These Lion House Rolls are known around the world for their incredible texture and flavor. I’ve made them so many times that I’ve learned some tricks that I will share with you in the directions.
The Lion House Rolls are my favorite rolls HANDS DOWN! If you aren’t familiar with the Lion House, it is a restaurant in Utah that is known for its food and especially its rolls. They are so moist and the texture is amazing. Last time I was visiting my sister Shelly in Utah she made these.
My sister has five boys so I love being around her house full of teenage boys because it’s a little glimpse in the future for me. Her boys are good boys full of energy (and hormones) always headed to a game or practice for one of their sports. She is constantly cooking and feeding them hearty food trying to satisfy their raging appetites. I laughed when I saw a tray of sandwiches in the fridge. She makes a tray, a whole tray, of huge sandwiches for them to “snack” on throughout the day. What I learned is that my food bill is going to be huge in 10 years!
I know Thanksgiving should be all about the turkey, but for me it’s all about the rolls. I’m a sucker for a warm homemade roll with butter slathered all over it. These Lion House rolls are legendary…for a reason.
- 2 cups warm water
- ⅔ cup instant nonfat dry milk
- 2 Tablespoons dry yeast (around 2 packages - if you use 2 it's just under 2 Tablespoons but it works)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ⅓ cup butter (5⅓ tablespoons) - plus more for brushing the rolls after baking.
- 1 egg
- 5-5½ cups all purpose flour (bread flour can be used if you have it on hand and will make for a lighter roll)
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves.
- Add the yeast to this mixture while water and milk is still warm. I let the yeast proof (dissolve and start to react) for a couple of minutes then add the sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add 3 more cups of flour (now 5 cups total added so far) then mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet, then turn mixer on medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. The dough will be getting stiff.
- Add approximately ½ cup of flour and mix again. (This can be done by hand or mixer). The dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff. It should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer. That's how I know it has enough flour (It is not necessary to use the entire 5½ cups of flour but that's how much I use). Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour approximately on tablespoon of vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with the oil. (This helps prevent the dough from drying out.) Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.
- Sprinkle a cutting board or counter with flour and put the dough on the flour. You want to put enough flour on the dough so that it is workable and not sticky.
- You can roll these into crescent rolls or do it the traditional Lion House way. Here is a video showing how to roll them the Lion House way. Roll into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick and brush with melted butter. I probably use ¼ cup melted butter brushed on here.
- You want to cut the rectangle into smaller rectangles that are 2"X4" (a little smaller than a dollar bill). If you make and "L" with your thumb and pointer finger that will show you how wide and tall to cut your rectangles.
- Then you roll them (or flip them like in the video) and place them on a greased (or parchment lined) baking pans with the end of the roll resting on the pan. Cover again with a kitchen towel so they don't dry out as they rise. Clear as mud?
- Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size (approx. 1-1½ hours). Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction. This definitely depends on the size of your rolls. Brush with melted salted butter while hot. Yields 2 to 2½ dozen rolls.
Note: You can freeze shaped rolls for later use. Simply double the amount of yeast used when making dough. After the first rise, shape the rolls but do not rise again. Instead, place rolls on a baking sheet and immediately place in freezer. When dough is frozen solid, remove rolls from pan and place in a plastic bag, squeeze excess air out of bag and seal. Rolls can be frozen for 3 weeks.