Christmas: Grandma Carr’s Dinner Rolls

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I received an email from my mom after she found out that I was finally brave enough to work with yeast, which had my Great Grandmother’s “Plain” Dinner Roll recipe attached. Apparently, she made these all the time and used the same dough to make cinnamon rolls. Her handwritten recipe was not for the novice baker, though! It was very vague and talked about yeast cakes and scalding milk. I had to Google those. So after much research and practice making several other yeast recipes, I finally made these family classics.

During my research, I realized that her recipe is very, very similar to many others. I guess because it is so basic and relatively easy (after practice). Who knows where she got the original recipe from. She definitely didn’t have Google! 😉

A note about the dough. I mixed this is my stand mixer and because the recipe makes such a large quantity and the dough is relatively stiff, my Artisan had a hard time working the dough. The recipe can easily be cut in half to make 12 instead of 24 rolls. I ended up taking the dough out and cutting it in half and then kneading each half separately in the stand mixer. I also kneaded it by hand for a few minutes.

The rolls are soft and tender on the inside with just a slightly crisp crust. They are delicious and the perfect accompaniment to many meals. We will be having these as part of our Thanksgiving dinner this year, for sure.

I tried to simplify the direction portion of the recipe. Hopefully, it works for you!

Grandma Carr’s Dinner Rolls


  • 2 cups milk, scalded
  • 2 tbsp. shortening
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 packages granulated yeast
  • ½ c lukewarm water
  • 2 well-beaten eggs
  • 7 c. all-purpose flour


1. preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine milk, shortening, sugar, and salt in a bowl and cool to lukewarm.

3. Add yeast to the lukewarm water and allow it to bubble.

4. Add eggs to the milk mixture and gently stir.

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, measure and pour in flour. Add in milk mixture. Using the paddle attachment, stir until dough forms.

6. Switch to a dough hook and knead until smooth and elastic 5-10 minutes.

7. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer dough, covering with plastic wrap. Allow rising in a warm area until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

8. On a floured work surface, turn the dough out and shape into 24 rolls. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.

9. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Watch closely.

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