happy birthday, wendy ann whitaker candland: part 1
today is my beautiful mother's birthday, and I have a lot to say about her, so this is gonna be a two-parter.
part 1--my mom in the kitchen
everyone wants to eat dinner at my mom's house. she's famous for her delicious and generous spreads, and for feeding multitudes: family, friends, people who have nowhere to go for dinner, new mothers, sick people, the elderly, the lonely.
we children were lucky to grow up so well-fed and well-cared for.
i inherited my mom's love for cooking and feeding. i inherited her love of a groaning table, an accumulation of perfect and totally from scratch dishes, a sometimes over the top way of observing sundays and holidays with enormous and exhausting family dinners.
my mom is most famous for her dinner rolls. these rolls, straddling genres between cake, roll, bread, and soft, pillowy baby flesh, are richer and fuller than your garden-variety roll. this gem is made with milk, egg AND butter. slightly sweet, so pillowy and buttery, they also make great pecan rolls and orange rolls. (i remember trying to learn to make a clover roll, a crescent roll, or a sweet roll, made with a rectangle of dough covered in sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, or orange zest, butter, and sugar, then rolled and stretched into a log and cut.)
so, happy birthday, early or late, to YOU ALL on the internet. here's my mom's famous recipe. it feeds about one million:
Wendy's Basic Roll Dough
4 c. very warm water
3 T. yeast
1 T. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. melted butter
1 c. powdered milk
12-14 c. flour
add: water, salt, sugar, and butter in mixer. add three cups of flour, yeast, eggs, and powdered milk. add three more cups of flour, scrap around sides and mix well. add the remaining flour, being careful not to add too much flour. the dough should be very sticky. oil a large bowl and let the dough rise in the bowl 'til double. divide into four portions and roll into a rectangle on OILED, not floured, counter. cut with a pizza cutter into triangles. roll from the widest part up to the tip for crescent rolls. place rolls on greased roll pan, cover and let rise until doubled.
bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or just until golden brown.