Appalachia Appalachian Food

The Best Rolls For Thanksgiving

Easy thanksgiving rolls

With Thanksgiving only a few days away many of us are thinking about food and family. I find it interesting-how folks become connected with the things they cook-you know how we expect them to fix the dishes we love.

I still think of my Granny Gazzie’s biscuits, stewed taters shaped like boats, and fried sweet potatoes even though she’s been gone for years. Others in my family that come to mind:

~Granny-we all love her green beans, biscuits, and holy smoke cake

~Pap-he makes a pan of fried potatoes like no one else

~Miss Cindy-makes the best stews and soups you’ve ever tasted-without a recipe

~My sister-n-law Kim-makes a coconut cake that even tempts The Deer Hunter who claims he hates coconut

~Papaw Tony-makes hush puppies that are so good you forget about the fish

~Nana makes sausage balls so good that I look forward to them from one Christmas till the next

Over the years, folks have come to expect a few of my dishes: Paul wants Oatmeal Krispie Cookies for his birthday present each year, folks look forward to the Pressley Family Christmas Party-just so they can eat my Pecan Pralines, and I’m told Thanksgiving just wouldn’t work without my Oatmeal Dinner Rolls.

I’m a bread junkie-seriously I’d rather have a piece of good bread (cornbread, biscuit, or roll) than meat any day. When The Deer Hunter and I were first married I found the recipe for Oatmeal Dinner Rolls in an issue of Southern Living. Knowing I loved anything with brown sugar in it I gave them a try-and all these years later I’m still glad I did. So easy-so good-and as far as bread goes-quite healthy with the addition of oatmeal.

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls-makes approximately 32 rolls

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (it actually takes closer to 5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Oatmeal dinner rolls

*bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot; stir in oats and butter; return to a boil; boil for one minute stirring constantly; remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees

Easy yeast rolls

*stir together 2 packets of yeast (if you buy yeast in bulk like I do-2 1/4 teaspoons equals one envelope), 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 2 cup measuring cup

Easy rolls for thanksgiving

*let yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes-the mixture will bubble up to the top of the cup

Rolls with oatmeal

*beat oat mixture, yeast mixture, flour, salt, and brown sugar with a mixer until smooth

The best rolls ever made

*the dough will be sticky and slightly wet-turn it out onto a floured surface; knead adding flour as needed till dough is smooth and elastic-about 5 minutes

*place dough in a greased bowl; cover; and let rise in a warm place for an hour or till dough doubled in bulk

*punch dough down; divide in half; shape each portion into 16 1 1/2 inch balls-or whatever size you want; place evenly in lightly greased pans-round or square (after second rising rolls may be refrigerated overnight-let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking or freeze after second rising for up to a month; thaw overnight in refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking)

How to make yeast rolls

*cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or till doubled in bulk; bake in 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or till golden brown

Southern Living rolls

Carol Barclay from Portland Texas is credited with developing this great recipe. Over the years I’ve found it to be almost fool proof. I never measure the temps of the water or the oatmeal, use at least an additional cup of flour as I knead and shape the dough, and I’ve never kneaded the dough for the full 5 minutes. Another neat thing about this recipe is if you only need a few rolls take the rest of the dough and use it for cinnamon rolls.

So how about you what dish are you expected to make?



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  • Reply
    Elizabeth Kelley
    September 6, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    The rolls were amazing! I knew when they finished rising that they were going to be wonderful! I did halve the recipe as I prefer my Kitchenaid to do all of the kneading. The halved recipe made 11 (57g) rolls and fit my 9×13 perfectly!
    I will make these often- thank you Tipper!

  • Reply
    Thomas Grimes
    January 17, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Tipper, this recipe is available on and is credited to Carol Barclay as published in Southern Living. I like the way you present the recipe and the accompanying story.

  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    November 17, 2020 at 12:54 am

    Through the years I have tried many rolls recipes and never hit upon that one special recipe. I will try this one and hopefully it will turn out great. i would love to serve my family some unforgettably good hot rolls this Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Thank you for all you do. Happy Blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Matt Russell
    November 22, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you for the oatmeal roll recipe. Nan made these for our family’s Thankgiving Day dinner. They were great. I used one to make a dressing, cranberry sauce, and turkey sandwich.

