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The Best Hot Rolls You'll Ever Make... Or Eat!

Updated on November 2, 2014
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

My Secret, No-Fail Hot Roll Recipe

My Grandma Ethel made the best hot rolls in the whole wide world. She shared her recipe with everyone, but only one or two of the girls in the family could get them even close to as good as Grandma's. I was not one of those girls.

After years of hot roll disasters, I changed Grandma's recipe to suit myself and came up with my own no-fail version! Maybe it's not the best or most memorable name for homemade hot rolls, but in my family if you say "Lazarus Rolls," you get people's attention right away! They start salivating about things like melting butter and homemade preserves rolling down the inside of one of those Lazarus rolls, still hot from the oven and just split apart.

My sister Celia loves these rolls and has baked them many times for her special dinners, by which I feel honored because she is one great cook!

I gave them their nickname because like Lazarus in the Bible, these rolls just keep on raising! I leaned this fact when we drove them, unbaked, from Omaha to Kansas City one hot June day. Being the "genius" I am, I thought "Hey - I'll put the rolls in the pan, sit them in the trunk and they'll be raised and ready to bake when we get to my sister's." Uh-HUH. You could say that yes, they were raised... in fact they kept on raising until they spilled out onto the other items in the car trunk! My, those were some fluffy rolls...

Like Grandma, I figure things this good should be shared. So here goes...I hope you enjoy making these for years to come for your special guests!

This roll dough (unbaked) freezes beautifully. Shape it into balls keeping hands greased with Crisco, place on a cookie sheet to freeze. Remove when frozen and store in a large container or zipper bag, removing only the quantity you wish to bake whenever needed!

Yes! You can bake this dough into loaves of bread, it's fabulous!

Serving Size

Serves: A Big Family Gathering


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 3 pkgs. Dry Fast Acting Yeast
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 6 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • Crisco


  1. Set bread machine on "dough only" cycle (or just do this by hand in a large mixing bowl).
  2. Pour the warm water into container of bread machine or large bowl. Sprinkle dry Yeast on top of water, stir well with non-metal utensil and allow to dissolve until bubbles form and most yeast is dissolved. Stir in the Sugar and let sit. Measure oil in large measuring cup and stir into it the eggs and salt, mix with whisk or fork until bubbly. Stir egg mixture into yeast mixture (Or turn on bread machine now). Add flour, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition to completely incorporate the flour.
  3. Dough should be smooth and elastic, not sticky. If too sticky, add a bit more flour (no more than 1/4 cup at a time). Cover dough with clean white dishtowel and let sit in warm place out on counter until double in size. Punch down the dough and work for a minute or so with hands. Return to bowl, cover and let rise again until double.
  4. At this point you can punch down again and make your rolls to bake or freeze. Knead the dough thoroughly, about 5 minutes.
  5. Grease baking pan or silicone muffin pan and your hands generously with Crisco (may use Butter flavor if desired). Shape dough into individual rolls in desired shapes. I usually put a dab of Crisco on my palms for each roll or two, then roll into balls. You can do a large single ball, two medium balls or three small balls in each roll section. Or heck, do four - it doesn't matter! Then drop the balls into the baking pan or proceed to freezing (see below).
  6. Cover and let rolls rise until double in size. Bake in hot (400) oven until tops are nicely browned as shown in picture, around 9 minutes. WATCH them after 6 minutes, don't rely on timer, as oven temps vary and baking will be affected by factors like altitude. Remove immediately from oven and butter tops with real butter or margarine. Store any uneaten rolls in airtight container or freeze.
Cast your vote for Sheila's Lazarus Rolls

Making This Dough With A Bread Machine....

Once you have mixed the dough on the "dough only" cycle, you'll probably want to remove the dough from the bread machine pan into a larger mixing bowl, as it will spill over when it really starts raising.

What Do You Think Of This Recipe? - Come On, You Can Tell Me!

Do these rolls sound good to you?

See results

For a festive dinner, try baking these in a Bundt cake pan arranging 3 rows of rolls around the bottom. Or bake large individual rolls in clean, greased 3-4" clay mini flowerpots!

Tell Us What You Think!

Have you ever made hot rolls from scratch before?

To Use The Frozen Dough...

Place rolls out of freezer into greased pan. Cover and thaw at room temperature and allow to raise until double in size, then bake as usual.

Make My Faboo Cinnamon Rolls Using This Dough!

Check the section below for a link to my recipe!

Please Say Hey In My Guestbook! - Nice To Meet You!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These would taste great with preserves and my morning coffee.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      looks delicious, i like to try some

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks so much for your very kind comment and blessing, and pinning my lens!! i appreciate that so much! I know what you mean on the Crisco but this is something we definitely don't eat too often, just on special occasions. I figure if I'm "good" 90% of the time, I'll be ok:)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Another one of your excellent, complete lens. Pinned on my cooking board - right on the cover - and blessed! The only thing that has me going is Crisco - yikes! Although, it absolutely does make the best pie crust.

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 5 years ago from U.S.

      Oh, these hot rolls sound delicious right now! I saw Tipi's comment below saying her Grandmother's name was Ethel too. So was mine, although she was known more for her pot roast, and not for her rolls :-)

    • profile image

      Childbirth_Educator 5 years ago

      Make my mouth water.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      I plan to try this recipe, it sounds so delicious.

    • lillywest10 profile image

      lillywest10 5 years ago

      great lens! can't wait to make these now! thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      These look fabulous. I just have to figure out what crisco is.....

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just remembered that I forgot to tell you that my Grandma's name was Ethel too and she made rolls and did all her baking without recipes, she just did it by feel and I never saw her use a measuring cup.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You cover a lot of bases here, first a great roll recipe that is sure to please and tips along the way of how to bake them in shapes and even using the dough frozen, deliciously done!

    • profile image

      Cris-ti 5 years ago

      Looks very delicious,oh,I wanna to have a try very much.Pardon mi bro,can you give me one?jejejjeje

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I am ready to do these rolls!!!! Blessed!

    • MerlinFan profile image

      MerlinFan 5 years ago

      Hi there, and thank you for making my mouth water! Great job and great lens.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      These sound super delicious! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • NausetViews profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Boston

      Looking forward to trying your recipe. These rolls look delicious.

    • rahimhankin profile image

      rahimhankin 5 years ago

      Thanks. I've started try to bake and I think I can do this.

    • profile image

      Sundaycoffee 5 years ago

      Thanks for the awesome recipe - I will definitely try it!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      looks indeed yummy...have to try it once

    • Kae Yo profile image

      Kae Yo 5 years ago

      Thank you for pointing me in the right direction in making good rolls. I've tried them before, but they came out a little hard. Cold weather is coming so it's time for me to try my hand yet again at baking bread and rolls. Congratulations on making the front page :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      This is a recipe I'll be trying. Are you sure that it's safe to cook them in a clay pot?

    • profile image

      khatha0808 5 years ago

      Look yummy