Happy New Year!!! Are you using the day off to sleep in and nurse a hangover? I tipped back a few of these Bourbon Grapefruit Cocktails last night (they’re amazing). Maybe a few of my Grandmom’s Rolls smeared with butter will help the cause?

Today I’m participating in #TwelveLoaves. What is #TwelveLoaves? It’s a concept created by Lora from Cake Duchess to inspire people to get in their kitchens and bake some homemade bread. You know, get down and dirty with some flour and sticky dough. Each month Lora hosts a different bread baking project. This month we’re starting the new year with a clean slate; a loaf of bread that celebrates simplicity.

Today I bring you a very special recipe that was handed down to me by my Grandmom. I call the recipe Grandmom’s Rolls. It’s a simple white roll with a perfectly crusty exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth, fluffy interior. I grew up watching her make these rolls and was lucky enough to receive a lesson in roll making from her last year. This recipe is so simple that I used it as my very first attempt at creating homemade bread.

I know the concept of making homemade bread is a bit ominous for some; however, once you get the basics down, you’ll be a bread-making machine. This recipe is a great starter recipe. If you’re an amateur or fear yeast and dough, start with this recipe. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Shannon from A Periodic Table. Shannon, like some of you, feared working with yeast. You don’t know Shannon? Shame! The girl can whip up Momofuko Milk bar treats in her sleep. I emailed Shannon my Grandmom’s bread recipe and she successfully made them for Thanksgiving. Easy as pie!

The key to making these rolls is not over heating the milk. If the milk is too hot, it’s going kill the yeast. Dead yeast equals dense, flat rolls, and we don’t want that.

You don’t need a fancy thermometer when gauging the temperature; your finger will work just fine. You’ll know the milk is hot enough when you stick your finger in it and your reflexes kick in. If you can’t keep your finger in the milk because it hurts to the touch, that’s when you know it’s hot enough. DO NOT boil the milk. I don’t mean to yell, but I don’t want you to make that mistake. My dad does it all the time and he wonders why his rolls are like hockey pucks; he’s killing the yeast.

The bread will need to rise two times. It will rise after kneading it and again after rolling the dough into balls.

The best part about making bread is playing with the dough. I love the feel of the sticky, warm dough between my fingers. Then there’s the malted smell that rises to your nose every time you fold the dough into itself. Mmm!

Those little green specs you see is chopped rosemary. I made a melted garlic butter sauce and added crushed rosemary to give it a boost of flavor. After brushing on the butter sauce, I sprinkled the rolls with a little sea salt for extra flavor.

Smear with a generous helping of salted butter and chow down. These rolls will quickly become a staple in your recipe box. Enjoy!

Grandmom's Rolls



  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup hot milk (do not boil)
  • 3/4 cup hot tap water
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

Herb Butter

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbs. chopped rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cast iron pan or baking dish.
  2. Place flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. Heat milk in a small saucepan until hot to touch (do not boil). Take off heat and add shortening, sugar, and salt. Stir until shortening melts into the milk mixture (a few lumps are okay). Stir in hot water to combine.
  4. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in milk; mix to combine with a spatula. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 6 minutes, gradually adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
  5. Place dough in a large, greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides. Place bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise for 90 minutes.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pull off 3-inch sized pieces of dough and place in a greased cast iron pan about a 1/2-inch apart. Place pan in a warm spot and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise for 1 hour before baking.
  7. Herb Butter: While the dough is rising for the second time, melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add crushed garlic and chopped rosemary. Simmer for 2 minutes to let the flavors marry.
  8. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with the herb butter. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm with a generous helping of butter.
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