Friday, November 19, 2010

Great Grandma Edith's Secret Family Recipe Reveal!

For years my mom asked her grandmother, my great grandma Edith for her wonderful dinner roll recipe.  She wouldn't budge on her quest to keep it a secret but was happy to provide the buttery towers of goodness whenever requested.  In fact, we would receive a package of rolls in the mail for Christmas every year after we moved away. 

I think I understand why she wouldn't share her prized recipe.  People raved about her rolls for years and looked forward to them at every holiday gathering.  If the recipe was passed around and everyone was making them on any old day, they wouldn't be the coveted "Grandma Edith's rolls" everyone couldn't wait to get their hands on. 

My mom can recall walking into grandma's kitchen and seeing every single surface covered with pans of dinner rolls!  I am pretty sure that as a little girl, I ate several rolls for Thanksgiving dinner and very little of anything else! 

Thankfully she agreed to share the recipe with my mom before she passed away and my mom has since then taken on the role of recipe keeper and roll maker.  Only my mom in addition to a recipe keeper is a recipe sharer!  She has decided that the rolls that we have all enjoyed and loved so much should be shared with other families.  All that we ask is that you title this in your recipe book "Grandma Edith's Dinner Rolls!" 

Before I type up the recipe, I would first like to share a little bit about grandma Edith and some of her collections that have been passed down to me.
My Great Grandma Edith

My first several Thanksgivings were spent at grandma's farmhouse.  When I read in Country Living magazine about the quintessential "vintage farmhouse," I picture the simple white house surrounded by rows of apple trees, beside a full beautiful rose garden and a big old red barn...this was my great grandma's house.  The inside was cozy and warm and full of collections.  The kitchen was everyone's favorite gathering place.  It had large widows looking out onto a covered patio.  Along the windows were built in wooden shelves that housed grandma Edith's collection of nested hens made of glass in a rainbow of colors.  Every time I see one of these hens at an estate sale or antique store I think of grandma Edith and smile!  I am honored to have inherited two of her nesting in a minty green and the other white milk glass. 

Milk Glass Nested Hen From Grandma's Collection

Along with the white hen, I have grandma's milk glass hobnail collection.  It is usually displayed on our family room mantle in the Spring with my Easter decorations but presently I am trying it out in this vintage cabinet in my bedroom.  The cabinet I found at an estate sale, applied a fresh coat of paint, backed it with fabric and added the vintage crocheted trim.  I like this collection in it because I feel like the cabinet looks like something that might have come out of grandma's farmhouse.  I just added the purple ornaments thinking they would give the collection a bit of a Christmas touch in my purple bedroom.

Several of the pieces of pink depression glass in my breakfast nook hutch were grandma Edith's and they essentially started my pink glass collection.  I find beautiful vintage glass wares on my shopping trips and occasionally treat myself to a new piece but the ones that my great grandma had in her kitchen, treasured and used at her table will always be my favorites!

Grandma Edith was a wonderful cook and a hard working homemaker.  She was up at dawn starting her rolls, tending to the orchards and gardens, cooking, cleaning, canning and whatever else needed done.  For as long as I can remember, she wore acid washed jeans and light weight floral button-up shirts.  She was strong and stubborn but also very kind hearted, thoughtful and caring.  We all miss her very much.

If you are looking for a new sweet buttery roll recipe to try this Thanksgiving, I hope you will give Grandma Edith's a shot!  I have made them myself many times and I am not going to lie and say they are easy!  They are somewhat labor intensive and definitely a plan-ahead project but if you follow these directions exactly, you will have beautiful, swoon worthy rolls that will surely become a tradition for your family gatherings.  Whether you pass the recipe along or keep it to yourself is up to you!

Great Grandma Edith's Secret Recipe Dinner Rolls (recipe written as she shared it from memory)
Bring to a slow boil 3 cups of whole milk, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1 cup of sugar and 1.5 tsp. salt.  Then let cool to room temp. 
Meanwhile, disolve 2 packages of yeast in 1/3 cup warm water with 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Mix this with cooled milk mixture then add 4 well beaten eggs. 
Keep beating while adding about 6 cups of Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour (important to use bread flour). 
When too stiff to stir, work with hands and keep working and adding flour until it is the consistancy of firm dough (not sticky). 
Put out onto a well floured bread board, add flour when sticky.  Knead well...maybe 10 minutes, your arms will be tired! 
Grease with butter a very large glass bowl and form dough into a large bowl.  Let rise until double in size. 
Pinch off a little (golf ball size) and fold into a ball.  Put into a greased 9x12 pan and let rise again until doubled in size. 
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top.  Add a foil tent after 15 minutes, bake an additional 5 for a total of 20 minutes. 
Brush with butter on top when done! 
In addition to Show and Tell Friday and Vintage Inspiration Friday, I am writing today to share in the Give Thanks Party at the Vintage Nest!  Thank you ladies for hosting such fun link parties!  It is always a pleasure to participate!

Thank you for stopping by!  I love visitors and enjoy your comments!  Best Wishes and God Bless!  -Amanda