Refrigerator Dough For Quick Soft Rolls

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Refrigerator Dough For Quick Soft Rolls

star rating (17) 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 cups (17 ounces)King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar*
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces, 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) potato flour OR 1/2 cup (1 ounce) dried potato buds
6 tablespoons (2 ounces) Baker's Special Dry Milk or non-fat dry milk
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water
1 teaspoon instant yeast

*Use up to 4 tablespoons sugar if you like your rolls on the sweet side.

Manual /Mixer Method: Combine all of the ingredients and mix till cohesive. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, till it's smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 4 tablespoons additional water if needed. The dough will become shiny and elastic, but should stay very soft, since it firms up quite a bit in the refrigerator. 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 at left.

Shaping: Remove the dough from the refrigerator, fold it over gently a few times, and cut off the desired amount for the number of rolls you want. You'll need about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces dough per dinner roll (golf-ball sized pieces); about 4 1/2 ounces per hamburger bun (a ball of dough about 2 1/2 inches in diameter); or 3 ounces per hotdog bun (about 2 1/4 inches in diameter). Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator.

To form dinner rolls, shape the pieces into balls, then roll them under your lightly cupped fingers on an unfloured work surface to make smooth balls. To form hamburger buns, shape each piece into a smooth ball, and flatten the balls till they're about 4 inches in diameter, trying to keep the tops of the rolls smooth; the nicer the top looks at this point, the nicer it will turn out to be once it's baked. To form hotdog buns, roll the balls into cylinders 5 1/2 inches in length. Flatten the cylinders slightly; dough rises more in the center, so this will give the buns gently rounded tops.

Place the shaped rolls onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them, and let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until they're very puffy. Note that these rolls need to rise longer than rolls made from unrefrigerated dough; be sure to leave yourself sufficient time for this extra rise.

Baking: Bake the dinner rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Bake the hamburger or hotdog buns in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 22 minutes. The rolls or buns will be golden brown when done. Yield: 36 ounces of dough, enough for 18 to 24 rolls, 8 hamburger buns, or 12 hotdog buns.

Nutrition information per serving (1 roll, 27g): 72 cal, 1g fat, 2g protein, 12g complex carbohydrates, 1g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 4mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 71mg potassium, 19RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 17mg calcium, 29mg phosphorus.

Nutrition information per serving (1 hamburger bun, 124g): 325 cal, 6g fat, 9g protein, 53g complex carbohydrates, 3g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 18mg cholesterol, 568mg sodium, 321mg potassium, 85RE vitamin A, 2mg vitamin C, 5mg iron, 77mg calcium, 131mg phosphorus.

Nutrition information per serving (1 hotdog bun, 82g): 216 cal, 4g fat, 6g protein, 36g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 12mg cholesterol, 379mg sodium, 214mg potassium, 56RE vitamin A, 1mg vitamin C, 3mg iron, 51mg calcium, 87mg phosphorus.

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


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  • star rating 04/05/2015
  • gala62 from KAF Community
  • Perfect soft delicious rolls for my Easter dinner today! Really, I can't improve this recipe one single bit. I had the potato powder and dry milk from KAF so I was set to go yesterday. The dough came together quickly and I popped the bowl (covered with plastic wrap) into the frig and hoped for the best. This morning, I shaped 9 rolls and placed them in my trusty 9" square pan. Then a slow rise for about 90 mins. After baking I brushed them with butter and voila! Moist, soft rolls. A winner KAF!
  • star rating 12/17/2013
  • nws from KAF Community
  • A lifesaver during the holidays - an easy make-ahead roll that can be baked just in time to serve hot with a meal
  • star rating 11/22/2013
  • EmmaBoo from KAF Community
  • This recipe sounds just like what I need, simple to make, store in refrigerator till needed, perfect for a family of 2. Can the dough be mixed, shaped and frozen? EmmaBoo
  • star rating 07/13/2013
  • Kelley50 from KAF Community
  • Really easy to make. It is so so convenient to have ready to go dough. The rolls came out light and airy. Everyone loved them. The flexibility to make several different types of things is really great.
  • star rating 11/17/2011
  • Cedarglen from KAF Community
  • Another 5-star winner from KAF! For the fall holidays, one should have a (double) batch of this dough in the fridge. It is baker-friendly and eater delicious. One of the baker-friendly joys is grabbing enough mature dough for the instant need and having finished rolls in 60-90 minutes. This friendly dough can be shaped when cold then proofed in its final shape before baking. Herb and seed additions can be applied during shaping if desired. This dough makes soft, eater-friendly rolls and the cold dough can be shaped into almost any form without fear of over-working or the resulting rolls becoming tough. The chemical fermenting is done in the fridge and the fluffy raising happens after the rolls are formed. Perfect? Pretty darn close! For a soft crust, leave plain or brush with melted butter. For a slightly crisper crust, brush with milk just befor baking. Thanks, KAF! This is another winner!
  • star rating 02/18/2011
  • poody15538 from KAF Community
  • Oh dear ? I am going to have to hide this recipe from myself!! These rolls are absolutely out of this world! Usually the Golden Pull-Apart Buns are my favorite recipe, but decided to try this one because it could be made ahead and baked when needed. I didn?t get to make them when I needed them because something else came up. (Wound up buying/taking store-bought to a pot-luck dinner! Bummer!) So, the dough sat in the ?frig from last Saturday afternoon ?til this afternoon (Fri). The dough didn?t smell sour, but we keep our ?frig real cold. I let the dough come to room temp and made the entire batch ? 30 beautiful round rolls ? that are absolutely fabulous. Sooooo SOFT and light and outstanding! Use the KAF potato flour and Baker?s Special Dry Milk for all bread/roll recipes. Definitely going to have to throw that bathroom scale away! Gonna be very-hard to resist having these as a staple in the ?frig/house! Thank you ? KAF ? for yet another outstanding recipe!!
  • star rating 12/06/2010
  • JetCityGirl from KAF Community
  • I made these rolls to take to my parents' specifically for Thanksgiving leftovers. I was attracted to the recipe because I could make the dough in advance and bake only when needed. They turned out beautifully! My aunt said they were the best dinner rolls she ever had and not a single guest stopped at just one roll (this is your warning for portion allocation!). I followed the recipe exactly except I let the dough come to room temp before shaping them and letting them rise again, and I forgot to brush them with butter before baking (but I do not think they needed it). I will definitely make this recipe again and again... cannot wait to try hot-dog buns with it soon. Thank you KAF!
  • star rating 07/09/2010
  • Gail from Maryland
  • Great recipe and so easy - I made the hamburger rolls, and they were wonderful. One question - if I made 16 slider or mini sandwich rolls, should I bake them at 350, like the sandwich rolls, or 375, like the dinner rolls? Thanks.
    I think I would bake them at 350. Mary @ KAF
  • star rating 04/19/2010
  • Manette from Carmel Valley, CA
  • I made sandwich buns with this dough which was so easy to assemble and work with. I think the potato flour and dry milk powder make these rolls special. They are perfect for a hamburger bun, sloppy joes or pulled pork, all of which my family likes to eat on them. I sneak in a little white whole wheat flour too. The cold dough does take a couple of hours to rise once formed into individual rolls. Thank you for a great recipe I can have on hand any time.
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