Nanny's Famous Buns (Rolls)

"This roll recipe came from my mother-in-law about 5 years before she passed on, which she had learned from her mother. When I asked to learn how to make bread from her, I did not know the gift that she would eventually share with me in the form of these wonderfully light rolls, and I think it a shame to keep the recipe all to myself. Thank you, Elaine."
photo by Lavender Lynn photo by Lavender Lynn
photo by Lavender Lynn
photo by Jean C. photo by Jean C.
photo by Lavender Lynn photo by Lavender Lynn
photo by sandesnow photo by sandesnow
Ready In:
48 rolls




  • In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cups sugar, butter, salt and 2 cups boiling water. Stir until smooth. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 cup warm water. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons yeast, let stand 10 minutes or until good and foamy.
  • In a separate bowl beat 4 eggs until foamy. Add to cooled flour mixture.
  • Stir yeast mix into the flour mixture.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat in 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time until smooth.
  • By hand, mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a firm, but not sticky dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
  • Grease a large bowl, and place the dough inside, turning to grease the dough all over.
  • Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about one hour).
  • Punch down dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into 48 equal rolls.
  • Place on well greased cookie sheets 2 inches apart and let rise 1 1/2 - 2 hours (until more than doubled in size. Dough will be very light).
  • Bake 375ºF for 15-20 minutes.
  • Brush hot roll tops with a little butter after they come out of the oven.
  • 1Extra info: Humidity always plays a key in making bread or rolls. Rainy days require more flour than sunny, dry days. Bread rolls and Loaves are done when inserted thermometer reads 190ºF.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Sydney Mike
    Made the entire recipe & took about half of them to a neighborhood potluck, but the rest of them were devoured here at home by the two of us in a very short time! I happen to like my FRESH bread with a small amount of honey butter sometimes, but just plain ol' bread, as long as it's fresh, is wonderfully comforting in my humble opinion! Thanks for sharing this great recipe! [Made & reviewed for one of my adopted chefs in this Spring's Pick A Chef event]
  2. Brenda.
    I chose this recipe fully intending on making dinner rolls but found I needed sandwich buns for work this week. I halved the recipe and made 9 huge rolls. I let them rise for 2 hours and they were like softballs. I baked them at the suggested 15 minutes for the smaller rolls and to my surprise they registered 190 degrees in about 15-16 minutes. DS couldn't even wait until they cooled completely. He made a big old Dagwood style sandwich on one and declared your recipe a keeper. Thanks for sharing your dear MIL's recipe with us. Made for PAC Spring 2011.
  3. Jean C.
    I made this because I wanted to prove to my husband that I could make a bread recipe that wasn't heavy. This recipe will be in my repertoire for every potluck, holiday, and every get together. I halved the recipe for a first try at it, and when they were baked they brought me back to my grandma's kitchen. I was unable to get any recipes from her, so this is the one I'll pass down!
    • Review photo by Jean C.
  4. Lavender Lynn
    The first stage in this recipe, the "sponge" stage, identifies it as an old, traditional method descended from the folks who had to handle much less responsive yeast. Sometimes old ways still excell! This made light, beautiful and tasty rolls. Note that the 55 minutes total time does not include several hours of cooling and rising, so allow yourself more like four hours. Since it spends a lot of time in final form, make sure you have about four baking trays and space for them. The final result will justify the wait! Made for PAC.


  1. Jean C.
    Timing and amounts of ingredients were spot on for me.



Find More Recipes