Sunday, February 03, 2008

practice, practice, practice!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Big Mama’s Butterhorn Rolls
1 yeast cake, blended with 1 Tbsp sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 tsp salt
3 eggs, well beaten
1 c. warm sweet milk
4 cups sifted flour

Mix in order given:
Yeast cake, butter, sugar, salt, eggs, milk and flour. Let rise well; spoon down. Let rise again. Roll to ½ inch thick. Cut into shape of pie wedges 2 inches wide. Roll from wide end. Leaving point tucked under. Place in well buttered pan. Set pans over pans of hot water to rise. Bake at 315 degrees until brown. Butter and cover until serving time.

This is a copy of my grandmother's recipe as it appears in an old cookbook put out by her church in the 80’s. I remember watching her make these rolls for special holidays and family dinners when I was a child. I don’t remember her using measuring cups or spoons. She knew how many scoops of this or pinches of that were needed in everything she baked. Knowing that means that the recipe above is just an approximation of how she made them.

I sent an email to my Aunt Bev asking her to talk with Big Mama and then let me know what sweet milk is. Aunt Bev wrote me back informing me that sweet milk is “just an old school way of saying whole milk”. Aunt Bev told me to practice on the rolls so that when I come back to Kansas I can make them for a family dinner!

Today was my first practice run. I used about 5 cups of flour… after 4 cups the dough was way too sticky to work with by hand. In Russia we don’t have yeast cakes so I had to look online to find out the exact amount needed which is 2 ¼ teaspoons. Since our yeast here in Russia is not as strong I had to double that amount. Our eggs are very small compared to an American egg so I used an extra egg as well.

The result was pretty close to what I remember. Somehow I thought that they were sweeter than how mine turned out. And that may very well be true... our sugar here is not as sweet as American sugar. However, Tom thought they were VERY good and that is what matters most to me since he is the main person that I cook for. I plan to try them again and then add them to our holiday table in the future!!


  1. I think I need to find out my grandma's recipe for rolls before something happens and I regret it. I love her rolls. :)

  2. Oh Yum! They sound wonderful.

    I have a few old recipes which say a handful of this and a pinch of that. It's hard to know what a handful means when I don't know how big the original cook's hand was!

  3. it was fun finding this old recipe and then trying it out... this cookbook from the church is one of those fundraiser types. Some of the dear women who contributed are no longer with us. I plan to try more of the recipes and pay tribute to more of my childhood mentors!

  4. Alida, I'm interested in your observations about yeast and sugar and eggs - and how they're different here in Russia. You must be lots more observant than I am. I'll have to get brave here really soon and do something with yeast. Thanks for the information and recipe! E in Rostov

  5. Eileen,
    It actually dawned on me one night when I was making brownies that the eggs are smaller here... from that point on I have added an extra egg and that has made a big difference!!