This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.
Water, boiling, 1 cup
Shortening, 2 tablespoons
Sugar, 1 tablespoon
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Yeast, 1 package
Enriched flour, sifted, about 4 cups
Egg whites, beaten, 2
Combine boiling water, shortening, sugar and salt; cool to warm.
Sprinkle yeast over a part of the cooled water mixture; after 5 minutes stir and combine with remaining water mixture.
Add 1 cup of the flour; beat until smooth; add beaten egg whites; beat thoroughly; add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out on board and knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and satiny.
Place dough in a warm greased bowl; brush top very lightly with melted fat; cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 F.) about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down thoroughly; fold in edges and turn over so that smooth side is on top; cover and let rise about 3/4 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Punch down; divide into 1 1/2 to 2 dozen portions of equal size, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Shape into rolls; place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet which has been sprinkled with white corn meal (or flour); cover and let rise about 1/2 to 3/4 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Bake in a hot oven (450 F.) for 20 to 25 minutes. For added crustiness have a large flat pan filled with boiling water on floor of oven during baking. Makes about 2 dozen rolls.
Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.