Mom’s Rolls

My mother, Jean Jennings, will be 90-years-oldcome October. This recipe and my love for her go hand in hand.

Mom would bake these rolls in pie tins then have me deliver to her friends around the neighborhood.

“Add to one cup warm water in a large bowl:

An egg, a jigger or two of oil, a pinch of salt, sugar to taste and one packet of Fleishman’s yeast.

Let sit until bubbly.

Mix in 3 ½ cups of flour until ball of dough forms.

Let rise until double.

Punch out bubbles, rolls out to about a ½ inch thick, then cut rolls and place in pie tins or on cookie sheet.

Let raise until double.

Bake. Butter tops.”

She also made hot dog things. Good eatin’ cold the next day on family road trips.

My translation

In a large bowl mix:

One cup warm water

One egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil (Note that at some point in her later years she swears that she uses the white Crisco that comes in bars, but Carol swears this is absolutely not the recipe she learned.)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup sugar

One packet of yeast

Stir with a fork and let sit for about 10 minutes until bubbly.

Then, gradually add in at least 3 maybe 3 1/2 cups of sifted flour as you stir/knead to form ball of dough. (If you use a big enough bowl you do not need to turn it onto the counter—it can rise in the bowl.)

Let ball of dough raise for a couple of hours until it about doubles in size.

Tear ball of dough in half. Knead air bubbles out then roll out on lightly floured counter top to about a half an inch high. Cut out rolls.

(Or make hot dog things by slicing a kosher hot dog not quite fully through the center and stuffing with diced green chili and cheddar cheese before wrapping in dough.)

Place rolls on pan with sides barely touching and let raise again until double.

Bake at 350 degrees F until tops are golden brown—about 12 minutes. (Hot dogs things need a 400 degree oven and a little longer to cook.)

Butter tops.

Try not to eat them all, rolls or hot dog things, until dinner or wherever you are taking them.

Carol’s roll variations:

  • Olive oil—if you use this in place of vegetable oil, your dough will be heavier and take longer to raise.
  • Crushed garlic and/or other dried spices—yummy! Goes with olive oil. Add to during initial mix.
  • Yogurt and mint—add to during initial mix. You’ll use a bit more flour for consistent dough.
  • Grated cheese—I add maybe a half a cup during initial mix.
  • More sugar—sweeter rolls.
  • You can get them to raise faster on a cold day in the kitchen by pre-heating the oven and letting the dough rise on top of the stove.

One thought on “Mom’s Rolls

  1. I remember these rolls so well that I can close my eyes and smell them just as I used to, visiting your house so often growing up. Mark makes them for me sometimes, but they are not quite the same melt-in-my-mouth richness that your mom made.

    I hope your mom is doing well, between me dreaming of her rolls and Mark talking about her banana bread we think of her often!

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