Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls (with Maple Butter)

4.92 from 12 votes

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.

Overhead shot of Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls still in the pan with a knife and 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 (I especially love dipping them in Ham and Potato Soup!)

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!

Photo collage of Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls 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 ¼ 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.

{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 ¼ 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! (Pssst…I’ve also made chocolate butter that would go so well on these!)

Warm or cold, this small batch of dinner rolls is the PERFECT accompaniment to your next family meal. And hey, did you know you can make them in to cinnamon rolls? And I’ve even made them into pizza

For me? They’re a perfect single serving. 😉

Small Batch 45 Minute Dinner Rolls on table with one split in half and 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}

This easy dinner roll recipe makes a small batch - just 4 rolls that's perfect for  small family or one person. Add some maple butter and eat them for breakfast!
4.92 from 12 votes
Yield 4 -6 Rolls
Serving Size



  • 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



  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 6” round cake pan (or other similar sized pan) with cooking spray.
  • 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 “Stir” for a few seconds, until the flour starts to incorporate. Switch to “2” for about 30 seconds and then kick it up to “3” until the dough completely comes together. You know it’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.
  • Place dough on a cutting board and section into 4 balls. Place the rolls prepared pan. Let rest for 5 more minutes.
  • Bake for about 11-15 minutes, until the tops start to get golden. Enjoy with dinner, or for breakfast with maple butter.

Maple Butter

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

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

If you’re as in love with small batch recipes as I am, be sure to try out my small batch brownies, chocolate chip cookie, and blondie recipes. Or even small batch confetti cupcakes or small batch snickerdoodles!

45 Minute Dinner Rolls

Homemade Pork Buns

Zucchini Cinnamon Rolls

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

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

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108 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. Just made these rolls with my three year and your recipe took my fear away of baking with yeast with that simple instruction if having the water the temperature of a warm bath. Thank you so so much!! These were so so good, fluffy, yeasty and we ate two right away with dinner.

  2. I’ve tried this recipe for years. Both as a novice baker and now coming back to it as an experienced baker. I can never get it right 🤦‍♀️ which kills me because it has few ingredients. It never reaches gluten formed window pane stage so I’m not kneading it right. Its stodgy even when I think I have overproved it (maybe underproved it). Browns so quickly due to 400 degrees but the yeast mixture is beautiful. I just dont get it. I can make lovely and harder to perfect enriched dough, but the fact that I cant nail this one irritates me.

    1. This one is actually on my list of videos to shoot, so I will be making it again soon. But let me know: what kind of yeast are you using, are you going it by hand or using a mixer?

      1. I use instant yeast mix by hand and knead in mixer. My other baking friends say it is never going to reach window pane stage where gluten is developed without kneading in mixer for at least 15 minutes checking periodically to make dough can be stretched not torn. I’ll be trying that next. Thanks for replying.

  3. I have rapid yeast which I usually when making dough in my bread maker. Can I use that yeast in this recipe and can I proof this type yeast as indicated in the directions?

    1. I haven’t tried this recipe with the rapid yeast – I think you definitely can – but add it with the dry ingredients (don’t proof it), then add hot liquid (be sure to check the yeast package to make sure the temp is correct, it’s different for active dry).

  4. Dorothy, I had great success with this recipe. My question is: to make them a bit sweeter in taste, is it possible to add more sugar without hindering your recipe?

    1. That I’m not sure – I have only made them this way, with just enough sugar to help the yeast. If you want to make a sweet dough, you might try one of my cinnamon rolls recipes.

  5. I love yeast breads but intensely dislike kneading. Also dislike waiting… THIS IS PERFECT!! Delicious, good crust, fluffy inside, flavourful. And hot, fresh out of the oven as dinner is ready to be served. Happiness. My husband is so impressed (and delighted). So am I!!!
    And thank you for this small batch, if I made a dozen, I’d EAT a dozen….

  6. I’m a very good cook and usually disappointed in recipes I try (and keep trying for some reason). Sure glad I tried this one. The only change I made was soy oil in place of olive oil (allergic). I served with plain butter. They are excellent:, beautiful color, fine crumb and tasted delicious.

  7. In your description is directions you mention using 2 live of yeast, while the recipe itself calls for only 1. So how much do u actually use?

  8. I made today, they came out looking beautiful, but they turned out crumbly instead of light and fluffy. I added unsweetened almond milk instead of water and unbleached all purpose flour and put in a 5 in baking dish instead of a round pan and let it rise 10 min instead of 5. I also kneaded in the bowl for 5 or so min. I’ve tried to send pictures and hope you can tell me why they were crumbly.

  9. These are delicious. I don’t have a mixer like you, but I kneaded them for 5 minutes. We’re having them for Easter since we can’t celebrate with family this year!