Delicious & Easy Homemade Roll Recipe–Perfect for the Holidays!

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yeast roll recipe

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought I would share my family’s favorite recipe for yeast rolls.  These can be made ahead, frozen, and then reheated, so they’re perfect for holiday entertaining.  Serve them on the dinner table,and if you have any leftovers they made wonderful tiny sandwiches the next day.

This recipe is from my very dear friend, Becky.  She and I met years ago when our children attended the same school in Clarksville, TN, and we participated in Moms In Touch, a group of mothers that gather weekly to pray for their children, the school, and the teachers.  We were the only participants, so we got to know each other very well as we prayed together over the course of several years!  She is one of the women who has mothered me in the years since I lost my mom {read about that here} and she is beloved by my entire family–but especially my children.  She and her husband have graciously served as “grandparents” whenever we’ve needed local stand-ins, and they’re very good at their jobs. 🙂

ballet recital grandparents

One of Becky’s many spiritual gifts is hospitality.  She cooks an enormous meal every Thanksgiving and Easter for family, friends, and anyone in the church or neighborhood who needs a family on that day.  The Easter egg hunt in her front yard is one of the highlights of my children’s year, and I’m already expecting that they’re going to ask me to drive nine hours so we can eat at her house this coming year!  These rolls are a staple on her holiday table, and she has baked tens of thousands of them over the years.  This recipe makes about 5-7 dozen, and you will be amazed by how quickly they disappear!

refrigerator yeast roll recipe

Becky’s Refrigerator Yeast Rolls


3 packages rapid yeast

1 c. warm water

1 c. shortening

3/4 c. sugar

1 c. boiling water

1 t. salt

2 eggs

5 c. unsifted flour


roll dough rising

Ready to knead and roll out


Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream together shortening and sugar.  Add boiling water and mix until shortening is melted.

Add salt and eggs, one at a time.  Then pour in dissolved yeast.

Add the unsifted flour, 1/2 c. at a time (the dough will be very sticky).

Pour dough into a well-greased bowl and cover.  Place in refrigerator overnight.

Take out desired amount (I do about half of the dough at a time) and knead about 100 times on a well-floured board.  Add more flour as needed so dough doesn’t stick.

Roll out dough and cut into small squares (I just use a knife here, rather than a biscuit cutter) that are about 1-1/2-2″ in diameter.  Place on a greased pan.  I use a jelly roll pan or a half sheet pan if I’m making them for us, or pie tins if I’m making them to give away–each pie tin holds 1 dozen rolls.

Roll dough cut out

Let rise for about 4 hours

Let rolls rise about 4 hours.

Bake in a 425° oven for 10-15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.  (Becky’s original recipe was for 450°, but that was too hot for my oven, so I decreased the temperature and just keep an eye on them).

Serve immediately, or freeze and reheat wrapped in foil.

rolls ready to bake

Risen and ready to bake


NOTE:  Letting them rise in the fridge saves time, but if you’re in a hurry, mix the dough as directed above, cover it, and let it sit on the counter until doubled (about 90 minutes).  Knead and roll out as directed above, and let the rolls rise in the pan for about another hour before baking.  The room temperature dough will rise much more quickly than the chilled dough.  I make them both ways, depending on how much time I have, and either way, they’re amazing.


yeast rolls golden brown

Hot and ready to eat!

You can serve them with butter and jam, but they’re also perfect on their own.  Brush the tops with melted butter if you’d like; the sugar makes them just the slightest bit sweet.


Good luck limiting yourself to just two or three!

perfect yeast roll recipe homemade

Thanks for stopping by~



  1. These look sooooo good! I pinned the recipe and can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. What type of flour does the recipe call for? The rolls look yummy!

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