Monday, January 19, 2009

Softer the dough, more tender the biscuits...

My paternal grandmother, Mardell, was a fascinating lady. The things people remember most were the mischievous glint in her eye, her ribald wit and craftiness--see upcoming posts for photos and stories--and her delicious baked goods. I've inherited much from her: sense of humor, comfort in the kitchen, and her recipes.

The first recipe, below, is characteristic. Most of her recipes were incomplete. She didn't include baking temperatures or times. Instead, she worked from memory or "when it felt ready." I haven't made these since I was little; my brother tried, many times, to get the missing details worked out, but they never tasted like Grandma's. I do know that the dough was rolled out, brown sugar (and cinnamon?) was sprinkled. The dough was rolled up (jelly-roll style) and then sliced into buns that were placed in a baking pan. After some experimentation, I'll include the results.

Grandma Blegen's "Carmy Rolls"
1 cake yeast in 1/4 c lukewarm water
1 cup scalded milk. Add 1/4 c sugar
2 T shortening. 1 tsp salt.
Mix well. Cool to lukewarm. Sift 4 cups of flour.
Stir 1 1/2 c flour into liquid. Add 1 egg. Beat well. Stir in yeast. Add remaining flour.

Softer the dough, the more tender the biscuits.


  1. dear a,

    i'm really glad you're writing here. makes you feel not so far!

    love love,

  2. I'd really like to move forward with the poop blog idea we discussed. But I need to come up with a name! So I'm soliciting suggestions.

    Also, when you nail this recipe of your grandma's... please invite me over for a sampling!