Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Grandmom’s Rolls

Happy New Year!!! Are you using the day off to sleep in and nurse a hangover? I tipped back a few of these Bourbon Grapefruit Cocktails last night (they’re amazing). Maybe a few of my Grandmom’s Rolls smeared with butter will help the cause?

Today I’m participating in #TwelveLoaves. What is #TwelveLoaves? It’s a concept created by Lora from Cake Duchess to inspire people to get in their kitchens and bake some homemade bread. You know, get down and dirty with some flour and sticky dough. Each month Lora hosts a different bread baking project. This month we’re starting the new year with a clean slate; a loaf of bread that celebrates simplicity.

Today I bring you a very special recipe that was handed down to me by my Grandmom. I call the recipe Grandmom’s Rolls. It’s a simple white roll with a perfectly crusty exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth, fluffy interior. I grew up watching her make these rolls and was lucky enough to receive a lesson in roll making from her last year. This recipe is so simple that I used it as my very first attempt at creating homemade bread.

I know the concept of making homemade bread is a bit ominous for some; however, once you get the basics down, you’ll be a bread-making machine. This recipe is a great starter recipe. If you’re an amateur or fear yeast and dough, start with this recipe. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Shannon from A Periodic Table. Shannon, like some of you, feared working with yeast. You don’t know Shannon? Shame! The girl can whip up Momofuko Milk bar treats in her sleep. I emailed Shannon my Grandmom’s bread recipe and she successfully made them for Thanksgiving. Easy as pie!

The key to making these rolls is not over heating the milk. If the milk is too hot, it’s going kill the yeast. Dead yeast equals dense, flat rolls, and we don’t want that.

You don’t need a fancy thermometer when gauging the temperature; your finger will work just fine. You’ll know the milk is hot enough when you stick your finger in it and your reflexes kick in. If you can’t keep your finger in the milk because it hurts to the touch, that’s when you know it’s hot enough. DO NOT boil the milk. I don’t mean to yell, but I don’t want you to make that mistake. My dad does it all the time and he wonders why his rolls are like hockey pucks; he’s killing the yeast.

The bread will need to rise two times. It will rise after kneading it and again after rolling the dough into balls.

The best part about making bread is playing with the dough. I love the feel of the sticky, warm dough between my fingers. Then there’s the malted smell that rises to your nose every time you fold the dough into itself. Mmm!

Those little green specs you see is chopped rosemary. I made a melted garlic butter sauce and added crushed rosemary to give it a boost of flavor. After brushing on the butter sauce, I sprinkled the rolls with a little sea salt for extra flavor.

Smear with a generous helping of salted butter and chow down. These rolls will quickly become a staple in your recipe box. Enjoy!

Grandmom's Rolls

Yield: 10-12 rolls

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes



  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup hot milk (do not boil)
  • 3/4 cup hot tap water
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

Herb Butter

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbs. chopped rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cast iron pan or baking dish.
  2. Place flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Heat milk in a small saucepan until hot to touch (do not boil). Take off heat and add shortening, sugar, and salt. Stir until shortening melts into the milk mixture (a few lumps are okay). Stir in hot water to combine.
  4. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in milk; mix to combine with a spatula. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 6 minutes, gradually adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
  5. Place dough in a large, greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides. Place bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise for 90 minutes.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pull off 3-inch sized pieces of dough and place in a greased cast iron pan about a 1/2-inch apart. Place pan in a warm spot and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise for 1 hour before baking.
  7. Herb Butter: While the dough is rising for the second time, melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add crushed garlic and chopped rosemary. Simmer for 2 minutes to let the flavors marry.
  8. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with the herb butter. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm with a generous helping of butter.
All images and text ©.
Whipping up one of my recipes? I wanna know about it! Snap a photo and tag your post with #onesweetmess on Twitter or Instagram. Seeing your creations come to life makes my day!

33 Responses to “Grandmom’s Rolls”

  1. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen — January 1, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Homemade dinner rolls make a meal so much better. They sound perfect Jennie, and those pictures are amazing!


  2. #
    Laura Dembowski — January 1, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I love making classic homemade bread. Such a fun task with rewarding results. Happy New Year!


  3. #
    Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious — January 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Wow, I want those for breakfast now!


  4. #
    Renee — January 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Beautiful rolls! And I so want to make these because it would be my first time using a cast iron pan to bake bread. Cool!


  5. #
    Deb @ knitstamatic — January 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Oh I so have to make these for dinner., gorgeous! I particularly love that this is a family recipe.


  6. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — January 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I used to be so afraid of yeast but I ADORE making bread now and I pretty much use yeast at least once a week! I love that you got this recipe from your grandmom, they look sooo fluffy and delicious! And um hi yeah garlic&herb butter….mmmm!

