Refrigerator Dinner Rolls

refrigerator rolls done

I love this recipe when I don’t have any bread or other rolls prepared for Sunday lunch.  I mix it up Saturday evening and toss it into the refrigerator (well, I don’t exactly toss it, but you know what I mean).

Let me give you several hints on this!

  •  Make sure you use a bowl that is large enough to allow the dough to rise a little.   (It will blow the lid off and spill onto your refrigerator shelves.  Ask me how I know!).  A bowl double the size of the dough works well.
  • Put the lid on tightly.  I’m sure you can imagine why.
  • Put something heavy on top of the lid.  Something like a gallon of milk turned on its side so it will fit on that shelf.  The extra weight reminds the lid that it is to stay put no matter how much pressure it receives from down below.
  • Because the dough will be stiff and cold in the morning, you can actually put it on the counter and cut it with a good knife. That way you don’t have to twist and turn and pull to get the dough divided into smaller pieces, especially if your hands are stiff and sore.  I’ve done this, and I can’t tell any difference in the rolls.

cut the cold dough with a knife


refrigerator dough

this is the dough just after it is mixed

In the morning (or about three hours before serving), take the dough out of the refrigerator and shape it into 24 balls. (See my note and the photo above about using a knife if it’s hard to tear pieces off the dough.)

Put them on a greased baking sheet (or pan).  Leave enough space between the rolls so they can spread out as well as up.

For the bread, you’ll need all-purpose flour instead of bread flour – which is especially nice if your bread flour supply is low.  Warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, shortening and an egg round out this recipe.  The dough will be a little sticky, so you’ll want to toss some flour on the counter when you’re ready to roll the dough into balls.

referigerator rolls on tray 2

Woops. My OCD hadn’t kicked in yet or these rolls would be in a straight line.

Forget about them for about two hours until they look like this:

refrigerator rolls rising 2

Then pop them into the oven to bake.  I always brush some butter on the tops when they come out of the oven.

refrigerator rolls done

After  that, have somebody find a basket and plop the rolls into the basket.  Enjoy!

refrig rolls basket 2

Refrigerator Dinner Rolls
Recipe type: Bread - Rolls
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
The nice thing about these rolls is that you can serve them fresh out of the oven even though you've mixed them up the day before.
  • 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110-115)
  • ½ cup sugar (I use less)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup shortening (I use vegetable oil)
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water
  2. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar and salt, then add the yeast/water mixture.
  3. Mix together on medium speed for 2 minutes
  4. Add egg, shortening, and the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  5. Do not knead.
  6. Put dough into a greased bowl, turning to grease all side of the dough.
  7. Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Punch down and turn onto lightly floured surface.
  9. Separate into 24 rolls and roll into balls.
  10. Place on greased baking sheet
  11. Cover and let rise until double - 2-3 hours.
  12. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned.
  13. Grease tops with butter or margarine.

This recipe comes from Taste of Home.  Find more great recipes at

Coffee Can Bread

Coffee can bread is fun to make. When you’re looking for a dainty sandwich bread or an easy way to make sandwiches that can be served to children, try this idea.  You can use any bread recipe you’d like.  Pick your favorite, whether it’s whole wheat, oatmeal, rye, or basic white bread.  The photo above shows loaves from regular bread pans as well as coffee can loaves.

Mix up the dough and let it rise.  Then, instead of putting the dough into bread pans, use metal coffee cans for your pans.

Make sure you grease the pans well inside.  Put the dough into the coffee can, filling about one-fourth of the can. See this photo below.

Allow the bread to rise as you normally would, until the dough fills about half of the can.  (The angle of the photo makes it harder to see how high the dough has raised at this point.)  I grant you the inside of the can looks dirty, but it’s just where the dough is sticking on the inside from a previous batch.  I wipe out the pans instead of washing them each time, because it make for less sticking to the insides of the pan.

Bake the coffee cans in the oven at the temperature specified in your recipe.

Remove from oven and brush the tops with butter.   When cool enough, slice the bread for sandwiches.  It works great toasted as well.  Enjoy!


Oatmeal Bread

Hands down, this oatmeal bread is my husband’s favorite homemade bread.  I got the recipe from his aunt Sue, who got it from her sister Edna. I’ve seen oatmeal bread recipes in many cookbooks over the years, so I don’t know from where it originated.  I don’t make it as often as I make other bread, so every once in a while Dave has to remind me that this is his favorite, and he wonders when I’m going to make the oatmeal bread again.  That’s what happened the other week after I had made the rye-wheat bread.  He let me know he’d really appreciate having some of his favorite bread.  Lucky man, he got to eat it fresh out of the oven the next day for supper.

In addition to oatmeal (and you can use regular or minute, despite the fact that the recipe calls for minute oatmeal), you’ll need brown sugar, margarine (I use butter), salt, sugar, and water.

Mix your dry ingredients together first.

oatmeal, sugar, and butter

Add boiling water and stir until it is all dissolved.

oatmeal with hot water

Once the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add yeast dissolved in warm water.  Next, add flour until the dough is the right consistency.  Put the dough into a greased bowl and let it rise until double.


Punch the dough down and let it rise again.  Then put the dough into pans.  This recipe makes two loaves.

Prick the loaves with a fork.  This helps the air escape and keeps the bread from developing bubbles in the crust. In our Pennsylvania dutch language, the word we use is gix (it rhymes with fix.)  So you can gix the dough or prick it.  (It’s the same thing.)

