No matter what’s on the menu this year, don’t skip this recipe.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey and dressing, but a Christmas dinner can take all sorts of forms. Beef is the most traditional main course in the South, but some hosts serve ham, lamb, pork loin—or even duck! And the sides are even more unpredictable. While some sort of starch is a must (dressing, mashed potatoes, spoonbread, scalloped potatoes), Christmas dinner can include vegetables, casseroles, relishes, and side dishes of all sorts. The more, the merrier!

But there is one dish that should have a spot on every Christmas table, and that's freshly baked rolls. The rolls don’t have to be made from scratch (who can turn down a buttery, flaky crescent roll, even if it’s made with canned dough?) but they do need to be freshly baked and served hot, preferably with pats of butter on the side. One of life’s little pleasures is spreading cold butter on a warm roll. If you do want to go all out and make rolls from scratch, you can’t beat our Icebox Dinner Rolls. The dough comes together easily and bakes up in a pretty golden cloverleaf shape. Even novice bread bakers will find this recipe easy to master.

A reader’s comment on this recipe sums up how delicious these rolls are, and how freshly baked bread, can be one of the most memorable parts of a holiday meal:

“My mother, who, by her own admission, was never much of a cook did grace our holiday tables with wonderful yeast rolls. Her recipe, passed along to her by her aunt in the 1930s, assumed some working knowledge of baking with yeast. We have tried, several times since her death in 2002, to re-create "Iceb.ox Rolls" with little success. This Thanksgiving, we had another failure and then my son decided to search online for guidance. With your help we have been able to re-establish a family tradition. My house is redolent with the aroma of these yeast rolls as I write this on Christmas Eve. Thank you so much.”