Crazy for Crust

Mar 06

Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls {with Maple Butter}

Small Batch 45 minute Dinner Rolls might seem like a fairytale, but I assure you: it can be done. This is the perfect recipe to make just the right amount of rolls…so you’ll only eat four one.

Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls | | 4 dinner rolls on your table in under 45 minutes! Serve it up with maple butter!

I love bread. I love it for breakfast. I love it for lunch. For lunch dessert. For dinner. For actual dessert.

It’s a scientific fact: if I have bread in the house I will eat it all. Well, that’s a lie. If I have good bread in the house I will eat it all. {Sliced wheat bread need not apply.}

There is nothing I like more with dinner than a hot and fluffy and fresh dinner roll, especially if we’re having soup or salad.

Plus, if we’re having soup (I always make it broth-based and low-calorie) or salad, that means there are calories left for bread. #Fact

Because I have a certifiable bread addiction, it’s really bad for me to make a full recipe of dinner rolls. Last year I shared these 45 Minute Dinner Rolls and they have been super popular ever since (except for that one time they were on Pinterest Fail because the maker used old yeast and didn’t follow any of my directions, but whatever).

There is only one problem with that recipe, and it’s not because it doesn’t work (#itmostcertainlydoes). The problem is that it makes 12 rolls.

I have 3 people in my family. My husband is weirdly healthy and doesn’t eat bread. #weirdo

My daughter is 9 and I *try* to make sure she gets the right kinds of foods and not 11 dinner rolls (even though she’d eat that many).

That leaves 11 for me. Guess what? I seriously would eat 11 rolls in two days. I wish I was kidding. So, it dawned on me…why not make a small batch? 4 large rolls. Perfect for a small family or one person.

Serve them up with some Maple Butter and not only are they the perfect dinner side, but they’re great for breakfast or dessert too!

Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls | | 4 dinner rolls on your table in under 45 minutes! Serve it up with maple butter!

Oh mer gerd. They’re fluffy. And light. And soft. And yeasty and bready.

Okay, so let’s talk specifics of this recipe. It’s a yeasted bread that’s made in only 45 minutes. How? By using lots of yeast. This recipe uses a full tablespoon of yeast. That means you need to use most of two packets (each packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons) or buy a jar. If you like baking with yeast, buy the jar. It’s cheaper and you can use a little or a lot. My favorite yeast is Red Star Active Dry Yeast. I’ve used both brands at my local grocery store and that one performs the best.

{For a step by step photo tutorial of what the steps look like, see the original dinner roll recipe. It’s the same concept, just different measurements.}

You mix the yeast with some sugar and very warm water. I heat my water in the microwave for about 30 seconds to get it to very warm bathwater temperature. (Remember – all microwaves perform differently.) You let that mixture sit in the bowl of your stand mixer with some olive oil for 15 minutes. It gets really frothy.

Note about your mixer: I use a stand mixer for this recipe. Yes, you can do it by hand. But I haven’t. That’s why I have a stand mixer…so I don’t have to. :)

Then you mix in your flour, slowly, using your dough hook. The dough comes together quite nicely with just a little stickiness. It should somewhat clean the sides of the bowl as it whips around and forms a dough ball. If it’s too sticky (as in, it gets all over your hands and stays there when you try and touch it) you can add more flour, but you shouldn’t need more than an extra 1/4 cup or so. But remember – humidity, the temp in your house, the brand of flour you use…it can all affect how much flour you end up using. You should be able to handle the dough well enough to separate it into 4 pieces and place it in your pan.

I baked my rolls in a 6″ round cake pan. Muffin tins would work. So would a loaf pan, or just bunch them together on a cookie sheet. You let them sit another 5 minutes (place them near the preheating oven), then you bake for 11-15. I made 4 large rolls, but you could also make 8 small ones.

These are seriously some of the best dinner rolls I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve tested out my fair share!)

Then there’s the maple butter. Remember going to Fresh Choice back in the 90s? They had fresh hot bread and whipped honey butter? This is my interpretation of that butter: maple syrup and extract is whipped into some softened butter. It’s good enough to eat with a spoon!

Warm or cold, this small batch of dinner rolls is the PERFECT accompaniment to your next family meal.

For me? They’re a perfect single serving. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls | | 4 dinner rolls on your table in under 45 minutes! Serve it up with maple butter!

