It’s tough to beat a soft, fluffy dinner roll that’s hot with a dollop of butter in it. But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up making a meal out of just the rolls before dinner comes out of the oven!
How long can you expect dinner rolls to last if you have the self-control to save a few?
Typically, dinner rolls will stay good for a few days in a Ziploc bag on your counter. However, you can make them last up to a week if you stick them in the fridge.
The type of dinner roll, whether it’s store-bought, and other factors influence how long it will last and stay fresh after you first eat them. Here are some things to know and a few tips on how you can make your dinner rolls last longer!
Dinner Rolls Taste Best Fresh
Delicious dinner rolls take a lot of work to get right. A good bakery can charge a significant premium for quality dinner rolls. People are willing to pay higher prices because they know how long it takes to make excellent dinner rolls.
Nothing tastes better than a fresh dinner roll, but you can keep them after a holiday or a party to use for meals during the week. They probably won’t taste as nice as the day you made or bought them, but they’ll still go great with a roast, or you can use them to make some tasty French toast for breakfast.
Storing Your Dinner Rolls
There are two schools of thought about storing dinner rolls to make them last longer. One involves leaving them out on the counter at room temperature, and the other method is to keep them in the refrigerator.
Keeping at Room Temperature
Stick your leftover dinner rolls in an airtight container or a zip bag that will stop moisture from getting inside. Leaving them out will turn them hard or moldy. But, of course, you’ll also want to stick them somewhere they won’t get smushed as well.
Keeping them like this will make them last two to four days after you buy or bake them. It’s perfect for people who have plans for the rolls in the next meal during the week or who want to snack on them throughout the day. You can grab a roll, put some cheese or cold cuts on it, and it’s lunch or a fantastic snack.
Keeping Rolls in the Fridge
If you want to extend your rolls beyond a few days at room temperature, you should consider putting them in the fridge. Of course, you’ll want to store them precisely like you would if you had left them on the counter.
Please put them in a sealed bag or container and then in the fridge. This will usually make them last up to a week before they start to turn hard or go bad.
The rolls will be cold when you take them out, so they won’t be as soft or fluffy. Some people don’t mind eating hard bread, but it’s not for everyone. If you want to get them back to normal, leave them at room temperature or stick them in a preheated oven for a few minutes.
Heating them won’t make them taste as good as fresh ones, but it’s better than a stiff roll straight out of the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Rolls?
You can freeze dinner rolls to keep them good for up to a month after you first get them. Freezing them is the best way to make rolls or other types of bread last for as long as possible.
The same rules apply; the most important thing is keeping your rolls in an airtight container. Then, once they’re frozen, you don’t have to worry about them bumping into other items in your freezer because they’ll be hard enough to keep their shape.
The main concern with freezing dinner rolls is whether you have enough space. It’s not much of an issue if you have an extra freezer for storage, but not everyone has the room to freeze bread, especially when they need to freeze more expensive stuff like meat.
Whether you freeze rolls also depends on whether you think it’s worth it. Rolls aren’t expensive, so it may be better to buy a new batch or bake some fresh rolls the next time you need them.
The time it takes to defrost the rolls is similar to the baking time for fresh rolls, so the juice may not be worth the squeeze.
Store-Bought vs. Homemade Dinner Rolls
What about where you get the rolls? Does that make a difference in how long they will last?
Whether your dinner rolls are fresh or from a store will influence how long they last, no matter how you store them.
Rolls baked by commercial bakeries like you buy in grocery stores add preservatives to bread that keep it fresh for much longer than the bread you bake at home. In addition, they have ways to increase the bread’s shelf-life, so they’re not wasting a ton of product each day.
On the other hand, fresh, homemade dinner rolls will typically start to go bad much earlier than rolls you buy in a store. They’ll also taste better!
That’s why eating the dinner rolls as soon as possible once you bake them is your best bet. Thankfully, this isn’t a problem for people who love rolls, especially if the recipe is good.
How Early Should You Make Rolls?
Lots of people worry about how early they should make rolls if they’re having people over for dinner or taking rolls for the next holiday party. Rolls take a lot of time and oven space, so planning is critical.
Ideally, you’ll start preparing your rolls around three hours before mealtime. That way, they’ll still be warm when you take them out of the oven, and everyone will know they’re super fresh when they eat them!
Toasting Old Dinner Rolls
If you hate the idea of throwing away old dinner rolls, there are always things you can do to get more use out of them.
Toasting old dinner rolls or any other type of bread is a fantastic way to make them last longer. You can use them for breakfast or make French toast with them. You can also toast or bake them to turn your old dinner rolls into croutons.
In addition, you can make things like stuffing with old rolls, especially around the holidays. It’s easy to turn the rolls into different dishes if you’re using the oven because the old bread will soak up juices from other ingredients in the dish.