Rolls at the Ready

Rolls Ready for the Oven
Ready for the oven!

Winter meals are especially inviting when they’re accompanied by rolls fresh from the oven. And making those rolls from scratch is not as hard as you might think! This recipe allows you to make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until a couple hours before it’s time to bake. Then just shape the rolls with your hands, let them sit for a while on the baking sheet, and they’re ready to pop in the oven. I make a batch of these and then bake them fresh for two or three meals throughout the week. I haven’t had a complaint yet!

Refrigerator Rolls

Makes 2 to 3 dozen rolls, depending on how large you want them.

Dough after rising in the fridge.
Dough after rising in the fridge.

At least 4.5 hours before meal time:

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve 2 pkgs. (4-1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast in 2 C. warm water. Add 1/2 C. sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and 3 C. flour (bread flour gives the best texture). Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 C. shortening. Keep mixing until the egg is mixed in and the shortening is in clumps no wider than nickels. Gradually mix in an additional 3 C. flour until dough is smooth. Since I mix by hand, at this point I have to abandon my wooden spoon and use my hand to knead in the remaining flour. Cover with a plate or damp cloth and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to several days.

2-3 hours before meal time:

Grease a baking sheet or two. Put a little shortening or oil on your hands and roll chunks of dough into balls a couple of inches in diameter, putting them on the baking sheet an inch or two apart. Make as many as you need and put the rest of the dough back in the fridge for another time.

12 minutes before meal time:

Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 12 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are golden and the bottoms medium brown.

(These rolls don’t need anything else to be delicious, but if you do decide to put butter on them, use spreadable 100% real butter for the best taste and texture. The secret is here!)

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Awesome! I was just commenting at dinner the other night how there isn’t much better than fresh rolls out of the oven. Do you mind if I re-blog this?

    1. I don’t mind at all. Please do!

  2. P.E.A.C.E. says:

    Love this! Thanks so much for sharing. You’ve made me feel inspired and motivated to bake my own buns. Cheers, Gina

    1. Absolutely! This is a recipe I’ve been using for going on 15 years now; hopefully it will serve you for a few years as well!

  3. Reblogged this on homesteaddad and commented:
    I am definitely going to try this recipe!

  4. They look wonderful and I can imagine the aroma when they came out of the oven. Trouble is we are both on a diet at the moment trying to get in trim our son’s wedding.

    1. I suppose you should only eat half a roll, then!

  5. M. R. says:

    Sharon, can I clarify something, please?: the 2 hours in the frig … is this the minimum time for – well, ‘proving’, I suppose. Although I’ve never read of proving’s going on in a frig! Is the frig vital?

    1. No, I imagine you don’t HAVE to use the fridge, though I’ve never tried this particular recipe without it. If you don’t use the fridge, though, you might want to cut down on the amount of yeast and/or the ‘proving’ time, as rising will happen a lot faster at room temperature. The dough should be ready for shaping when it has doubled in size (and when, if you poke it with a finger, the impression remains).

      1. M. R. says:

        Makes sense to me! – many thanks!

  6. M. R. says:

    SORRY! – I meant to ask, also: shortening? Is that fat? Is there a substitute, please, for this old broad who is quite fat enough as it is?

    1. If you’re worried about calories, I actually suggest adding MORE fat to the recipe. Fat fills you up faster and gives you the feeling of satiety. If you leave out the fat, you may end up eating more rolls than you would otherwise, thus bringing about the opposite of your intended effect!

      1. M. R. says:

        I was being politically correct, I realise! [grin]
        I’ve never bought or seen shortening: I shall have to track it down.

      2. I’m pretty sure you could substitute butter. It will change the taste and consistency somewhat, but I can’t imagine the result would be bad!

      3. M. R. says:

        You’re REALLY kind, Sharon! – I appreciate that very much!

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