Sourdough Butterflake Refrigerator Rolls

I suppose I wouldn't have to serve Sourdough Butterflake Rolls every Thanksgiving, but I always do. Light and buttery, they are baked in muffin tins after the turkey comes out of the oven so they are fresh and warm when the feasting begins. Nothing tastes as good a fresh rolls right out of the oven! They have become a beloved tradition in our home and some might say that they enjoy them even more than the turkey!

Buttering your roll is optional since they already have a layer of butter baked in.
If you want to serve fresh, homemade rolls for your Thanksgiving (or really, any holiday or family dinner) these rolls are a great choice. Here's why:
  • They are mixed together they day before serving.
  • These tender rolls need no kneading.
  • A 3 hour rising time means you can put them together early the day you serve them (after the turkey is in the oven, but before you start to work on the potatoes).
  • Leftover dough can be frozen and used later (or if necessary, you could make early, freeze and thaw dough for your holiday dinner). This is a great option if you don't need all 36 rolls or if you don't have enough muffin tins. 
  • Although I use my stand mixer, this dough is simple enough to be mixed by hand. 
Sourdough Butterflake Refrigerator Rolls
For a printable recipe, click here
The ingredients - either bread flour or all-purpose flour may be used.

2 tablespoons instant yeast

1/3 cup warm water
3 eggs
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups flour (bread flour if desired)
Melted butter (3-4 tablespoons)

 Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. Beat eggs in mixing bowl. Add sourdough, vegetable oil, warm milk, sugar and two cups of flour.

Mix well (or by hand, stir vigorously for about a minute). Stir in softened yeast and enough flour so that the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

 Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Three hours before time to bake, remove dough from refrigerator. Spray muffin tins and melt butter.  Using about a third the dough, on a lightly floured surface roll into rectangle about 3/8 inch thick. Drizzle with melted butter. You want to be generous, but don't overdo or there will be butter all over your counter when you roll up your rolls.

Roll up the dough jelly-roll style, using a spatula to assist as necessary. 

Cut log into twelve one-inch slices. I find the best way to do that is to use dental floss by sliding underneath the log, crossing on top and pulling. This leaves the roll nicely shaped while a knife would likely smash your roll. Place in muffin tins, cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.  Repeat with remaining dough. 
When rolls are nearly ready, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about three dozen rolls. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you! May we enter our celebration with grateful hearts and a joyful countenance knowing we have all been blessed by a good God. 
This recipe is adapted from Rita Davenport's Sourdough Cookery, an excellent resource for outstanding sourdough recipes and starters.
To freeze dough: Spray a quart-size freezer bag with cooking oil and place dough inside. Freeze. Allow to thaw completely before completing the roll out and baking directions above. 


  1. Oh dear. I'm glad you don't think I have to wait to make these until Thanksgiving. However I certainly don't need 36 rolls for myself either. I hate these kinds of problems. Thanks for sharing your very special bread recipe.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

    1. Thanks, Linda. Hope you enjoy an wonderful Thanksgiving.


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