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The BEST Lion House Rolls

These lion house rolls are hands-down my very favorite homemade roll recipe! Soft, fluffy and have a nice buttery taste. Perfect for the holidays or anytime you want an amazingly, delicious roll with dinner!

Basket of lion house rolls.
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My Favorite Homemade Rolls

Lion house rolls have to be one of my favorite things EVER. Have you had them? If you haven’t, you need to make them! Like NOW! Seriously put these on your list! You will thank me later… ahh, okay maybe you won’t. ;)

Imagine these homemade rolls fresh out of the oven and topped with melted butter and homemade strawberry jam. Holy cow! Words cannot describe the amazing taste! Each roll is super soft and fluffy with a nice buttery taste.

Seriously, if I’m in charge of making rolls…this is my go to recipe! And they aren’t too difficult to make…promise! Once you master these, you can also make my favorite Parker House roll recipe, classic dinner rolls, or these perfect potato rolls. They taste similar, but with a honey butter twist.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Soft and fluffy. An enriched dough with butter and egg results in a tender, pillowy roll.
  • Flavorful. A rich buttery taste makes these lion house rolls melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
  • Signature spiral. Pretty enough for a holiday breadbasket but equally as good for a weeknight dinner!

Recipe Ingredients

These lion house rolls are legendary because of their soft, buttery flavor and texture due to using not only flour, yeast, and water in the dough but also butter, egg, and dairy.

yeast in a jar

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Flour: You can use bread flour or all purpose flour in this recipe. Learning how to measure flour accurately is key in baked goods!
  • Warm water: Not cold, not hot, just right at at 105 degrees F. Use a thermometer to measure accuracy if you are not sure.
  • Nonfat instant dry milk: Dry milk powder gives these rolls a tender texture and better rise.
  • Yeast: Active dry yeast is necessary for the rolls to rise.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is food for your yeast to properly activate.
  • Salt: Elevates the final taste of the rolls.
  • Butter: Softened butter will properly mix with the other dough ingredients. You will also need some to brush on the top of rolls after baking.
  • Egg: Binds your dough together and supplements the gluten, a necessary ingredient for an enriched dough.

How to Make the Dough

Any baked-from-scratch rolls take patience, time, and a bit of love! The results and smiles of your family will be well worth it, though, when they taste these light and fluffy lion house rolls.

Bread dough rising in a glass bowl.
  1. Proof the yeast. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine water and instant milk powder until the milk dissolves. Sprinkle yeast on top, stir, cover with plastic and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together. Using a dough hook or dough whisk add sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2-3 cups of flour then mix on low speed until combined. Adjust your mixer to medium speeds and mix for 2 more minutes.
  3. Continue to add flour. Add additional 2 cups more of flour and mix on low speed until combined, then mix on medium speeds for 2 minutes. Continue to add flour in 1/2 cup increments until dough is soft and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Rise. Scrape your dough off the sides of the bowl and grease bowl with oil. To prevent sticking, turn your dough over so it is covered with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic and rise in a warm place until double in size for about 1 hour.

How to Shape Lion House Rolls

Shaping dough strips into lion house rolls.
  1. Roll the dough out to make a long horizontal shape, similar to the picture above. Divide the dough in half horizontally.
  2. Make vertical cuts down the dough from one end to the other. This should make about 18 individual strips of dough that are 2-2.5 inches wide.
  3. Shape each roll individually by taking the dough strip with both hands and stretching it out vertically. Then flip the dough around from the bottom up, similar to how it’s done in this video.

TIP: You can also roll these up like crescent rolls (shown in the video) as well. All you need to do is roll half the dough into a circle and then cut like a pizza. Then roll from the outer edge in. So yummy either way :)

Unbaked lion house rolls lined on a baking sheet.

Expert Tips

  • Milk vs. dry milk powder: You may substitute instant dry milk with regular milk, however use 2/3 cup less water. 
  • Don’t kill the yeast. This means using the correct water temperature. You will be able to tell your yeast is alive as it will dissolve in the liquid then after about 5 minutes become foamy and float on top of the milk mixture. If your yeast has sunk to the bottom, it’s dead and you need to start over.
  • Check your yeast. Make sure it’s not expired. If it is, toss it and get some fresh to use!
  • Double batch: If you need more rolls for a larger crowd, it’s best to make multiple single batches as it will be very hard to double this in a home stand mixer.

