Thanksgiving Recipe – Mama’s Rolls

Every family has their traditions. My family LOVES these rolls. As kids we would have competitions to see who could eat the most rolls. Usually one of the boy cousins won with a ridiculous number in the teens or twenties through the early pubescent years until our metabolosims started slowing down. We would always run out of rolls even when people would make a triple batch.

Now they make a double batch and there are leftovers… I think that means we’re all adults now. We can’t be eating an exorbitant amount of rolls without paying for it later. Bummer :)

Another name for this recipe is “Refrigerator Rolls.” Honestly these are best/ easiest when allowed to chill/ rise overnight. Both times I’ve made them I haven’t planned well enough to allow them to do that and they were fine. But they will be fluffier and easier to work with if you make them at least a day in advance. (And then you save time on Thanksgiving too.) They are DEFINITELY best the day they’re baked. Make the dough ahead of time, but DO NOT bake them ahead of time.

Mama’s Rolls

Makes approximately 50 rolls


  • 1 c. Crisco shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. boiling water
  • 2 packages yeast (or 1 T. + 1 1/2 t.)
  • 1/4 c. barely warm water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 6 c. unsifted flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4-3/4 c. flour for rolling out
  • 1-2 sticks butter, melted for brushing


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugar.
  2. Pour boiling water over sugar/shortening mixture and stir until shortening is melted.
  3. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 c. barely warm water. Set aside.
  5. In a large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk or beat together 2 eggs until well beaten.
  6. Add well beaten eggs and yeast mixture to shortening/sugar mixture. Add in cold water and mix well.
  7. Add in 6 cups of flour and salt and mix well either with a mixer or wooden spoon. The mixture is thick.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Overnight it will double, but every time I’ve only let it rise for 3 hours and it only raised a bit. (And it was still fine!)

When ready to make rolls:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grab a couple baking sheets with sides.
  2. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Cut with a circle cookie cutter (or a small drinking glass.)

3. Put circles on two baking sheets. You can put them pretty close together. Let set for about 15 minutes to rise briefly.

4. Melt about 1/2 a stick of melted butter and brush over circles. Lay a butter knife in the center of the dough and fold half of the circle over the other half to create a crescent moon/ taco shape.

5. Melt about 1/2 a stick of melted butter and brush over the tops of the unbaked rolls.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 13-16 minutes or until lightly browned and dough fully cooked through.

7. Continue to roll out, butter, fold, butter and bake until all your dough is gone.


About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Baking, Holidays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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