Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Soft Refrigerator Rolls

 The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes is a wonderful source of recipes that have been passed down through the generations.   The inspiration for this refrigerator dough recipe came from Mrs. J. Rempel.

Refrigerator Rolls
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large tablespoon shortening
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour or use half multigrain flour and half white flour
  1. Mix the boiling water, sugar, salt and shortening together in a large bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Soften yeast in the lukewarm water.
  3. Combine the yeast and the cooled shortening water mixture.
  4. Add the beaten egg.
  5. Add the flour all at once and stir well.   The dough should be stiff. 
  6. Scrape into a large greased bowl and cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Punch the dough down and refrigerate again or make into rolls.  
  8. Punch the dough down once a day and use the dough within a few days.  
  9. If you are unsure how to form your dough into buns, make the dough into a long roll about 1 1/2 thick. Cut into slices and roll in the palm of your hand as shown in the picture. Roll quickly to make a nice smooth ball.  
  10. Put the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet or a parchment lined sheet.  Cover with clean teatowels. 
  11. Allow to rise until they have doubled in size, up to 1 1/2 hours and then bake in a preheated 400 º oven, about 15 minutes.
Makes about 18 rolls


  1. I am so hungry for yeast rolls! I'm going to make these today to go with the chicken stir fry I have planned for tonight! Thanks!

  2. The mennonite treasurey was printed in the early '60s sometime for a mennonite conferance and sold to raise funds for it. I am sure that no one thought that it would still be selling 50 years later. I am going to buy my kids one when they move out.
    Now for this recipe, it does look good, and it is so good to try new recipes that are little undiscovered treasures. You found it and sharing it with all, thankyou.

  3. Lovella,
    Your recipe looks amazing!
    I would love to purchase a copy of this treasury cookbook....where can I find a copy? Who sells them?

  4. I love the idea of refrigerator dough. You can always count on fresh bread/buns somewhere during the week.Yea!!

    I'm still trying to figure out how to keep it from rising over the bowl or do you put a lid on it...

  5. I am new to this blog but have loved it since I found it a few weeks ago. I am going to try these rolls when I run out of the bread just made. Keep up the good work.

  6. The Mennonite Treasury was first printed in Dec. of 1961. I have and still use a copy that was given to me as a wedding gift 44 year ago... I always say if we ever live through a famine we can just eat the pages !! smile...
    Your rolls look delicious !!!

  7. I use a 5qt. ice cream bucket for my refrigerator rolls and my recipe is about double the size posted here. I never have a problem with it rising past the lid while in the fridge. Maybe that is because I keep it on the top shelf, next to the milk where it is coldest.

    I have just learned that retarding the yeast this way (refrigerating) helps to develop unsurpassed flavor. That explains all the compliments I have received when I have mixed up the dough a few days in advance :).

    By the way, if you can't get the dough used up in time, try making brown and serve rolls. Just shape as usual, bake at 250* for 15 minutes. (you don't want them to brown) Cool completely and wrap and freeze or refrigerate. Reheat at 400* until golden - about 10 minutes.

  8. Ah yes, those soft little rolls for sliders (baby burgers). We just love them. Appies for the adults and baby burgers for the kids. I always use my cinnamon bun dough recipes for the little buns, but I will try these for a change. Kathy

  9. The Mennonite Treasury indeed does have treasures and this is another one you. These buns are amazing!

    Word verification: ovent..does that mean I have to make them this evening?? grin

  10. I have an original MT recipe book that my mom found for me at a garage sale, but in my early years of cooking, if a recipe didn't come with a picture, it just didn't get made! I've collected so many books, magazines, and cooking websites since then that DO have pictures, that my MT never really gets used.

    Could you freeze this dough as well and just let it thaw in the fridge overnight before using it?

  11. Refrigerator rolls are the favorite around here...and have been for a long time. Your pictures look wonderful! Maybe we could work our way through the old MT cookbook...add photos...then re-publish.

  12. What an excellent recipe and such a help to have them all made up in the fridge!! I also LOVE the idea of making them into brown and serve rolls....what a great idea.

  13. Okay, is there a reason for the ice cream pail? Would a regular large bowl work?

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  14. Freezing the dough .. . .sure it shouldn't be a problem. I have frozen similar doughs .. .I'd try the remainder of a batch first before freezing it all.

    The ice cream pail is about the right size. Any large bowl works. . just make sure the dough is coverd with plastic wrap. ..

  15. How many rolls do you get out of this quantity of dough ?
    They look wonderful !

  16. I love the idea of having dough in the refrigerator. I'm also surprised to find that thts is an old concept. These look good enough to try. =) very good enough!

  17. Do you use a certain program for making your photo collages?

  18. Hello and THANK YOU Lovella for sharing your community's treasured recipes.

    I've never heard of refrigerator dough, but, it sounds very practicle and that's what I like about it.

    I hope to try this out tomorrow, and will get feedback, to you hopefully tomorrow.

    Thank you again.

    Kind regards.

  19. These are so lovely, I got 6 smallish rolls from half the batch. They are soft, light and delicious. Thank you. I will be looking out for the treasury book in my local Mennonite thrift store.

  20. These rolls sound so good! The recipe does not say to knead the dough? Does it not need to be kneaded?

  21. These rolls sound delicious! Can't wait to make them! Does the dough not need to be kneaded? Thanks!

  22. I have a copy of the MT that was published about 10 years ago, and if you google it, you can still purchase copies, one link was to! I also have the original, that my mom recieved as a wedding gift in the '60's!
    I have a question though... if you look at the baking recipes, many of them call for ammonia... this concept confuses me! Is, or was, there a different kind of ammonia other than what we think of for cleaning?? I cant fathom consuming this!!!! Anyone know?? There are recipes that I would like to try but hesitate and dont know if this is something that can just be left out!

    1. There is a Baking Ammonia which works as a leavening agent. It is definitely not the kind you use for cleaning! Be warned, Baking ammonia does emit a powerful smell when you open the oven but it is used in a lot of traditional Mennonite recipes. Peppermint cookies, pfeffernuesse and soft white cookies all use baking ammonia. You can look for it at a health food store or possibly a pharmacy.


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