Yesterday, was spent at my friend and neighbor’s home. Cherie’s is not only one of my dearest friends, but she’s also an awesome baker (I swear that’s not the reason I love her!) She and her mother, Marilynn, bake their delicious rolls to sell to neighbors and friends. Then they send every bit of the money to a school and orphanage in Kenya. Their tireless efforts have helped to feed, clothe and educate some of the world’s neediest children. They are women who are the best examples of resourcefulness, hard work and a whole lot of heart.
Cherie’ was good enough to open her home to 26 friends to teach us the secrets of her mouthwatering dinner rolls. We all descended on her cheerful kitchen, many with babies or toddlers in tow, ready to learn. We stood elbow to elbow with flour, dough and cookie sheets everywhere and we all had such a great time.
Some of Cherie’s tips are:
- Don’t be too hung up on measuring the exact amount of flour. Add flour til the dough starts pulling away from the sides of your mixer. It should still be a bit sticky, but workable.
- If you do add too much flour, make sure to give the rolls extra time to rise. That way the rolls won’t be quite so dense.
- When laying the rolls out on a cookie sheet place them so they just touch.
- Cherie’ ties her rolls in a knot. They are so cute. She makes the knot by rolling an eight inch rope. Crisscross the rope in your hands so it looks like an upside down breast cancer ribbon. Then tuck one tail down through the loophole and the other up through the loophole. (OK… I know that sounds a bit complicated but it’s really quite easy.)
- Cherie’ and I both use a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine to make breads. They have a large capacity and really excel at breadmaking (and cookies and cakes…etc.) She always doubles her recipe (which the Bosch can easily handle.) Just make sure to loosen your lids when the dough is rising.
- These rolls freeze really well. Just place the baked and cooled rolls in gallon size freezer bags. When you want to eat them, place the bag on the counter til thawed or carefully defrost in the microwave.Lunch is served…
Not only did Cherie’ teach us her secrets, but she also fed us a delicious lunch. I know what you are thinking… she is Superwoman. And I have wondered about that myself. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that she just knows how to work really hard!
Here’s her recipe:
Marilynn’s Dinner Rolls:
2 cups warm milk (110 degrees) (Just make it feel warm to the touch but not hot)
2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 T salt
2 T yeast
8 cups flour (approx)
Mix milk, water, salt, and oil. Sprinkle yeast on top, stir and let rest 2-3 minutes. Add flour one cup at a time mixing well after each cup. Add enough flour until dough is slightly sticky. Let raise 45 min. to 1 hour. Knead lightly. Roll out onto a greased and floured counter. Roll into a rectangle ½ inch thick. Cut with a drinking glass into 4” diameter circles. Roll each circle into 8” rope and tie into a knot. Place on a greased cookie sheet and let raise 20-30 min. Bake 365 for 15-20 min. until golden brown. Brush with butter. Makes 4 Dozen
Click here for a printable recipe.
Getting together yesterday, I couldn’t help think about the old time Quilting Bees. When women get together to work, it brings out the best in us. We are able to support each other, pass along wisdom, and make great things, be it quilts or rolls. I think the reason that so many women showed up is that many of us are looking for ways to be more resourceful. Making homemade rolls does save money, but I think it’s a lot more than that. We are also looking for more meaning in our daily lives. In a time when the age of over-consumption is seems to be coming to an end, we are looking for more simple ways to find joy. There is a real sense of satisfaction that comes from taking a few simple ingredients and making bread. I think I’ll let Robert Lewis Stevenson make my point a little more eloquently:
The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. -Robert Lewis Stevenson