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It’s nice to sift through the magazines and junk mail to discover that rare piece of personal correspondence.  I could tell by its shape and size it was either an invitation or a thank you note.  And when I saw my cousin’s name on the return address, I decided it had to be the former, as I couldn’t imagine what I had done to deserve a note of thanks.

Of course I remembered as soon as I read Judy’s words of gratitude.  At my sister Christi’s urging, I had made my cousins Judy and Mike a batch of home-made rolls, using a recipe from the cookbook, Rather Sweet Bakery.  The recipe calls for over six cups of flour, so it makes a bunch of  yeast rolls.  And with just a pinch of cinnamon in them, their baking makes my kitchen smell so lovely and inviting.

At least my dogs think so.  Max and Maddie grab a spot near the oven, where they wait in anticipation until the bread comes out to the cooling racks.  Rarely are they disappointed, as this recipe makes enough rolls to share with them and enough to store in freezer bags for later.  A few hours before serving, I take them out of the freezer.  Then with a quick reheat in a moderately heated oven, they taste just like fresh baked.  And because of this, it’s a great way to share fresh baked bread with others — like Mike and Judy.

But if I could use only one bread recipe for the rest of my life, it would have to be Judy’s own mother’s recipe.  I still remember the first time I tasted these light and fluffy rolls, when Judy’s parents came to share Sunday lunch at Granny’s house.  I had never tasted anything like them and still find them special after thirty years of making them.  I’ve made these rolls so often I no longer need the written recipe.

In today’s note, Judy asked for a bread making lesson.  She wrote that learning to make bread from her mom was one of her ‘wish I would haves’ that she regrets not doing before her mom died.  I know exactly what she means, as I too have my own ‘wish I would haves’ with my own Mom. But rather than the Rocket Roll Recipe I used a couple of weeks ago, I wonder if Judy might enjoy a bread making lesson using her mom’s own recipe.

I could hunt down my old recipe card of “Patsy’s Sure Shot Rolls” that I recall is in Judy’s own hand.  And together, we could honor the memory of Patsy as we followed the recipe Patsy handed on to me through Judy’s hand.  And that I now hand on to you.

Patsy’s Sure Shot Rolls

Makes 2 dozen rolls

Preparation Time:  Total 4 hours – ½ hour preparation time &  3 ½ hours rising time

Dissolve 1 package of dry yeast in 2 Tbsp of warm water – set aside to rise for 5 minutes

Mix in a large bowl until dissolved:

1/3 cup of canola oil

1 cup of hot water

6 Tbsp of sugar

¼ tsp salt

Let water cool, then add:

1 egg, well beaten

Yeast mixture

Finally,stir in until dough forms:

3 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour (or enough to make a stiff dough)

Let rise 2 to 2 ½ hours.  Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 “ thickness.  Cut dough with kitchen sheers or an inverted glass.  Fold cut dough pieces into half and pinch together.  Turn over in a greased 9×13 cake pan and let rise about 1 hour.  Bake 20 minutes in a 350 preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Best when served immediately.

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