Refrigerator Dough

I recently had a friend ask me for the recipe for my refrigerator dough. It is so simple and economical to make. Originally I read about the dough in The Tightwad Gazette and I have been making it ever since. Sometimes I might go months without making it and other times I make it a lot. This weekend we have company so I thought that I would make a batch up and turn it into cinnamon rolls. This is the most versatile dough as it can be made into something sweet and also a dinner roll.


1 pkg (Tblsp) active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups of warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

1 cup unseasoned lukewarm mashed potatoes*

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 shortening

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp salt

6 – 7 all purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Mix in enough of remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn dough to grease other side. Cover bowl tightly. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days.

Punch dough down, divide into 4 equal parts. Use one quarter of dough for any dinner roll recipe. Whichever rolls you make, let them raise for an hour before baking. I have made crescent rolls and basic dinner rolls with this recipe. I just heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the oven. I have a recipe that you can use this dough for making doughnuts. While I have never made them, I am sure it would be good. When making any roll recipe, just make sure that you grease the pan first. You don’t want dry, stuck together buns :).


*This can be used instead of mashed potatoes.

1 cup warm water

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tblsp margarine

1/2 cup milk

1 cup instant potato flakes

You can substitute 3 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour for the second addition of the all purpose flour.


I like cinnamon rolls made with this dough. They come out soft and delicious! I just take out a quarter of the dough to make approximately 12 rolls. I roll it out jelly roll fashion and spread on some butter or margarine. Then I sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on it and roll it up. Once rolled, I cut it with a pizza cutter as it is so much easier. I just bake them at the same temp and time as the dinner rolls.  When cooled slightly, I make a vanilla glaze to pour over the top. Oh so good!

While normally this doesn’t sit that long in our fridge, it will start to have that sour taste at about day two or three. I have tried making sourdough bread with it and it isn’t too bad. This is a great addition to your “pantry” if you enjoy fresh bread of any kind.

If you buy your flour and yeast in bulk this is very economical to make. With the prices of bread and rolls going up, this is something that  I plan on making more of to keep on hand.  While I always have hungry mouths around, I am sure that you could make any type roll and freeze them to use later. It would save running to the store at the last minute.





6 thoughts on “Refrigerator Dough

  1. I had the Tightwad Gazette book; the one that was the three editions compiled into one and LOVED it! Some great ideas in it, and this was one of them. I have used this recipe and found that in a pinch instant mashed potatoes work.

    Love, love, LOVE your blog, sweetie!

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