    • Reply
      November 24, 2018 at 8:24 am

      Matt-so glad the rolls turned out good for your special meal 🙂

      • Reply
        February 4, 2021 at 2:41 am

        I found your YouTube channel a few weeks back. I was born and raised in WVa. I have lived in Ks most of my life raising a family with my wonderful husband who now is deceased. Your stories bring back so many memories. From the traditions to the language and stories of old.
        Thank you for an enjoyable travel back in time for me. I have subscribed to your channel.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I will have to try these. I am usually the one that makes the cornbread dressing, but this year we are having our first Thanksgiving alone and we have a nice picnic planned.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I wuz trying to think where you’d be traveling during the days before Thanksgiving and thunk of the Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards Luncheon. But that was last week.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    November 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Amen on the bread junky, I’ve told my wife that it wouldn’t do any good to through me in jail and feed me bread and water cause I could live ( or I feel I could) on bread and water… Have fun… wishing you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving….

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Travel safely. I too am a bread junkie and these rolls look wonderful.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all the Blind Pig gang and all the rest of you Acorns!!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Have a safe and pleasant holiday trip!
    I am the family baker, my pie crusts are as good as Grandma’s were according to Mom, so I’m the go-to for the pumpkin and pecan pies. I wouldn’t dare show up without my wild rice and pecan stuffing either!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Those rolls look delicious! I ain’t never made that kind of bread, but I’m like you, a meal
    just ain’t a meal without bread.
    Hope you have a nice trip, you
    have earned some “down” time…Ken

  • Reply
    Shirley Owens
    November 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Tipper, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet family. I am going to try the rolls. Your pictures make me want one right now. I’m required to make a Blueberry Pie and to bring a quart of my pickled okra. God Bless You. God Speed…..

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    November 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Aw shucks, why did you have to go and tell us you were going on a trip..Now, I want to know where you would takeing off to on such a busy, cookin’ and bakin’ holiday with only two days left til Thanksgiving..
    I must say you’re a wonder woman, and you will get it all done. I guess you left the girls in charge of the turkey. I suppose you already have all the other fixin’s ready to pop in the oven.
    Mountain women survive!
    Oh, I know what, you are out there delivering Grannys rolls to all of us, sort of like a Turkey Thanksgiving Santa…No, oh well, an old lady can dream…those hot rolls look so good..
    Have a great trip,
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Have a wonderful get-away. I’m with Miss Cindy — I don’t travel without a book either (Roy often said I even took a book fishing). Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and thanks for this wonderful site and all that you share with us. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    November 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Sounds like a yummy recipe.. Hope you have a great trip and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    November 20, 2012 at 8:31 am

    There is one other category of readers Tipper: those of us who will have forgotten anything we read that far back!! The rolls sound delicious. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    November 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

    WOW! Tipper,those rolls would be great but I ‘have orders’ to make a banana pudding and sweet potato casserole for our ‘high on the mountain’ Thanksgiving dinner! I hope your trip and your weekend is near perfect!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

    The truth is, Tipper, these are the very best rolls I’ve ever eaten. Hot with butter, they just can’t be beat. Makes me wish I had some this morning for breakfast. They’d be a sight better than peanut butter and crackers.
    I’ve read every post since day one. They are all good and I love the reruns. They are like The Andy Griffith show….they just keep getting better.
    Hope you have a wonderful trip. I know you’ll take a book. One thing you and I have in common, we’re happy anywhere as long as we have a book.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    November 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I want one, maybe two or more. The whole story has made me have a mouth watering urge to bake them. I have to admit that I often get into trouble with yeast recipes, but since I will be shopping today, I have added the list of ingredients. Hope you enjoy your travels.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 7:22 am

    The rolls sound delicious! Save travels and Happy Thanksgiving:

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 20, 2012 at 6:43 am

    This is new to me, love the recipe and can’t wait to try it! Thanks

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