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Some really good yeast rolls and how to make them ahead of time

Have you ever found yourself wanting to serve warm yeast rolls with a meal but feeling pinched for time or oven space? This has often been my dilemma. I have been experimenting with this recipe and have found a method that works for me and hopefully will work for you as well. I have tried making this dough, shaping it, and then freezing the unbaked rolls. They were O.K. when prepared this way, but I have found something that works even better and that is making the rolls Brown and Serve.


To make Brown and Serve rolls you bake the rolls at a low temperature so they cook through but do not brown. Then, right before serving you bake them at a higher temperature and brown them off. We have found them to be very light and delicious. Here is the recipe I have been experimenting with and the method for making them brown and serve:

Good Yeast Rolls
2 cups warm water
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (in dry powder form)
2 Tbsps. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsps. salt
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
5-6 cups bread flour (I used about half whole wheat flour)

In mixer bowl combine warm water, 2 cups flour, dry milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and egg. Mix for 2 minutes.

Add an additional 2 cups flour and mix 2 minutes more. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough and knead for a few more minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for about 1/2 hour. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a large circle. Brush with melted butter and cut each circle into 16 wedges. Roll each wedge into a crescent. Place on parchment lined pans. Let rise about 15 minutes and then start preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Let dough continue to rise while oven preheats and then bake them for 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter after baking.

To make the rolls Bake and Serve:

Bake the risen rolls at 275 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for no more than a month. If frozen, allow the rolls to thaw for several hours or overnight. To bake off bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Here are pictures of the process:

Shaping the dough into crescents:


Rolls after first baking at low temperature:


I have been very pleased with this method. The rolls have turned out nice and light and have a delicious, freshly baked taste. I hope you will try this the next time you plan to make rolls.


We’ve been away

A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving our plans changed and we decided to make a quick trip up to Ohio and Michigan. I had sort of dreaded the actual travel because you just never know what kind of weather or traffic you might run into on a busy holiday weekend, but the Lord worked it all out beautifully and we had nearly all good weather and our travel days went very well.

We spent some enjoyable days with Megan and Jim and the children and got to go to the Christian school where Jim is the principal and Drew is a student and to see the recent changes there. Drew also sang for us the part that he was going to sing in the school Christmas program since we wouldn't be able to attend it.Below is a screen shot from a video Jim posted of the song during the program. Drew is the one with the microphone in front of his face.

Drew Sheep Song

While we were in Michigan Rob's cousin Jody and her family from St. Louis happened to be in the Detroit area for her son's hockey tournament (which his team later won). We got to attend one of his games and then went out to supper afterwards. We dawdled over the meal since we see them so rarely and when we left the restaurant we were very surprised to find a layer of snow on the ground with a layer of ice underneath. We cautiously drove to where we were staying and were relieved that most of it had melted away by the next morning.

This was one of the few pictures we took on our trip:


While we were in Ohio the Lord also worked out the timing so we were able to visit quite a few people there. We visited Rob's mother in her nursing home on two different days. The first day she was alert and talked quite a bit. The second day she was quite sleepy but said she was listening to the conversation. She is still on hospice care and can do very little for herself now. She also has some bedsores and is on pain medication pretty much whenever she requests it.

We also visited a family friend that we have known for many, many years. She was like a spiritual mother to Rob when he was growing up. It had been quite a while since we had seen her. We visited her with her son Scott and daughter-in-law Cathy and enjoyed spending a short time with the three of them

Visit Kay

We also were able to visit with Rob's Aunt Sarah who is seriously ill. We had not seen her for several years and were very thankful that we were able to visit with her on this trip. She is able to sit up in bed and can get in a wheelchair with help so we were able to share a meal with her.

We had a quick early morning visit with my 90 year old Aunt Nana (pronounced Nay-nuh) one morning before we headed to the nursing home. She graciously welcomed us and even put on a fresh pot of coffee. She's the one who convinced Rob he needed to get email initially. The rest is history. 🙂

On our last visit with Rob's mom we met up with Rob's sister Deb and her husband Dan and afterwards went out for lunch. We ate at Culvers and when we walked in we saw our friends Scott and Cathy. We were glad to get to spend a bit more time with them before heading back home.

