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Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls

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Soft, tender Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls are a must-have at the family table. A perfect side for Sunday dinners and holidays, they make every meal memorable. I mean, who’s ever heard of Thanksgiving without dinner rolls? This classic Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls recipe is from my husband’s Grandma Susie, and it’s our favorite for all occasions. Serve these easy potato rolls at your next gathering and you’ll see why they’re considered the best foolproof homemade yeast rolls!

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a close up of old fashioned dinner rolls
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Grandma Susie’s Homemade Potato Rolls

Grandma Susie was known in the family for her amazing baking. She was even a bit of a celebrity in her hometown where her recipes were featured in the local newspaper. I’ve tried them all and then some, and have never been disappointed.

I found several more recipes when we inherited her family Bible from the 1800s. One of them was for her easy potato yeast rolls. And, like Grandma’s other classic recipes, they are the best old-fashioned dinner rolls I have ever had!

Find out what secret pantry ingredient makes these homemade yeast rolls soft yet hearty, and gives them an incredibly irresistible taste with barely any effort.

In fact, the only worry you’ll have with these fail-proof rolls is making sure you have enough! No fears, this recipe makes 36 fluffy, flavorful rolls.

a close up of old fashioned dinner rolls

What Ingredients You Need to Make Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls

The best Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls are also known as potato rolls because, well, the easy recipe includes a potato as a not-so-secret ingredient.

Here is everything needed to make Grandma’s Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls recipe:

  • Warm water
  • Yeast
  • Potato
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour

Adding a boiled and mashed potato results in a fluffier, more tender yeast roll. The starch from the potato helps the dough to rise quickly and more evenly and makes it perfect for lots of kneading and roll-forming.

homemade yeast rolls dough ready to cut

How to Make Homemade Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls

It is not a quick process to make homemade Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls from scratch, but it is very easy. You might wonder about taking the time to boil and mash a potato, but trust me, this step is definitely worth it!

Adding the potato is a guaranteed foolproof trick for terrifically fluffy, soft, and tender dinner rolls.

closeup of Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls

I recommend starting this recipe a day before dinner. That way you’ll get the most time-consuming steps done well in advance, and then you can focus more on your main dish.

If you are short on time, check out my Rosemary Garlic rolls recipe that uses frozen dough to create super-soft, rich dinner rolls in a fraction of the time.

For a super-fast bread option, you can have the best fluffy, flakey biscuits in only 20 minutes with my 3 Ingredient Drop Biscuits recipe.

Mixing the dough

The first step to making the best potato yeast roll is to scrub, boil, and mash a russet potato. Be sure to save the potato water after boiling. This starchy water is key for creating a slightly sweet dough with a perfect rise.

Next, add the potato water to the large bowl of a standing mixer, along with yeast combined with warm water, sugar, and salt. Then mix in the eggs and butter, followed by the mashed potatoes and all-purpose flour.

Rising the dough

After the dough has been thoroughly kneaded, place it in a greased bowl, lightly grease the top of the dough to keep it from sticking and cover with a towel.

potato yeast roll dough.

You then want to let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

potato yeast dough rising.

The potato yeast roll dough should nearly double in size during this time.

risen potato yeast dough.

Then punch the dough down, and either let rise again in a warm place for another 2 hours or put it in the refrigerator to finish the next day. If you do refrigerate, afterward you’ll still need to cover and keep the potato yeast dough warm for 2 hours to proof the dough before moving on to the next step.

The Full Easy Potato Yeast Rolls Recipe is Below!

how to make homemade yeast rolls

Start working on the rolls again at least 2 hours before you plan to serve.

Shape the perfect dinner rolls

Form the dough into 36 even balls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the dough with a towel, and let rise in a warm place one more time, until the dough balls have doubled in size.

old fashioned yeast rolls recipe

Bake the rolls at 400 degrees, until lovely light golden brown. Then brush melted butter on top as soon as they come out of the oven. This will add a beautiful shine and ensure that the Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls have a soft crust.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dishes should I serve homemade yeast rolls with?

These tender, soft rolls are perfect for celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinner.

Enjoy them as an extra side of love at your big weekend family meal. They are great with Perfectly Seared Chicken Breasts or Buttermilk Brined Pork Chops and veggies.

Be sure to try my foolproof, no-drain Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe, too!

What if I don’t have time to make Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls from scratch?

For another delicious bread option to enjoy with dinner tonight, try these super quick Easy 3 Ingredient Biscuits or Drop Biscuits.

How long will potato rolls keep well?

These always get eaten up very quickly in our house. However, if you do wind up with leftover yeast rolls they will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.

To reheat, wrap in a paper towel and microwave for just a few seconds at a time until perfectly warm.

How will I know if the dough for my old-fashioned dinner rolls has kneaded enough?

There are a few signs to look for. First, the dough should be tacky but not sticky, and smooth like the inside of your cheek. Second, when you stretch the dough, it should stretch several inches without tearing. If your dough does not pass both of these tests, then knead it for another 3 minutes.

Get the Complete Grandma’s Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls Recipe Here

closeup of Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls
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4.84 from 6 votes

Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls Recipe

You'll love Grandma's homemade Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls recipe. Make these easy potato dinner rolls for all your holidays and gatherings!
Course Side Dish, Bread, Holiday
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade rolls, potato rolls, yeast rolls, old fashioned yeast rolls, old fashioned potato rolls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 36 rolls
Calories 134kcal


  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 95º to 110ºF)
  • 2 tsp yeast (1 envelope of yeast)
  • 1 large potato
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
  • butter for tops of rolls


  • Scrub your potato, quarter, and add enough water to cover potatoes by 2". Do not add salt. Bring to a boil and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove potato and mash. Set aside 1 cup mashed potatoes. Pour potato water into measuring cup, and set aside 1 ½ cups potato water to let cool.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water . Add pinch of sugar to test yeast. Set aside yeast and water.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine potato water, sugar, salt and yeast mixture. Begin mixing with dough hook attachment on stand mixer. Add butter and eggs. Continue mixing. Add mashed potatoes, then add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between cups. Stop adding flour after the 6th cup and see if the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. If not, add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until the dough will begin forming a ball. Do not add more than 7 cups of flour. Knead dough in stand mixer for at least 5 minutes or by hand for 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in lightly greased bowl to rise. Lightly grease top of dough and cover with a towel. Place dough in warm place and let rise for 2 hours (or until double in size).
  • After first rising, punch dough down. Begin second rise for two hours or until double in size, or refrigerate dough overnight. If refrigerated overnight, place dough in warm place the next morning and let rise for 2 hours.
  • Then, 2 hours before baking, divide dough into two pieces and continue dividing dough until you have 36 similar sized balls. Place rolls on greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size.
  • Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. Butter tops of each roll after baking to preserve soft crust. Serve warm.


Although this recipe calls for all-purpose flour, I have used Kamut and bread flour with great results.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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