Monday, October 27, 2008

The 16-Year-Old Boy Makes Refrigerator Potato Rolls

If there's anything I like, it's things that are easy. That's why I love refrigerator rolls. Just make the dough ahead of time, pop it in the fridge, and for the next week, you can boast fresh homemade rolls for dinner every night. Your family will think you slaved each and every day and you don't have to tell them your secret!

When explaining this recipe, I am going to do it like you are a two-year-old just in case you've never used yeast before. That's how I was taught how to conquer my quest to use yeast in my baking and I am so grateful for the time my dear friend took to answer all of my questions. Hopefully now you can benefit as much as I did.

Here's what you'll need:

2 packets active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup softened butter
4 eggs
2 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes
15 cups all-purpose flour
more softened butter, for brushing on later

Step 1: Dissolve the yeast in the 3 cups of warm water. When I was a budding homemaker, this is where I usually went wrong. How warm is warm? Either the water I used was too cool and the yeast never began to grow, or it was too hot and I killed it immediately. Here's what my friend taught me about gauging the temperature of my water. Turn on your water and hold your hand under it. When it becomes so hot that you can barely stand to hold you hand under it, but still CAN hold your hand under it, you have reached the perfect temperature. This has worked perfectly for me each and every time I have ever used yeast in my baking.

Here's one more tip when it comes to yeast. Sometimes, for various reasons, your yeast can die and will be of no use to you in your breads. If you want to test it to see if it's alive, try this: For this recipe, after adding the yeast to the water to dissolve, also add 2 teaspoons of sugar. If your yeast mixture turns bubbly and frothy, like beer foam (not that I would know what that looks like, being Mormon and all), like so...

...your yeast is alive. If the mixture remains flat and watery, it has probably died and needs to be thrown out. So go ahead, add some sugar during this step if you would like and watch your yeast go into action!

Step 2: In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, butter, eggs, mashed potatos, and 8 cups of the flour. Add the yeast mixture. Beat this mixture together with a mixer until smooth and creamy, like this...


Step 3: With a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the remaining 8 cups of flour until the dough is easy to handle. You may even need a little bit more.

Step 4: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, like this...,


...flour up your hands, like this...

...and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 mintues. If you've never kneaded bread dough before, why don't you watch this mildly entertaining video the 16-year-old boy and I put together.



Step 5: Place the dough in a large greased bowl, smooth side down, like so...

Step 6: Flip the dough over, so that now the smooth side will be greased and on top, like so...

This step is important because the grease allows the dough to stay moist and stretch easily while rising.

Step 7: Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap...

...and find room to stuff this large bowl into your fridge...

That's why they call it refrigerator dough...'cause you put it in your fridge. Leave it in there for at least 2 hours, but for as long as 7 days. If it rises and threatens to burst through the plastic and take over your fridge, just punch it down and put it in it's place.

Step 8: When it's time to use the dough, punch it down, then pull off golf ball-sized pieces and place them onto a greased cookie sheet...

Make sure there are at least two inches between each one to allow for the balls to double in bulk. Brush these dough balls with softened butter.

Step 9: Cover the cookie sheet with the dough balls on it with a damp towel...

Again this will help keep the dough moist so it will be able to rise, unobstructed by a dried-out outer shell. Place in a warm location. I have found that the best place for my bread to rise is on the top of my fridge or in a warm oven. To make your oven the perfect temp, turn it on low (usually 200 degrees) for one minute, then turn it off. My bread has never failed to rise in an oven like this, unless, or course, I turned the timer off, but not the oven. That was no fun. Don't do that.

Step 10: When the rolls have doubled in bulk, like so...


...(usually about an hour to an hour and a half), place them in your oven, preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until light brown.

My family devours these rolls and really appreciates all the effort (NOT) I put into them, especially the 16-year-old boy! Good luck with this and enjoy!

I am pleased to list this post @
Kelly The Kitchen Kops "Real Food Wednesday". Check out her blog. You're going to love it!

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9 comments:

Tereza said...

That is wonderful!! Just a quick question...is it a soft roll or a crunchy one or a denser kind??

Mom2my9 said...

Hi Tereza! This roll is a soft, medium density one. Just the kind I love!

Melinda said...

My son is 14 and I dont think he will ever make rolls or bake at that. I love that about your kids.

Sarah said...

This is the same recipe I use...and I love it!! Aren't these just the best? My husband and I just made a batch a few days ago, and they have lasted us all week! I love that they are still really good reheated. :-)

Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...

Hey, maybe I can get my 16 year old to make these, thanks for sharing!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing. This is really neat.
Blessings,
Elizabeth

simplysharon said...

Great informative post. Will this work with whole wheat? I would just try it and see but uh 15 cups of flour... I'd hate to waste it if you already tried and it bombed.

Mom2my9 said...

SimplySharon, I don't know for sure if it would work with all whole wheat. Why don't you try to use half white and half wheat and see what happens. I'll bet that will work out just fine. Thanks for the visit!

Julie Sanchez said...

For some reason, I can't get my rolls to rise enough. They rise some, but they still look rather flat and "blobby". I am in high altitude. Do you think I should try another packet of yeast?