Lion House Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

If you ever lived in Utah you know about these rolls. The Lion House was formerly Brigham Young’s home, but it is now a restaurant and banquet/reception center. For years, my Great Aunt gave us each a traditional gift at Christmas, which was an invitation to a dinner at the Lion House. She had a banquet there, every year, for her brother and sister along with their entire families.

The rolls that they serve there are out of this world. If you ever have the opportunity to try one from the restaurant you should. They have shared the recipe, but to me it’s still not the same as the ones from the actual Lion House. The texture is a little different, but when you can’t have one from the restaurant this recipe is the next best thing. They are also well known for their shape. That’s how everyone knows they are from the Lion House.

They are made just like crescent shaped roll except you shape the dough into a rectangle, instead of a circle. Then you cut out rectangle shapes instead of triangles. There is more instruction below in the recipe. These are usually paired with honey butter, so I have included that recipe also. I prefer to eat the with plain old butter. This allows me to truly enjoy the flavor of the roll. The honey, to me, hides the delicious flavor.

Lion House Dinner Rolls
  • 2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
  • ⅔ cup nonfat dry milk (instant or non-instant)
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, shortening, or margarine (I use canola oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour
  1. In large bowl or electric mixer, combine water and yeast; let sit 5 minutes. Add dry milk yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 2 cups flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand). Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer. Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff (It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour).
  2. Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour about one tablespoon of vegetable oil all around sides of bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so it is covered with oil. (This helps prevent dough from drying out). Cover with plastic and allow to rise in warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes.
  3. Scrape dough out onto floured board. Divide dough into two. Turn dough over so it is floured on both sides; gently flatten to about 1 inch thick. With rolling pin, roll out to a rectangle about 12 inches long, 8 inches wide, and ¼ inch thick. Brush with melted butter. With pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut dough in half to make two strips about 4 inches wide. Make cuts through strips of dough every 2 inches, making about 12 pieces of dough.
  4. Starting with short end, roll up one piece of dough, with butter on the inside. Place roll on parchment-lined pan with other short end down on the paper (I just use a greased pan). Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Be sure all rolls face the same direction on baking pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until light to medium golden brown. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter. Makes 2 dozen rolls.
Helpful Tips for Making Rolls
Always add flour gradually and keep dough as soft as you can handle. A soft dough will produce a lighter roll.
It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour called for in the recipe—add only enough flour to make dough manageable.
To shorten dough's rising time, use one of these methods:
1) When dough is thoroughly mixed, oil bowl and cover dough with plastic wrap. Fill sink or larger bowl with about 2 inches of hot water or enough water to come about half or three-fourths the way up outside the dough bowl. Place bowl of dough in bowl of water and allow to rise until double in size.
2) Just before mixing dough, turn oven on lowest possible temperature. Place a pan of hot water on bottom oven rack. When dough is thoroughly mixed, place in oiled bowl. Cover dough with plastic wrap; place in oven. Turn oven off, shut oven door, and allow dough to rise until double in size, about 50 to 60 minutes. Shape or cut into desired rolls. Place rolls on greased or parchment-lined pans and allow to rise until double in size. Bake according to recipe.
Brush top of rolls with butter when first taken from oven.

Lion House Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup honey
  1. Whip softened butter until light and fluffy (this is the trick). Add vanilla and honey gradually. Beat for 20 minutes (I just beat til light and fluffy) . Makes 1 cup.

16 comments on “Lion House Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter

  • I love this recipe, but rarely have dry milk on hand. Can I sub regular milk for part of the water amount? Thanks for your help.

  • For Thanksgiving, I decided I would use this recipe to make the rolls. I was wondering, though, if when you made the recipe you used all purpose or bread flour. I noticed that the recipe says you can use either one. However, I also read that you said the lighter the flour the lighter the texture. Which did you go for? Thanks.

  • Thanks for the great explanation on how to shape the rolls. I’m anxious to try it out.

  • Do you think I could make the dough in a bread machine?

  • Got my dough in a bowl rising right now 🙂 cant wait to see how they turn out 😉 wish me luck hehe

  • I’m going to make these for Easter!

  • The Bently Family, sorry your rolls didn’t work. Did the yeast look like it was growing? Another ting you can do is use SAF yeast. With that yeast you don’t have to put the yeast in the warm water. You just add it when you add the flour. It’s a more fail proof way to make yeast dough.

  • Help!!!!!! I tried to make these on Monday and failed oh so miserably. I am still so sad about it. I followed your instructions to a T and my first dough didn’t rise a mm. What do you think the odds are that my yeast was bad? It was new???? My only thought was that I put a little too much oil in the bowl when i put the dough in, do you think that could do it? I was so excited to make these and then so bummed when they didn’t even close to work out. I have a bosch mixer and use that to make my rolls. How long do you usually knead the dough for?

  • I love this recipe and make it several times a month but I’ve always made them in crescent shapes because I didn’t know how to do it the traditional Lion House way. Now I can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  • thank you for posting this recipe!

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