Frozen Dinner Rolls

October 31, 2016
8 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes 2 dozen small rolls
Author Notes

A smart way to prep ahead, this recipe from Fleischmann's makes it easy to have frozen dinner rolls on hand so you're never far from warm, homemade bread. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (2 envelopes)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat the milk, water, and butter together until warm but not hot. It's okay if the butter doesn't melt entirely.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of flour and the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes. Add enough flour to make an elastic dough -- the dough will be sticky but shouldn't be wet. You may not use all the flour called for, or you might need a little more than the recipe calls for. Just add it a little at a time until the consistency is right.
  5. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 20 minutes.
  7. Punch down the dough and, using lightly floured hands, shape into whatever shape you want. My favorite shapes are these three. 1: Cloverleaf rolls: Pinch off small pieces, roll them into balls, and place three small balls each into the wells of well-greased muffin tin. 2: Classic rolls: Divide the dough into 18 pieces, roll each piece into a ball, and place 9 balls in one greased 9" round pan and 9 in another 9" round pan. 3: Twist rolls: Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a thin coil, twist the coil around your hands into a knot, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  8. Once you've shaped your dough, place them into the freezer (for the muffin tin and round pan rolls, just put the entire pan into the freezer) and freeze until very firm. Transfer the frozen shaped rolls into a plastic bag (the round pan rolls should stay in one big round), and freeze for up to 4 weeks.
  9. When you're ready to bake, remove the rolls from the freezer. If you're baking cloverleaf rolls or the pan rolls, transfer them back into the same muffin tin or round baking pan that you shaped them in (grease it first). If baking freeform shapes like twist rolls, just place them on a greased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise until puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Just before baking, sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if desired).
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  11. Note: If you want to skip the freezing step, you can. Just preheat the oven after shaping your rolls, let them rise for 15 minutes, and then bake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Susan Showers
    Susan Showers
  • Susan Guryanova
    Susan Guryanova
  • jennifer
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien

14 Reviews

Lynn N. February 17, 2023
I messed up and added most of the flour in the beginning, but it still came out great. These are soft and fluffy. It’s a great recipe for freezer rolls.
Susan S. March 28, 2019
Making these for a wedding in April this year. I am the mother of the bride. If I make and freeze the rolls, how long before would I cook them? Can I defrost in fridge overnight? Or too long? Help
Posie (. March 28, 2019
Lucky bride!! I generally just take them out of the freezer and let them rise/thaw for about 1.5 hours as the recipe instructs but if you want, you could also take them out of the freezer the day before and refrigerate them overnight. Then I’d let them rise very briefly at room temp before baking.
ZoAnn December 23, 2018
I make these rolls religiously for every holiday dinner. They never fail and are always perfect, although sometimes I do need to add a few minutes to the bake time. People love them, and it's an added bonus to be able to make them ahead of the big day and bake them fresh right before dinner.
Susan G. November 21, 2018
I made these following the directions exactly. I thawed from freezer a few days later following the 1.5hr instructions. They were still pretty frozen so I warmed in my dehydrator until they looked "puffy" per the instructions. That was appropriately 30 additional minutes. So on the counter these would have taken several hours to thaw and rise. After that a baked at 350 for 15mins. They came out looking nice and browned. Very beautiful but were so very doughy inside. I baked for additional 35mins at 350. Now I'm baking at 400 as they are still doughy. Not quite done.
Erin October 6, 2017
If made these rolls (or more likely, your Cornmeal Molasses rolls) the day before a party, could I also refrigerate the shaped rolls, as opposed to freezing them? If so, about how long do you think they'll need for rising/warming up after I take them out of the fridge?
Posie (. October 6, 2017
Definitely! Just let them come to room temperature before baking. That’s what I usually do.
Erin October 6, 2017
Thanks! I'll probably do that then instead if freezing. I'll
just plan to take them out while I wait for the oven to preheat...or maybe a little before that, depending on how warm the kitchen is.
jennifer December 22, 2016
hi, can i substitute bread flour?
Posie (. October 6, 2017
I think that would be fine!
Carol T. November 16, 2016
The recipe instructions calls for 2 C flour with another half cup added later. Why does the ingredient list state 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 C of flour? Double what it says to use?
Posie (. November 16, 2016
Hi Carol, in the 4th step you'll see that after you add that next half cup you're directed to "add enough flour to make an elastic dough -- the dough will be sticky but shouldn't be wet." -- this is where you add the rest of the flour, but I don't have an exact quantity because you'll need to do it by feel. Hope that helps!
Alex November 12, 2016
Does the 1.5 hours after removing them from the freezer include defrosting AND rising, or do you let them thaw and THEN let rise for 1.5 hours?
Posie (. November 12, 2016
Includes defrosting and rising!