Meemaw’s Refrigerator Rolls

Question: What’s better than a homemade dinner roll?

Answer: A homemade dinner roll that is ready to eat in under an hour!

When it comes to fresh baked bread, I want it five minutes ago.  Unfortunately, most yeast bread recipes require two risings which usually require up to an hour each.  That’s almost 2 hours not including prep and bake time!

Who has this kind of time?

When Dave and I were first married, his mother gave us an old church recipe book that contained his Meemaw’s (that’s what Dave calls his grandma) recipe for refrigerator rolls.  Since I was already devoted to my Momma’s yeast roll recipe, I didn’t feel I needed it…until I read that the dough only required one rising.  I was sold!  Not only were the rolls ready sooner, they were soft and tender and melted in my mouth.  (They were even better the next morning when I grilled them up with a little butter!)

Whip up a batch today…or tomorrow…or the next day.  Make them whenever you want, they’re refrigerator rolls!


Did you sign up to bring the hamburger buns to this year’s Fourth of July get together?  These rolls make the perfect slider!

Meemaw’s Refrigerator Rolls

Sprinkle a scant tablespoon of active dry yeast over 1/4 cup very warm water.  Test the water on your wrist beforehand–if it stings, let it cool.  If it’s like very warm bath water, it’s ready.

Make sure you “soften” your yeast in a large enough bowl.  I like to use a 1 cup ramekin. Otherwise, your yeast will spill over and make a mess.  Allow yeast to soften until it is double in size (and looks like a science experiment)–about 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl melt 6 tablespoons of shortening in one cup of hot water.

Stir around until fat is completely melted.

Mix in 1/4 cup of sugar.

When yeast is ready, pour it into the oil and sugar mixture.  (By now, the water you used to melt the fat will have cooled substantially.  However, if it is still very hot, wait until it cools before you add the yeast.  Hot water will stunt the yeast.)

Add one large lightly-beaten egg.

Mix in 1 1/2 cups of flour until well incorporated.

Finally, add a teaspoon of salt.  I like to add my salt at the last possible minute because salt has a tendency to stunt the yeast.

Add another cup of flour and mix well.

Continue to add flour one cup at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl and forms a ball:

Dump dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.  If dough becomes too sticky to handle, just keep adding flour 1/2 cup at a time.  However, don’t add so much flour that the dough becomes too dry!  I tend to use about 4-4 1/2 cups of flour total for this recipe.

Knead the dough until the surface springs back immediately after it is pressed.


At this point you can either use the dough or place it in the refrigerator until needed.  If so, oil the dough, place it in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set a plate on top to prevent the dough from rising too much.  Use within 2 -3 days.

When you are ready, divide and roll the dough into 12 balls and place them on a greased baking sheet.

Allow to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes until doubled in size.


Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Serve and prepare for the compliments!

The Recipe

Makes 12 rolls

*1 scant Tablespoon active dry yeast

*1/4 cup warm water

*1 cup hot water

*6 Tablespoons shortening

*1/4 cups sugar

*1 large egg, beaten

*1 teaspoon salt

*4-4 1/2 cups flour

Fill a 1-cup bowl with 1/4 cup warm water (very warm on wrist) and sprinkle yeast on top.  Allow to set for 10 minutes until mixture has doubled in size and is foamy.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, melt the shortening with the cup of hot water.  Add sugar.  Stir in yeast mixture.  Beat in egg.  Add 1 1/2 cup of flour and stir until well incorporated.  Stir in the salt and another cup of flour.  Stir until well combined.  Add another cup of flour.  When dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and starts to form a ball, dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough springs back when pressed.  If the dough is too sticky to manage, just add more flour half a cup at a time.

Grease the top of the dough, set in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use.  If storing in fridge over night, place a plate on top of the dough to keep it from rising out of the bowl.  Keep in fridge up to three days.

When ready to use, divide dough into 12 balls.  Place rolls a couple of inches apart on a baking sheet and allow to rise for 20 minutes in a warm, draft-free area.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.


15 thoughts on “Meemaw’s Refrigerator Rolls

  1. Those look good. But if I had to bring hamburger buns to a gathering I sure as heck wouldn’t make them homemade! ha ha. Great Value Walmart is the best they’re gonna get. 🙂

  2. oh my, those look good! Since I don’t know the Pilsbury Dough Boy, and will probably never meet him, I will have to make these rolls so that I can poke them with my finger like you did, above!

  3. I can’t wait to try All of your recipes!! It was such a pleasure meeting you and David recently in Boerne. I have enjoyed reading your posts/blogs thoroughly. You are one gifted person! Look forward to more updates.

    • Diana! We were just talking about you this morning as we made crepes in our new pan.:) It is Crepe Sunday after all…. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  4. I think I have this exact recipe – passed on by grandpa. What a small world we’re living in.
    Off to make a batch ;o)

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