Refrigerator Dough For Quick Crusty Hard Rolls

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Refrigerator Dough For Quick Crusty Hard Rolls

star rating (21) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Throw refrigerator dough together in the morning or evening, or whenever you have a few spare moments. The small amount of yeast allows the dough to keep in the fridge for up to 5 days without developing a "sour" taste. We kept one batch for 6 days; the rolls were a little denser, but still tasted good. Note: If you plan to use the dough within 12 hours or so, knead it and then let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour before refrigerating. — S.G.

4 1/2 cups (19 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

Manual /Mixer Method: Combine all of the ingredients and mix till cohesive. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, about 5 to 10 minutes, till it's soft and somewhat smooth; it should be cohesive, but the surface should still be a bit rough. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and refrigerate at least overnight, or for up to 5 days.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the bucket of your bread machine. Program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Check the dough after about 15 minutes; it should be smooth-looking, but very soft. Add additional water or flour as needed. Cancel the machine after the final kneading cycle, and refrigerate the dough as directed previously.

Shaping: Remove the dough from the refrigerator, fold it over gently a few times, and cut off the desired amount; you'll need 1 1/2 to 2 ounces per roll (golf-ball sized pieces); about 1 to 1 1/4 ounces per breadstick (about 1 1/4 inches in diameter); or 10 ounces (one-third of the dough) per baguette. Return any remaining dough to the refrigerator.

Form rolls by shaping the pieces into balls, then rolling them under your lightly cupped fingers on an unfloured work surface.
For breadsticks, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope, keeping the ends blunt (rather than tapered), so they'll bake evenly.
For baguettes, shape the dough into a rough, slightly flattened oval, cover it with greased plastic wrap, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten it slightly, and fold and seal again. With the seam-side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 14-inch log.

Place the shaped rolls, breadsticks or baguette onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until they're very puffy.

Bake the rolls or the baguette in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, till they're golden brown. Bake the breadsticks for 12 to 15 minutes (for soft breadsticks) or, for crisp breadsticks, bake them in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Yield: 30 ounces of dough, enough for 15 to 20 rolls, 28 12-inch breadsticks, or three baguettes.

Nutrition information per serving (1 roll, 43g): 95 cal, <1g fat, 3g protein, 20g complex carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 214mg sodium, 37mg potassium, 1mg iron, 1mg calcium, 26mg phosphorus.
Nutrition information per serving (1 breadstick, 31g): 68 cal, <1g fat, 2g protein, 14g complex carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 153mg sodium, 27mg potassium, 1mg iron, 19mg phosphorus.
Nutrition information per serving (1-inch slice of baguette, 61g): 135 cal, 4g protein, 28g complex carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 305mg sodium, 53mg potassium, 2mg iron, 1mg calcium, 38mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 5, Summer 2001 issue.


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  • star rating 09/16/2014
  • diane from providence, ri
  • I find they do not brown enough. They are very pale and unappealing looking. Taste is good though
    We're so glad you made the recipe as written for the first test drive. Maybe an egg wash just before the rolls go into the oven the bake will provide a bit of shine and darker appearance? Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/25/2012
  • Khaleed from Trinidad, West Indies
  • Fantastic Results. Used half of the amounts in your recipe and still got amazing results. Made 4 rolls about 14 hours after preparation and with the remaining dough, I made 2 baguettes (about 6 inches) the next day (Xmas day). both were crusty at the top and chewy on the inside. Just what I was looking for.
  • star rating 10/22/2012
  • Lee (anne) from BC from KAF Community
  • Loved the chewy / crunchy texture I was aiming for in a hoagie bun, although my dough didn't rise much in the 2-1/2 hours, -- they were kind of flat -- probably due to the type of yeast I used? I really wanted that chewiness, so I put a bowl of water in the oven, in addition to coating the top of the buns with water prior to baking. I'm looking forward to experimenting further with this recipe....maybe try some cheese sticks next -- thanks so much for the recipe King Arthur!
  • star rating 04/27/2012
  • annseams from KAF Community
  • I made the dough on Sunday afternoon, baked a dozen rolls on Monday morning, then got another 6 rolls on Thursday. The Thursday rolls rose much higher and were much more flavorful than the Monday rolls. They weren't very crusty though, more chewy. I was expecting a crisper crust that kind of shattered which is why I gave it 4 stars rather than 5.. I'll make them again.
    As the dough ages, it is normal for them to become more chewy and dense. You may have lost some quality in your crust texture due to the age of the dough or it may have been because the shaped rolls were allowed to rise too long. ~Amy
  • star rating 11/23/2011
  • NCBakin' from NC
  • I have this dough in my fridge right now, first time trying it. I used part whole white wheat flour, and some vital wheat gluten and had to use a little extra water. Mixed it in my stand mixer using the dough hook for about 7 minutes...hopefully I'm on the right track! My question is about freezing, since there are only 2 of us eating dinner. Should I form the dough balls and then freeze them, waiting to do the final rise after thawing...or partially bake the ones I don't need now, cool, freeze and finish baking when taken out of the freezer? Thanks for any help!
    There's no need to freeze if you will be baking these tomorrow, just allow the dough to rise, shape into rolls and refrigerate overnight for the second rise. You can bake them the next day when you are ready after bringing them to room temperature and freeze the rolls you do not use right away. ~Amy
  • star rating 04/27/2011
  • Christine from FL
  • Great recipe! Never lets me down. I made garlic rolls with it tonight and they were a hit!
  • star rating 01/16/2011
  • dtoci from KAF Community
  • Great and forgiving!! Originally made the dough with the intention of baking within 12 hours, so i let the bread rest for an hour before refrigerating. My day got away from me and didn't have time to let the bread rise so i baked a few days later. After 2 hours of rising, there was little results, so i went to bed thinking i was going to have to throw the dough out. I woke up to a nice rise and decided to bake to see what would happen and the bread turned out great!!
  • star rating 12/20/2010
  • atla from KAF Community
  • Wonderful recipe. I made these 3 days before baking, and the slow rice added a fantastic dimension of flavor. I made my first baguettes using this recipe (with the help of a youtube video for shaping), and I can honestly say I'll never be buying grocery store baguettes again.
  • star rating 07/01/2010
  • Carla from WA
  • I have been bread with this using a Silpat with fantastic results. Last night I used parchment paper as the recipe suggests and the the bread completely stuck to the paper. I cut the bottoms off and ate the bread anyway, and it's as good as ever. What gives?
    Sorry to hear of your difficulty. A sticky dough can end up adhering to parchment. Also, if the oven temp is not high enough, a similar result may occur. Give us a call, we're happy to assist: 800-827-6836. Frank @ KAF.
  • star rating 05/11/2010
  • Carla from Mount Vernon, WA
  • I have made two baguettes out of this dough, and the third one is rising as I type this. I am a novice bread baker and it could really not have been any easier. The dough seemed a little stickier on the side that was in contact with the dough bucket, but once shaped seemed just fine. I am preparing to make a second batch tonight! (my tastebuds say yes, my waistline says uh-oh!)
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