The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yeast Rolls

kab's picture

Yeast Rolls

My Great grandmother and great aunt made the BEST yeast rolls. My father got the recipe from them (or as best as they could guess because they did it by look on everything). The directions do not look right, can you please let me know if this sounds correct.

3 packs dry yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
5 cups self rising flour (unsifted)
1/4 cup sugar<br>1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shortening
2 cups lukewarm buttermilk

Dissolve yeast and set aside
Mix flour, sugar and baking soda together in a bowl cut in shortening
Add buttermilk and yeast. Mix Well.
Place desired amount of dough on cloth and roll out. Cut using a cookie cutter or shape into rolls.
Preheat oven to 350 while dough comes to room temperature.
Bake 15-20 minutes.


Does this sound correct? I don't want to try to make them without good instructions

loydb's picture

Three packets of yeast *plus* self-rising flour seems like an awful lot...


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The yeast in this recipe is not for leavening. It's more for "yeasty flavouring". That's why the quantity is so large, to give the rolls as much "yeastie-ness" as fast as possible, as there isn't that much time between mixing and baking.

The leavening comes from the acid/base reaction: buttermilk = acid, baking soda = base.

This is essentially a "yeast-flavoured" soda bread.

JeremyCherfas's picture

Sorry to be dense here, and I am sure this reflects a cultural difference, but is yeast flavour the point of yeast rolls? Friends of mine reminisce about grandma's yeast rolls, and I can't figure out why.

The recipe sounds like a very soft bread with very little structure, so I guess it must be that the yeast is just for flavour, but I am curious.


jcking's picture

Buttermilk that grandma used is a bit different than buttermilk sold today. Alton Brown of Food Network fame says he couldn't reproduce Grandmas' recipes that used todays buttermilk and gave up. Oh bother.


aarmogan's picture

Seems like we should get into some home-made dairy products!

kab's picture

Do you normally let the yeast rolls rise at all? Directions for that were not included. I could swear that I saw them kneeding it the night before and also the day of the amazing rolls.


jcking - how is the buttermilk different? Does it have something to do with how we are feeding our livestock or doest it have more to do with the processing these days?


Do you think that buttermilk from goats milk would get closer? or raw cows milk?

jcking's picture

It has to do with the way milk is currently processed.


merrybaker's picture

That sounds like a recipe for Angel Biscuits.  Here's a similar one -- it uses only one pkg yeast, and flour + baking powder rather than self-rising flour.   Otherwise, much the same.

Maverick's picture

I was going to say the recipe sounded almost like making biscuits except not as dry. Also all that yeast seems like it would be a little strong in flavor to me. But I usually cut the yeast so as to allow the bread to develop the flavor rather than the dry yeast. In a recipe like this where the yeast is mostly for flavor, I wouldn't know where to start.

EvaB's picture

butter milk these days is cultured not the milk from making butter (although that might be part of it) buttermilk of yore was made by collecting cream and when you had enough (it might be sour cream by then or clabbered as the terms was) you churned the butter, the left over clabbered cream liquid (the water and so so forth from the cream) was buttermilk, this might be sour if you used clabbered cream or sweet if you used sweet un sour cream. Its not really the same as commercial buttermilk, which is like yougurt and has a bacteria introduced to the base milk, cream or whatever they use.

The butter made from the different creams also tastes different, with the clabbered cream tasting more like European style cultured butter. It also reacts differently in baking, and so forth.

You can make your own butter using cream (goats milk might have a more definite taste if its home grown and fresh) and shaking it in a jar or processing it with a mixer or blender. The only thing is you really do need to wash the butter unless you use it up right away as there will be milk and buttermilk in the solid butterfat, that needs to be washed out to keep the butter from going off. If you were making a larger quantiy of butter, you could freeze the extra and don't take out too much and maybe do without washing it, but it certainly won't taste like store bought and won't look like it either, being much paler.

My mother would put a pint of cream into a quart sealer, place the lid on tight and shake for 10-15 minutes depending on the temperature of the day and house, and have butter, she always drank the buttermilk (I wouldn't touch it at that time) and loved the taste of the butter (she grew up milking cows and making butter) I didn't like the taste of the butter, but then again, I didn't like thick butter at all, so it might have been simply the fact that butter made me feel ill. I still don't like thick butter on anything!