Recipe Sunday | Refrigerator Roll Dough

POSTED IN : Recipe Sunday

Bread and pies.

That’s my job. As you’ve heard, I am in charge of those two things at every holiday dinner with my family – baking the pies and making the rolls. While pies weren’t as tough to get the hang of, the bread part took a little bit more time to master. And by “a little bit of time”, I mean batch after batch of sticky, gooey, yucky dough and rock hard hockey pucks for rolls. The worst part is that this recipe takes two days to make, and I’ve definitely burned a batch or two during the final step – the oven.

But when this recipe gets in the hands of a good baker, the amount of mouth-watering options are endless. Although its taken a while, I’ve managed to master this recipe, so I made the rolls for our Christmas dinner this year in Idaho, and I made them in my mother’s very own kitchen. As always, the full recipe is listed at the bottom of this post, so skip the images if you want to try this out!

First, you need a packet of active dry yeast. I always buy the packets because the yeast goes bad with time, so if you buy the full jar you have to use it up quickly. Also, my mom wanted me to make whole grain rolls, so we used yeast meant for whole grain.

You’ll also need a BIG bowl and some regular flour along with the whole grain stuff.

This is a yummy, flaky potato bread recipe, so you’ll need a cup of lukewarm mashed potatoes. Just boil one medium sized potato and mash it up with nothing added, then let it cool. Completely. If its hot still, it will kill the yeast. No bueno.

Then you’ll need about 2/3 cup of shortening at room temperature. Seriously, temperature plays a big role with the yeast. Its like Goldilocks – it can’t be too hot and it can’t be too cold. Room temperature is juuuuuust right.

Grab some sugar and salt

and two eggs, and you’re all set to get your bake on.

First, dissolve the yeast in some lukewarm water to activate the yeast. This just means that you’ll mix the packet into the water and let it froth a little. I also sprinkle in a pinch of sugar to make the little yeasties happy. Let it sit while you mash and cool your potato.

Once your ready, stir in the sugar,

the potatoes,

the shortening,

the eggs, and salt.

Then add in about 3 cups of the regular white flour and beat the mixture until its niiiiiice and smoooooth.

It should be a sticky mixture at this point.

Then you’ll add in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle for kneading. This is where you will substitute whole wheat flour for the white flour.

Now its time to knead the dough, so prep your surface with a little flour. I use a pastry cloth, but any surface will work fine.

Ready to knead?

I realize that the word “kneading” could turn a lot of people away from a recipe – I know it did for me for a LONG time! It wasn’t until my mom graciously taught me how to knead dough that I finally took the time to figure it out. So Jeff made a quick video of me talking through the kneading process. Its quick and dirty, but hopefully it helps! The big things to remember are to handle the dough gently, don’t over knead, and use very little flour. Have fun!


Spray the bowl you used with some Pam and place the dough inside. Cover it and let it sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours. The dough should rise in the bowl depending on how strong your yeast is. This batch rose over the top of the bowl about three inches, so it was strong! That’s why I like using a plate, it gives the dough a chance to expand if it needs to. Once you’re ready to use it, you’ll just punch the dough down (my favorite part) and shape it into whatever you want.

This dough can sit in the fridge for up to five days, and you can make anything with it – crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, four-leaf clover rolls – just get creative and use it how you want! We usually make three-quarters of this into rolls for dinner and use the rest for orange rolls at breakfast. I managed to grab a picture of the few rolls left from Christmas dinner – just shape the dough into one-inch balls and place three balls each in a greased muffin cup, then let rise for an hour, and bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Yum!

Refrigerator Roll Dough

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 cup unseasoned lukewarm mashed potatoes
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in potatos, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days.

Punch down dough when ready to use. Shape dough into desired shape and brush with butter. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

For Whole Wheat dough: Substitute 3 to 4 cups whole wheat flour for the second addition of all-purpose flour.

Let me know if you try this recipe – I’m curious to see how it goes for everyone!



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We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, and we believe running a business should be life-giving (not soul-sucking). So we’re passionate about teaching other photographers to run life-giving businesses and book clients they absolutely love.  

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