We are fast approaching the date where NIST has recommended that end entities stop utilizing 1024-bit private keys. OpenSSL, however, currently defaults to creating 1024-bit keypairs. To create a 2048-bit private key and corresponding CSR (which you can send to a certificate authority to obtain your SSL certificate):

openssl req -new -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout mydomain.key -out mydomain.csr

This command will make a 2048-bit key, run the interactive prompt to populate the fields of the certificate signing request, and leave the private key unencrypted (-nodes). You can remove -nodes if you wish, but encrypting the private key will require you to type the password every time you start an application (like apache) that uses it.