THANKS to Clancy Strock's article mentioning Milwaukee bakeries in a past Reminisce, I was reminded that I, too, missed those hard-to-find, airy, crispy rolls! Years ago, I begged family members living in Chicago to try to find the recipe. My sister-in-law sent me a handwritten recipe, and now I can make these rolls for myself. -Charles Steers, Anaheim, California
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 egg whites
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add shortening, sugar, salt and 1 cup flour; beat until smooth. Add egg whites; mix well. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (dough will be stiff). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down; divide into 24 pieces and shape into balls. Sprinkle greased baking sheets with cornmeal. Place rolls 2 in. apart on baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Place a large shallow pan filled with boiling water on lowest rack in oven. Bake rolls on middle rack at 425° for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Crusty Rolls in Reminisce September/October 1999, p45
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