Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Homemade Heart Rolls

Homemade Heart Rolls

Dorcas Annette Walker

To me there is something tantalizing about the aroma of baking rolls or bread. I confess that I am unable to pass up a freshly baked roll or slice of homemade bread. Thankfully I am not the only one who suffers from this culinary weakness. All I have to do is follow the bread basket as it is being passed around the table. It is a good thing or else I’d find myself eating the entire contents. I didn’t get into making bread and rolls until after I was married as producing homemade bread was a day long procedure. Today there are oodles of recipes how to make homemade rolls and bread ranging from the traditional double rising of the bread dough, using bread machines for quicker results, and readymade packaged frozen rolls available at your local supermarket.

The Bible refers to bread as the “staff of life” with good reason as bread making techniques date back as far as 3000 BC. Bread making was considered an important skill in ancient Egypt, but it was the Romans who were the first to perfect milling the grain and invented the brick oven. In the eighteenth century the birth of the shaped loaf made it easier to slice. Then the industrial revolution with steam powered mills helped meet the demands of the growing population. In the nineteen century steel rollers produced finer flour making better quality bread and gas ovens replaced wood and coal burning brick ovens.

For bread or rolls to rise correctly you need a hot oven, the dough must be kneaded enough, and then allowed to rise properly. If the crust cracks on top it means there was too much flour used when kneading and shaping. Bread that collapses signals that during the rising period the dough was over-risen. A tough or too thick crust signifies that the wrong flour was used or baking and kneading problems. Large holes within a loaf indicate not enough kneading. For a soft crust the shaped dough needs to have shortening or butter applied to the top, covered while rising, and then covered immediately after baking.

My Homemade Heart Rolls are a quick and easy version of the old fashion recipe with the same homey yeast taste. The dough can be made up and baked instantly or stored in the refrigerator overnight or left for a couple of days before using. Using three small balls of dough creates the heart shape. These Homemade Heart Rolls are a perfect addition to any meal. Preparation time for my Homemade Heart Rolls is fifteen minutes and this recipe makes one dozen rolls.

Homemade Heart Rolls

Dissolve 1 pkg of yeast in ½ c warm water with 1 tsp of sugar and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine:
2 c self rising flour
½ c shortening
¼ c sugar
½ tsp baking soda

Yeast mixture
1 c milk
Mix well then roll out on a floured surface and knead adding another cup of flour as needed. Pinch off one inch balls of dough and place three balls in each greased muffin/cupcake tin. Apply a thin layer of shortening to the top of each roll. Bake at 350ยบ for fifteen minutes until lightly browned. Serve hot with butter and homemade jam!

Weekly tip: Freezing flour and yeast increases the shelf life of both!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: dorcaswalker@twlakes.net. For more recipes check out her Creative Mountain Cookin page and blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com


Melissa B. said...

This recipe looks great! I love yeast rolls, but been a bit intimidated by trying them - dough does not like to rise for me! I'll have to give these a go.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Go for it, Melissa! These are easy and simple rolls to make.
Happy cookin!