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Easy Homemade No-knead Refrigerator Rolls Recipe

How would you like to be able to serve fresh rolls whenever you want? Well, you can. The dough for this no-knead roll recipe can be made ahead of time – like a week ahead of time. It’s sometimes called a refrigerator roll recipe and the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator for days and used as you need it.

The longer the dough stays in the refrigerator the more it tastes like sourdough biscuits. And while they aren’t the same as traditional sourdough, they taste just like them. In fact, my kids call them our “fake sourdough” biscuits.

baked no knead dinner rolls on baking sheet

This no-kneed dinner roll recipe makes a big batch. I like to make it in a large bowl with a lid or one of those round ice cream tubs. Once it’s mixed up you can make the rolls right away but we think it tastes best when it’s been allowed to sit in the refrigerator for at least a day.

You can remove just what you need to make dinner rolls or biscuits for that day and leave the rest of the raw dough in the refrigerator. I’ve keep this in the refrigerator for two week and the last batch baked up just as well as the first batch – it was just more sour.

This roll recipe makes a really big batch. I like to make it in a large bowl with a lid or one of those round ice cream tubs with a lid. It just needs to be an airtight container so the dough doesn’t dry out while in the refrigerator. If you don’t have a large enough bowl for storing it, you can mix it in a large mixing bowl and then divide dough into smaller airtight containers for storing it. 

Once it’s mixed up you can make the rolls right away but we think it tastes best when it’s been allowed to sit in the refrigerator for at least a day.

You can remove just what you need to make dinner rolls or biscuits for that day and leave the rest of the raw dough in the refrigerator. I’ve keep this in the refrigerator for two week and the last batch baked up just as well as the first batch – it was just more sour.

Dinner rolls or biscuits?

Same recipe…two names. We call these dinner rolls and biscuits, it just depends on what we’re eating them with. If it’s with soup or at breakfast they’re “sourdough” biscuits. If we’re eating them with pot roast and veggies, they’re dinner rolls.

But to be clear, they are not the same texture as a true biscuit, like our quick, no-fail biscuits, which is a traditional breakfast biscuit. 

no knead dinner roll dough in muffin tin for Parker House rolls

Ingredients

  • Warm water – hot tap water is just fine
  • Yeast – I’ve used both active dry yeast and quick rise yeast with the exact same results
  • Sugar
  • Buttermilk – I usually use reconstituted powdered buttermilk
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Melted butter – I use unsalted butter, if you use salted butter omit the salt in the recipe
  • Unbleached all purpose flour – I’ve tried using freshly ground whole wheat flour but the dough sours VERY quickly
raw no knead dinner rolls on wood

How to quickly make refrigerator roll dough

One of the things I love about this easy recipe is that it requires minimal tools and utensils. Yes, you can use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but honestly, after you pull it out, use it, and then wash and put it away, you could have just made this no knead dough in the bowl you’re going to store it in.

In a small bowl, you’re going to mix the water, yeast, and sugar with a fork and set it aside.

In a large bowl, preferably the one you’re going to store the refrigerator dough in, reconstitute the buttermilk if you’re using dry buttermilk. Mix buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, most of the flour, and melted butter. A wooden spoon works great for this.

Add the yeast mixture and the rest of the flour. Mix well.

That’s it! You can just put the lid on and stick it in the refrigerator. 

How to bake refrigerator rolls

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can have homemade rolls in about 30 minutes. 

When you take the raw dough out of the refrigerator, it will have risen to fill the bowl. When you take the lid off it will deflate some, so there’s no need to punch dough down.

Prepare a baking sheet by either oiling it or lining it with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

There are several ways to shape the rolls….

  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut them with a biscuit cutter. 
  • Using a small serving spoon, scoop pieces of dough out and shape into a small, smooth balls. You might need to use a little extra flour to keep them from sticking to your hands as you shape them.
  • Use muffin tins to make Parker House rolls. Put three small round balls of dough in each space of the muffin pans. You’ll need to lightly toss the raw dough in flour to keep them from sticking.
  • You can also use this dough to make hamburger buns. Just scoop out enough to make into a hamburger bun size roll.

Place rolls on the prepared baking sheets, cover them with a tea towel and let them rise in a draft-free place for about 20 minutes or until doubled in size. If you live in a cold climate, you can put the rolls in a slightly warm oven to rise. 

If you want the rolls to look shiny and more evenly brown after they’re baked, you can brush the tops of the rolls with an egg wash before baking. Whisk together one egg and 1 tablespoon water to make the egg wash. 

Bake rolls for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Freezing no-knead dinner rolls

Since this no-knead dinner roll dough can be stored in the refrigerator I rarely see a need to freeze the raw rolls. However, there are times that it’s even more convenient to just pull out frozen rolls, put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or buttered , let them thaw and rise, and then bake them. At Thanksgiving, for instance.

After the dough is made and has been refrigerated so it can sour to your liking, you can make rolls by making golf ball size balls of dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the frozen balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets. Freeze overnight. The next day, put the balls of dough in a freezer bag and label it.

When you’re ready to make dinner rolls, put the place dough balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a tea towel. Put them in a warm place to thaw and rise. The rise time will be longer than it says in the recipe instructions. Let them rise for about 2 hours and then check them every 30 minutes until they have doubled in size. Bake as instructed below.

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Yield: 3 dozen rolls

Sourdough Biscuits

baked no knead dinner rolls on baking sheet

The dough for this no-knead dinner roll recipe can be made ahead of time - like a week ahead of time. It's similar to a refrigerator roll recipe in that the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator for days and used as you need it.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 7 cups white flour

Instructions

To make no-knead dough

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine buttermilk, baking powder, soda, salt, oil and 6 cups flour.
  3. Then add yeast mixture and the remaining flour to the large bowl.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Cover with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The longer it is stored, the more sour it will get.

To make no-knead dinner rolls

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or prepare the baking sheet by lightly oiling it.
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into squares or cut with biscuit cutter. 
  4. Place rolls on the prepared baking sheet and let rise for 20 minutes or until they double in size in a warm place.
  5. Brush with an egg wash, if desired.
  6. Bake at 400F degrees until golden brown (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

baked no knead dinner rolls on baking sheet

Another easy bread option

If I don’t happen to have any no-knead dinner roll dough or if we want a more traditional biscuit, I make quick no-fail biscuits. These biscuits take just a few minutes to mix together and then bake. I also keep bags of the dry biscuit mix in the freezer for those really busy times.

Thanks for sharing with your friends!

Pat Go

Sunday 11th of February 2024

I haven’t thought of these in YEARS!!! One of my grandmothers and my oldest sister-in-law used to make these in the ‘60’s & ‘70’s. They were called Angel Biscuits….except they’re NOT biscuits 😏😂. They are soooo good! Thanks for sharing!

Angi Schneider

Thursday 15th of February 2024

You're so welcome! And yeah, they're not biscuits but we call them that...lol

SchneiderPeeps

Wednesday 24th of August 2011

We've gone through the whole tub already and the kids want me to make some more. They love them.

Rachel E.

Tuesday 23rd of August 2011

This sounds yummy. I am a big fan of sourdough. I will have to try this some time in the near future.

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