Friday, November 12, 2010

Potato Refrigerator Dough

Awhile back I was reading the Tightwad Gazette, and came across Amy Dacyczyn's entry for having a stash of refrigerator dough in the fridge for last minute baking needs. I thought this was a genius idea! The only problem was she did not include the recipe. She only mentioned that the recipe could be found in any pre 1986 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Drat! My BH&G cookbooks is a 2003 edition. I searched in vain at the library, but no dice! There oldest edition was from the late '90's. I had almost given up hope, but when my Grandmother passed away I inherited her BH&G cookbook. Grandma's edition of the BH&G cookbook was copyrighted in .......1953! Can you tell that Grandma loved her BH&G cookbook, as much as I love mine?

I flipped to the bread section, and there was the recipe I had been searching in vain for! Hurray! Of course, being a busy gal, I put my treasured cookbook keepsake on the shelf, and forgot to try the recipe (Silly me!).

That is until this week!  Since I am still participating in The Eat From Your Pantry Challenge, and I knew the recipe required ingredients that are pantry staples at my house, it was time to give it a try!!!! I whipped the dough up on Monday night and put in the fridge. On Tuesday I rolled out half the dough and shaped them into rolls to go with beef stew. I really wanted to post this recipe on Wednesday, but the troops ate all the rolls before I could take a picture (they are that yummy!). On Thursday, I turned the other half of the dough into rolls to go with Baked Potato Soup (and photographed them right out of the oven before they were snatched up!). The last roll went into Child #4's lunch today, as a PB&J. The beauty of this recipe is that the dough will last in the fridge for a week, so you do the work once and enjoy the benefits all week long! I couldn't wait to share the recipe with all of my favorite bloggy friends!!!!!

Potato Refrigerator Dough

2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast 
1/2 cup warm water 
1 cup milk scalded 
1 cup hot mashed potatoes ( I used instant that I made from package directions)
1/2 shortening or butter; softened
1/4 cup sugar; divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 beaten eggs
5 to 6 cups all purpose flour

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over warm water. Add yeast to warm water and set aside until yeast is bubbly. Combine milk, potato, shortening, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Let sit until wet ingredients are lukewarm. When ingredients are lukewarm, add in yeast and beaten eggs. Mix in 1 1/2 cups flour and beat until mixture is smooth. Cover bowl and let mixture stand in a warm place for one hour; until mixture is full of bubbles. Stir in 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups more flour to make a fairly stiff dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 - 10 minutes). Place dough into a large greased bowl with a lid. Grease the top of the dough. Place lid on bowl and refrigerate dough overnight before using. The dough will stay good in the fridge for one week. 
To use the dough; remove the desired amount of dough out of the bowl (punch down remaining dough and return to the fridge until ready to use). Let sit on a lightly floured surface for 7-10 minutes. Lightly flour dough and roll out. Shape dough into desired shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover dough with greased wax paper and a dish towel. Let raise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until double in size. Remove wax paper and towel. Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes. Yield 3 dozen rolls.

This dough could also be use to make:
  • Breadsticks (Roll dough into a rectangular shape and cut into strips. Place dough strips on a greased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Let raise and bake at 400 for 10 -15 minutes)
  • Cinnamon rolls (Roll dough into a rectangular shape. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Roll up jelly roll style. Cut into 1 inch rolls. Place close together in a greased baking pan. Let raise until double. Bake at 400 for 15 - 18 minutes.
  • Let your imagination run wild. Use could use this dough in a ton of different ways!
No baking post would be complete without a couple of frugal tips! Here are a few items I used to make this project easier!
  • A electric heating pad works great for providing a warm place for your dough to rise. Just set your bowl or baking sheet on the pad and turn the temperature control to low. Works like a charm! 
  • An empty Parmesan cheese container filled with flour works great for flouring surfaces. Flip the lid open to the sprinkle side and gently shake out the amount of flour you need.
  • Wax paper sprayed with cooking spray and laid over the dough as it raises will keep the dough from drying out, keep your dishtowel from getting grease stains, and it lifts off the raised dough easily without ruining it.
  •  A pizza cutter works great for cutting dough. It rolls easily without stretching the dough out of shape.
This is the perfect make ahead recipe for those of you who will be making rolls for Thanksgiving dinner this year!


  1. All four of your frugal tips were great ones! Now all I need is a stand mixer so I can mix up some dough . . . . Maybe next year!

  2. I LOVE your tips at the end of this blog!

  3. I agree... great tips! I never thought about a flour shaker OR a heating pad to use when baking bread. Super clever, thank you for sharing these ideas!

  4. Having your grandma's cookbook is such a treasure, the thought of it actually brought tears to my eyes. Just to think of her holding it in her hands and working from it all those years! That recipe looks so good, I can practically smell the bread baking. We're doing lots of soups and stews now, too, and the buttered dinner rolls go fast around here so I must try this. And your tips -- every one is fantastic. Except I think our Youngest Daughter may have absconded with my heating pad. I'm going to have to search the cupboards for it. =)

  5. Those look great! Thanks for participating in the Pantry Challenge!

    Around My Family Table

  6. I LOVE this post! I am pretty sure my BH&G cookbook is that old. LOL I'll have to check it and see.
    Having dough ready to go at a moment's notice is pretty brilliant if you ask me.

  7. I have been looking for this recipe since I got my Tightwad gazette book a long time ago and I could never find it. Thanks! I look forward to making it.

  8. Thanks for posting! I wondered why Tightwad Gazette didn't print the recipe and figured it must be a copyright issue. THANK YOU for posting for the rest of us to use!!! Like you, I haven't been able to find an early enough cookbook to get the recipe. Good tips, too!



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