Before my life became so busy, I loved baking bread. Mixing up the dough and waiting for it to rise, then enjoying the warm, yeasty aroma as it baked was very satisfying. Now, with such a crazy schedule and many deadlines, I have less time for the pleasures of baking. But I enjoyed it vicariously through Carrie Daly, my main character in BEAUTY FOR ASHES who is herself an accomplished baker. Carrie bakes pies and wedding cakes, but bread is her specialty.
As I was researching this novel, I came across a recipe for the best yeast rolls I’ve ever eaten. It’s in an old handwritten cookbook of unknown origin ( a flea market find on a trip to South Carolina, so I’m pretty sure it’s a Southern recipe). Easy enough to make for a weekday dinner and delicious enough for company, the recipe is not time consuming at all; even I have managed to make it twice in recent weeks; it’s the waiting for the dough to rise that takes a bit of time. But then, we are all multi-taskers, aren’t we? Plenty else to do while the dough rises. Here’s the recipe Carrie makes for Griff at the farm. I hope you enjoy it as much as Griff did.
Carrie Daly’s Sunday Dinner Rolls
I cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 c shortening ( I use Crisco)
1 egg, beaten
1 yeast cake
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
Heat milk but do not boil. Pour over sugar and shortening. Add the yeast cake and the beaten egg. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Cover and let stand till double. Punch down and pinch off bits of dough to form 24 rolls. Let the dough rise again.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.