The Absolute Best Ways To Reheat Dinner Rolls

Few things spell comfort the way a basket of warm bread rolls can. Their pillowy, yeasty goodness can go with just about anything you're thinking of serving for a meal. Dinner rolls are especially good at mopping up stews, soups, gravies, and sauces, or they can be enjoyed with a filling of jams, jellies, or your favorite meats and cheeses. And in terms of entertaining, the best part about dinner rolls is that they can either be made or purchased ahead of time — then frozen, reheated, and served when the occasion calls for it.

Unfortunately, as with many things, there is a right way and a wrong way to warm up your dinner rolls, because the wrong kind of heat is likely to bully the rolls into becoming rock-hard, inedible versions of their former selves. Fortunately, there are ways to bring frozen or cold dinner rolls back to life. All it takes is an element of time and patience.

Use your oven to reheat your dinner rolls

Kitchn advises that most foods should be reheated the same way they were cooked, and the same goes for dinner rolls, which are best reheated in the oven. The site suggests taking a hard pass on the big sheet pan, instead arranging them in a smaller baking dish so their edges touch. This method will keep them soft, whereas separating them on a tray could make them crunchier than you may intend. Set the dish on a rack positioned in the middle of an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for seven to 10 minutes. If all you have is a baking sheet, you may want to brush the rolls with melted butter to keep them from drying out. 

Another way to use the oven, per Carlsbad Cravings, is to thaw frozen dinner rolls on the kitchen counter, then wrap the batch with foil and heat it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until they're warmed through.

Use your slow cooker to reheat dinner rolls

If you happen to have a slow cooker just begging to be used, know that some food bloggers and recipe sites are fans of reheating dinner rolls using this sometimes overlooked kitchen appliance, too. Butter and Baggage calls using the slow cooker a favorite way to warm up dinner rolls "by far" ⁠— likely because the device will not only help you bring frozen dinner rolls back from their frozen slumber, but slow cookers can keep dinner rolls warm as well.

To use a slow cooker, first thaw your frozen dinner rolls as you would do if you were using an oven. Then line the bottom of the pot with a clean, damp ⁠— not wet ⁠— dish cloth and place the thawed rolls on top, before setting the cooker on "low" and leaving it to do its thing for about half an hour. Once that's done, you can place the cooker on "warm" and leave rolls that way for two hours. Kitchn says doing it this way can actually give them the homemade feel.

Use your microwave oven - but with care

If you're short on time or only have a few dinner rolls to heat up, the microwave oven may be a more convenient reheating option. But before you place the rolls in the appliance and zap them on high, remember that bread generally doesn't fare well in microwaves; one of the two sugar molecules present in starch melts at 212 degrees Fahrenheit but hardens as it cools down, which means a microwaved roll that started out fluffy ends up becoming rock hard once it cools, per The Spruce Eats

Instead of placing bare rolls in the microwave, Kitchn recommends you put them in a container and cover them completely with two clean dishcloths or paper towels — the first one damp and the second dry. This will help keep the rolls soft and prevent them from drying out. Heat them at 30% to 50% power until they are just warmed through; if they get too hot, they will harden the same way they would had they been heated at full power.