Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls Recipe


This recipe, from reader Carole Miller Radford, originally appeared in Southern Living's November 1995 issue. Radford shared her family's favorite Thanksgiving menu, which included her wonderfully easy and delicious Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls. Our test kitchen described the dough as "excellent" and "supple," saying that it can be formed into a variety of shapes. You can make the dough ahead of time, refrigerate it, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Or you can make the rolls, let them cool, and freeze them in Ziploc freezer bags. Either way, these tender, buttery rolls will be a welcome addition to any family meal. Radford says this recipe "turns out the same way, no matter what mood you're in or what the weather is." We didn't even need to butter the tops.

Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
32 rolls


  • 2 packages active dry yeast

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water, divided (105˚ to 115˚)

  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup shortening, melted

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Combine yeast and 1/4 cup warm water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Combine yeast mixture, remaining 1 cup water, 2 cups flour, eggs, and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a wooden spoon 2 minutes. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

  3. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85˚), free from drafts, 1 hour.

  4. Punch dough down; cover and chill at least 8 hours.

  5. Punch dough down; turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Divide dough in half; shape each portion into 16 (2-inch) balls. Place balls in two lightly greased 9-inch square pans.

  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85˚), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

  7. Bake at 375˚ for 12 minutes or until golden.

Test Kitchen Tip:

This is an excellent, supple dough. You can make these rolls into a variety of shapes. Your yield will vary depending on how you shape the rolls.

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