Warm, golden-brown and subtly flavored with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, these Soft Parmesan Dinner Rolls are a classic and comforting side dish.
Soft & Fluffy Homemade Dinner Rolls
Making homemade yeast rolls is kind of a special occasion for me. I love how soft and light they are, how beautiful they look on the table, and how their wonderful aroma fills the house. While I might not make homemade rolls every day, they are definitely a big part of my holiday meal planning!
As amazing as a basic homemade roll can be, this recipe is even more delicious. That’s because of two simple ingredients: finely shredded parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. It’s yeast roll perfection!
- Water & Milk: You’ll need a cup of water and a half cup of milk, both warmed slightly but not hot.
- Butter: To add tenderness and richness, this recipe uses 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Sugar: I add a tablespoon of granulated sugar, but you can also substitute raw sugar, a bit of honey, or maple syrup.
- Yeast: You’ll need 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast.
- Flour: You can substitute with your favorite gluten-free AP flour, if you wish!
- Parmesan: You only need about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, shredded or finely grated.
- Fresh Parsley
How to Make Dinner Rolls
- Combine Liquids, Yeast & Sugar: In a mixing bowl, combine the water, milk, butter and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and whisk lightly, then allow to sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Add Dry Ingredients & Knead: To the yeast mixture, add the flour and salt. Then, using an electric mixer, mix for about five minutes using a dough hook. (You can also knead by hand; this will take longer to knead, but the dough is ready when it is very smooth, with a stretchy, even texture.)
- Let the Dough Rise (First Rise): Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp towel, and let the dough rise for 15 minutes.
- Punch Down and Let Rise (Second Rise): After the dough has risen for 15 minutes, punch it down and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a greased baking dish. Cover the dish with a damp towel and let rise a second time, this time for 20 minutes. Begin preheating the oven to 400°F.
- Bake: Once the rolls have risen, sprinkle the parmesan cheese and parsley over them. Then bake for about 20 minutes, until the rolls are golden-brown and fully done.
How Long Should the Dough Rise?
- How long the dough rises depends mostly on the temperature of your kitchen, and even of the specific spot in the kitchen where you leave the dough to rise. If the space is somewhat cool, the dough will take longer to rise. If the space is warm, it will rise faster.
- Some people have drafty or cool kitchens, and place their bread and rolls near the stove, crock-pot, or toaster oven turned on low for warmth.
Be careful not to over-rise the dough. Over-risen dough has a tired, deflated appearance and can taste strongly of yeast. You’ll know the rolls have risen enough when they still look rounded and smooth, but have just about doubled in size. If you gently press a roll with one finger and the indentation remains, rather than rising back up, they are definitely ready to bake!
Tips for the Best Dinner Rolls
- Time the Process: One reason these rolls are a recipe I tend to save for special occasions is the time factor. With warming the milk, measuring the ingredients, proofing the yeast mixture, kneading, shaping, two rises, and a bake—well, it’s not a difficult recipe, but it is pretty hands-on and takes a bit of time. So you’ll want to think about all of that in order to have the rolls ready at dinnertime!
- Grease Everything: Working with dough can get a bit sticky, especially in humid weather or a warm, bustling kitchen. So, feel free to grease not only the bowl, but your hands and your working surface. You can also use lightly greased plastic wrap instead of a damp towel to cover the dough as it rises!
- Flavor It Up! The dough recipe is really pretty versatile and can be flavored a lot of different ways! You can try rosemary and asiago, or use Italian seasonings and parmesan instead of parsley and parmesan. You can also knead some goodies into the rolls themselves, such as bits of sundried tomato, pieces of cheddar and ham, or whatever you like!
How to Make Ahead
- If you’d like to make these rolls in advance, you can prep them through the kneading step.
- Then, instead of letting the dough rise at room temperature, place it, covered, in the refrigerator. It will rise slowly in the refrigerator, for up to about 8 hours (depending on your fridge).
- From there, you can take it out, shape the rolls, and continue with the second rise.
How to Store Extra Rolls
- Yeast rolls can be kept in sealed food storage bags at room temperature for up to two days. I don’t recommend storing them in the refrigerator.
- To freeze, wrap the rolls securely in plastic wrap, and then place in freezer bags. Push as much air out of the bags as possible, before sealing. Use within 4 months for best results.
- Thaw frozen rolls on the counter and enjoy them as soon as possible.
Soft Parmesan Dinner Rolls
- In a mixing bowl, combine water, milk, butter, and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and whisk lightly then allow to sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Add the flour and salt; using an electric mixer, mix for 4 to 5 minutes using a dough hook on medium-low setting.
- Once the dough is smooth, transfer to a greased bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise for 15 minutes.
- Once risen, punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Cover the dish with a damp towel and let the dough balls rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Once the rolls have risen, sprinkle each roll with parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes.
- Serve warm and enjoy!