Sunday, 25 November 2012

Pocketbook Rolls for Dinner and a Smile

Fluffy and delicious is how I would describe these Pocketbook Rolls. They taste like a cross between a biscuit and a yeast roll; light and flaky, and oh so buttery. If you let them rise the recommended 2 1/2 hours, they tend to lose their shape; however, the texture and flavor is so good that no one really cares what they look like.  The taste draws you in at first bite.  Yes, they are that good.

Most of the other Bread Baking Babes think these rolls look like lips. I can see the resemblance; however, since these rolls are based on a Southern recipe, and I’m the Southerner in the group, I’m going with the purse theme. 

Whether you think these rolls look like lips or purses, they’re sure to make you smile.



Being the not so true Southerner that I am, I made a couple of substitutions to these rolls. I used instant yeast instead of active dry yeast and almond milk instead of whole milk.  I did have some shortening on hand so I was true to the recipe in that respect.


Pocketbook Rolls

Makes: About 2 dozen rolls (depending on the size of the biscuit cutter)

Recipe adapted from The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas



  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (for brushing the rolls)



1. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

2. Gradually beat in the boiling water.

3. Add the milk and stir until well blended.

4. Add the egg and stir until well blended.

5. Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together and gradually add to the mixture. Mix well.

-- If you aren’t ready to make the rolls just yet, you can keep the mixture up to one week in the refrigerator covered lightly with plastic wrap.

My dough was very soft at this point so I placed the dough in the refrigerator for about an hour. Then I proceeded with the rest of the process.



Three hours before you’re ready to bake the rolls:

1. Roll out the dough. About 1/2 inch thick.



2. Cut into rounds with a 2 to 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. My biscuit cutter is about 3 inches so my rolls turned out a little bit bigger.  Nobody complained. ;)



3. Fold each round in half and place on greased baking sheet.



4. Brush each roll generously with melted butter, cover with a towel.



5. Let rise in a warm place for about 2 1/2 hours. A lot of my rolls opened up during proofing. I thought that was appropriate since these days it seems that my pocketbook is always open…



Tip: According to the book, it is essential that you let the rolls rise at least 2 hours to attain the light feathery texture they are famous for.

It also suggests that these rolls are easily stored in the freezer. If you intend to do so, you should bake them no longer than 5 minutes, cool them and then store in an airtight container in the freezer until further use. When you want to serve them bake them in preheated oven at 400°F about 5 minutes or until golden.


6. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls until golden brown. Should take about 7-8 minutes.



7. Enjoy these delicious rolls warm. You can spread them with more butter, but they don’t need it.


I brought these Pocketbook Rolls to Thanksgiving Dinner. There were 20+ people at the dinner so I made a double batch. All of the rolls just disappeared.

In the middle of dinner, one of my sisters came by the table and brought one of the young cousins with her. Kate had asked who made the rolls. She liked the rolls so much that she came by to tell me that these were the best rolls she had ever tasted. 

Don’t take my word for it, you have it from the lips of babes that these rolls are AWESOME! 

Thanks to Astrid for choosing these wonderful rolls for the monthly bake.  It’s always a pleasure baking with the Bread Baking Babes.


BBBuddies November 12


These rolls have been YeastSpotted in the weekly bread roundup hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast.


Happy Baking!


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