We lost my husband's grandmother last spring. The holidays won't be the same without her seated around the table making sure everyone has enough food to eat. One of the things we all miss is her food, which she always insisted was "terrible."
Of course, she never wrote down her recipes, which makes it harder to replicate her "terrible" food. One of her 13 children wrote down the recipe for Grandma's buns, which I made for my hubby returning from deer hunting. He said they were "terrible," which I was pleased to hear. The verdict is they are close to Grandma's but not exactly the same. Guess I'll have to keep practicing.
1/2 cup warm water (between 105ºF and 115ºF)
2 Tbsp. dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups flour
4 cups flour
Additional butter for greasing tops
Combine 1/2 cup warm water with yeast, and stir to dissolve. Set aside to proof yeast.
Combine sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter. Add 2 cups warm water, and stir until butter is melted. Add 3 cups flour, and stir until mixed. Then add egg and water with dissolved yeast. Mix well. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups flour.
In a large bowl, place 4 remaining cups of flour, and make a well in the center. Pour the other bowl into the well. Gradually start working the flour into the rest of the mixture. You have to work the flour in and knead it for about 10 minutes. If your dough is too sticky, gradually add more flour.
Butter a dutch oven pan, and put your kneaded dough into it. Now make the sign of the cross on the dough and thank God for all he gives us. Cover with lid, and let rest 15 minutes. Punch down dough. Cover and let double in size, about an hour.
Butter 2 cookie sheets, and pinch chunks of dough off and form into rolls. Place on cookie sheets When cookie sheets are full, place a towel over the top. Let raise another hour or a little longer.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake buns for 20 minutes or until golden and slightly crusty. Grease tops with butter. Take off pans, and cool on wire racks. (Grandma always broke hers apart if they baked together.) My batch yielded 38 buns.