Here is the Refrigerator Bread to go with the “Stone Soup“. This really is awesome stuff, even if I haven’t made it recently. I think I am inspiring myself to whip up a batch this weekend. My biggest problem is that fresh baked bread just keeps calling my name!
What I like best about this recipe is the ability to just bake enough bread for the nights meal, and then to leave the rest for another night. What I like second best is the flexibility of using it for bread, rolls, or even sweet rolls. Who could ask for more! Frugality, Ease and Versatility. Admit it, if this recipe was a man, you would marry it!
Reposted from Jan 27, 2006
Well, a little truth in advertising here-I didn’t wind up making refrigerator bread yesterday. I had volunteered at the town’s food pantry yesterday morning, and they had so much bread that the ladies insisted I take home a bag of bagels, a loaf of pumpernickel and a box of donuts! So I didn’t see the point in making bread since I already had free bread on hand.
Back to the point-what is refrigerator bread?
It is a regular yeast bread dough, made with potato in it (to help retain moisture) that can sit in your fridge all week long (you do need to punch it down once or twice a day!) and be used up a little at a time.
With one batch of bread dough you could make a loaf, or any type of rolls, or bread sticks or even cinnamon rolls and donuts (with a few additional ingredients of course)
I first read about the concept in the “Tightwad Gazette” but she didn’t include the recipe. Of course the lovely folks over on Frugal Living at About.com came through for me as usual-I can’t give proper credit though because when I saved the recipe to my computer I neglected to keep track of who gave it to me.
This is a “real” bread recipe-not a quick bread. It makes 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 bread hooks) I can’t get all the flour in with the mixer-I usually wind up kneading the rest of the flour in. (I count it as part of my 8 minutes of kneading) I also use about 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 white flour. After all, fiber is good for you!
I use one of my big soup pots, well greased, to let the dough rise in initially. After I bake a batch or two of stuff I can move it into a smaller container. Make sure you use a big enough container the first time-or you may wind up with “the thing that ate the refrigerator!”
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, or you can make 2 dozen. It depends on what your need is.
I’ve also read that some people keep it longer than a week sometimes-the “flavor” just gets stronger (sort of a little sour from the descriptions I have been given).
Potato Refrigerator Dough (Makes 4 dozen rolls, 3 medium loaves or 3 braids )
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.
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.
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.
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 margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 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.
For 1 of 48 rolls or slices of bread (each is 1.5 oz.)
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Total fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 8 mg
Sodium: 94 mg
Potassium: 60 mg%
Calories from: Carbohydrate: 69% Fat: 22% Protein: 9%