refrigerator rolls


I know the world is covered up in recipe posts, but this is one of our holiday favorites. Like most of my Thanksgiving recipes, this is one I learned from my mother. Unlike most of the recipes I learned from her, this is one I bake pretty much the way she taught me. I make these rolls every year for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas, and then, for the most part I don’t make them–not because they are difficult, but because our health would suffer. This is an insanely good seriously addictive, and extremely versatile recipe.

refrigerator rolls

I know this is an odd way to present a recipe, but it helps to see the sequence. Start with

1 quart milk, scalded and then poured over
1 cup sugar and
1 cup butter

I do this in the bowl of my stand mixer. I let the mixture sit for a minute and then mix using the dough hook.


2 packages yeast in
1/2 cup water

and add it to the milk mixture once the milk is below 115°. Then add

8 cups of flour, one cup at a time

and knead the final mixture for about five minutes. You can do this is your mixer is big enough. If not, pour the whole thing into a big bowl and give your arms some exercise.

Cover and let rise until doubled, then add

1 cup flour mixed with
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cover and let double again.

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Pour a layer of olive oil in a flat dish. Pinch off small batches of the dough–enough to cover a floured cutting board when rolled out–and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Take a biscuit cutter (2 or 3”) and cut out the circles. Drag the bottom through some olive oil and fold then in half. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking dish and space them apart where they have room to rise. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

You can also cook the dough in loaves; it also makes great cinnamon rolls.

One last thing: the reason these are called refrigerator rolls is you don’t have to use all the dough at once. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you are ready to use it, roll it, cut it, let it sit for a bit to come to room temperature, and then bake.

These rolls make it feel like Thanksgiving for me.


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