Refrigerator yeast rolls are the answer to busy days and holiday dinners. Divide the roll making process into two days and three steps: make, shape and bake! This is based on a recipe from bhg.com, which has a few variations using this method (see "Useful Links" below). I stayed fairly close to the original recipe, though lazy me, I used a heavy duty mixer for the entire mixing process. One of the tips making this dough is that it’s made a little tacky to the touch. Unlike regular yeast bread dough which is made into a soft ball that can be handled and kneaded, add just enough of the flour so that it is slightly sticky. Too much flour and the rolls can’t rise sufficiently and are too dense and heavy.
In a large mixing bowl combine the warm water and yeast; stir to dissolve yeast. Add 1-1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil, egg, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that just starts to pull away from sides of bowl (dough will be slightly sticky).Coat a 3-quart covered container with cooking spray. Place dough in container; turn once to grease surface of dough. Cover and chill overnight.
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan or baking sheets. Shape dough into 24 balls or desired rolls and place in the prepared baking pan or 2 to 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (be careful not to overwork dough; it becomes stickier the more you work with it). Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 45 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes for individual rolls, about 20 minutes for pan rolls, or until golden. Immediately remove rolls from pans. If desired, brush tops of rolls with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Serve warm.