March 11, 2009

Refrigerator Rolls - Ready When You Are

Imagine coming home from work, pulling some dough from the fridge, shaping it quickly into pan rolls (10 or 12 round lumps of this dough placed side by side in a greased cake pan is the easiest ...very easy), then baking them 20 minutes later while you fix the rest of the meal. Your home has the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread, your taste buds can't wait to bite into that roll, perhaps after it has been slathered with some butter. Doesn't that grab you?

It might seem and impossible dream, but not so. With this recipe, which you can put together on the weekend, you will have rolls ready and on the table in about 45 minutes, with very little effort that day. It helps if you know how much dough to use for each roll. The photo above gives an idea of the truth...I didn't.

When I made these as cloverleaf rolls, the were yummy, but I had not judged the amount of dough needed for each roll, so they were petite clover leaf rolls. I shared them at a luncheon I was invited to today. Here are the flowers on the table...very lovely.

Refrigerator Rolls are the magic dough that makes this possible and these rolls have been made for a long time. We have busy lives these days, but our grandmothers, stay at home though they were, had even more work to do than we do and they cherished recipes that made life easier, too.

Refrigerator Rolls
From The Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham

1 cup milk, warmed
2 packages dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Stir the warm milk and yeast together in a large mixing bowl and let stand for a couple of minutes to dissolve. Add the sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat to mix well, then add enough more flour to make a manageable dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for about 2 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes.

Resume kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, sprinkling on just enough additional flour to keep it from being too sticky. Place in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk.

Punch down the dough, and place it in a greased bowl or a large plastic food-storage bag. Cover the bowl tightly, and refrigerate. If you use the plastic bag, seal it loosely around the dough to allow room for the dough to expand. Come back sometime within 3 – 4 hours and punch the chilled dough down – until it is thoroughly cold, it will rise as usual. Check the dough once a day from then on, and if it has begun to rise, punch it down.

To make rolls, simply pull off as much of the dough as you think you’ll need, and shape in into rolls, such as crescent, Parker House, cloverleaf or fantan shapes. Let rise for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 400 degrees F. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

This recipe makes about 30 rolls, depending on size. Can be stored in the fridge for about a week, ready to use whenever you need it. Just cut off enough for a few rolls, shape and bake as described above.

I'm sending this over to Susan at Wild Yeast for Yeastspotting. If you haven't visited, you will be thrilled with all of the recipes made with yeast or, if you don't make bread, with bread that someone else baked. This will be the first appearance of the Bread Baker's Dog on Yeastspotting.


  1. I love the new blog, and the rolls too!

  2. I am a fan of refrigerator rolls. They really simplify family celebrations where you want to serve fresh bread but don't want to deal with a mess at the last minute.

  3. I like magic recipes for hard-working people. :) These rolls will make an appearance in my kitchen sometime, as I hope (to find the time) to make my own preserves this summer. Something I haven't done before and would like to try just for the kicks.

  4. They sound like fun! And like cheating, of course. ;)

  5. Susan, Thanks! Hope you visit often.

    Mary, It's true, they are great for celebrations since they can be mostly made ahead.

    Andreas, I'll look on your blog for the preserves this summer. Home made jam and fresh bread are a match made in heaven!

    DaviMack, Fun indeed...why cheating? You still make the dough from scratch, just earlier.

  6. Anonymous3/16/2009

    Such a wonderful doggo! Mine will be 13 this year -- or is it 14? Any hoo, she's a pan licker, too. Yummy rolls. Should have been one of my choices on the roll baking fest we had recently. Nice...Have fun with TWO blogs.


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