My Grandmother’s Yeast Rolls Recipe

My mother passed away a few year ago, and one of the things that I brought back from her house was her old 1965 edition Fannie Farmer cookbook. 

I hadn’t really looked at it until my Mother-in-law gave me a really old cookbook recently, and I started thinking about making some of the recipes from that to see what they’d be like. 

classic yeast rolls recipe

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She had written “Grandma K’s yeast rolls” in the front of the cookbook, and a basic outline of the recipe. 

My grandmother died when my kids were little, so it was nice to make one of her recipes that I’d found in my mother’s cookbook. 

(For another recipe from a vintage cookbook, click here for poverty cake.)

When I looked at the recipe I thought that it was like Sally Lunn bread, and after comparing the recipe to another one for that, it was very similar. 

Since the inhabitants of my house are all a bunch of bread hogs, I doubled the recipe.

The dough that it made was fairly heavy, and didn’t have much of a stretch to it when I was forming the rolls before proofing them. 

Considering the amount of butter in the dough, that made sense. 

I made the rolls on the large side, and I think that it would have been better to do them slightly smaller because they were pretty dense with a very tight crumb, but there were no complaints when they were being eaten at dinner. 

My husband came home late, and took one to eat. After tasting it he said “Kara, these rolls are ridiculously good!” 

I didn’t tell him that they were probably so good because of the high-fat, high-sugar content…Why ruin his good time?

For another vintage recipe for gingersnaps, click here.

baked rolls

Here’s the recipe, and have fun making (and eating) them!

classic yeast rolls recipe

Grandma K’s Classic Yeast Dinner Rolls

A classic yeast roll rich dough with eggs and milk. These are buttery and delicious, they'll be your family's new favorite!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Bread
Servings 12 large rolls


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 6 cups flour


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly-grease a baking sheet.
  • Heat the milk to lukewarm and pour it into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the butter and sugar to the milk and stir.
  • Beat two eggs and add to the mixture in the bowl.
  • Dissolve 2 pkgs yeast in 1/4 cup water, let stand to soften for a few minutes, and add to the bowl.
  • Add flour by the cup and mix with a spoon or a dough hook if you're using a stand mixer. Continue adding flour until the dough forms a ball and isn't sticky on the surface. If you're kneading with your hands, the dough shouldn't stick to your hands.
  • Knead, let rise to about twice the volume of the original dough.
  • Take off pieces of the dough and round them into balls by stretching the dough to create a smooth “skin” then pinching the bottom and placing the pinched side down on the pan.
  • Place the rounded dough balls on a lightly-greased baking sheet a little apart from each other.
  • Cover the sheet with a cloth towel and let the rolls rise again. When they’re about doubled in size, it’s time to bake them.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned on top.
  • Remove them from the oven and either serve hot or let them cool off, then store them in an airtight container.
Keyword dinner rolls, rich dough, yeast rolls

For a list of the cake decorating and baking supplies that I recommend, click here to see my Amazon shop list.

My modifications: I heated the milk and beat the first four ingredients in the mixer bowl. I mixed this in a 7 quart Cuisinart and doubled the recipe.

I got a total of 24 large rolls out of the doubled recipe, but if you did normal-sized rolls it would probably yield about 48 regular rolls.

If you like yeast doughs, check out my recipe for fast, no-knead pizza dough where you let the mixer do the work!

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