Old Fashioned Pan Rolls

Old Fashioned Pan Rolls


This recipe has been a Thanksgiving tradition for as long as I can remember.  The smell of yeast bread rising is certainly one of my fondest holiday memories.  I smile when I remember waking up to my mom covered in flour and kneading the dough, preparing for its first round of rising.  I have continued that tradition and in fact make them regularly for hot roast beef sandwiches, left over turkey sandwiches and everything in between. I’m happy to share this tradition with you and your family.


1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 pkgs active dry yeast

6 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups water

3/4 cup butter

1 egg

Vegetable oil


  1. In a large bowl combine sugar, salt, yeast and 2 1/2 cups of flour.
  2. In a 1 quart saucepan over low heat, heat water and 1/2 cup of butter until very warm (120*-130*).  The butter does not need to melt completely.
  3. With mixer as low-speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients until just blended.
  4. Increase speed to medium, beat 2 minutes occasionally scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Beat in egg and 3/4 cup flour to make a thick batter; continue beating 2 minutes, scraping the bowl often.
  6. Stir in enough additional four to make a soft dough. It usually takes about 2 1/2 cups of flour to achieve the right consistency.
  7. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you are comfortable using the dough hook on your Kitchenaid, that will also work.  I prefer to knead by hand to make sure I am comfortable with the consistency.
  8. Shape dough into a large ball and place in a greased large bowl (using vegetable oil from ingredients list); turn dough over so that the top of the dough is lightly greased.
  9. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place away from draft.  Dough is finished rising when it has doubled in size (usually about 1 1/2 hours).  My mom taught me that the dough is doubled when two fingers pressed lightly into the dough leave a dent.
  10. Once dough has doubled, it is ready for phase two.  Punch down dough.
  11. Lightly grease a 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 roasting pan.
  12. Cut dough into 30 equal pieces; shape into balls and place in pan.
  13. Cover with a towel; let rise in warm place until doubled (usually about 1 1/2 hours).
  14. Pre-heat oven to 425*.
  15. Bake rolls 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  16. Rub with a stick of butter when you remove them from the oven.

4 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Pan Rolls

  1. They are heavenly! The recipe makes 30 dinner rolls…after a meal the kids divide them up so everyone gets their fair share 🙂 And then I make a second batch once the fighting starts.


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