Not your ordinary dinner rolls, no sir, no ma’am. These deliciously soft little Cheddar Ranch Dinner Rolls have a zesty flavor from the ranch dressing mix, plus the added cheese element. Great by themselves or with a little melting butter, but especially to mop up gravy and sauces.
Side dishes are a fun part of any meal, but especially when they’re scrumptious.
These rolls are fun to make with a few helpful tips I’m happy to give you.
Tips to help your rolls rise to the occasion.
First, make sure all of your ingredients are fresh. Check those expiration dates before you begin.
Second, when you heat the water, just make it warm. Don’t heat it so much that it kills the yeast.
It should be warm to the touch, not hot. You can use a thermometer if that suits you better, keeping it between 105 and 115°.
If you think it got too hot, let it cool before adding it to the yeast.
Third tip, the room has to be warm enough for the yeast to be activated, there by letting the rolls rise. Summertime is best, but thank God it’s not always that hot.
So, on cooler days you can blast your house heater, or there’s an easier way.
Place the rolls inside your oven with the heat turned OFF. Place a pot of steaming water beneath the rolls then close the oven door.
This creates a wonderful environment for the rolls to rise.
A fourth tip is being careful not to use too much of any one ingredient. Follow the recipe and this shouldn’t be a problem.
Your fifth tip is to keep the surface of the dough moist. While it’s proofing, (or rising for the final time before baking), cover it with either plastic wrap or a damp cloth.
Avoid using a damp towel that might leave little fuzzies stuck to the dough. This is not the “fiber” your doctor told you about.
You can also spritz a little non-stick spray on the top of the rolls before laying the damp towel on them.
Tip #6: make sure you are using the right sized pan. This is more noticeable with bread.
The dough doesn’t just go up, it also goes out (left and right). If the pan is too big, you won’t see the lift in the dough you were hoping for.
Lastly, be patient. Not my strong suit, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Getting it right.
You can do everything right with all the right ingredients and equipment, but the dough still won’t rise. Naughty dough!
If you’re patient, however, you still stand a chance.
For a more in depth look at what makes your dough rise, check out this article from Taste of Home.
Ok, let’s make some dinner rolls.
Making Cheddar Ranch Dinner Rolls
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, ranch dressing mix, yeast, and salt.
Meanwhile, heat up the milk and butter just until warm. You can also use a thermometer.
Your goal temperature is between 105 and 115°.
I use a glass measuring cup to first measure my milk, then add the butter to the milk.
Microwave in 15 second segments until warm to the touch, but not hot.
Remember, if the yeast is too hot, your rolls will never rise.
Don’t worry about the butter not melting — it will get mixed into the dough through kneading.
Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with your dry ingredients and mix well.
Add 1/4 cup flour plus the shredded cheese and continue mixing.
Can we talk cheese?
I called this recipe Cheddar Ranch Dinner Rolls, but you can use other cheeses than just cheddar.
You can use shredded Gouda, or Monterey Jack cheese, like I did in these pictures.
Imagine if I called these Four Cheese Mexican Ranch Dinner Rolls. Ha!
So, don’t limit yourself — I had to name it something.
Stir in the remaining flour in batches. The dough should start to form itself into a ball.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface where you’ll need to knead the dough for about 6 – 8 minutes.
What you’re looking for is the dough to become smooth and springy.
You’ll likely need to add more flour as your go to prevent sticking. Just pinch some flour and sprinkle onto the dough and continue kneading.
When you’ve created a smooth little ball, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Turning the dough into Cheddar Ranch Dinner Rolls.
Cut the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces.
They don’t have to be exact, but they will bake better if they are the same approximate size.
Roll each piece into a ball and place into a greased dish. I used a 7 x 11″ dish, but it could have been smaller.
The rolls should be very close to each other, if not slightly touching. This helps them to rise up, not just left and right.
Cover them again and let them rise. This can take 30 minutes, more or less.
Remember to be patient. It’s essential they rise, so make sure you review the tips above if they’re not behaving.
They will if you followed along. You’ve got this.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°. That is, unless you’re using the oven to help them rise.
If you are using the oven method, let them finish rising, then keep them covered and warm while the oven preheats.
Uncover the rolls and bake them for 20 – 25 minutes.
They will turn a beautiful golden brown and the kitchen will smell heavenly.
Let them cool some, then brush melted butter across their tops and serve.
Delicious! …and they freeze well. Win win.
Serve them with more butter, and use any leftovers to make mini sandwiches the next day.
These are also delicious for mopping up most any type of sauce or gravy.
Serve them with:
- Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Creamy Spinach Prosciutto Tortellini
- Spicy Turkey Spinach Roll Ups
- Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo
- Turkey Chili
- Mom’s Goulash Recipe
Cheddar Ranch Dinner Rolls
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more as needed
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. ranch dressing mix
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. butter, plus more for topping
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Gouda cheese
- In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour, sugar, dry ranch mix, yeast, and salt.
- In microwaveable bowl or measuring cup, heat milk and butter until warm to the touch, but not hot. Microwave in 15 second increments. If using a thermometer, temperature should be between 105 and 115°. Butter does not need to be fully melted.
- Pour the milk mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and stir. Add 1/4 cup flour and shredded cheese. Continue stirring. Add in remaining flour in batches. Once all ingredients are combined and dough forms into ball, place on lightly floured surface.
- Knead dough 6 - 8 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Dough should be smooth and springy. Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel for 10 minutes to rest.
- Cut dough into 12 evenly sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place in a greased baking dish. Rolls should be close together or slightly touching. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel to rise (approx. 30 minutes). See blog for tips on rising.
- Bake in 375° preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool slightly and brush tops with melted butter. Enjoy!
Cheddar Ranch Dinner Rolls
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