I don’t remember having made these buns before, but I obviously loved them because the recipe for them in my recipe box is in the writing of the 12 year old version of me. With a few annotations from my mom.
from the kitchen of grandma
Makes 3 dozen
Combine, then cool:
1 tbsp salt
5 tbsp (1/3 C) brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups boiling water
Dissolve then let stand 10 minutes:
2 pkg yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
Add above mixtures and 3 cups flour and 2 tablespoons melted lard.
Add additional flour, knead, let rise twice, shape, let rise again.
Bake at 375 about 20 minutes.
This was a recipe I copied from my grandmother. It is interesting to me to compare it to the bread recipes I find online now. The simplicity of this recipe makes me smile. Clearly it was intended for someone who made bread somewhat regularly and knew what it should look and feel like. “Add additional flour”. I love that. My mom wrote 2 1/2 cups in pencil with a question mark behind it after this line. I didn’t keep perfect track but making this in the summertime I think I ended up adding about 3 1/2 cups additional flour in order to have something kneadable and not sticky. It was still a fairly sticky dough and I think I may have let it rise a bit too long the second time but they are delicious regardless. Just as I remember. And they taste like a bun that should be served at a steakhouse before the meal. Yum.
I wonder if I could make them with less yeast. I read somewhere recently that recipes from the 40s and 50s were all about “saving time” for the housewife and to that end used more yeast than necessary. I also used the last bit of active dry yeast in my kitchen for these buns. So in the future I’ll make them with instant yeast as I do with most everything else.