If you look closely at the recipe card below, you can see that I wrote this recipe for No Knead Refrigerator Rolls in my neatest 8th grade handwriting in Hour III Home Ec class. (You can also see it cost $0.14 per serving!) In fact, this old recipe box is even filled with a few recipes cards from from my high school home ec too. That’s right, home ec class; and I had no idea how lucky I was to have these practical classes (re-named Family and Consumer Science class in 1994) in both junior high and high school. But according to a brilliant article, Bring Back Home Ec in this month’s issue of Cooking Light magazine, only about 25% of students currently participate in this nutrition/cooking/home-budgeting and life-skills class. Yet as one of my former professors at Tufts University pointed out in the article, since 1980, as traditional home ec classes waned, the rate of obesity among children ages 2 to 19 tripled. The fact that most kids no longer learn basic nutrition skills in school is likely a component of this association.
I’m not saying it was all because of exposure to home ec, but out of my small high school graduating class of 103, five of us went on to become registered dietitians! Granted I learned a lot of cooking/baking skills from my Mom, but I do know our class was learning something about baking at age 13. And the reason is the way in which this No Knead Refrigerator Rolls recipe was written. I’ve included extra instructions in the recipe below, but the original reads “2 hours before baking, shape dough and let rise. Bake 12-15 min on greased sheet.” And that’s it. As a professional recipe developer, I know the recipe contains not nearly enough info for a first-time baker to turn out perfectly, golden brown dinner rolls!
Over the years, I’ve adapted this super easy no-knead (and thus no-fail!) recipe to include whole wheat flour – and they turn out a little heavier than the original version. (So use all-purpose flour only if you want lighter rolls.) But since I don’t seem to get around to baking homemade bread for my kids’ lunches, so I find this to be a healthy, fast, delicious solution! Thanks Mrs. Olmstead! (I can’t remember many things these days, but I can remember the name of my home ec teacher from some 20-plus years ago!)
No Knead Refrigerator Rolls
- Yield: About 3 dozen 1x
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water (about 100–120 degrees)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 5 1/2 cups bread flour (I used King Arthur brand) or all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup softened butter or shortening
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Stir yeast in warm water and wait about 5 minutes until dissolved.
- Add sugar, salt, 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups bread flour and blend for 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
- Mix in egg and butter.
- With a wooden spoon, mix in remaining flours.
- Scrape dough into a large greased bowl and place in the refrigerator over night or for several hours.
- Two hours before baking, remove dough from refrigerator and pinch off a 2 tablespoon sized dough ball with fingers. Pull two sides of dough ball under and pinch to form a smooth rounded top. Place in greased 9×13″ baking pan (or on half sheet pan). Brush tops of rolls with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
- Bake 12-15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven until just beginning to turn golden brown.
Did you have home ec classes? What did you learn that you still use today?