of homemade yeast rolls intimidate you. I finally developed a recipe that turns out perfect every time and it’s ready in 3 hours.

I have spent years trying to find the perfect yeast roll recipe. While my favorite recipe tastes fantastic, the dough has to ferment overnight, and I never remember to make the rolls a day in advance.

Yeast Rolls from Zestuous

I found a recipe that called for both milk and buttermilk. Instead of using buttermilk, I added some vinegar to the proofing liquid. My yeast was beyond happy. It started bubbling more than any recipe I’ve ever made.

For my first batch, I added a bunch of savory herbs. As soon as they came out of the oven, they were so light and fluffy. I wished that I had skipped the herbs. I wanted to taste the simple sweet yeast dough.

Since these only take 3 hours (2 ½ of which is rising time), I made another batch. I added a tablespoon of brown sugar and did a little dance when they came out of the oven. My husband ate three in a row without hesitating.

Finally, a light, soft yeast roll that can be made the same day.

Soft, Easy Yeast Rolls

Soft, Easy Yeast Rolls


  • 1 cup (230 grams) milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 packet yeast or 20 grams compressed yeast
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ (375 grams) cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Warm the milk in a microwave for 45 seconds. Pour into a stand mixer bowl with white sugar, yeast and vinegar. Let proof for 5 minutes.

Add the brown sugar, salt, flour and 2 tablespoons butter to the proofed yeast. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough at speed 2 for 30 seconds. Increase speed to 4 and knead for 5 minutes.

NOTE: If you knead the dough by hand, avoid the temptation to add more flour. The dough will be sticky. It will soften the longer you knead it.

Dump the dough onto the counter and cover with the mixing bowl. Let rise for 1 hour. Punch down, knead a few times and re-cover. Let rise another hour.

Punch down and cut and shape into 12 equal-sized rolls (about 60 grams each). Place on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes.