Refrigerator Dough for Quick Crusty Hard Rolls

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.
Prep
10 mins
Bake
12 to 30 mins
Total
12 hrs 22 mins
Yield
15 to 20 rolls, 28 12" breadsticks, or 3 baguettes.
Refrigerator Dough for Quick Crusty Hard Rolls

Instructions

  1. Combine the ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough is soft and somewhat smooth.
  2. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and refrigerate at least overnight, or for up to 5 days.
  3. To shape the loaves or rolls: 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.
  4. To shape the rolls or loaves: 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" 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" log.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  6. Place the shaped rolls, breadsticks or baguette onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with an acrylic dough cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until they're very puffy.
  7. Bake the rolls or the baguette for 15 to 18 minutes, until 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.
  8. Store the bread or rolls, well-wrapped, on the counter for up to 3 days.