Who doesn't love the smell of freshly baked dinner rolls? These light and fluffy, soft dinner rolls are the best I've ever had. So tender and buttery, they practically melt in your mouth!
Super easy - made from a Bucket of Dough (refrigerator dough), there's no mess, no special equipment, and no kneading. Just shape, proof, and bake. Let me show you the easy steps for making ultimate vegan dinner rolls every single time!
Our family is obsessed with these dinner rolls (both versions!). The tender crumb, soft buttery crust, and the slightly sweet and salty flavor of the soft version is irresistible. But that incredible, slightly chewy crust and soft crumb on the crusty version - ai yai yai . . . we can't shovel them into our faces fast enough!
The Magical Bread Dough
All purpose refrigerator bread dough (aka a Bucket of Dough) is ridiculously easy to make! It takes 5 minutes to mix and can be stored in the fridge for baking over the next 2 weeks. Make small batch (or big batch) dinner rolls, vegan cinnamon buns, pizzas, pitas, sandwich bread, soft breadsticks, and so much more.
Which will be your favorite - soft, buttery, classic dinner rolls or the crusty, chewy roll - more like French bread? With this vegan dinner roll recipe, you can make either or both - the only difference is temperature.
Ingredients You'll Need
These vegan dinner rolls are delicious made without eggs or dairy! Here's what you'll need.
refrigerator dough - takes 5 minutes of hands-on time and can be made up to 2 weeks in advance.
butter - for brushing the rolls.
add-ins and toppings - optional variations (garlic butter, sweet butter, herbs, seeds).
How do I Shape Dinner Rolls?
This all purpose refrigerator dough makes baking dinner rolls from scratch so simple and convenient, it's like having Pillsbury dough in the fridge; but homemade!
For Both Variations
- Divide the dough into equal size pieces.
- Round a portion of the dough by rolling it in a circular motion under your cupped hand across the work surface. You want to create friction* which tightens the outside of the ball into a smooth tight surface.
- *Choose a spot to round the dough where there is no flour on your work surface. You may need to dust your palm lightly if the dough is too sticky.
- Transfer to a baking sheet to rise.
- Details for each method below.
Baking Dinner Rolls (2 ways)
Same recipe, different results. A hotter/higher heat will cause the dinner rolls to rise more quickly in the oven (oven spring) which results in a thinner, softer crust. Brushing butter on the dinner rolls after baking also creates a softer, more tender crust.
A slightly lower, moderate oven temperature causes the dinner rolls to rise at a slower rate and takes longer for the dinner rolls to cook through. The longer the rolls are in the oven, the thicker the crust will be. For crusty rolls, don't brushing butter on the top.
Soft Dinner Rolls (pull aparts)
Soft, pillowy dinner rolls (aka tear aparts/pull apart) are small, light and fluffy. They rise (proof) touching each other so they bake into one another and are beyond satisfying when you tear them apart.
The sides are slightly pale while the tops are golden and buttery. They are the classic, soft, white dinner rolls that typically make an appearance at Sunday family dinners and on holiday dinner tables.
- preheat the oven to 445º F, rack in center of oven, prepare pan
- 50-55 gram balls or ~2 ounces (can make smaller or larger)
- place the rolls on a prepared, rimmed quarter baking sheet or 8x8 square pan
- the rolls will be about ½" apart or just touching
- cover and let rise in a warm spot until light and puffy (30-45 minutes)
- bake 12-15 minutes until golden and delicious
- brush with butter (or sweet butter). Serve and devour while hot!
Crusty Dinner Rolls
These crusty bread rolls are unbelievably scrumptious!! With a soft, tender crumb and a slightly crispy, chewy crust, the texture is very similar to French bread.
Crusty dinner rolls bake without touching each other creating a larger crust surface like a hamburger bun. The sides are golden and the tops are medium brown.
The 50-55 gram size is just right for dinner and the 75 gram size is perfect for a deli sandwich or hamburger bun.
