Jordan Rolls – And Why Interruptions Are The Key To My Success

Hot from the oven, Jordan Rolls

I’m gonna start out by telling y’all that it is probably not a good idea for me to post today. My normally scattered mind is even more so, thinking on a million different things as I race to finish up my book. I’m trying to make sure my heart is in every story and that I haven’t overlooked a single cherished recipe. My hands are shaking when I stop typing because my heart and nerves say “Go! Go! Go! One more…tell them one more!”.

It’s a race to share my love for you and the wonderful upbringing I have been fortunate enough to have and I want to make sure I eek out every bit of it that I can. Like when an old friend is about to leave and you have to give them that last, urgent hug where you squeeze just a little bit tighter in hopes that they’ll feel how much you mean it. When all is said and done I hope you’ll all read this book and know how very important you have all been in the process of writing it, and I hope you’ll be able to feel how grateful I am and how very much you mean to me.

That said, I’m gonna try to get through this post with the proper instructions, the links where they should be, and not overlook any glaringly obvious details!

But before we get to that, my little soap box has been feeling awfully neglected as of late and so I promised it I’d take it out and dust it off a bit….

~clears throat, stands up straight, and grasps her right lapel as she prepares to address the audience~

I’m often asked how I do it all. How I have time to maintain a home, take care of my kids, keep a blog going, answer emails, write a book, and still manage to put supper on the table at night. The funny thing is that every time someone asks me how I do it, like most of us, I can’t help but wonder the same thing myself.

The course of writing this book was probably one of the most stressful times in my life to date. Juggling everything has become increasingly difficult and I had to send out a few S.O.S. calls to friends and family members – bless them for answering.

One particular day last week, as my deadline was drawing close, I found myself dreading my daughter coming home from preschool. It had been a very productive morning and I caught myself thinking “She’s going to be here soon. She’s going to interrupt me all afternoon and I won’t get a single thing more accomplished on the book.” I could feel the stress building and I huffed in frustration “Why can I not just have a day without interruptions?”

At that moment, I experienced an epiphany. In the midst of the churning inside, it hit me right in the pit of my stomach just what those interruptions were and more importantly, what my life would be without them.

A day without interruptions would be a day without my kids, my family, and friends. A day without interruptions would be a day without emails from the wonderful people who read Southern Plate and take time to let me know that I’ve somehow managed to speak my heart in a way that has touched theirs.

Sometimes it’s a phone call from my mother in the middle of a blog post. I’m so fortunate to still have her in my life and to count her as my dearest friend. Sometimes it’s a little face peeping around the computer screen who has a habit of starting every single sentence with the world “Mama” and I’m reminded that my greatest dream has come true in that I am a mother to two beautiful children.

In that moment, I saw interruptions in an entirely new light. Not as annoyances, but as blessings, God’s way of checking in with us and reminding us to take a moment to appreciate the things that really matter.

How do I do it all?

After that one moment I can tell you without a doubt that the secret to any success I may have and anything I may achieve is owed entirely to the multitude of interruptions in my life.

As you go about your day, checking off your growing to do list and wondering how you are going to fit it all into the waking hours, I hope you are as fortunate as I am to have the wonderful interruptions that make it all worthwhile.

~steps down and takes a deep breath~ I feel better now. ~grins~

And now for the recipe. This is my personal roll recipe, that I serve whenever an occasion calls for them. They are pretty easy as far as yeast breads go and I hope your family will enjoy them as much as mine does. I especially like to make them whenever I bake a ham, using the leftover rolls and ham to make little sandwiches with the next day.

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You’ll need: All purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast, vegetable shortening, two eggs, and melted butter or margarine.

You’re also going to need some hot water and aren’t we fortunate to be able to just go get that out of the sink?

Lots of folks don’t have such luxuries.

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I don’t like to use packets of yeast because I have the patience of a nervous lizard so I use the jar yeast which can be purchased beside the packets.

