Best of-Refrigerator Bread

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on November 14, 2008

I’m at the Diocesan Convention in Syracuse today-so I figured it was a good day to pull a “Best Of” out of the files.

It’s been a while since I made refrigerator bread. I’ve been baking 2 loaves a week since January, but I’ve either been making bread dough in my breadmaker and baking it in the oven, or using the “bread in 5 minutes a day” recipe for artisian bread. Potato refrigerator bread is another great option, and I wanted to remind you all about it!

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What is refridgerator bread?

Refrigerator bread is a regular yeast bread dough, made with potato-to help retain moisture-that can sit in your fridge all week long and be used up a little at a time. You do have to punch it down once or twice a day if you don’t want to encounter the messy “Thing That Ate The Fridge” phenomenon.

With one batch of bread dough you could make a loaf, or any type of rolls, or breadsticks or even cinnamon rolls and donuts-with the addition of just a few ingredients.

This is a “real” bread recipe-not a quickbread. It produces a nice fluffy bread with a slightly sweet taste. I mix mine up in the stand mixer (although the bread dough usually starts “climbing” up my breadhooks). Because of the size of my mixer bowl I can’t get all the flour in-I usually wind up kneading the rest of the flour in.

I also use about 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 white flour. After all, fiber is good for you!

Initially I have to store the dough in one one of my big soup pots, well greased. After I bake a batch or two I can move it into a smaller container. Make sure whatever container you use has plenty of room for the dough to rise in!

The great thing about this recipe is you can make as much or as little bread as you want. You don’t have to make a dozen rolls at a time-you can just make and bake 4 or 5 if that is all you need. Then again, if you are having friends for dinner, you can make 2 dozen! It all depends on your need.

I’ve read that some people keep it longer than a week, but mine never lasts that long. Apparently if you do, the “flavor” of the bread just gets stronger-sort of a little sour like sourdough.

Potato Refrigerator Dough
(Makes 4 dozen rolls, 3 medium loaves or 3 braids )

Ingredients:
2 packages (5 tsp.) active dry or fast-acting yeast*
1 1/2 cup warm (105-115° F.) water
1 cup lukewarm (95-105° F.) mashed potatoes**
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup margarine, butter or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
7 to 7 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour (may be part whole-wheat flour), divided

*If using active dry yeast, dissolve in 1/2 cup of the warm water until it foams. If using fast-rising yeast, use warmer water – 120-130° F. and simply stir the yeast and water into the other ingredients plus half the flour (see steps 1 and 2).

**May be made from 1 1/3 cups boiling water and 1 cup instant potatoes. Cool to 105° F. before adding to the yeast mixture.

Method:

1. Combine the dissolved yeast and remaining 1 cup water or the fast-rising yeast with all the water and remaining ingredients except the flour.

2. Mix in 3 1/2 cups of the flour with an electric mixer or beating by hand. Beat for 3 minutes.

3. Mix in additional flour with dough hooks or by hand until the dough forms a rough dough ball.

4. Turn onto a floured counter and knead by hand or with the mixer’s dough hooks until smooth and elastic – about 5 to 8 minutes.

5. Place in a greased or sprayed bowl, turning dough so greased side is up. Cover bowl with sealing lid or plastic wrap. (you may want to spray it so it doesn’t stick)

6. Place in the refrigerator. Punch down when doubled (about 30 minutes for fast-acting, 45 minutes to an hour for active dry yeast).

7. Keep dough refrigerated for up to 4 days, punching down if doubled in size.

8. About two hours before baking, shape dough into desired rolls, loaves or braids.

9. Place in greased pans and cover with sprayed or greased plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.

10. Bake at 375° F. according to directions for type of roll or loaf prepared.

Rolls: Divide dough into 4 pieces. Divide and shape each piece into a dozen rolls. (This link has descriptions of different shapes and how to make them. Scroll about 1/2 way down till you see “rolls”). Cover shaped rolls with greased plastic wrap and let double in size. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.

Loaves: Shape into three medium loaves and place in greased 8 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with a greased plastic wrap and let rise until above the edge of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F., 25 to 35 minutes.

Braid: Divide dough into three pieces. Divide each of these again into three pieces and roll pieces into three smooth ropes of dough, about 15 inches long. Braid each set of three dough ropes, pinching the ends and tucking them under. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and let double in size. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes or until golden. Optional egg wash – Beat 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush on just before baking.

Pecan Caramel Roll: Shape 1/4 of the dough into 12 smoothly rounded dough pieces. Prepare Glaze and spread in the bottom of a greased 8-inch round or square pan or bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups.

Caramel roll glaze:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine1/2 cup brown sugar1/4 cup honey1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Place in microwaveable bowl. Bring just to a boil.- Pour into greased, 8-inch baking pan or 12 medium muffin tins.- Cool before topping with yeast dough.
Cover the dough pieces with greased plastic wrap. Let double in size and bake at 375° F. until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately turn onto a plate and cool.

Nutritional Analysis:For 1 of 48 rolls or slices of bread (each is 1.5 oz.)
Calories: 124 Protein: 3 g Carbohydrates: 21 gDietary Fiber: 1 g Total fat: 3 gCholesterol: 8 mgSodium: 94 mg Potassium: 60 mg
% Calories from:Carbohydrate: 69% Fat: 22%
Protein: 9%

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Leanne November 14, 2008 at 6:36 am

Well thats my Saturday morning planned. I love making bread, but unfortunately I’ve managed to knacker the moter on the bread maker and I need to get the husband to have a look at it before I plan on buying a new one. This way I only have to make time to make the dough once. Thanks.

Reply

Mercy's Maid November 14, 2008 at 9:35 am

Thanks for posting a bread recipe that doesn’t require a bread machine! :)

I’ve never made bread before. Are the temperatures you listed something I need to monitor with some kind of thermometer? A candy thermometer or something?

Reply

Vic November 14, 2008 at 9:52 am

Mercy–I stick a thermometer in the warm water just to make sure I’m in the ballpark. I think it’s just to activate the yeast, so it doesn’t have to be continuously monitored. I think Jenn will back me up on this ;)

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Mercy's Maid November 14, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Thanks, vic.

Reply

Mercy's Maid November 15, 2008 at 8:04 am

OK, I bought dry active yeast. I warmed some water so that it was in the correct range, and I dissolved the yeast in it. I got a couple of larger bubbles after it dissolved, but no foam. What am I doing wrong?

Reply

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate February 7, 2009 at 8:38 am

Mercy-Geez, I’m not sure. Did you check the expiration date on the yeast? it sounds like either #1-the water was too hot or #2 the yeast isn’t good.

Try googling “proofing yeast” and see what info you can find.

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