I’ve been using this recipe for about 6 months now and it hasn’t failed me yet. I got it from my mom’s friend Bernice (who got it from a neighbor when her kids were little … and they are about my age). I love it! One note I would like to make: I have tried substituting Splenda for all (and then part) of the sugar. They just weren’t the same. Splenda doesn’t have the same “bite” as sugar. So, if you can’t have any sugar, just don’t make these. I haven’t used whole grains yet. Now that I’m more comfortable with the recipe, I’ll start branching out and maybe substitute some for the all-purpose flour but today I’m making these for other people (a memorial for my dear friend’s mother).
- 1 package yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup scalded milk
- 1 egg
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
In a small bowl, mix yeast and water. Let sit while preparing the milk mixture.
In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, butter, salt and milk. Heat just until the butter and sugar melt (stirring continually to prevent scorching). Pour into a large bowl. Once lukewarm, beat in the egg and the yeast mixture. Now, mix in the flour, a cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Pour out onto a floured surface and knead until it’s fairly smooth (I don’t knead this as much as bread dough).
Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and set in a warm place until doubled (about an hour). Now, form into whatever you decide to make, let rise another hour, then bake at 350 degrees F until slightly brown (about 15 to 20 minutes).
A friend of mine just suggested this dough could be used to make kolaches.
For Cinnamon Rolls:
- room temperature butter
- brown sugar
Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick (the thinner it is, the more sugary-cinnamony goodness your rolls will have). Spread with butter (I use a rubber spatula so I don’t stick the dough). Do not spread the butter all the way to the edge (leave about 1/4 inch gap). Now, sprinkle with brown sugar. I think the first time I did this I used about 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Now, I just go by look (I want it everywhere). Then, sprinkle with cinnamon. I use a lot. I make sure all the sugar/butter has a dusting of cinnamon.
Starting at a long side, slowly start rolling the dough tightly (I can’t emphasize this more … the first time I made these I didn’t roll tight enough and they unrolled while baking … tasted great, looked awful). Once you get the the end, pinch the ends of the dough together (or, they will unroll). Slice across the dough, making your rolls about and inch or more thick. Place in a well greased 13X9 pan, cover, and let stand until doubled (about an hour). Bake as directed above. When cool, drizzle with icing (see below)
For Fruit Danishes:
- room temperature butter
- jam (I’ve used blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, grape, apricot-pineapple)
Now, this one’s trickier. Roll out the dough just like you are making the cinnamon rolls above. I got the technique from Joe Pastry (http://www.joepastry.com/category/pastry/danish-pastry/). He describes it much better than I do (and he has great pictures) so go there and read how he does it. He also has other pastry ideas that this dough would be perfect for. I originally made it like he does, with pastry cream. Well, I don’t have any today so I’m just going to spread the dough with butter and sprinkle sugar on it (I’m wondering if brown sugar would be too strong … I’ll try that next time). Everything else is the same.
- Powdered Sugar
For a double recipe of sweet goodness, I use about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, then slowly add the milk until it’s the consistency I like. If it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar. See in the picture on Joe Pastry’s web page of the icing? That’s how it should look after you mix it. Still white (can’t see through it) but liquid enough so it will stream a bit off a fork (I tried using a spoon and a tiny whisk but ended up with giant blobs of icing).