This way I just measure it out. The back of the jar will tell you how many teaspoons equal a packet. In this case I’m going to use four and a half teaspoons.

I’m going to just put the packet measurements at the bottom, though, because that is what most people use.

This little jar will keep forever if you put it in your fridge but I usually go through a few each year – at least.

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Measure your sugar, salt, 2 cups flour, and yeast into a bowl.

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Cut in shortening with a long tined fork.

You can use a fancy pastry cutter if you want to but that’s just one more thing to clutter up my kitchen so I got rid of it years ago.

After you get your shortening cut up in there real good, add your eggs.

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Like so.

Flash was on in this picture so if it looks a little whiter that is why.

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Beat up your eggs a bit.

I know they didn’t do anything to ya but sometimes things like this happen with no provocation.

Those eggs were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Beat ‘em!

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And mix them up in there.

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Now we add our melted butter or margarine. You want to melt this and then give it time to cool so that it isn’t too hot.

The thing about yeast breads that is most tricky to folks is getting their liquid ingredients the right temperature. A good rule of thumb that has always served me well has been to make sure liquids are about the temperature as baby’s bath water. Yes, I stick my finger in the melted margarine, it doesn’t hurt anyone.

If it’s as warm as a baby’s bath water, but not hot, then it is a great temperature.

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Add the remaining flour.

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and the water, again making sure the water is the temperature of baby’s bath water.

If you don’t know what temperature a baby’s bath water is then you could always go borrow a dirty baby, I suppose…

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Stir that up good.

It’s going to look like a lumpy blob when you’re done.

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Cover that with a towel and let it sit for twenty minutes.

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After twenty minutes, it’s going to look like an even bigger lumpy blob.

This is good. You have done well, grasshopper.

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Now we need to flour a surface and pour our blob out onto it.

I just put out a sheet of waxed paper to save cleanup and sprinkle a good bit of flour over it so my dough doesn’t stick.

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You need to knead..

~pauses and reads that again~ That just looks funny…

Okay, so you need to knead your dough a time or two and what I do is just put some flour on your hands, press the dough into a ball, and then smoosh it out with the heel of your hand. Then put it into a ball again and smoosh it out again with the heel of your hand.

Then wonder what crazy person decided to call that part of your hand a heel because that makes no sense at all to me.

I know, I’m in rare form today but if you think this is bad, you should see me when I’m caffeinated.

From here there are two ways you can go with these rolls.

Okay so in reality there are countless ways you can go with this but I am going to show you the two ways that I use.

I’ll start with my favorite and the less maintenance one.

My favorite Method #1

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After kneading your dough two or three times, shape it into a rectangle.

If this doesn’t look like a perfect rectangle to you then squint your eyes until it does…

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Cut into strips with a pizza cutter.

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And then cut cross wise.

I like this method best because it’s easy and ends up yielding larger and smaller rolls which seem to suit company better anyway.

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Spray one 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

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Arrange in pan and spray tops lightly with cooking spray.

