This recipe for refrigerator dough has developed out of a need for good cinnamon rolls and great hot dog or hamburger buns. The cinnamon roll aspect of this recipe came first. Unlike many recipes for cinnamon rolls, this recipe is quite easy to make. It doesn’t take very long to mix up, and it creates the best rolls we have ever eaten. The texture is very light and tender.
Since the dough can remain in the refrigerator for up to one week, you can make the dough in your spare time, and create fantastic homemade rolls as you need them. Just remember to plan for the dough to rise at least overnight in the refrigerator before you use it. The mashed potatoes are very important, because they feed as well as moisturize the dough, so it can remain in the dry environment of the fridge for awhile.
We discovered the hot dog/hamburger bun aspect of this recipe in our search for a decent bun for our monthly weenie roasts. Every month since we moved to our Missouri property in August 2009, we have held a monthly weenie roast in our back yard. It’s a great excuse to sit around the fire, talk, watch the stars go by, and listen to the nighttime sounds of coyotes and barred owls in the woods next to us.
Sometimes, the weenie roast occurs on evenings in July or August when the temperature and humidity are so high that you wish you had a twenty foot long weenie roasting stick so you didn’t have to sit near the fire. The winter month weenie roasts are more amusing, such as the New Year’s Eve roast that took place in a foot of snow with a wind whipping out of the northwest. In that case, we cooked our hot dog outside and rushed it into the house to eat it before it turned into a brick bat.
The common failure of these weenie roasts was not the weather, but the buns. The buns we bought at the store would melt every time they came into contact with our hot roasting forks. This made us wonder just what the buns were made of. Then, we wondered whether or not we could create our own homemade buns, just like we bake our own bread. After some research through our collection of old cookbooks, the best recipe we found for hot dog and hamburger buns was our good old refrigerator dough.
To make hot dog buns with this recipe, pull off a piece of dough that is about the size of a golf ball.
Then, roll it back and forth between your hands until it is a long, narrow cylinder.
Place in a pan sprayed with cooking spray, loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour. Then follow the baking directions listed below for cinnamon rolls.
To make hamburger buns, follow the same directions as for hot dog buns, but flatten the dough out into a round disk instead of rolling it into a cylinder.
Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t look very “risen” after an hour. This dough continues to rise in the oven as it cooks.
And now, here is the recipe for our Refrigerator Dough:
Refrigerator Dough Ingredients
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 ¼ cup warm water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes
7-7½ cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, shortening eggs, potatoes, flax and the whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough all-purpose flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn dough over so greased side is up. Cover bowl with two pieces of plastic wrap held in place with two large rubber bands. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until ready to use. (Dough can be kept up to 7 days in refrigerator. Keep covered with two overlapping pieces of plastic wrap held in place with large rubber bands.)
To use for cinnamon rolls, punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Lay ½ of the dough onto a floured surface and roll out into roughly a rectangle 1/4th inch thick. Spread the cinnamon filling on the rolled out dough. Carefully roll dough up into the shape of a log.
Cut 1-inch pieces off of the rolled up dough and place into a 9″x13″ and an 8″x8″ baking dishes (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray on bottom and sides) with the swirl side up.
Let rise 1 hour before baking. Heat oven to 400° F. Bake rolls 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Here is the simple filling we use for cinnamon rolls. If the filling looks runny once you’ve spread it over your rolled out dough, lightly sprinkle the filling with flour, then gently mix the flour into the filling. This creates a paste of your filling and makes rolling up the dough a lot less messy.
Cinnamon Roll Filling
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup margarine or butter
4 teaspoons cinnamon
Melt the margarine in the microwave. Add the sugar and the cinnamon and stir until mixed together. Spread on the rolled out dough.
The following recipe for instant mashed potatoes is figured out so you make exactly the quantity you need for your dough.
Instant Mashed Potatoes Ingredients
1 ¼ cups water
1 ½ tablespoon margarine or butter
½ cup milk
1 cup + 1 pinch mashed potato flakes
Heat the water to the boiling point. Add the margarine, milk and potato flakes. Stir until reconstituted. Cool potatoes to lukewarm before adding to dough.
If you need to reduce the amount of sugar you eat, follow these instructions:
- When making the actual dough, reduce the amount of granulated sugar to five teaspoons, and add ½ cup of Splenda.
- For the filling, exchange all of the sugar with Splenda.
In general, this recipe will make about 36 hamburger or hot dog buns, or approximately 18 nice cinnamon rolls. While you can use this dough a bit at a time, we mix up a batch near the time of our monthly weenie roast, bake up as many hot dog buns as we need and convert the rest of the dough into cinnamon rolls. That way, we don’t have a pan taking up space in our rather small refrigerator for more than 24 hours.
Any hot dog or hamburger buns we make are allowed to cool completely, and then are sliced for later use (sliced completely through with a sharp knife for hamburger buns, only part way through for hot dog buns). Then, the buns are packaged in two-gallon freezer bags we also use to freeze our homemade bread. We usually double bag our baked goods to prevent any freezer burn. Packaged this way, the buns can stay in the freezer for at least a month.
This recipe for refrigerator dough tastes great, no matter whether you make it into a sweet treat or use it to accompany your meats. One fact we know, since we started making our own buns, we don’t have issues with melting hot dog buns anymore. Plus, we know what goes into our homemade buns.