How far ahead can you make bread dough
Sarge's fresh baked yeast rolls have been requested for Christmas dinner (around 2:00 p'm, this year) Can I make the dough the day before?
You may always slow down the rise by putting the dough in the frig. (Dough raised in cold temperature can develop different flavors that dough raised in moderate warmth - different yeast work better at different temperatures, and I seem to recall it may vary if the dough has dairy or not, but I could be wrong).
re: Karl S
I use the fridge for rising all the time for certain breads. It does develop different flavours, sort of a sweetish taste that works with yeast rolls. The breads I do this with generally do have milk and butter in the dough, come to think of it, and they work great.
Generally I do the fridge rising for the fermentation (before shaping) rather than for the proof (after rising). I have tried proofing in the fridge a couple of times, and I have encountered problems: This was for a large pan of cinnamon rolls, and the rising was uneven because the dough warmed up at different rates (edges first, centre last).
It will take a while for the dough to warm up before you can shape or proof it, especially if it is a big piece of dough. I generally allow three hours.
I always bake bread/rolls up to a week ahead and freeze. Pop the thawed rolls in a 350 oven for 3 minutes to refresh on the day. Nobody will notice a difference! It's just too much to ask on the day of a big dinner!
BTW, I almost always let bread & pizza dough rise in the fridge overnight, and and can't say that I've noticed much difference.
"Refrigerator Rolls" are made to store in the fridge. I use my recipe for weekend guests. I make the dough Thursday, make rolls for dinner on Friday and then sweet rolls of some kind on Saturday for breakfast.. If the recipe you have has a reasonable amount of sugar and eggs, as most dinner rolls do, this should not be a problem.