There’s nothing better than warm homemade dinner rolls fresh out of the oven, but Holidays and dinner parties are all about make ahead dishes. It’s easy to reheat dinner rolls so they are warm and fluffy just like when they first came out of the oven.
For hassle free dinners, make your amazing yeast rolls in advance and learn some tips for how to reheat dinner rolls.
Dinner rolls are one of those side dishes that you can make in advance and then pop in the oven when it’s time to eat. However, even with the best made plans, sometimes your rolls are done and the rest of dinner is not. No one wants cold rolls.
If you have something else baking in the oven, you might not have space to add the rolls, and some dishes just can’t wait 20 minutes while you bake the rolls.
Or maybe you just want to have the rolls stay warm for an extended period of time, so that you can have a second roll and it will be just as warm as the first. 🥰 Here are my favorite tried and true ways to either keep rolls warm or reheat them.
Three ways to reheat dinner rolls
1. Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
This is by far my favorite way to warm, and keep warm, any type of dinner roll, whether they’re the fluffiest yeast rolls you’ve made for a holiday meal or challah rolls you’ve made for sliders. This will even works for store bought rolls.
If you’re bringing dinner rolls to a potluck, this is a great method to keep them warm for the entire dinner.
Dampen a dish towel. Don’t soak it, just sprinkle it with water. If it’s large enough you may only need one. Place it in the slow cooker or crock pot and place thawed rolls inside. If it’s not large enough to cover the rolls, place a second damp towel on top.
Place the setting on “low” and cover for 30 minutes. Then turn it to the “warm” setting and they will stay warm for about two hours without getting dry. After that you will need to re-dampen the towels.
You don’t want the rolls to be soggy which is why you just put a slightly damp, and not a wet, towel in the slow cooker.
The oven is my second choice for warming dinner rolls. What you’re trying to avoid is drying them out. Sprinkle the rolls with just a little water to create some moisture and wrap them in aluminum foil. They should be touching each other. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes.
This is a great choice if you’re using the slow cooker to keep the mashed potatoes or Buffalo chicken dip warm. If you’re baking something else in the oven at a higher temperature, just reduce the time for the rolls.
This is what I use if I’m just warming up 1 or 2 rolls, I would not recommend you use the microwave for a whole batch of rolls, you risk them becoming rubbery.
Wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave on 50% power for 10-20 seconds. All microwaves are different, so start with just a few seconds to see if they’re warm. It doesn’t take long.
How to freeze and thaw dinner rolls
If you want to make dinner rolls in advance, you can freeze the baked rolls and then reheat them before your dinner. To freeze, let them cool completely on the counter. Then wrap in plastic wrap and place in an airtight freezer bag or container, or you can wrap in foil.
Rolls will keep in the freezer for about a month, after that they tend to get freezer burned.
If your dinner rolls are frozen, you’ll need to let them come to room temperature before reheating them. You can take them out of the freezer the night before and let them thaw in the refrigerator or leave on the counter for 2-3 hours.
How to make yeast rolls a day ahead
Almost all yeast doughs can be made a day ahead. This goes for cinnamon rolls as well.
After your dough has risen, shape it into rolls or if making cinnamon rolls, add your filling and cut into rolls. Place them in the baking dish you will use to bake them in and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, take them out of the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before you want to put them in the oven and let them rise while the oven preheats. They will have risen some while in the refrigerator. Then bake as directed.
The raw dough can stay in the refrigerator about 24 hours, after that the dough can get a little weird and might not rise the same as it would otherwise.
How to store baked dinner rolls
Baked dinner rolls can be stored at room temperature for a day or two. After that they should be frozen. Don’t store them in the refrigerator, it will dry them out.
Now that you have some tricks for reheating and keeping your rolls warm, I hope you’re inspired to make homemade yeast rolls for your next gathering, they’re my favorite part of any meal.
FAQs and tips
Yes you can freeze raw dough. Just form it into the shape you want and wrap it in plastic and freeze. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then come to room temperature before baking.
Yeast rolls, raw or baked will last about a month in the freezer before it becomes freezer burned.
Frozen rolls will take about 12 hours to thaw in the refrigerator or about 2-3 hours on the counter top.
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