Cover with towel and let rise for twenty minutes.

~~~~~~~~

METHOD 2

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Pat your dough out into a circle, about twelve inches in diameter.

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With a pizza cutter, cut the circle into sixteen pieces.

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Spray two 9×13 inch pans with cooking spray.

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Roll each triangle up beginning on the big end and rolling towards the point.

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Like so.

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Space them out a bit and put them in two 9×13 pans.

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I spray the tops lightly with more cooking spray to have prettier rolls when they are done baking and to help prevent them from sticking in the next step.

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Cover with a towel and place in a warm place for another twenty minutes.

note: My oven is not on in this pic.

Another note: Terri gave me this dish towel when she came to visit Bountiful this past summer. Ain’t it purty?

After twenty minutes, preheat oven (without rolls in it) to 350.

Bake for about twenty five minutes. Brush with melted butter or margarine when done.

jordanrolls

Method #1

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Method #2

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My mother in law, Linda, myself, and Mama just before Christmas day dinner at Bountiful.

We had sweet potato casserole, fresh corn, Mac and Cheese (for Katy), sweet and sour green beans, baked ham, Jordan rolls, and Mama’s Velvet cake. I think the best dinners are served out of mismatched dishes around a family table. Keeps the focus where it needs to be anyway.

 

Jordan Rolls

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Jordan Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pkg fast acting yeast**
  • 5 C all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted (plus more for brushing baked rolls with)
  • 1 1/2 C warm water (like a baby’s bath temperature, this is key with working with yeast)

Instructions

  1. Place sugar, salt, 2 cups of flour, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with a long tined fork.
  2. Add eggs, beating lightly with fork before stirring them in. Add remaining flour, melted butter, and water. Stir together well. Mixture will look like a big old lumpy blob.
  3. Cover with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for twenty minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle flour over the top and knead three or four times.
  5. Pat out into a square that is about 3/4 inch thick (or see method #2 above). Cut into squares with a pizza cutter.
  6. Place in greased 9×13 pan and cover with towel. Let rise another 20 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until tops are golden.
  7. Brush hot rolls with additional melted butter.
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**Note: I use a fast acting or “rapid rise” yeast. It is perfectly alright to use regular yeast, your rolls will just need longer to rise.

 

 

“Strength comes from the inside,

but must be fed on the outside to be able to grow.”

-Richard Manintveld

Submitted by his loving wife, Deidra. Submit your quote here. Gain motivation and encouragement here as well.

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Comments

  1. Tiffany Verhulst says

    I’m so excited to make these rolls this week. They are my absolute favorite! This year I’ll be making them for 40 family members at our Thanksgiving dinner. They have been a hit anytime I’ve made them. Thanks for sharing this recipe, and also your heart. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Karen Leatherman says

    Dear Christy,

    I had discovered your site earlier this year and have tried a number of recipes with great success! After tasting the Jordan rolls at our thanksgiving dinner, they have become my favorite bread recipe next to biscuits. I look forward to your postings!!!

  3. florence tyler says

    These rolls are awsome,I tryed making yeast bread befor and i gave up.now over 14 years later I said way not the worst thing happen is they come out yukky.But no way these are so good and I thank you for your storys and your time sharing with me and others.

  4. Aaron Carson says

    These look really good. I’ve tried several recipes sometimes good other times not so. Think it has something to do with humidity. Anyway was just wondering if these could be made up cut out and frozen. Only me and the wife here and we would not eat nearly all the recipe call for.

  5. Nonna says

    I love it when you said if it did not look like a perfect rectangle just squint your eyes until it did. I am so happy to know that there is someone else that thinks like I do sometimes. I am going to try these rolls soon, they look delicious.
    Thank you!

  6. Amanda says

    I would like to thank you for this recipe. My guys loved it. I have never made a homemade roll before basically because every recipe I found was intemidating. Not this one. It was simple and delicious. When it gets quite at supper time ’round here it means you’ve done well. I just love this site. I found you about a year ago and keep coming back for recipes. Your such a down to earth person and as a southerner myself I can appreciate that!! :)

  7. Barbara Miller says

