Refrigerator Bread Making

Updated on October 27, 2019
cygnetbrown profile image

Cygnet Brown, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Argosy University. She is an author of twelve books and a long-time gardener.

Make the dough ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Make the dough ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Making Bread From Scratch Is Easy

Making bread from scratch doesn't have to be difficult, and you don't need any fancy equipment, either. You can have bread made from scratch more than once in a while! Always start from fresh ingredients, especially fresh yeast. This bread dough can be made one day and then stored for up to three days in the refrigerator. Take out as much as you want, shape it into loaves or rolls, raise for an hour or so and then bake. In a few minutes, you will have freshly baked bread or rolls on your table.

Prep time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: Approximately 42 rolls or 3 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lukewarm water, potato water, or reconstituted dry milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast (one package)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup liquid vegetable oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups general purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water, or potato water (left over from the last time that you boiled potatoes) or dry milk (that you reconstituted with warm water). Add sugar and let set for about 5 minutes. If you get little bubbles on the surface of the mixture, the yeast is good. If you don't see any bubbles at the top of the mixture, start over with new yeast and throw the package containing the yeast that you used away. It is no longer any good. This process is what is called proofing the yeast.
  2. Add salt, egg, and oil.
  3. Pour 6 cups of the flour (2 cups wheat flour and 4 cups general purpose flour) into the mixture 2 cups at a time and then add the final amount of flour until bread makes a soft ball that doesn't stick to your fingers.
  4. Put the bread dough into a large bowl, spread a layer of vegetable oil over the bread, and cover with towel and allow bread to raise until the bread is doubled. Doubling occurs when you are able to press your thumb gently into the bread dough and the imprint remains.
  5. Punch the dough down and knead on a bread board or clean counter and reshape the bread a ball. Divide out one-third of the dough to use right away. Reshape the remainder of the ball and place into a container with a tightly fitting lid in the refrigerator. I find that a one-gallon plastic ice cream container works great for this.
  6. Shape the dough that you saved out into a bread loaf or shape into dinner rolls and place into an appropriate pan. Allow the bread to rise until light (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
  7. Once the dough is shaped, and raised and ready for the oven, the length of time needed to bake depends upon the size of bread that you are baking. Rolls take between 12 to 15 minutes to bake. Loaves of bread take about 45 minutes to bake. Bake until golden brown. For a soft crust, brush butter onto crust. For crisper crust, omit brushing with butter.

Photo Guide

Click thumbnail to view full-size
When you see the bubbles, you know the yeast has proofed.Bread dough ready for its first rising.Store the dough not used in this baking in refrigerator (can be stored this way for up to 3 days).Rolled out rolls need to rise about an hour before putting into oven.Rolls have risen and are ready for the oven.The rolls are hot of the oven and ready to eat!
When you see the bubbles, you know the yeast has proofed.
When you see the bubbles, you know the yeast has proofed. | Source
Bread dough ready for its first rising.
Bread dough ready for its first rising. | Source
Store the dough not used in this baking in refrigerator (can be stored this way for up to 3 days).
Store the dough not used in this baking in refrigerator (can be stored this way for up to 3 days). | Source
Rolled out rolls need to rise about an hour before putting into oven.
Rolled out rolls need to rise about an hour before putting into oven. | Source
Rolls have risen and are ready for the oven.
Rolls have risen and are ready for the oven. | Source
The rolls are hot of the oven and ready to eat!
The rolls are hot of the oven and ready to eat! | Source

Two Options: Refrigerate or Freeze

If you're a weekend cook who doesn't have time to bake fresh during the week, you have several options. First, you can partially bake the bread and store, store the dough in the refrigerator, or you can take the loaves or rolls and shape as you would like them to be, put them onto a cookie sheet or glass pan as I have done above and have them ready for the next time. You can even take the rolls out of the freezer in the morning before work, let them thaw and rise all day and be ready 8 hours later to pop into the oven and bake.

How Long Can I Keep Yeast?

Yeast will keep in the refrigerator for about one year. However, I have found that yeast will keep in the refrigerator freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit for at least two years. The yeast that I am currently using to make bread was in the freezer sealed in mylar for two years and then I have had it in the refrigerator for about six months in a glass jar with screwtop lid.

I Want to Hear From You

5 stars from 1 rating of Refrigerator Yeast Bread

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Cygnet Brown

    Comments

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      • cygnetbrown profile imageAUTHOR

        Cygnet Brown 

        6 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

        I would love to know how your bread turns out, Stephanie! Happy baking, Aloha!

      • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

        Stephanie Launiu 

        6 years ago from Hawai'i

        Thanks for this hub! I donʻt know what it is about the beginning of fall, but I begin "nesting" during this season. And your hub brought all the wonderful smells of bread baking back to me. Iʻm going grocery shopping tomorrow, and yeast is on the list. I also shared your hub on pinterest. Aloha, Stephanie

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