I must admit I have never understood people who refuse to share their recipes, or the cooks that give you a copy but leave out that one special ingredient that makes their version just a little better. Often I am asked for a recipe, consider it a compliment and gladly give out copies. As each of my daughters left home, they have copied our favorite family recipes and started creating traditions in their own homes.

I haven’t always known how to cook. As a young bride I enthusiastically read cookbooks, learned from generous mentors, and experimented constantly. Eventually it wasn’t necessary to pray both before and after our meals; I learned to cook. As a collector of recipes, I experimented and sometimes improved the dishes by putting my own fingerprint on it. Some recipes are old and unmarked, so consequently I am not sure of their origin. My recipe box is full of treasured recipes with names such as “Grandma Pansy’s Patience” or “Aunt Bette’s Chicken and Noodles.” I would not change the name of these recipes for a few reasons: One, to give credit where credit is due; and the other is those cards bring back memories associated with those recipes. They have been served traditionally on holidays, at family gatherings, during conversational dinners with friends, taken to potlucks, and even funeral dinners. Collecting these recipes captured a little history and each handwritten recipe card became an heirloom of recollections. In this world of digital, I cherish my handwritten recipe cards.

My most requested recipe is for dinner rolls. My husband always hints that I should double the recipe so there would be plenty of leftovers. For more than 30 years these rolls have been a constant on our table, especially on holidays. After a relative asked for my roll recipe, a few months later I overheard a guest at her home ask her if they were going to have her famous rolls. Upon hearing this I suddenly felt a twinge of betrayal as she took credit for my recipe. Maybe now I understand just a little why cooks guard their recipes. Here is the easy dinner rolls recipe I have used for decades. Enjoy!

Photo © Jason Lugo

Mary Beth Sligar's Quick and Easy Butter Rolls

Easy Butter Rolls

1 yeast cake
½ tsp sugar or honey
½ cup luke warm water
1 cup scalded milk
½ cup butter
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
3+ cups flour

Dissolve 1 yeast cake and ½ teaspoon sugar or honey in ½ cup lukewarm water in small bowl. Keep in warm area. Scald 1 cup milk and add ¼ cup butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar to hot milk in a large mixing bowl. Let cool and then add yeast mixture and 1 beaten egg. (Cool so the milk mixture won’t kill the yeast) Mix in 3 cups of flour to make stiff batter. Cover with towel and let rise until double in size. Scatter a little flour on board. (I used a flexible pastry mat) Then pour mixture on board or matt and pat to approximately ¼” thickness. Melt ¼ cup butter and spread on one half of mixture. Fold over the other half on top of buttered half. (This is why I use a flexible matt) Cut with round cookie cutter and place in greased muffin pan or cake pan. (Muffin pan creates muffin type shaped rolls where cake pan is a flatter roll.) Let rise until double again. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. (Cooking times may vary depending on size of roll cut.) Makes 20 rolls.