The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Make-Ahead Rolls for Thanksgiving

lagoldberg8397's picture

Make-Ahead Rolls for Thanksgiving

I want to bake dinner rolls on Thanksgiving Day but make the dough and shape the rolls two days earlier.  Here are my questions - 

- Can I refrigerate the dough for 48 hours or do I need to freeze it?  I don't want the dough to overproof.

- Should I shape the rolls after the first rise and let the thawing period be the second rise?  Or do I need to do both rises before chilling the dough?

- Is there a special refrigerator dough recipe I should use?  I usually use the white bread recipe from the King Arthur cookbook or from Peter Reinhart's BBA.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I made Reinhart's Buttermilk White Bread rolls yesterday, shaped and retarded overnight.  The rolls (2 oz each) didn't rise noticeably in the fridge but did after an hour and a half of warming prior to baking this morning.  I suspect I could have left them in the fridge for 48 hours without ill effect.  Below are some of those rolls and some I had cooked earlier and frozen.  Those with tiny bubbles or light spots were retarded.  FF

pmccool's picture

I generally find it easier to make up the dough the night before, then shape and bake the following day.  If you are really pressed for time and space, they can go into the oven when the turkey comes out, since you will want to let it stand for 15 minutes or so before carving.  

Here's a Potato Refrigerator Dough from Betty Crocker:

1 pkg yeast (ADY is called for, but IDY would work just as well)

1.5 cups warm water

2/3 cup sugar

1.5 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup shortening (I'm sure butter or margarine could be used)

2 eggs

1 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes

7 to 7.5 cups AP flour

If using ADY, dissolve in warm water.  If using IDY, stir yeast into flour before adding to other ingredients.

Combine first 7 ingredients with 4 cups of flour, beat until smooth.

Mix in enough flour to make a manageable dough.

Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Place in greased bowl, cover tightly.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or up to 5 days at 45ºF or less. 

Remove from refrigerator, degas.  Divide into 4 parts.  Each portion will make 12-15 rolls, depending on the shape you choose.  Let rise 1.5 hours.  (I'd keep an eye on the dough; it could be more or less depending on your refrigerator and house temperatures.)  Bake 15-25 minutes in an oven preheated to 400ºF.

You can certainly experiment with shaping before refrigerating.  I'd be concerned about the amount of expansion in the shaped rolls and about the amount of space they would take up in the refrigerator.

Happy Thanksgiving!