The dough for these rolls can be made well in advance and kept in the fridge, pulling off what you need to make dinner rolls. It also makes a great dough for Cinnamon Sticky Buns shown above. Sarah Foster of Foster’s Market shared this recipe on one of Martha Stewart’s shows. I’ve been making it ever since.
Granny Foster’s Refrigerator Rolls
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
One 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Place the warm water, yeast and about 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl; stir once or twice just to mix. Let stand in a warm place for 5 or 7 minutes, until small bubbles form on top.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the butter, milk, salt and remaining sugar and cook over very low heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved and butter has melted. Do not let the mixture go over 115 degrees or it will kill the yeast; it should just be warm enough for the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl.
Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture and stir until combined. Stir in about 6 cups flour and mix until the mixture forms soft dough. Add the remaining flour if the dough is still sticky.
Remove the mixture from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured work surface for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl; cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warn place about 30 to 45 minutes, until dough has doubled in bulk.
Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Place the pieces on a work surface and cover loosely with a tea towel or inverted bowl and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use at this point. Remove from the refrigerator and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then proceed as the recipe directs.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured work surface until 3/4 to 1-inch thick. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
Place rolls on the prepared baking sheet and let rise 20 to 25 minutes more, until rolls have doubled in bulk. (It may only take 10 to 15 minutes longer for dough to rise if it has been refrigerated.) Brush the tops lightly with melted butter. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
For Cinnamon Sticky Buns
1/2 a recipe of the refrigerator rolls above
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1/4 chopped pecans or other nuts to your taste
1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light to your taste)
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon, to your taste
Preheat oven to 350°F, if you’re baking right away. Butter a rectangular baking dish.
Roll the dough into a long rectangle.
Spread butter on the rectangle.
Evenly spread the pecans and brown sugar over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon.
Roll up along the long side to form a long log. Cut into 12 pieces and place in the pan.
Let rise for 1 hour. At this point you can put it into the fridge overnight and bake off in the morning. In the morning: take them out of the fridge and put on the top of the stove while the oven pre-heats.
Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until lightly brown all over. Let cool a few minutes before eating. Optionally: make a glaze with confectioners sugar and just enough milk to make a glaze. Then put that on almost fully cool or fully cool buns.