    Yay! You had Kristina’s cocktails!! Happy New Year my lovely!


  7. #
    Jen @JuanitasCocina — January 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Gorgeous, dahling!


  8. #
    Holly — January 1, 2013 at 10:52 am

    These are beautiful!! I had dinner at a family-run Italian restaurant last night and I am SURE that the rolls we ate were just like these. Can’t wait to try to make them at home!


    • Holly replied January 2nd, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      yes– these turned out beautifully!! I shared them tonight with friends and I looked like a baking star when these came out of the oven. They were puffy and golden brown. Delicious!


  9. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — January 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    These rolls look amazing! Isn’t baking the bread in a cast iron skillet awesome? Love it! They look perfect! :)


  10. #
    kitchenbabble — January 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing a recipe so close to your heart. You have done your gran proud with this post!


    • Jennie replied January 1st, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you so much!


  11. #
    shannon — January 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    people, she’s right; you can totally ask me about grandmom’s rolls, because i made them and they. were. AMAZING. Perfectly balanced texture, not to light and not too heavy, and they baked up huge and gorgeous, just like jennie’s photos. I’m afraid of yeast things; jennie knows this and was kind enough to send me this recipe a few months ago. I made it and managed to succeed with them, which is BIG, because it means that ANYONE, probably even a tiny baby, could make these. :)
    Jennie, thanks again for basically saving the bread portion of thanksgiving for me this year; i know my family held their collective breath for a few hours (they have experienced my yeast failures) but they were a hit. :)


  12. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — January 1, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    These look great! So flaky! I used to be afraid of working with yeast and I think the yeast knew it and that is why I always had problems. I think if you are confident and patient, baking homemade bread is no big deal and actually a lovely practice.


  13. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 2, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Amazing! Nothing beats homemade rolls, right?

    I should totally join in since I have such an aversion to yeast – it’ll really get me to expand my horizons and do some major bread baking in 2013!


  14. #
    movita beaucoup — January 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

    These look delightful! And if Shannon says a wee baby could make ’em, they are probably within my capabilities too. I love the herb butter/sea salt topping!

    Happy New Year, lady! Can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2013…


  15. #
    [email protected] & Trinkets — January 2, 2013 at 9:15 am

    These are some gorgeous looking rolls, Jennie! I’m still afraid of yeast, but I’m slowly learning to overcome that.


  16. #
    Rossella — January 2, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Irresistable your rolls.
    Very useful indications about milk temperature. I failed a lot when I was a teenager due to hot temperature of milk or too low temperature at home. For a long time I hated istant yeast.


  17. #
    Liz — January 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

    The texture of these rolls looks amazing…such light, fluffy rolls!!! LOVE them!!!


  18. #
    Jenn and Seth — January 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    these are so amazingly light and fluffy…i need to obtain some shortening and afterwards i’m totally trying these out, they look sooooooooooooooo good.


  19. #
    Tasha Z — January 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Looks delicious … I loveeee me some rolls!


  20. #
    Terra — January 2, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I love that this is your Grandma’s recipes, how special! My Grandma and I love sharing our food love, and I love making her treats! Something we can hold dear to us forever for sure:-) Your rolls seriously look sooooooo freaking delicious!!! Hugs, Terra


  21. #
    Kristina — January 6, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Absolutely nothing beats homemade bread, those rolls look so fluffy and tender, very jealous right now! Haha and I’m glad those cosmos didn’t give you too hard of a time in the morning, champagne can be brutal :) And SO excited you tried these!! Look forward to a whole new year of recipe sharing!


  22. #
    The Wimpy Vegetarian — January 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    These look amazingly good. They just look like they would melt in your mouth and I love rosemary in my breads! Pinned!!


  23. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — January 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    They look SO fluffy! And yeast is nothing to be afraid of. I don’t know why some people are afraid of. The only thing about it is that it takes a long time. But the final product?! Sooooo good. And these definitely look worth the time!


  24. #
    Nina — January 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    This looks gorgeous…I wud love to have some right away:)


  25. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — January 12, 2013 at 1:00 am

    These look so wonderful. I haven’t tackled bread baking yet but seeing rolls like this makes me really want to start.


  26. #
    Yvonne @ bitter baker — January 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    These rolls look lovely! I wish I had one of those pans, I’ll put it on my birthday wish list! :)


  27. #
    Lucia — January 15, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Oh yes, too hot milk “kills” yeast, also fresh yeast, but this rising is wonderful!!!


  28. #
    Sally - My Custard Pie — January 16, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Definitely baking rolls in a skillet next time. They look gorgeous.


    • Jennie replied January 17th, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks so much, Sally!


  29. #
    Meghan — January 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    These look awesome! And melted garlic butter sauce just sealed the deal!!



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