    loved your blog about interruptions. my life is one big interruption right now, staying with my parents due to medical problems. you are right about it being a blessing and i remind my mom that after the lifetime of care she and dad gave me that i’m glad to be able to pay some of it back.

  8. Lo says

    Christy you give me so much incentive to try things I have never tried before. You make baking look so easy. Will definitely try these. Thank you and may you and yours Have a Very Happy Easter lm

  9. Cathy says

    Christy, I would like to make these rolls but it’s just my husband and I, is there a way to freeze the rolls prior to baking? I thought maybe if I froze them before the final rise, then take them out to thaw, rise then bake.

  10. Cheri Pierce says

    Hello Christy! I’ve made these rolls twice now-taste great but seem alittle heavy-where do you let them rise? I let them rise the second time on top of my stove with the oven on for a warm place. I think my water has been correct temperature-maybe the butter cooled down more? Maybe mine need two pans to put in-instead of one pan. Any thoughts on how to improve? I do love the texture and will try again because they do seem to be a great recipe!
    I did make Katy’s Lemon Juice cake and put lil’ jelly beans on top for Easter decoration-sneaked a taste and it’s to die for! Keep sending your recipes-bless you and yours for Easter and thank you!

  11. Mary Brown says

    At what point can you freeze homemade rolls? Before the second rise? After the second rise? After baking them? Whats the best way to freeze them? As a lump of dough or as rolls? With only two of us I need to know how to do this. Thank you.

  12. Pam M. says

    I have loved baking rolls since I was a young bride but now I cheat and use the dough cycle on my bread machine to mix ingredients. We love yeast rolls! I bake mine and then freeze half of them since there is just my husband and I at home now. Then to reheat, I wrap in foil and heat a few minutes in the oven…taste like fresh baked ones! Enjoy your recipes so much, Christy! (I have a daughter named Christy!)

  13. Ellen says

    My family has yet to find some keeper rolls that we have the recipe to. My cousin will make us up a batch but alas, never a recipe to be had. I’m going to try and see if this will be good one to keep since everything I’ve made from your site has been delish. Thank you for the recipes!

  14. Hannah Crume says

    These sound wonderful. Do you ever make this dough recipe and use for cinnamon rolls?? My recipe for yeast rolls take much more time and this sure would be a time saver for Christmas morning.

  15. Carol says

    Could I make these early and freeze them after baking them? A simple recipe that I would like to serve for Thanksgiving instead of having store-bought rolls. I haven’t made yeast bread in a while because I have gotten lazy, but I would really like to make these! Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  16. Greg says

    Christy,
    I just love the way you put your recipe together, like a story and recipe in one. I really like the one part, ” You have done well, grasshopper” under one photo. :-)
    Can’t wait to check out more of your great recipes.
    Greg
    N.W. Georgia

  17. Pam Frederick says

    I made these rolls for Easter dinner but was disappointed in the outcome. My rolls very heavy/dense and very thick. I cut them exactly as you did in the tutorial (straight across and up/down) after shaping the dough into a rectangle. The taste was pretty good but I had expected light and fluffy instead of heavy/dense. Do you have any ideas as to what I did wrong or what I could do differently? Thank you very much.

  18. Pam Frederick says

    I commented here yesterday about a disappointing experience with the Jordan rolls. Apparently nothing but glowing reviews are allowed to stay on this site because the comment has now disappeared. I’ll know better next time to not waste my time commenting.
    P. Frederick

    • says

      I’m not sure where you’re looking hon, because your previous comment is located directly above this one. I came to reply to your comment and offer some tips and explanation of the texture of the rolls but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume you’d rather just have an opportunity to vent.
      Hope things get better for you soon.
      Gratefully,
      Christy

      • Pam Frederick says

        Christy….. When I wrote the second comment, the original one was NOT showing on the page. After I submitted the second one, it was back on the page. I was not venting, I was just wondering why only “happy and gushing” comments were on the page. I would welcome your suggestions but if you prefer not to offer any, I am sure I will survive without your Jordan rolls. I’m over 50 and have been fine without them. If my original comment was visible when I returned to the page, I would not have written the second one. My bad (as they say) and I hope things get better for you too.

  19. Wendy Dement Smith says

    Que the Hallelujah Chorus. I have been cooking since I was 9 yrs old and never attempted yeast rolls. Rave reviews at my house. My family loved them and so do I. I had the Slow Cooker Turkey breast, some boxed stuffing, and baked sweet potato or tater if you are from Alabama. Since I work nights Sunday night is my night off so I usually cook a big supper. Who needs big nights out on the town, give me a good meal and my family and i’m content.

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