Is there a bread 12-step program? Because I probably should enroll. Or…not. :)

Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls {with Maple Butter}

Yield: 4-6 Rolls



  • 1/2 cup warm water (30 seconds in the microwave; think hot bathwater)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Maple Butter

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, very soft
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon maple extract, optional



  1. Preheat oven to 400ยฐF. Spray a 6โ€ round cake pan (or other similar sized pan) with cooking spray.
  2. Place the water, olive oil, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. It will be very frothy when your timer rings! Mix in the salt and flour using the dough hook. Start on โ€œStirโ€ for a few seconds, until the flour starts to incorporate. Switch to โ€œ2โ€ for about 30 seconds and then kick it up to โ€œ3โ€ until the dough completely comes together. You know itโ€™s done when all of the dough will join to form a ball and the sides of the bowl are almost clean (no dough left). If your dough is too wet, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour.
  3. Place dough on a cutting board and section into 4 balls. Place the rolls prepared pan. Let rest for 5 more minutes.
  4. Bake for about 11-15 minutes, until the tops start to get golden. Enjoy with dinner, or for breakfast with maple butter.

Maple Butter

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Store covered in refrigerator, best served at room temperature.

45 Minute Dinner Rolls


Homemade Pork Buns


Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls

zucchini cinnamon rolls (2 of 7)w

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Bacon Maple Cinnamon Rolls 1 words

Sweets from friends:
Whole Wheat Lion House Rolls by Something Swanky
2-Ingredient Pizza Dough by The Slow Roasted Italian
White Sandwich Bread by Roxana’s Home Baking

63 Responses to “Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls {with Maple Butter}”

  1. Aimee @ ShugarySweets posted on March 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm (#)

    Oooh, I love these. Sadly I’d have to make the full batch, but seriously, YUM. I’m such a bread addict too….


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 6th, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Hello, what about lunchtime? #servesone :)


  2. Emily @ Life on Food posted on March 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm (#)

    Hooray for smaller bread recipes. Me and my husband do not need but will always eat the 12. So not good for the waist line.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 6th, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      No, so totally not!! :) Thanks Emily!


  3. Karissa @ Sweet as a Cookie posted on March 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm (#)

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this recipe ever since I saw your photo on Instagram. Bread is my fav!


  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on March 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm (#)

    This is my fave post of yours in….possibly EVER! I love the images, the idea, the MAPLE butter (swoon!), the fact that it’s smallbatch, ready so fast, and totally from scratch. You NAILED THIS!! Pinned and will be repinning tons :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 6th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      OMG thank you Averie! I swear, I HATED the photos. Like, detested. Think they’re the worst ever. So…you saying they’re not makes me happy. You and me, we’re the small batch sisters. :)


  5. Carole posted on March 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm (#)

    This look seriously delicious! And, your photos are amazing! I’m pinning to Pinterest!


  6. Laurie F. posted on March 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm (#)

    We love bread, too! Thanks for including such detailed instructions, and making a small batch! When I was in grade school, one year my mom was PTA president, so I asked her to getter recipe for my very favorite Raisin Batter Bread from the cafeteria ladies ( who made everything from scratch). She got it, but it was for an industrial-size batch! Aargh!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 7th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      I need to make cinnamon raisin rolls. That’s going on the list! :)


  7. Tieghan posted on March 6, 2014 at 8:39 pm (#)

    We love bread over here too!! Breakfast, lunch, dinner! These rolls look to die for and that butter? That sounds so good!


  8. Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! posted on March 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm (#)

    I feel you on the whole bread thing… I am a huge fan and could eat bread all day every day. You are a genius for coming up with a small batch – I can’t even tell you how much I love this. Perfect for our family of two :)


  9. Mandy@Mandy's Recipe Box posted on March 6, 2014 at 9:36 pm (#)

    Perfect for when it’s a date night meal or you don’t want to eat the whole normal batch. Cuz I would. Yum!


  10. Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen posted on March 6, 2014 at 10:41 pm (#)

    I NEED to make these next time there is a family get-together, they look so easy and scrumptious!! I am the exact same with fresh bread – it is so difficult not to devour everything in sight – totally yummy! ๐Ÿ˜€ Can’t wait to try these ! Pinned!


  11. Kelly posted on March 7, 2014 at 3:59 am (#)

    Oh my goodness, I am such a sucker for homemade rolls and I love this smaller batch! That means I won’t feel guilty eating the whole batch and the maple butter sounds amazing! Pinning :)


  12. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness posted on March 7, 2014 at 4:53 am (#)

    I have never made my own dinner rolls…but this looks easy! And, I love that it’s small batch, as there is only two in my family!
    Pretty sure I am gonna spread that maple butter all over my face. Pinned! :)


  13. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron posted on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 am (#)

    You are seriously BRILLIANT!!! This is the perfect, perfect recipe for my small family! I always make wayyyy to many rolls and they go to waste. I can not wait to try these!