Since we have returned home we have continued socializing. We went to two plays on campus. The first was a musical version of A Christmas Carol. This was the third year we have attended this production and we have enjoyed it each time. This past weekend we went to a production of It's A Wonderful Life which was produced as though the actors were in a radio drama. The students who were in both plays did a great job.

With all our gadding about we are just now getting a few Christmas decorations put up. Hopefully in a day or two everything will be in place and I can get busy wrapping a few gifts.

I hope to post again soon because I have a couple of recipes that might come in handy for Christmas.


A delicious soup to help recycle your Thanksgiving turkey

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our local children and grandchildren this past weekend. I cooked the turkey carcass overnight with a few vegetables in the crockpot and ended up with about a quart of very rich broth. I also had about a cup and a half of leftover turkey gravy to use. I had thought about using the broth and gravy to make an old favorite, Cabbage Soup, but decided to try out a new recipe that I had seen recently. I did change it up some, so I will list the recipe as I made it.


Tortellini Spinach Soup

2 Tbsps. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, chopped
1 box frozen chopped spinach (I used 1/2 bag baby spinach, washed and stemmed)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (I used one can and the leftover gravy)
4 cups chicken broth
9 oz. refrigerated tortellini (cook 7-10 mins. and then drain)

Heat olive oil in a soup kettle. Saute onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until they are tender. If using the frozen spinach, add now. Add broth and chicken soup. Bring to a boil and then simmer 5-10 mins. Stir in cooked tortillini and fresh spinach. Heat briefly and then serve.

We really liked this and I plan to add it to my regular soup rotation. You could probably use frozen or dried tortellini or even ravioli in place of the refrigerated kind.

I probably won't post again until after Thanksgiving so I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.


A new coffee cake


Recently I saw an interesting recipe on one of my very favorite food blogs, The Iowa Housewife. This blog is written by two sisters who enjoy cooking. Their archives are chock full of lovely pictures, great recipes, and helpful cooking tips. Anyway, the recipe that interested me was for an overnight coffee cake. This appealed to me on a number of levels:

It would be very convenient when we have overnight guests.
It would be very convenient when we need to take something for an early morning breakfast or brunch.
It would be very convenient because I am not at my best early in the morning. My mind tends to function more clearly after about 10 A.M.

I've mentioned before that Rob bakes something for our breakfast nearly every Sunday morning. He tried this coffee cake a few weeks ago and we both agreed that it was very tasty and had a nice texture. It has been added to the file and will be pulled out on future occasions when we need an early morning treat.

Here is a link to the recipe. They have very conveniently given you ingredients for both an 8" pan and a 9" x 13" pan so you can tailor it to the size of your group.

Here is the cake ready to go in the refrigerator overnight:


This recipe made me wonder if other coffee cakes leavened with baking powder and baking soda could be prepared the night before baking. Have any of you heard of this or tried it before?

Some special treats


While perusing the aisles at Aldi last week I noticed they had cans of cherries--both sweet dark ones and sour ones. It had been several years since I have purchased cherries because they are normally out of my price range. The ones at Aldi were much more reasonably priced so I bought a couple of cans and made a cherry pie on Saturday. It was such a treat! Both Rob and I commented that it had been far too long since we had had cherry pie.


One of my readers asked for the recipe I used, so I am adding it here. It's from an old Betty Crocker Cookbook.

9 Inch Cherry Pie

Pastry for a two crust pie
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour (I actually used Clear Jel)
2 cans (1 pound each) pitted red tart cherries, drained
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsps. butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry. Stir together sugar and flour; mix with cherries and add almond extract. Turn into pastry lined pan. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Cut slits into top. Seal and flute. Cover edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake pie on lowest oven rack for 35-45 mins. or until crust is brown and filling starts to bubble.

The second special treat of the week was an email from the library telling me that the newest book by Alexander McCall Smith was in. If you have never read any of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels you should head to the library and check them out. The author has a delightful sense of humor and the books are great fun to read. The main character, Precious Ramotswe, is the first female detective in Botswana, Africa. The books do not contain bad language or a lot of violence. The cases that Precious tries to solve are more interpersonal in nature. You can also learn a great deal about the customs and life in Botswana. The book is in high demand at the library since it is new on the market so I can only have it for two weeks but I am trying to read it slowly. Sometimes it's the little things. 🙂


Have you had any small treats or blessings recently?