Introduction: Linda's Versatile Freezer Rolls
Is there anything that beats the taste and aroma of fresh baked rolls coming straight out of the oven? This recipe will allow you to time your baking for just the moment you need them.
I've been make bread and rolls for more than forty years. My mother was my cooking teacher in 4-H. I remember how proud I was when I received a blue ribbon for my first loaf. Later, as a new bride, I've worked to duplicate the delicious potato roll recipe Gladys Rasmussen demonstrated. This is her basic recipe with some tweaks of my own. I live in potato country and this recipe calls for mashed potatoes. Include them if you have them on hand but don't fuss if you don't. (potato flakes work too.)
What makes this recipe especially tasty and versatile is storing your dough in the freezer in batches. The slow rise of cold dough makes for light fluffy rolls that win the hearts of everyone I serve them to.
Let's get started.
Step 1: Recipe: Gather Your Ingredients
4 cups milk warmed in the microwave
1 cup warm water with 4 Tablespoons of active yeast and 2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil or 1 cube of butter melted
1/2 cup of sugar
4 teaspoons of salt
3 eggs whisked together
1 cup mashed potatoes or 1/2 cup potato flakes added to milk- optional
10 - 12 cups of bread or all purpose flour
This recipe will make two large pans of either rolls or cinnamon rolls or one of each.
Gather your basic ingredients together. If you have bread flour, use that as it has just a little more protein that aids in the strength of your dough. All purpose flour works well with this recipe. More important is to have a good healthy yeast. I store mine in the refrigerator and it lasts a long time.
Step 2: Combine
Heat 4 cups of milk in the microwave 3 or 4 minutes until almost hot
In a small bowl, combine warm water (too hot will kill yeast, too cold won't activate it), yeast & 2 TBS sugar
Whisk 3 eggs, add oil, salt, and mashed potatoes to large bowl or bread mixer.
Add bubbly yeast mixture to milk, add flour a few cups at a time. Pay attention to the texture of your dough more than how many cups you add. Your dough should be slightly sticky but not gummy.
You don't need a bread mixer to make successful dough. This one I bought at a thrift store. Just be sure to knead your dough by hand or machine for about 10 minutes until your dough is smooth and elastic.
After your dough is well mixed, you have several options:
1- Let your dough rise until doubled then form into rolls, raise and bake.
2- Let your dough rise once then form into rolls, place them in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours and then bake.
3- Place your dough in the freezer. Set the timer for an hour because your dough will continue to raise in the freezer until it is cold. When the timer goes off, punch your dough back down. Once it is frozen you can store it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. You can divide your dough into convenient batches.
Thaw your frozen dough by taking it out of the freezer and placing it either in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 3 - 4 hours.
Divide your dough into equal portions. One half of this recipe will make 24 rolls.
Take each roll and fold it into itself to form into a nice round roll.
Place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 oven until golden brown.
Thaw roll dough. It will be very easy to work with in this cold state.
Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an even rectangle.
Spread 1/4 cup butter and sugar and cinnamon (I used brown sugar in this picture.) Add raisins if you like.
Roll the dough into a pinwheel, divide into 15 even rolls using floss.
Let raise for 2-4 hours until doubled. At room temperature 3 hours is about right.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes until golden brown.
Frost with your favorite frosting. I made a cream cheese frosting for this batch with 4 ounces cream cheese,
1/4 cup butter, 6 Tablespoons milk, 3 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Other ways to use this versatile dough.
Make into orange rolls using orange zest, sugar and a pinch of citric acid.
Maple bars are also delicious with this recipe. Fry in hot oil and frost with maple frosting.