I don’t know a whole lot about my Aunt Willmetta, I have mainly poorly formed thoughts. I think she was a school teacher. I think she was my maternal grandfather’s aunt. I think she lived in Missouri. I know one thing: it was not Thanksgiving without her rolls. When I became vegan, I was very glad to find her recipe holds up well to veganizing. (Seems the recipe holds up well to tweaking of all sorts, because my mom last edited it to have the dough rise in her breadmaker, years ago, when we could both still eat wheat.) This year, I’m teaching my daughter to make them, so it only seemed fit to share the recipe with y’all. This recipe will also be in my upcoming cookbook. Hooray for sneak peeks!
Addendum: My mother reports that Aunt Willmetta was her father’s aunt. She lived in Independence, Missouri and worked as a Home Ec teacher. She never married. These rolls were also known as refrigerator rolls, as you could let the dough rest in the refrigerator after the first raising until it was ready to be used.
I tried a gluten free version this past week. The results were mixed, but not awful. I will let y’all know if I have more success next time.
Aunt Willmetta’s Rolls
½ c warm water
1 T yeast
1 t sugar
1 T flax seed
3 T water
1/3 c oil or melted vegan margarine
1/3 c sugar
1 c nondairy milk or water
1 medium potato, baked and mashed
Or, 2/3 c potato flakes mixed with 2 T water
3-4 c flour (can use white, whole wheat, or spelt)
1 t salt
In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy. While waiting for yeast mixture, blend flax, water, oil or margarine, sugar, nondairy milk or water, and potato. When yeast is ready, pour yeast mixture and blended mixture into a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon while slowly adding flour and salt. If the dough gets too tough to stir, pour it out onto a floured surface and knead in any remaining flour. Continue to knead until the dough is soft, smooth and cool. Lightly oil a large bowl. Put dough in bowl and turn dough until it is coated in oil. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for an hour. Punch down dough. You can let it rise for another hour, or you can proceed with the rolls. Roll out the dough until it is ½ inch thick. Cut with a circle cutter. Put rolls on baking sheet. Brush with melted vegan margarine. Crease each circle of dough down the middle with the side of your hand. Fold the dough over. Brush with more melted vegan margarine. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.