14 Kitchen Tip: Make Ahead Dinner Rolls - Fridge

You can prepare your dinner rolls the day before Thanksgiving and have them HOT and fresh out of your oven minutes before the meal.    
How great is that? 
I thought I would put it to the test.  I used my traditional Dinner Roll recipe and got to work.

   My mom used this roll shape frequently.  She would pinch off a piece of dough and begin tucking in the edges.  If you want your rolls to all be the same size, cut your dough into 24 equal pieces prior to shaping.  If you have a kitchen scale, you can use that.
Make sure bottom is pinched securely...
placing them in a well greased pan with room to grow.  Spray the tops of the rolls and cover with plastic wrap.  Make sure there is no room for air to get into the rolls and dry them out.
Your rolls are now ready for rising in the fridge.  You can use them anywhere from 2-24 hours.  Any longer than 24 hours and the rolls will begin to develop a fermented, sourdough like flavor.

If you are like me and don't have a lot of room in the fridge for all your lovely rolls, here are some ideas:  Divide the rolls out and have  friends, neighbors or relatives babysit them and bring them to the dinner.  If you live in a colder climate in the winter (like Utah), another idea is to store them in the garage if the temperature is between 35-40 degrees F.  Make sure they are in a safe place, and covered well ~

When you are ready to bake your rolls, take them out of the fridge and allow to get to room temperature.  This can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is, size of rolls, etc.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Take the plastic off the rolls, and bake as the recipe directs.
Within minutes, you will have hot, buttery rolls, ready for your Thanksgiving or special dinner!
Want to make your rolls earlier than 24 hours and have them hot-n-ready for dinner?  Stay tuned for the brown~n~serve method...


  1. Um, so great!! Now that I've taken my first step (with much inspiration from you, I might add) I'm definitely making homemade yeast rolls for Thanksgiving :D

  2. Oh Frieda I made these dinner rolls today and thank you, thank you, thank you! My daughter judges a dinner roll as a success if it tastes "just like Bob Evans" and after many years, I've finally found one that does.

    Thanks for the make ahead tip. I was wondering how I was going to do these on Thanksgiving but now that I know I make/shape them up to 24 hours ahead, I'm good to go!

  3. This is a fabulous tip, Frieda.
    I'm thinking I'd like for you to do a guest blog on my own blog. I'd love to have you help folks conquer the fear of yeast. You're so good at it! Are you game?

  4. Readers, check this post again for another tip (update) to refrigerate your rolls...

    Girlichef, I can't wait for you to go for it and try making rolls for Thanksgiving~ pretty soon, YOU'LL be the designated roll maker for gatherings!

    Mags, if you have the "Bob Evan's" copy cat recipe, please share...I would LOVE to try 'em out ~

    Debby, I would be honored to do a guest blog. Email me any time~

  5. Yummy rolls! I think these look better than the refrigerator rolls I made last year. May have to give them a try. Thanks!

    BTW, Foodiewife beat me to the punch. :)

  6. I had forgotten that my mom used to do that when I was growing up! But thanks for the tip there is so much to do for a big meal like that anything to simplify is wonderful. Thanks

  7. Frieda, I don't have the Bob Evans copycat recipe but it doesn't matter because yours taste just like them! I can't wait to see what the rest of the family thinks. We're having Thanksgiving this Saturday, so I'll let you know.

  8. Mags ~ that is so great that you like them; I'm sure your family will enjoy them, especially because YOU made them!

  9. Fabulous ideas, and those rolls look so delicious and professional!!

  10. Thanks for the tip! That will help with Thanksgiving next week

  11. Wow, the plethora of comments! Of course, it's totally deserved, because fresh yeast rolls are a PITA on Thanksgiving, when you have a million things going on. I already knew about the refrigerator trick, but I totally plan on using your dinner roll recipe for Thanksgiving at my in-laws' house. I can't stand the store-bought crap they get every year.

  12. Violet, your in~laws will love you forever!

  13. I was just thinking about how I needed a good roll recipe for the holidays! Thanks for the post.

  14. I make my rolls exactly like this! :-) I learned the recipe and technique from a Norwegian granny in northern Iowa.


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