“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Recipe For Hot Bread – If You Knead the Dough

December 22, 2009


My Aunt Bea lived in Asheboro not Siler City. She was actually my great aunt who could do anything great. Aunt Bea cooked, sewed custom clothing, told humorous stories about the kids at the school where she worked, and she loved me as much as I loved her.

Her house always smelled good on the Sunday afternoons when we used to visit her. The aroma of homemade yeast rolls was one of my personal favorites but it seemed too time consuming for me so I never asked her for the bread recipe until October 13, 1993.

My dad died in July that year and he was a master craftsman who taught me many things, one of which included a lesson on how to weave cane for seats in ladder back chairs.

It was not until after dad died that I realized one of my many mistakes; I had not asked for written directions or pictures of the process. Chair seats he crafted with cane by hand are located in my house but I quickly realized my need for a lot of instructions, which were no longer available.

After church I asked mom if she would record Aunt Bea on video as she prepared one of her masterpiece recipes. Mom readily agreed but Aunt Bea did not want to be the focus of the video. We smiled and told Aunt Bea we wanted the recipe because we wanted to make a memory.

Aunt Bea listened to my story and agreed to demonstrate her recipe while mom recorded the directions. Her words were clear, “You must follow the directions in the exact order listed.”

She began reciting the directions from memory:

(1) Mix in one (large) bowl the following ingredients:

One-half cup of Crisco shortening; one-fourth cup of sugar; 1 teaspoon of salt…

(2) [Boil water in a small saucepan] Pour ¼ cup of boiling water into the large bowl and mix well.

(3) [Boil water in a small saucepan] Pour ¼ cup of boiling water into large coffee cup. Pour ¼ cup of cold milk (2% is what I use) into the coffee cup filled with hot water. Add 2 ¼ teaspoons of Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast into this liquid mixture. Stir with a spoon and let it sit for 2 minutes.

(4) Beat two (2) eggs and pour into the bowl containing the mixture of shortening, sugar, salt, water. Mix well.

(5) Return to the mixture listed in Step (3) and stir until the yeast is dissolved in liquid mixture. Pour this mixture into the large bowl and mix well.

(6) Gently fold in and mix two (2) cups of Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour into the mixture in the large bowl.

(7) Pour ¼ cup of cold milk into the mixture in the large bowl (I add milk one or two tablespoons at the time).

(8) Gently fold in one (1) additional cup of Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour and mix well.

(9) Cover mixture with saran wrap (airtight – I use a rubber band around the bowl over the Saran Wrap) and place in refrigerator overnight.

(10) Melt butter in a small saucepan and let it cool for the next step.

(10) Prepare a floured board to roll out the mixture of dough. Use flour as needed to prepare dough for cutting into round shapes (I use a Tupperware scalloped edge round cutter) and dip inside half of round dough shape in melted butter. Fold the dough in half and place in baking dish side by side.

(11) Let uncovered bread dough rise at room temperature for approximately 3 hours.

(12) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

(13) When bread dough is light and fluffy, bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Recipe yields approximately 32 dinner rolls (bake bread while dough is folded in half, thus the name Pocketbook Rolls).

Recipe works well when I double the ingredients. Family members love this bread as much as friends.

Confident I could successfully prepare and bake her “Pocketbook Yeast Rolls,” I returned home to bake bread but quickly realized I had not paid enough attention to her directions. We even returned to Asheboro to ask Aunt Bea if she could have forgotten to include a step because the bread I baked was hard as a rock.

“Did you follow the directions in the exact order…?” she asked. Reflecting on the bread baking process, I recited the ingredients I used and the order in which I followed the steps. After only two questions, I learned the source of my error.

It’s been over sixteen years since I first learned to successfully bake Aunt Bea’s “Pocketbook Yeast Rolls.” At family dinners, Aunt Bea’s “Pocketbook Yeast Rolls” are always requested for me to prepare.

One family member commented, “Those rolls are so good you don’t even have to bite them; they just melt in your mouth.” Although I receive the culinary compliments, Aunt Bea earned them.

Mark Twain said, “I can live two months on a compliment.” Aunt Bea died several years ago but she will live forever in my heart. The culinary compliments are blessings that will last me a lifetime, as well as continually remind me of Aunt Bea and her love.


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