Recipe: Grandma's Refrigerator Rolls

by Caitlyn Stace

dinner rollsI close my eyes and imagine "Thanksgiving dinner." As I breathe in, I smell the aroma of freshly baking bread. The day before a holiday, Grandma would whip up a batch of her rolls. Their tantalizing smell always greeted us at the door.

So tasty, yet simple enough for a novice cook. These home-made refrigerator rolls should chill at least 2 hours. How convenient is that since we're all about make-ahead for the holidays? Let us know how you like this recipe.

Grandma's Refrigerator Rolls

Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 3 hours | Yield: 24 servings


• 2-3 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup low-fat milk
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons yeast
• 1-2 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon honey
• 2 eggs, well beaten
• 1/4 cup cooked pumpkin puree (optional)
• 2 1/2-3 cups whole wheat flour
• 2 tablespoons high-gluten flour
• 3-4 cups flour


In a saucepan or the microwave, bring milk almost to a boil. Add butter and allow it to melt. Add water to cool. Stir in yeast, salt, sugar or honey, the whole wheat and gluten flours. To this sticky dough, add eggs and cooked pumpkin. Use enough additional flour to form a light dough. Knead well and let rise. Punch down and place dough in greased bowl, turning to greased top. Cover tightly with foil.

Store in refrigerator until double in bulk or needed. To use, cut off amount needed and shape into rolls. Let rise for 1 hour. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Refrigerated dough keeps 4 to 5 days.

Cook's note

Grandma called these "Penny Puffs" and maintained that the pureed vegetable gave the rolls a rich flavor and wonderful texture. She altered the recipe a bit depending on her goal -- more sweetener for cinnamon and sweet rolls; minced onion, herbs and cheese for bread sticks.

How would you tweak the recipe?

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Jules's picture

Submitted by Jules on

This recipe reminds me of my Gram's special occasion dinner rolls!

My favorite "tweak" is to roll out a 8" x 10" rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, cover with chopped apples, nuts and cinnamon. Then roll up, put in a loaf pan and let raise. End result: a tasty apple bread.