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Refrigerator Potato Rolls

Have you ever wanted to pull hot rolls out of the oven just before serving supper but just don't quite know how to accomplish that.  This recipe can be made and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and when you want to bake rolls, take out all or just enough of the dough to make as many rolls as you want.
  • 1/2 cup warm mashed potatoes (approximately one large or 2 small potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons of the water used to boil potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast, (not instant)
  • 1/3 cup liquid honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter flavoured shortening, melted 
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, for brushing on unbaked rolls
  • sesame seeds, optional
  1. Boil potatoes until soft. Measure out 3 tablespoons of the potato water and place in measuring cup. Discard remaining potato water. Mash potatoes and measure out 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes and add them to the 3 tablespoons of potato water. Stir together well. 
  2. Add melted butter and shortening to mashed potato mixture.
  3. Crack eggs into a small mixing bowl and beat well.
  4. Measure warm water, yeast, honey and salt into bowl of stand mixer, or large bowl. Mix well for 2-3 minutes.  If you are doing this without a mixer use a wire whisk and beat hard. 
  5. Add beaten eggs and potatoes to this mixture and beat or whisk to incorporate.
  6. If using your standing mixer attach the dough hook, or use a large wooden spoon and add 3 cups flour. Mix well and continue to add 1/2 cup of flour at a time until dough begins to come together nicely.
  7. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter and continue to knead until your dough is smooth and elastic. 
  8. Place dough in a well greased bowl. Cover with parchment paper and a clean lint free towel, or a bowl that is twice the size of your ball of dough and cover with the lid.
  9. Place dough in refrigerator for 2 hours. Take out and punch down and then return to the refrigerator. 
  10. You can form the dough and bake it at this point or keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you are keeping the dough for several days it must be punched once each day. 
Note: because the dough is in the fridge it will not feel soft when you take it out to form rolls. The dough will puff up and become very light and soft after they have risen before baking. They will be feather soft once baked, 
 10) 2 hours before serving remove dough from refrigerator, punch down and shape into rolls. Here I have shown crescents and pan rolls. See instructions below.
11)Place rolls onto greased or parchment lines baking pans and allow to rise for 1 hour.
12)Bake at 375º if using convection oven or 400º for regular bake for 12-14 minutes.
12) When baked remove to cooling racks. Serve warm.
For pan style rolls/buns, pinch off golf ball size pieces of dough and place into pan almost touching. Brush with melted butter once on pans before the rise time.
They will 'hold onto each other' when they rise and bake.

For crescents, roll a portion of the dough into a 12" circle that is about 1/4" thick. Brush with melted butter, and then cut into 12 each pie shape pieces. Roll each piece from the outside forming a crescent. Place on pans almost touching. Brush lightly with more melted butter, and if desired sprinkle with sesame seeds. Follow instructions above for rise and bake times.

Once baked turn out onto cooling rack.
These rolls are so light and fluffy. Carefully flip them right side up and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.


  1. Those look beautiful! What perfect timing for your neighbors to the south celebrating Thanksgiving next week.

  2. Oh Kathy - these look absolutely wonderful and oh how amazing your house must smell when baking these rolls!!!! Homemade breads are most definitely my biggest weakness. I would not be able to resist these!

  3. Mmmmm...beautiful.

    Anna (Toronto)

  4. Such beautiful photos Kathy. I love refrigerator dough. will try your recipe next time I need rolls!

  5. The photos are stunning....please send me a dozen for breakfast.

  6. What a great recipe. These will come in handy many times over the holidays I'm sure. Thank you for sharing.

  7. These look absolutely fantastic! Perfectly formed & look like perfectly baked! Yummy! Rhoda

  8. Have you ever tried freezing the dough? Does it work?

    1. Hi Jennifer No, I have never tried freezing it but I think I may try that....great idea. Kathy

    2. Kathy,

      You do not mention when to add and what step the 1/4 butter shortening and the 1/4 c butter in the recipe is to be done

      I want to try to make this recipe but have never made bun dough

      Please reply as soon as posiible really want to try this

      Thanks a bunch


    3. Hi Helen, thank you for pointing that out. I've added in that step now. I hope you make these and they turn out great! Kathy

  9. My mouth is watering as look at the pictures. Baked to perfection. Just wondering what size of pan you used for the rolls.

    1. Hi Susan, for the pan buns I use 9x9 or 8x8 inch pans. I have also used my round cake pans for pan buns. That's nice when you don't want to break them can place the whole circular shape of pan buns onto a dinner plate and it looks nice to serve. For the crescents I use large regular baking sheets. I fit 28 crescents onto the large baking sheet and make 16 pan buns from this recipe.

  10. I am getting ready to make these, and couldn't find where to add the shortening. Came back to look this morning and it's bee added. Thanks!!

  11. Kathy,

    Thank you so much for your quick respones

    I made the buns for sunday dinner gathering at my house (which by the way happens every sunday with family and friends and the recipes here are great for such occassions) The buns turned out great and not a crumb was left over I have never seen bread disappear so fast.

    Again thank you very much please keep up the great work


    1. How nice to hear about your family time and the buns turning out...without a crumb left. My favourite with these is to eat them with apricot jam....a weakness of mine:)

  12. They are finally in the oven. I have felt like a stalker all day. Reason: My printer ink went dry! I'll be back to let you know how they turn out.

  13. We're having no trouble eating these rolls despite the fact that I did something wrong. Now if I pay close attention, I can get it right next time! (I didn't knead them long enough and I should have proofed my yeast.)

  14. Is there a reason that I should not attempt this recipe with instant yeast? Of course I would add the instant yeast to the dry ingredients, as usual.

    1. I have never tried instant, but I'm sure that would work fine. Kathy

  15. my house smells heavenly as I'm just about ready to pull these out of the oven for the Christmas gathering this evening. I was also wondering whether you couldn't use instant yeast? I didn't see a response to the previous question. Also, how many crescents should you get out of these recipe? And is there way to ensure all the crescents are the same size. Despite my best rolling technique, I can never get that correct! Oh well, some little ones for the little people :)

    1. Hi Char, I have to be honest that I have never used the instant yeast in these, but I don't see why you couldn't. I have been able to get 48 rolls out of this recipe. I use my pampered chef mat and try to get that perfectly round circle and just eye ball the wedges. They seem to come out the same size.
      Sorry this response is late....I'm sure your crescents were wonderful.Kathy