MawMaw’s Refrigerator Rolls

A few days ago, I mentioned my grandmother’s rolls, a treat she always made at Thanksgiving and Easter. I’m speaking of my maternal grandmother, Ruth (Anderson) Ledford. When I was young, my mother and grandmothers taught me to cook, and it turns out I had a knack for breads. I say “had” because I don’t have the time to keep my hand in, although I do enjoy it so, especially the finished product.

Thanksgiving meals in our family require these rolls. I’m pretty sure that everyone would forego the turkey before doing without the rolls. When my mother’s large, extended family gathers for the holiday, I am always asked to bring a batch or two. I sometimes think that’s as much from nostalgia as from the tastiness of the rolls.

This recipe is time-consuming, but otherwise easy. If you don’t have space in the refrigerator, a cold room will do, as long as the dough is loosely covered. A clean dish towel works well for that purpose. Be sure to make these in a bowl that’s big enough to handle the rising dough.

MawMaw’s Refrigerator Rolls:
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk, scalded
1 cup hot water
2 eggs, beaten
1 package dry yeast, dissolved in 3 tablespoons warm water
6 cups sifted self-rising flour
melted butter

Combine the shortening, sugar, milk, and water and stir until the shortening and sugar are dissolved. Cool mixture to lukewarm. Add the eggs and yeast mixture and blend well. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

Cover and let rise until doubled. Work down. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to make the rolls, let sit out until the dough is still chilled but not cold (before it starts rising again). Brush pan with melted butter. Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut to desired shape, brushing or dipping rolls in melted butter. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until done. If desired, brush again with melted butter as soon as the rolls come out of the oven.

The cooked rolls may be stored in an airtight container for several days, although they’re never as good as when they’re fresh from the oven.

And yes, you must use real butter.

This recipe easily doubles or triples, if the need arises. I’ve done it often, and can attest to the consistent quality of the rolls.

I hope you enjoy these special treats!

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