Basic Roll Dough

I feel like a major hypocrite posting this recipe after my last post since this is not very healthy. This is a recipe I wanted to make last Christmas for my grandkids, but I lost it, so we made Christmas candy instead. I haven’t made this since my kids were little, and I can’t wait until everyone is here again.

Despite the name of the recipe, there is nothing basic about it. It is light, slightly sweet, and really really great. No, really! I am not sure where it comes from, we made it when I was a kid. My mom says she got it from one of my aunts, but the origin is unknown. The recipe comes from the 1950s or ’60s, possibly before that.

It is one of the easier bread recipes to make. Kneading the dough is the tricky part and will determine how well it will turn out. If you have a large mixer capable of kneading dough, it becomes infinitely easier.

This recipe makes a lot, so I typically cut everything in half.

Basic Roll Dough

4 cups lukewarm milk
1 cup of sugar
4 packages dried yeast
4 eggs
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup cooking oil
14 cups flour

  1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in the milk.
  2. Add beaten eggs and enough flour to make a batter of medium thickness. Beat well and let it sit until it starts to form bubbles.
  3. Beat in the rest of the ingredients. Slowly work in flour, it might take a little more or less. Just enough flour to make the dough not be sticky.
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth.
  5. Cover and let it rise until double in size and punch in down.
  6. Roll pieces of the dough and place in a greased pan. Each roll should be somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 the height of the pan.
  7. Cover and let rise for roughly 30 minutes.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated 375 F oven, until the tops are golden brown. Brush butter on the top of the rolls.


This is a million times better if powdered milk is used, but regular milk is okay also.

There are two variations that we did when I was a kid. The first was crescent-shaped rolls. Roll it out to look like pizza dough, slice it like a pizza and roll each piece up, starting with the wider side. It will cook for about the same time as normal rolls.

The other is the best way to do it in my opinion: braided. Cut the dough in thirds. Make each one into a rope of the same size and French braid it and place it on a greased cookie sheet. This will take around 20-25 minutes to cook. Instead of butter, a simple glaze with powdered sugar and water is excellent!

It would be okay if cooked in a regular bread loaf pan. Adjust cooking times. Of course, if using a convection oven, the cooking time will be somewhat less.

My mom taught me to braid it as a way to teach me how to braid hair and make bread and I could do a somewhat acceptable job on my girls’ hair when they were little. She always said I need to learn how to cook, take care of myself, and be a gentleman or no woman would want me. She way overestimated me! Maybe she meant that ‘or’ to be an ‘and’?

Anyway, this is a super great recipe and I hope someone finds it enjoyable.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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