Recipe FAQs

Why are they called lion house rolls?

These rolls were made famous by Utah’s Lion House restaurant. They are well known in the region for their great food, but more famously known for these rolls!

How do you make yeast rolls light and fluffy?

The key to making light and fluffy homemade rolls is to proof the yeast, knead the dough and then let the dough rise. I like to roll my dough in a ball, place it in a large bowl and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Then I’ll roll the dough out and shape the rolls. I then let them rise in a warm place until they double in size (for about an hour). Then they are ready to stick in the oven and bake beautifully…super light and fluffy!

What temperature should my water be for the yeast to rise?

A common mistake when making homemade bread or rolls is incorrect water temperature. Too hot of water will kill the yeast. Too cold of water and your yeast won’t activate. For this recipe, your water needs to be at 105 degrees F.

Can you make lion house rolls ahead of time?

Yes! Simply roll them out and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and place in the fridge instead of rising. When ready to bake, take them out of the fridge 1 1/2 hours before baking to rise. Then bake as directed.

Storing + Reheating

These rolls will keep at room temperature in an airtight container or storage bag for about 2-3 days. To freeze, wrap them individually with foil and place in a storage bag in the freezer. They are best if reheated and eaten within about a month.

To reheat, keep the rolls wrapped in foil and bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes. Feel free to take the foil off within the last couple of minutes to brown the tops a little more.

Lion house rolls on a baking pan.

Spread These on Top of Lion House Rolls

My FAVORITE way to enjoy these lion house rolls is warm and fresh out of the oven, with butter or one of these delicious spreads on top. It seriously doesn’t get any better that.

5 star review

“We LOVE these rolls. They are delicious. Easy to make and the best part is that you can freeze them and have hot rolls any night of the week.”

– Katie

Favorite Meals to Serve Alongside

This lion house rolls recipe tastes amazing with just about anything, but here are a few of our favorite dinners to serve them with:

Lion house rolls on pan.

Treat your family to these other homemade rolls recipes! Easy garlic knots, cinnamon rolls, and homemade biscuits are such a treat to make.

More Homemade Bread Recipes

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lion house rolls on pan

Lion House Roll Recipe

4.95 from 34 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
These lion house rolls are hands-down my very favorite homemade roll recipe! Soft, fluffy and have a nice buttery taste. Perfect for the holidays or anytime you want an amazingly, delicious roll with dinner!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Let Rise: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups warm water (about 105°F)
  • cup nonfat instant dry milk
  • 2 Tablespoons dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • cup softened butter , more for top
  • 1 large egg
  • 5-6 cups bread or all-purpose flour , more or less as needed
  • oil

Instructions

  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and milk powder and stir until the milk dissolves. Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir and then cover with plastic. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast has started to proof. 
  • Next add the sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2-3 cups of the flour. Using a mixer with a dough hook (can also stir with a dough whisk), mix on low speed. Then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. 
  • Stop the mixer and add 2 more cups of flour and then mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet. Then turn mixer on medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. Add approximately 1/2 cup of flour until the dough is soft and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. It should not be overly sticky or stiff. 
  • Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil around the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with the oil (this helps prevent the dough from drying out). Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
  • Sprinkle the counter with flour or use a baking mat and put the dough on top. Roll out into a large rectangle. Brush with slightly melted butter if desired. Then cut into desired shaped rolls. For the lion house shape, divide dough into two and then roll each piece into a rectangle. Then cut smaller rectangles about 2×4". Then roll the dough up and place the tail on the baking sheet.
  • Place on lightly greased baking pans. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size (about 45 minutes).
  • Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until the tops and bottoms are lightly browned. Brush with melted butter when taken out of the oven.

Video


Notes

From THE LION HOUSE COOKBOOK. 
Milk: You may substitute instant dry milk with regular milk, however use 2/3 cup less water. 
Make ahead: These rolls can be made ahead. Simply roll them out and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and place the fridge instead of rising. Then take out of the fridge 1 1/2 hours before baking to rise. Then bake as directed.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 101mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: bread
Cuisine: American

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Lion house rolls on a baking sheet.

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