Homemade Brown and Serve Rolls

These are rolls that you can make ahead of time, freeze, and then thaw and bake at a later date – perfect for making ahead of time before Thanksgiving. They will keep in the freezer for 2 months, so you could make some now for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You can also use this recipe if you just want rolls for today.

This recipe makes 24 rolls.

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  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (120 to 130 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • Butter, softened

Put 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar,


and yeast.

Mix together. Then add milk, water,

and shortening.

Mix well.

Stir in remaining flour one cup at a time.

Dough will be stiff.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead for about 5 minutes. Kneading is done by folding dough over on itself,

pressing down with heels of your hands,

turning dough 1/4 turn,

and repeating the steps again. Keep kneading for 5 minutes.

If you have a housecat like we do (Kitty), she may take an interest in the proceedings. Any movement on our part is entertainment for her.

When done kneading, place dough in a medium greased bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap greased with butter to keep the dough from sticking to it. Let rise in a warm place until double in size, or about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough with your fist to get all the big air bubbles out,

and then turn out on your work surface.

For dinner rolls, divide dough into 24 pieces with a knife, form into balls with your hands, and place into greased muffin tins, or 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Then brush with melted butter.

Or, for Parker House rolls, flatten dough out with your hands or rolling pin into a 24 X 18 inch square, use a 3 inch round cutter to cut 24 pieces of dough, score down the middle of each, brush each with melted butter, fold in half, pinch closed with your fingers,  and then place them close together in 2 greased 9 X 9 X 2 pans. Brush with melted butter.

This time, I made 12 dinner rolls, and 12 Parker House rolls. First I made the dinner rolls:

Then I made the Parker House rolls:

For 12 Parker House rolls, I flattened out the dough into a 12 X 9 inch rectangle.

Dip cutter into flour if it sticks to dough.

When done forming the dough into rolls, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes, or until they are double in size.

To prepare for baking and serving at a later date:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes until set,  but not browned. Remove rolls from pans and cool to room temperature. Then place rolls in freezer bags. They will keep in fridge for 8 days, or the freezer for 2 months. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and thaw to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and bake on greased cookie sheet for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

OR, to prepare for serving immediately:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Ahhhh….fresh from the oven, warm, delicious, homemade rolls made by you with love.



—–>UP NEXT TOMORROW:  Get your hands up and step away from that can opener! Canned cranberry sauce should be against the law. Let’s make Homemade Cranberry Sauce with 3 ingredients: Fresh Cranberries, Sugar, and Water. Easy!


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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24 Responses

  1. You make it look so easy!
    What a great way to spend an autumn day.

  2. Sarah Lynn says:

    Those look great! I’m terrible letting stuff rise, I made cinnamon rolls before and I don’t think I kneaded them enough! I will have to try these out. Did you computer get repaired?

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Sarah Lynn,
      It’s hard to be patient I know. I’ve made some flat bread too that I didn’t let rise enough.
      Yes, thank you, the computer finally made its way back home and is working again. Whew.

  3. Melanie says:

    MMMM. I can smell ’em cooking!! Friday I made 3 dozen bierocks and 90ish cinnamon rolls for our annual bizarre (with lunch hosted by our church) this coming weekend. Nothing is better than the smell of fresh bread on a crisp fall day!! Well, nothing, that is, except the TASTE of fresh bread on a crisp fall day! They’ll sure taste good with your homemade plum jelly!!

  4. Teresa says:

    These look so good! I have the feeling I’m going to gain weight just reading all the posts between now and Christmas.

  5. Wow, you spent a lot of time doing this and creating this post… thank you! 🙂 Your rolls look absolutely delish… and I love the picture with Kitty! 😀

  6. Yum!! I think I could live off of bread alone. I’ll be making these soon, for the Thanksgiving Holiday at my house.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Lisa,
      I’ve been eating rolls for breakfast this week. Homemade bread is so satisfying. Enjoy your homemade bread for Thanksgiving!

  7. Glenda says:

    Picture of Kitty with her head on the table was priceless!

  8. wow, this is an awesome recipe! This is the first recipe I have ever seen for par baking rolls and then freezing so you can bake them at a later date. Thanks for posting this because I will definately be using this recipe in the near future!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      Oh Thank you. I’ll bet one could use the par baking directions for other roll recipes too. It’s just a matter of baking them partway, and then finishing at a later date. Enjoy.

  9. bisonbreath says:

    Love that antique Homer Laughlin dish those rolls are in! They look yummy.

  10. Ariel says:

    I am hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever. And your websites have saved me! I am not the best cook, but with your step by step instructions I shouldn’t go wrong. Thank you so much for taking the time to help us little guys, who are new to cooking, out! I can’t tell you how much weight has been lifted off my shoulders because of your time and effort! Now to get all the timings right! Thanks again!

  11. Chester's Mom says:

    Hi Suzanne, two questions: Can I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough? and do you have any tricks to getting the dough to rise? How warm does the room have to be to make the it rise successfully?
    Any help is appreciated. I really enjoy your blog! Thank you.

    • Suzanne says:

      Sure, you can use your mixer. Lately I’ve been getting my dough to rise by preheating the oven until it feels warm in there and then turn it off and then putting the dough inside covered by a towel. Check it often as it might rise pretty fast.

  12. Carey says:

    I just got done making these for the first time and WOW, ill never have to buy brown n serve rolls again, these are just amazing. Im dipping them in melted butter and munching on them while preparing stuff from tomorrow. The preparation of the dough was a bit much for me so thinking of trying my bread machine on dough setting, Would that work?

  1. November 21, 2010

    […] I’ve had posts about Brown & Serve Rolls, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Pie. Today, I’ll show you how to make the turkey, […]

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