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I used to have a lot of trouble with yeast. Let me explain. I cannot remember my grandma or my mom ever having failings with yeast baking. Of course back in Hungary, we had a special hard flour called grízes liszt. I simply had to accept the fact that my baking with yeast was destined for shall we say unreliable results. Sometimes it was fabulous, often it was disastrous, Canadian all-purpose flour didn’t seem to work for me, certainly not with consistently good results. I tried everything, I even begged the local bakery for soft yeast, [I thought the dry yeast was the problem], but nothing could ensure my success with yeasted baking. Recently a blogger friend complained about yeast baking disasters and told me that it must be that she didn’t use bread flour. That is when it dawned on me, why it is that I no longer have failures with yeast. At a certain point, I just started using bread flour.

I don’t own a bread machine, but I do have a Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook, so yeast baking has become a rather fun sport and is no longer the risky and arduous task it used to be. It is a good thing I have a few willing friends who graciously take some of the yeasted goodies off my hands, otherwise I woudn’t fit through the door anymore. Darling Jim of course stays skinny no matter what or how much he eats. He is what we used to call a “rossz takarmány hasznosító”. It would be too long to explain this one.

So after musing on the topic, I thought I would revisit one of the oldest sweet roll recipes from my more than forty years old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. This recipe was one of those on and off successes that often failed to work for me. I replaced the active dry yeast with instant dry yeast, the water for proofing with milk and I used bread flour. Well wouldn’t you know, it has never been this good! A word of caution, don’t double the recipe, not unless you are planning to eat it all in one day. When a day old, these lovely little buns seem to loose their soft texture.

I made 2 dozen rolls, 12 bowknots and 12 butterhorns. I glazed the bowknots. You can also make butterfans, cloverleaves corkscrews, or parker house rolls.

1-1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
1/4 cup shortening, softened
1 egg
3-1/2 cups white bread flour
1 egg for egg wash

• Place milk, sugar, salt, yeast, shortening, egg and 1 cup of bread flour in a large bowl.
• Blend ingredients.
• Gradually add the remaining bread flour to form soft dough.
• Kneed with dough hook for four minutes or by hand for ten.
• Place in a buttered bowl, turning once to grease surface.
• Cover an let rise until doubled.
• Turn out on lightly floured surface and shape into the desired shape.
• Let shaped rolls double and baste it with egg wash.
• Bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 400F for 12-15 minutes.
Yields two dozen rolls.

Forming the bowknots

Forming the butterhorns




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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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