In the event you still haven’t figured out your dinner rolls for Thanksgiving Dinner this recipe is an easy remedy. The recipe is flexible and works in many different ways, so let’s dive in.
First of all this is a potato based roll for the refrigerator. The recipe holds 4-6 days in dough form, in the refrigerator. This means increased flavor outcome from the refrigeration of the dough. Plus the mashed potatoes will provide terrific flavor and moisture to the dish. Here’s a tip in the event you are rushed to get the rolls ready. You can purchase high quality ‘real’ mashed potatoes, like Bob Evans and use their already mashed spuds. It sounds like cheating, but it will save you a chunk of time. Sometimes a few pepper flakes will make their way into the rolls, but it’s not enough to worry about. If you use fresh mashed potatoes make sure they are pretty ‘tight’ not too loose.
The part I like best about this dough is how I can freeze it into pre-made balls and away you go. Let’s explain a bit more. Make the dough, allow it to set overnight in the refrigerator, where it will rise. The next day set out the dough and make it into the preferred size. Place on a parchment covered pan before freezing 10-12 hours. Remove frozen rolls and place in a Ziploc bag. Throughout the holiday season you remove only the number of rolls needed & bake.
When I did this the first time I set the dough out around 10-11pm. I put about 20-25 rolls in a lightly sprayed 9 x 13 baking pan. The next morning they were thawed and had barely started to rise. With a fast proofing oven at approximately 180 degrees they are ready in no time. Heat the oven, turn it off and place the rolls inside. This will cut the rise time in half. Some cooks like to put a cup of boiling water in the oven during the rise, which is quite fine too.
Using this method you can have Thanksgiving hot rolls ready quite easily.
The other nice convenience of the freezing method is how you can use small amounts of rolls at a time. If there’s only 1-3 people in the household you won’t need 1 ½ dozen hot rolls. You can get out only what you need and have the rest for another dinner. How long can you leave a yeast roll made at home in your freezer? I’d probably only hold for about 3-4 months tops. When rolls are done in this fashion commercially they will last longer because they are frozen in a much colder method than our ‘home’ freezers.
As you place fresh or frozen dough into a baking pan remember to set the rolls very close together. In a 9 x 13 baking pan I usually have 20-24 dinner rolls. Do not over spray the pan before setting the rolls. Too much oil makes it hard for the rolls to rise. They need to be able to attach themselves to the sides of the pan. Too much butter or oil makes them slide back down, and they just cannot rise.
The reason for placing the rolls close together is so they shoot upwards as they proof. If you’re seeking a hamburger bun then make the balls ‘large’ and bake them on a jelly roll pan where they can spread. By the way I’ve done just that with this recipe and the bread makes phenomenal sandwiches.
Time to crack the whip on your Thanksgiving prep and get the ball rolling. There are so many things that can be done ahead of the big day. Make lists and turn this holiday into a stress-free gathering. My preparations actually go back 2-3 weeks from the big day. Time to head to the kitchen!
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Potato Refrigerator Rolls
Yields 3-4 dozen dinner rolls
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water, (105 – 115 degrees)
1 cup milk, warm if using dough immediately
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes, no skins
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons cold chopped butter
6-6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (Sometimes I use 350 degrees and cook longer.)
Mix yeast into warm water, stirring to dissolve totally. Allow to set while combining milk, potatoes, eggs and honey. Use a whisk to blend smoothly. Add yeast mixture. In a mixer bowl combine the salt and 3 cups of the flour, blend. Add ice cold butter and cut into the flour. Add the liquid ingredients and mix well. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Remember to hold back a bit of flour until you monitor the dough, then add any remaining. The dough should work up the dough hook showing you that it is kneaded and ready to refrigerate.
Allow dough to set at least overnight, which will enhance the flavor outcome.
Pinch dough off as needed to make rolls. Be sure to punch the dough down and work the dough in your hands, redistributing the gluten. This will assist in a nice lift in the rolls. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes depending upon the number of rolls you are baking. The tops should develop a nice brown color tone. Spray with butter flavored vegetable spray after they’ve been removed from the oven. Of course, you can also brush with butter. The dough holds in the refrigerator 5-6 days. Yields 3-4 dozen hot rolls.