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Sweetened Refrigerator/Freezer Rolls – – Make Ahead Holidays

* This post is part of my “Make Ahead Holidays,” series, which will go through Christmas. I will tell you how to make the big day(s) less rushed, and how to make your feast cost the least.

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What’s better than tender, hot rolls from the oven? What a perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal. But who has time to make homemade rolls in the midst of many other dishes needing your attention on the big day? You do.

Freezing or refrigerating these rolls ahead of time is the trick. I wanted a roll that could be stored in the refrigerator because not everyone has ample freezer space.

These rolls aren’t as airy as brown and serve, but have a hint of sweetness which will play nicely against savory notes of a holiday meal.  No one will mistake these for store bought – – these rolls are clearly homemade. Meaty and substantial, you could make these rolls double to size for leftover ham or turkey sandwiches as well.

The dough is fun to work with – – very soft and silky, but not sticky. The raw dough cuts without any mess, and the preparation time for these is very minimal. This roll recipe is a great project for a novice baker. I’ll play around with a brown and serve roll recipe before Christmas, and maybe you could serve both kinds for dinner. Guests will wonder how you pulled it off. You can humbly swat their compliments away with your hand and reply, “Oh, those little old rolls? Well, they took no time at all.”

Slightly Sweet Dinner Rolls

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/4 tsp. of yeast (or two packs)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of hot water
2 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375. Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in mixing bowl. Add butter and hot water, and beat until ingredients are incorporated. Add eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat again until incorporated. Then, add 2 more cups of flour, and any more as needed. (I added 2 1/2, but you can always add more, so better to be conservative at first since everyone dips flour differently.) Mix until you have a nice, soft dough which pulls away from sides of the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes.

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Cover with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel. Let rest 20 minutes.

Cut dough into 2 inch pieces and roll into a ball. Placed in a greased, round baking pan. The round balls of dough should touch each other, but don’t put any in the middle of the pan.

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Cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. If freezing, either freeze in pan as directed, or flash freeze individually.

If baking from refrigerator, take rolls from refrigerator and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until brown. If pulling from freezer, let thaw in refrigerator or on the counter. Once thawed, bake as directed.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Mary November 24, 2015, 7:05 PM

    About how many rolls does this recipe make? Thanks!

  • Laura Macklem November 24, 2015, 8:25 PM

    The recipe makes 24 rolls. I hope you enjoy them. Happy Thanksgiving!

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