Let it rise until double and then bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Once you remove the bread from the oven, brush the tops with margarine, butter, vegetable oil, or Crisco.  It gives the crust a nice glow and softens the texture.

Oatmeal Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 loaves
A homemade bread with a slight oatmeal flavor and texture. This recipe makes two loaves.
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 5 cups bread flour
  1. Put brown sugar, butter and oatmeal into a bowl
  2. Pour boiling water over the mixture and stir until well-mixed
  3. Let cool to lukewarm
  4. Dissolve yeast in warm water
  5. Add yeast mixture to oatmeal mixture
  6. Add 5 cups bread flour
  7. Place in greased bowl and let rise until double
  8. Punch down and let rise again
  9. Punch down and then make into loaves
  10. Prick through the loaves with a fork
  11. Let rise until double (about an hour)
  12. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done


I have both a Kitchen Aid and a Bosch mixer.

Basic Homemade Bread

bread 4 loaves


I am of the opinion that nothing spells comfort better than a slice of homemade bread fresh out of the oven.  I’m also of the opinion that bread tastes best when it’s baked in an outdoor oven or in a wood cook stove.

And, since I’m giving my opinion, let me just tell you this: I also think that, when it comes to baking bread in an outdoor oven, the actual recipe isn’t as important as the fact that it’s baked in that wood-fired oven.

Since I have neither in my house, I use my convection oven – which also happens to bake some awesome bread.

bread 2 loaves b

Did I hear somebody say “homemade”?!

If you’ve been on my blog before, you might know that I grew up helping bake homemade bread in our mother’s bakery.  And for the past dozen years or so, I’ve helped bake bread in an outdoor oven, an annual autumn family tradition.  You can read about that venture here.

It helps that I own a Bosch (thank you, Dave!) and that makes mixing up bread a snap.  I usually double or triple a recipe.  After the loaves are cool, Dave slices them and we put them into freezer bags.  That’s a trick I learned from my mother, who used to tell her customers to do that when they were afraid of buying her two-pound loaves.  “You can just take a few slices out of the freezer at a time,” she’d say.

The reason Dave slices the loaves instead of me is because he gets the slices straight – and I don’t.  I like the loaves sliced thin so I can eat two slices on a sandwich and  not feel guilty for consuming as many calories.  My kids like them thicker because they say it makes better French Toast and Grilled Cheese sandwiches than thin slices.  Either way you slice it, it’s just plain good.

grilled cheese

In case you’re wondering, this apparatus is a Cook-n-Dine. We love making grilled cheese sandwiches on this. The sandwiches in the outer circle are in the “warming zone” and the ones in the center are being grilled.

french toast 2

Same bread recipe used to make French Toast – with plenty of cinnamon for seasoning

I got this recipe years ago (oh, something like twenty-eight years, I think it was).  Dave was  doing some remodeling at an elderly lady’s house, and she happened to be making homemade bread that day.  She sent a loaf home with Dave.  It was so moist and good that I called her and asked her for the recipe.  Neither  Dave or I can remember who this lady was  (isn’t that embarrassing?!)  but the recipe card says it comes “From the recipe file of Clarice Potter.”

The card is yellowed from years of use, and there are oil splatters in many places.   It’s starting to bend and tear and I figure if I go ahead and post it here, I won’t need to worry about not being able to read the card anymore.

homemade bread 5

Can’t you just about smell this bread?! You’ll notice that the loaves in the front look crisper. That’s because they just came out of the oven. The loaves in the back are more “wrinkled” – that’s because they’ve had time to cool.

You’ll just need the usual ingredients:  bread flour, yeast, water, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt.

strawberry jam bread

A slather of butter and a glob of homemade strawberry jam!

Before you get started, here are a few pointers:

  • make sure your water is not too hot and not too cold.  It should be around 110 – for me, that means I can put my finger in the water and hold it for a little bit.  If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast.  If it’s too cold, it won’t activate the yeast.  Either way, it means the dough won’t rise
  • sugar helps activate the yeast.  You might want to decrease the sugar; that’s okay, but remember that you need some sugar to help the yeast do its job.
  • bread flour makes better bread.  You can use regular flour, but it changes the texture of the dough.  I have at times had to add regular flour when I ran out of bread flour in the middle of mixing a batch.
  • While the dough is rising (in the bowl and in the bread pans) keep it away from drafts.  That means either turn your fans off or throw a towel across the dough – or  move the dough to another place where it won’t get that draft.
  • I made the mistake of doing a thirty-minute exercise video in the next room once when my loaves were rising. I came out to find that the loaves had “flopped.”  Learn from me and don’t try that!

Homemade Bread
Recipe type: homemade bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 large loaves
Any way you slice it, there's nothing that speaks comfort like a slice of fresh, homemade bread.
  • 1 quart warm water (4 cups)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast (I usually add more yeast)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour to start, then enough to make the dough not sticky.
  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. (You can do this in 1 cup and then add the rest of the warm water to the batch)
  2. To the yeast mixture, add salt, vegetable oil and 3 cups flour
  3. Add more flour, ½-1 cup at a time until the dough no longer clings to the side of the bowl.
  4. Put dough onto counter and knead until it is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning once to coat the entire dough mixture
  6. Let dough rise until it is double, then punch down
  7. Let the dough rise again, and then punch it down again
  8. Grease bread pans and shape dough into loaves.
  9. Put melted margarine or vegetable oil on top of loaves
  10. Prick each loaf in several places.
  11. Let rise until double
  12. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.