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Oct 30, 2019

Par-Baked Dinner Rolls

These par-baked dinner rolls are perfect for the holidays. Once you pull the turkey out of the oven and tent it to rest, slide these par-baked rolls into the hot oven to brown for just 15 minutes.

Par-Baked Dinner Rolls

These dinner rolls are so soft and fluffy. They are moist and delicious and stay fresh for at least three days, which makes them perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner leftover sandwiches.

While I have lots of make-ahead rolls recipes, like these Make Ahead Buttermilk Dinner Rolls and these Make Ahead Poppyseed Buns, this recipe is different.

Par-baked dinner rolls in a basket

How to Make Par-baked Dinner Rolls: 

First, you knead the dough and then let it rise until doubled, for about an hour. Next, you shape the rolls and place them in a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan. 

Once you've shaped the rolls, you cover them and place them in the refrigerator overnight. They will slowly rise in the refrigerator, but not fully. 

The next day, bake the rolls in a 200 degree F oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. They will continue to rise while baking, and will be fully baked but pale. Let them cool on a wire rack and then wrap them in plastic wrap. 

If you are going to finish baking them the same day, keep them at room temperature. If you are planning to bake them later in the week, place them in the freezer. 

Par-baked dinner rolls that are par-baked

When you are ready to bake the rolls, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls for just 15 minutes to brown them. Frozen rolls will take a bit longer. 

Par-baked dinner rolls fully baked

These rolls have a pretty amazing and airy crumb. 

The secret ingredient in these soft and fluffy rolls: 

Instant mashed potatoes. I keep a box in my pantry to add to breads and rolls. They are fantastic for retaining moisture in the dough. You can even use the packets of flavored instant potatoes (like garlic!) if you like. 

I also recommend using instant yeast for these rolls (affiliate link). I buy it by the pound and keep it in the freezer. I also use this yeast instead of active dry yeast on a one-to-one basis in any recipe. And you can skip the pre-proofing step! 

Check out this crumb! 

Par-baked dinner rolls fully baked with a soft crumb

Par-cooked dinner roll recipe variations:

Besides the potato flake flavors, you could also divide the dough into smaller pieces to make 18 or 24 dinner rolls. You could also roll the shaped dough in herbed and garlicky Parmesan butter before putting them in the refrigerator for their second rise. So many possibilities! 

Tools you will need: 

You will need a 9 inch by 13 inch cake pan for the initial bake. You will also need a 13 inch by 18 inch baking sheet for browning the rolls. I totally recommend Nordic Ware. You can't have too many. 

Some parchment paper and baking spray is also helpful for the first bake to be able to get the par-baked rolls out of the cake pan. for the second bake, you will need a baking sheet. Other than that, there's always my favorite stand mixer! (affiliate link). 

Thank you to Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks for putting together this collection of holiday side dishes. 

Don't forget to check out the other awesome Holiday Side Dishes posted today:

Par-baked dinner rolls before final bake

Par-Baked Holiday Dinner Rolls

If you tried this recipe, I'd love it if you'd let me know how it turned out! 

Par-baked dinner rolls in a basket

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This recipe was slightly adapted from Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie. Get the book. You will love everything you bake from it.

Par-Baked Holiday Dinner Rolls

Par-Baked Holiday Dinner Rolls
Yield: 12 large rolls
These par-baked dinner rolls are perfect for the holidays. Once you pull the turkey out of the oven and tent it to rest, slide these par-baked rolls into the hot oven to brown for just 15 minutes.


  • 1 large egg plus room temperature water to equal 1 1/2 cup
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup instant mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3 cups (13 1/2 ounces by weight) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature


How to cook Par-Baked Holiday Dinner Rolls

Day 1
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook for about 7 minutes.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  3. Spray a 9 inch by 13 inch pan with spray oil, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  4. Turn out the dough and divide it into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls, seam side down, into the pan in a 3 across by 4 down pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2
  1. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Bake the rolls for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The rolls will look pale but they will be fully baked on the inside.
  3. Cool the rolls on a wire rack, wrap them in plastic, and keep at room temperature for up to one day. If you are keeping them any longer, freeze the rolls.
On Baking Day
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the buns on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until browned.
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bread, thanksgiving, holiday, make-ahead
Side dish, bread
Created using The Recipes Generator

Would you like to comment?

  1. These are like those frozen Rhodes rolls..but I bet a 100 times better. I am not the best baker, but I am going to give these a shot. Wish me luck.

  2. Seriously, will you just come to my house and be my full time bread baker? These look awesome

  3. Homemade brown n serve rolls. You never cease to amaze me Karen. What a great time saver.

  4. I do not own that book. Why, Karen, why do you do this to me?

    (I could not help but think about those cute doggie posts: Karen, am I a joke to you?)

  5. Totally learn new ways to bake bread from you every time I come to your site!

  6. Great suggestion to pop them into the oven after the turkey is done. By the time it's done resting and ready to cut the rolls will be ready!

  7. These look awesome, Karen! I'm definitely giving them a try!

  8. I am always looking for new bread recipes, and this one is a winner!

  9. Thanks for sharing at the Fabulous Friday Linky Party Karen! We hope you can join us again this week >>

  10. I like the idea of using garlic instant mash! I bet that adds tons of flavor. These rolls look amazing.

    1. I definitely want to try it in these rolls.

  11. I tried to use this method with a similar quick-rise yeast roll recipe that I have been using for years. I needed to par-bake the rolls and bring them to another location to finish this and this sounded like a great solution. Unfortunately after about 45 min in the 200 deg oven my rolls deflated. I went ahead and baked them later as directed at 350 deg. They browned nicely on the bottoms but by the time the tops were browned they were a bit dried out. Unfortunately this are a bit of a bust for me. I may try it again with your roll recipe but the method didn't seem to translate to other breads :-(

    1. I've never tried it with any other recipe, just this one. This one did work beautifully! Definitely try it!

  12. I have a potato roll recipe that I make every year that I got from my mom, it’s a family favorite. This year I needed to have rules that I could transport so I tried yours. The taste was amazing and everybody loved them however the rules seem to deflate after the first bake and cooling. Then on the second bag they were kind of dry on top. Any suggestions on how to prevent the deflating after the par bake cooking?

    1. Hi. I did not experience much deflating, just a little bit of wrinkling, that you can see on the third photo from the top. The crust should be firm but not browned. If you can, be sure to use a scale for measuring the flour. You could also use and oven thermometer to see if your oven temp is off. For the dryness, you could brush them with melted butter after the second bake.

  13. Please warm your refrigeratored rolls up to room temp before baking. You will eleminate the unsightly red tops, which is caused by baking cold dough.

  14. There are never any of these left after a family dinner. Great and easy rolls. Living alone I make a batch and freeze them baking few for lunch or dinner. Thank you for a great recipe.

  15. How long can they be in the freezer for before baking?

    1. They will probably keep well for up to 30 days.


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