  14. Ashley posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:17 am (#)

    Oh gosh I love bread too. I will pass by plenty of other perfectly good things to get to the dinner rolls. haha so bad. I LOVE that you made a small batch! Which would help to control how many I would eat in one sitting : )


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 7th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      I’d rather skip all other food if it means I can eat bread. :) Thanks Ashley!


  15. Patrice posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:22 am (#)

    Can’t wait to make these.
    I’m thinking about doubling the batch and freezing them.
    How well do they freeze and reheat?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 7th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      I’ve never frozen them, but I assume it would be okay. It might be good to layer them between paper towels to absorb moisture in the freezer and during defrosting. :)


  16. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:22 am (#)

    This is exactly the recipe that my husband and I need! We have no problem polishing off a pan of rolls by ourselves. Thank you!


  17. David @ Spiced posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:44 am (#)

    These look amazing…and I love that they only take 45 minutes. Plus, anything with maple butter is just magic as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for sharing!


  18. Michelle posted on March 7, 2014 at 9:18 am (#)

    I just made these and they were really easy. They smell soooo good and I’m not sure how I’m going to wait for dinner!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 7th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad Michelle!! :)


  19. Mary Frances posted on March 7, 2014 at 9:18 am (#)

    Oh my goodness, that is so me with any carb – pretzels, bagels, rolls. I can eat a whole batch and I’m pretty sure that isn’t healthy! :) Love how fast this is! I’m impressed you figured out how to get such a small serving size. And they look so perfect!


  20. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection posted on March 7, 2014 at 10:16 am (#)

    I love that you included maple butter with these! I dont know why, but I’ve been craving soft rolls for a few days now. Looks like I’ll have to make this small batch all for myself. :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 7th, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Enjoy Elaine! I crave rolls all the darn time. :)


  21. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on March 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm (#)

    YOU’RE SO GENIUS!! The perfect little batch of rolls, and they can be made so quicklY!!! Life changing!


  22. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking posted on March 7, 2014 at 6:34 pm (#)

    ohmygawd they are sooo cute! All nestled in that mini cake pan. Or….maybe it’s just me.

    They look so soft, so fluffy, so delicious! I agree those do look super dangerous to a bread addict (I got that predisposition from my Mother…so, yeah, thanks mom) Pinned (for tomorrow’s dinner. but I might actually make 12)


  23. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:04 pm (#)

    This is such a great idea as so many times I need rolls for dinner but I’m all out and worry it will take too long! No more excuses, pinning this now!


  24. Amy posted on March 7, 2014 at 10:48 pm (#)

    If you ever find that bread 12-step program… Don’t tell me about it. Because I’d be the first person who’d need to sign up and I DON’T want to! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s a brilliant idea to make a small batch, and awesome tip about the extra yeast to make it go faster! I loved eating at Fresh Choice & Sweet Tomatoes throughout my childhood. I’d skip through most of the salad bar and load up on pizza sticks, brownies & soft serve (with lots of sprinkles!). My stomach just turned over thinking about it…


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 9th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      LOL!! Me neither really. What kind of life is life without bread???


      • Amy replied on March 9th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

        Ummm… Death. (Only joking! Kind of. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) How does Mel do it??

        • Dorothy Kern replied on March 10th, 2014 at 6:55 pm

          Really. I have NO FREAKING IDEA. You know he ate NO dessert on Saturday? !!!!

          • Amy replied on March 10th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

            I thought he didn’t! Mainly because we got up at the same time to fill our plates… Wow. Just wow. He’s so strong-willed! (Although I nearly fainted when I saw him take a half-slice of bread with his meatballs. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  25. Jess posted on March 8, 2014 at 2:05 am (#)

    These look amazing! :)


  26. glenda kremer posted on March 9, 2014 at 11:02 am (#)

    I do not have bread hooks so can I just mix???
    glenda kremer


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 9th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Yes, mix until it is too sticky to do it with the paddle or beaters. Then work it by hand and then knead it, probably for a few minutes, until it comes together and is not too sticky! You may need some flour so it doesn’t stick to your board!


  27. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on March 10, 2014 at 9:22 am (#)

    Perfect Dorothy! I remember you talking about doing a small batch post and this is seriously brilliant. Definitely a good thing for those of us in Carbaholics Anonymous. Pinned!


