Thursday, December 20, 2018

Passing On the Traditions: Part I - Yeast Rolls

I am not a quilter. I'm not a proficient crafter like Marie, Randy's mom. I don't have my Mom's talent with the sewing machine.

But I do like to cook and bake. Kinley and Brooke came to visit the week before Thanksgiving. Kinley didn't have school all week, so it was Grandma-time day care at The County Line.

And it gave me a chance to share time in the kitchen with two curious bakers.

It's certainly not the girls' first exposure to the kitchen. Jill is a wonderful cook and baker, and from the time the girls were little, "helping" in the kitchen has been part of their lives. When Kinley and Brooke come to Grandma's house, they always want to help make the meals.

But this gave us a chance to work together on holiday traditions - yeast rolls and pies. (More on pies in the next blog post.)

I certainly wasn't baking bread at age 4 or 6. True confessions: I was a white-ribbon yeast bread baker as a Pratt County 4-Her back in the day. That's what happens when you only make bread before the county fair.
Jill & Holly's yeast bread adventures started with pretzels. Click HERE for the pretzel recipe they used.
But when Jill was in 4-H, she and her friend, Holly, got interested in yeast breads. And I learned right along with them.
Thanksgiving gave me the chance to bake yeast rolls with a new generation of little girls. We even used the same recipe that Jill and Holly made years ago. (Click here for that recipe and for step-by-step photos on making crescent rolls from a previous blog post.)
The girls helped me mix up the bread dough using the KitchenAid mixer that belonged to my late mother-in-law, their paternal great-grandma. Since I got to take it home after Marie's death 20+ years ago, I've told Randy that I will be immediately replacing it if this essential piece of kitchen equipment breaks down. It's just as vital to my kitchen as combine parts are during harvest.

I neglected to get photos of the girls kneading the dough. However, Jill says that Kinley had some tips to share about "how Grandma does it" when they were making pizza dough after their bread-baking adventures. (Sorry, Jill!)
They loved seeing how much the dough had risen after letting it rest for an hour. (Here's a better photo of the actual bread from my pre-Christmas bread baking session.)
They were ready to punch it down:
Look at those faces!
The next step was rolling out the dough. Since I knew we were going to be making bread dough and rolling out pie crusts, I borrowed a smaller roller pin from their house and bought an even smaller one. The medium-sized one and my full-sized rolling pin worked better than the small one for getting the dough even.
Rolling bread dough requires a great deal of concentration (and holding your mouth just right ... she gets that from me)!
They were troopers. We made two recipes of dough - one white and one whole wheat - and they rolled out every bit of the dough.
We used a pizza cutter to separate the dough circles into eight equal parts. That's even hard for me!
Then we rolled each section into a crescent shape.
I told the girls to try and press the end underneath the roll. That probably led to a little more "squeezing" than "shaping" on Brooke's behalf, but we got the job done. And, again, they kept with it the whole time.
Even though their Mommy said they didn't particularly like yeast rolls, they definitely ate their share when they came out of the oven.
And the rest of the family enjoyed them with our Thanksgiving meal, too.

This past weekend, I completed the process again to make rolls for the Moore family Christmas Eve gathering. I made five recipes, using part for crescent rolls. I also made cinnamon rolls for the freezer as a gift for my parents' Christmas, and I used a portion of the dough for hamburger and cheese-stuffed sandwich pockets.

I was ready to be done. I could have used those two extra helpers, don't you think?


  1. What a fun time with your grand daughters! Those rolls look wonderful, and I bet your kitchen smelled sooo good, too! Hamburger and cheese stuffed sandwich pockets sound like a fun new recipe to try around here. Are they hard to make?

    1. No. I don't really have a recipe. Lots of people around here put make bierocks, which have cabbage in them, but we prefer the meat and cheese.

      Instead of rolling each section of the divided dough into a circle, I roll into a rectangle and cut it into 4 pieces (rather than 8). I then put browned and seasoned hamburger that I've done ahead of time and shredded cheese on half of each of the 4 pockets. Then fold over the dough and enclose, sealing the "goodies" inside. I also let these rise. I always use cold hamburger, which doesn't soften up the dough and makes it easier to seal.

      Once they are risen, cover the sheets with foil and stick them in the freezer until they are frozen. Then you can remove them from the trays and stick them in a plastic bag, putting them back in the freezer until you want to bake them. Just bake until they are golden brown in a 400 degree oven. They are handy to have on hand for supper on a busy night.

      Hope that makes sense! Merry Christmas! I know you'll enjoy having your kids at home!

    2. I should clarify: The bierocks are a combination of meat, cheese and cabbage - not just cabbage. I like them, too.

  2. Thanks, I'll try them one of these days! A friend of ours from Church has family in Kansas (Hillsboro) and I've heard her talk about bierocks, but never had them.

  3. Replies
    1. It's a fun memory for us! I'll bet you have plenty of kitchen helpers at your house, too. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are recovering well from your surgery. Thanks for commenting.