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Copycat Lion House Rolls Recipe

Lion House Rolls copycat recipe

Today I am sharing a copycat recipe of the amazing Lion House rolls.  The Lion House is a historic home in the heart of Salt Lake City.  It was the home of the first governor of Utah, and it got its name because of the lion statue over the front doorway.  It is now an event center, restaurant, and catering company.  At least among Utah folks, the rolls are famous.  They are AMAZING!  Years ago a friend of mine who grew up in Salt Lake City shared this recipe with me and taught me how to make my own copycat Lion House Rolls.  I am excited to be sharing the recipe with you today!

I will walk you through the process of making Lion House Rolls with pictures, and then I will list the detailed ingredient list and steps in a compact format at the bottom of the post.

Place the yeast in warm water and allow it to dissolve for about 5 minutes.

Lion House Rolls Recipe

As the yeast is dissolving, mix together these dry ingredients and set aside: salt, sugar, and powdered milk.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-2

Add the dry ingredient and an egg to the yeasty water and mix.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-3

Mix in 5+ cups of flour, ONE AT A TIME.  (I use a KNEADING BEATER on my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I have never tried it with any other kind of mixer, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work, although maybe not as easily.)  The amount of flour that you will need will vary with humidity, elevation, etc, but 5 cups is a good starting point.  You don’t want the dough too sticky OR too dry.  Basically, I knead it in the mixer until it starts to pull away from the edges, as shown in the second picture below.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-4 Lion House Rolls Recipe-5

Next I lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough into it, and cover it with a piece of cellophane wrap which has also been lightly sprayed (on the side facing the dough) with cooking spray.  Place in a warm place and let rise for 2-3 hours until doubled in size. 

Here’s my bread and roll rising secret: I use a small room to create what my husband refers to as my “roll incubator.”  If I’m running behind I choose a small room and place the dough in there, along with a space heater cranked up and even put a towel to close the crack of the door on the bottom.  I do that for this step and the next.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-6 Lion House Rolls Recipe-7

Once the dough has doubled in size, roll out the dough on a floured surface.  Cut and mold them into any shape that you want.  I usually do knots.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-8 Lion House Rolls Recipe-9 Lion House Rolls Recipe-10

Place the rolls on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover with cellophane wrap that is also lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Place the cookie sheets in a warm spot to rise for about 1 additional hour.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-11

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes.  Brush the top of the rolls with melted butter once they are removed from the oven.

Lion House Rolls Recipe-12

Now serve and enjoy!  Serve warm if possible.  YUM.

Copycat Lion House Rolls Recipe-2

Copycat Lion House Rolls Recipe

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 12 minutes

Yield: 24

Serving Size: 1 roll

Copycat Lion House Rolls Recipe


  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup dry powdered milk
  • 1 egg


  1. Put the yeast into a bowl of warm water and allow it to dissolve for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. As the yeast is dissolving, mix together the salt, sugar, and powdered milk and set aside.
  3. Add the dry ingredient mixture and egg to the yeast water and mix.
  4. Mix 5+ cups of flour into the mixture, ONE CUP AT A TIME. The amount of flour needed will vary depending on humidity, elevation, etc. The dough should not be sticky and should be pulling away from the side of the bowl.
  5. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough into the bowl. Lightly spray one side of a piece of cellophane wrap and place it over the top of the bowl, sprayed side facing the dough.
  6. Place the dough in a warm spot and allow it to rise for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut and form rolls. I usually knot them.
  8. Place formed rolls on lightly greased cookie sheets. Place lightly sprayed cellophane wrap over the rolls/cookie sheet, sprayed side facing the rolls.
  9. Place the cookie sheets in a warm spot and allow the rolls to rise for 1+ hours.
  10. Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for approximately 12 minutes.
  11. Melt the butter and brush it on top of the hot rolls.
  12. Serve and enjoy!
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  1. Fran says

    I need to multiply this recipe by six or seven, does it work well to double, triple, etc.?

    Also, if you were to estimate what temperature your small room becomes for the rising what would that be? (I was thinking to place my rising bowls in double ovens and slightly heat the ovens to about 100 degrees, and then turn the ovens off before placing the dough there to rise.What do you think?

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