  28. kristin posted on March 12, 2014 at 9:44 am (#)

    “My husband is weirdly healthy and doesnโ€™t eat bread. #weirdo” This made me laugh right out loud! Thanks for the laugh and the recipe! My weirdly healthy non-bread eating husband won’t even get a BITE when I make them! ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 13th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      LOL, glad it’s not just me!!!


  29. Renee @ Awesome on $20 posted on March 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm (#)

    This is a great idea! We can never ever eat an entire batch of rolls. I love it!


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  31. Lisete Alves posted on June 22, 2014 at 6:03 am (#)

    Hi! Thank you so much for the recipe!
    I’ve just made them for lunch and they’re super easy and fast to make (even kneading the dough by hand -hubby was still sleeping and I didn’t have the heart to wake him via mixer machine noises, eheh -, it was super easy!)
    LOVE them! I also suffer of bread-loving syndrome (and working in a bakery is terrible)! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    The only thing I will try differently next time I make these (oh and I will!) is adding a bit more salt ๐Ÿ˜‰ (in Portugal our tastebuds are tuned to a bit more salty bread, eheh… just a bit ;))
    Great recipe!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 23rd, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Yay! I’m glad you liked them. :) Salt is kind of the bane of my existence, lol. I never know how much to add – because some people like more, some people like none!! Thanks for your comment!


      • Lisete Alves replied on July 4th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        Good rule of thumb for salt, quantity in bread: 1.8% to 2% of salt in relation to flour total weight (example, if you’re using 1 kg of flour, should use, 18 to 20 g of salt ) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  32. R+R posted on October 27, 2014 at 9:21 pm (#)

    Yum!!!! Made these for dinner tonight. Perfect. So savory. They taste perfect with raspberry jam .I will definitely make these again! I will reccomend this recipe to my friends. Thanks for posting! :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on October 28th, 2014 at 6:46 am

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed them!


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  34. brooke posted on December 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm (#)

    I don’t have a stand mixer… when I made by hand they did not rise to fill the pan or brown on top. They were still dense and a tad doughy. Any tips on making them by hand? The bottoms were browned.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on December 17th, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Did the yeast get foamy before you mixed in the other ingredients? Did you knead it all by hand? The yeast gets very foamy before you add the flour (if it doesn’t, the yeast may be bad or the water was not hot enough or it was too hot). Once you add the flour, when I use the stand mixer, I mix it until the dough can be handled without a lot of transfer onto your hands. So if you’re kneading this by hand, you should do it, adding flour as needed, until it’s smooth. The balls don’t grow that much in the oven, they rise a little when they sit in the pan before baking, but they don’t grow a lot. Mine, as you can see from the photos, didn’t get very brown on top, more of a “blush” (but brown in color). If you want it more golden like a traditional dinner roll, you can brush the raw rolls with melted butter or egg before baking.


  35. Jessica posted on January 13, 2015 at 9:23 am (#)

    It’d my first time making it and I haven’t had a chance to buy a stand mixer yet so I did what you replied to the above comment by kneading it until it’s a nice round dough (not too sticky either). I baked it for 15 mins and I didny event get the little light yellow/brown color on the top and it tasted a little dough-y. Anything else I can do? The mixture was frothy before I added the flour, should I have kneaded longer?


    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 13th, 2015 at 9:50 am

      When you say doughy do you mean underdone or dense? These dinner rolls are pretty dense, but should be fluffy at the same time. I like a “heavier” dinner roll, so they’re perfect for us. If the dough isn’t too sticky after kneading, that’s probably okay, mine is usually touchable with minimal transfer. Possibly they needed to be cooked longer?


      • Jessica replied on January 13th, 2015 at 9:58 am

        I baked it for another 5 mins and it seems fine now. some parts inside the roll were seemed a little wet/doughy still before i baked it longer and now it seems like what you just described. :) thank you! they are yummy with the maple butter spread.ย 

        • Dorothy Kern replied on January 13th, 2015 at 7:30 pm

          I’m so glad!!

  36. Michelle @ Feed Me I'm Hungry posted on January 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm (#)

    Hi! Stumbled by your blog because I was looking up small batch baking recipes. This recipe looks fantastic and I can’t wait to give it a try. I also could easily eat 11 rolls in 2 days. Heck probably in one, hence the google search for small batch baking! Thanks for sharing.ย 


  37. R+R posted on February 23, 2015 at 7:26 pm (#)

    I just made this recipe for the third time! I loe them and so does my family. Thank you so much for this “keeper” recipe


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