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My momma’s really easy, really good yeasty biscuity rolls-Countdown to Thanksgiving!

November 10, 2009

I think most families have a stash of beloved holiday recipes that have been passed down through generations of mothers to daughters (or sons).  Of course, everyone thinks their own geneological treasure trove of culinary button-poppers (people used real butter back in the day-and LARD)  are  the best of the best.  But, I say these people are delusional.  Their family recipes simply can’t be the best, because (and I’m speaking frankly here) MINE are.  LOL

Seriously though, mine really are the best…..They’re so good I’m gonna prove it to you and (gasp) share them!  (My gran-ma-ma will no doubt be twirling  in her grave!  Literally! She was a majorette in the Fox Den High School Band, dontcha know, and she never passed an opportunity to demonstrate her considerable twirling talents–never mind that she’d  traded in her baton for a  cane decades before!)

Anyway, thanks to my twirling granny and her granny before her, our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are, for the most part,  set in stone when it comes to menu-planning.  They are also virtually identical–it’s turkey and dressing all the way with my bunch, baby!    Oh sure, we add a new recipe here and there as our sons get married and their wives have the gall to try and mix in a few of their own family recipes.  I’m just kidding!  We welcome their family receipts with an open mind, and a few of them actually make it to our holiday table. (after a double-audition and proof of authenticity!)  But, in general, the menu deviates rarely.  If it did, I’m convinced I’d  be stoned in my herb garden  for blasphemy by my mother.

I’m gonna start with our all time favorite and the only exception to the “twice-a-year” rule*–Yeast rolls (actually, these are kind of a cross between a roll and a biscuit.) and work my way up to the piece d’resistance– turkey and dressing.

*twice-a-year rule:  The promise to serve these recipes only twice a year at Thanksgiving and Christmas — no matter how much you crave giblet gravy while you are pregnant  in July.  The promise is signed in blood and then and only then are you handed the key to the rusty padlocked strongbox where the recipes are kept.

These rolls,  like most good older recipes, use simple  ingredients.  They are Beginner Easy (See definition link at the top of this page under RECIPE RATINGS), pretty much fool-proof,  and so good that I have to triple the recipe in order to have enough for leftovers!

First off, heat 1 c. buttermilk, 1/2 c. shortening, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1 tsp salt til lukewarm. (when the shortening starts melting, turn the heat off, but leave the pan on the burner and stir til it dissolves) Put about 1/3 c. very warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle 1 packet quick-rise yeast over the top.  Let it sit a few minutes to let the yeast soften up.

Sift 2 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 tsp soda together into a large bowl.   Stir the yeast into the buttermilk mixture and combine with the flour/soda mix.

mix liquid into dry

Stir til completely mixed.  It will be very sticky.


Cover the bowl with plastic wrap that is sprayed with Pam.  Let rise 30 minutes or til doubled in size in a warm place.  I usually stick them in the oven with the oven-light on.

Grease a 10″ round cake pan or pie tin or whatever you want to use.  With greased hands make a dozen rolls and put into the pan.  Cover lightly with saran wrap sprayed with Pam and let rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place.

After they’ve risen, gently brush melted butter over the tops of the dough with a soft pastry brush (I use about 1/4  stick of melted butter and yes, I mean real honest to God salted buttah!)

buttered dough

Bake at 425 degrees about 15-20 til golden brown.  Immediately after removing from oven, brush the tops with another 1/4 stick melted butter.  No, I’m not kidding, and I’d show ya how I then split the pipin’ hot baked rolls in half and slathered their innards with more butter but……

buttery goodness

………..These were snatched and gone before I could say “clogged arteries are a heart attack waiting to happen.” And, saving you a bite wasn’t even open for argument.  Sorry!


My Momma’s Really Easy, Really Good Yeasty Biscuity Rolls

I rate this recipe Beginner Easy! (see definition link at the top of this page under RECIPE RATINGS)

1 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. shortening

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/3 c. warm water

1 packet quick-rise yeast

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 stick salted  butter

Heat the buttermilk, salt, sugar and shortening until lukewarm. (let the shortening melt)

dissolve the yeast in the 1/3 c. warm water and combine with the buttermilk mixture.

Sift the flour and soda together in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center, and pour in the liquid ingredients.  Stir with a large spoon until combined. (It will be very sticky) Cover with saran wrap sprayed with Pam and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or til doubled in size. (I stick it in the oven with the oven light on.)

With greased hands form the dough into balls and place in a pan that has also been greased or sprayed with Pam.

Lightly cover the pan with saran wrap sprayed with Pam and return to your warm place for 30 more minutes or til doubled in size.

Gently remove the saran wrap and carefully brush the tops of the dough with about 1/4 c. melted butter (more or less–just make sure each roll has some butter)

Bake in a hot oven (425) for 15 to 20 minutes or til golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven and immediately brush another 1/4 c. melted butter over the tops.

Serve with lots more butter. (and honey if desired)

makes about a dozen good sized rolls.

2 Comments leave one →
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