- preheat the oven to 400º F, rack in center of oven, prepare pan
- 50-75 gram balls (~1 ½ - 2 ½ ounces)
- place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2" apart
- cover and let rise in a warm spot until light and puffy (35-45 minutes)
- for the BEST crust, right before going into the hot oven, spritz with water (just like baking sourdough bread)
- bake 18-23 minutes (depending on size) until medium brown and delicious
- serve and devour while hot!
tips + faq for making the best dinner rolls!
Portioning and shaping dough. Don't worry about the shape being perfect or the rolls being exactly the same size, they change as they rise and bake together.
Dinner rolls can be made larger or smaller depending on your crowd and what you are using them for.
Can I make these rolls ahead? Yes! the bucket of dough can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of baking.
The rolls can be shaped and then placed in the fridge (covered) 24 hours in advance of baking.
Bring them out while the oven is preheating and then proceed with baking as per recipe.
Vegan bread washes. In place of eggs/egg whites, brushing plant-based milk on SOFT dinner rolls before baking promotes a rich color and soft crust. Brushing melted butter after baking creates a soft crust and added flavor.
As well, a spritz of water right before going into a hot oven will promote the most delicious crisp crust (same method used when baking sourdough bread!).
Variations/Optional. Once baked, brush soft rolls with garlic butter or sweet butter. Sprinkle with fresh or dry herbs or sesame seeds after baking.
Storage Tips. Store completely cooled, soft dinner buns in a plastic bag at room temperature for one or two days or in the fridge for several days. See recipe notes for more tips.
Freeze leftover, baked rolls for up to 3 months in a freezer bag or container. Reheat in 350º F oven or microwave if desired.
Hungry for more vegan recipes?
Here's more easy recipes you can make with your Bucket of Dough and some favorite bread recipes.
- soft buttery garlic breadsticks
- easy, soft and chewy pitas
- pillowy soft sandwich bread loaf
- rustic overnight bread
- skyhigh tender flaky vegan biscuits
- epic vegan banana bread
Soft Vegan Dinner Rolls (2 ways)
- 500 - 900 grams refrigerator dough
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup, more to taste
How Much Dough?
- Pinch off a large piece of refrigerator dough depending on how many dinner rolls you'd like to make.
- FYI: In the recipe photo I made 21, 50ish gram (just over 1 ½ ounces) rolls with about half the bucket of dough. Each dough ball was around the size of a large golf ball.
- Lightly flour your work surface and quickly shape the large piece into a nice ball. Using a bench scraper or large knife, divide into evenly sized pieces (they don't have to be exact).
Shaping (Rounding) the Rolls
- Shape each piece into a ball by rounding (see blog post for specific details). Basically, place a cupped hand over the piece of dough and make circular motions on the work surface creating friction which produces a smooth tight, round ball.
- Arrange balls on a parchment lined or greased bottom and sides of a quarter baking sheet. ½" apart for soft dinner rolls and 2" apart for crusty dinner rolls.
- Cover with plastic and a light kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until light and puffy (about 30-45 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is).
- While the rolls are proofing (rising), preheat the oven to 400º F or 445ºF depending which dinner rolls you are baking.
- Place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Baking the Dinner Rolls (2 methods)
- Soft Dinner Rolls - remove plastic, place in preheated 445º F oven until medium golden ~12-15 minutes (depending on size of rolls and how hot your oven runs).
- Soft Dinner Rolls - remove from oven, brush with butter. Let cool around 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely so the sides don't steam and get soggy.
- Crusty Dinner Rolls - remove plastic. Right before placing in hot oven, spray a couple times with water. Immediately put into 400º F oven and close the door. Set timer for 18-23 minutes (depending on size of rolls and how hot your oven runs).
- The rolls will be medium brown, and beautifully crunchy/crusty - very difficult to resist! Do not brush with any topping. Do not place in plastic bag.
This recipe is from simplyceecee.co food blog. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or republish this recipe without prior permission. Thank you.