All children have memories of their mother's cooking. I always say I would like nothing better than to return to Momma's kitchen and have one more meal. That is impossible, but I have fond memories. Momma made the best batch of rolls in the world. After breakfast in the morning she would get the yeast cake from the fridge and heat some water on the wood stove and start her process. In a small bowl she mashed the yeast cake and if you were lucky a little crumb would be handed to you. The heated water and sugar were added to the yeast cake. She let it sit until the bubbles were almost to the top of the bowl. Now she added the flour, a small amount maybe a cup or a cup and a half. Mixed the flour with the yeast and let it start to proof. When this came to the top of the bowl she would cover and put in the fridge. In the winter it would be put on the back porch.
The recipe was in Momma's head. She had made so much bread she could do it in her sleep. The rolls always tasted the same, the yeast never failed and our home smelled so good when the rolls were baking. I never felt the need to learn to make her bread because she did such a good job. It is one of those things I am going to take a day, have Momma make her bread and write it down. Well, you know the rest of the story. I waited too long. My desire to make Momma's rolls went to the grave with her.
Every family get together someone brings up the conversation. Remember Grandma's rolls? I do not think the whole family has been together when the rolls were not there. If Momma left a legacy it was her rolls. I made the decision I would learn to bake bread. I found a recipe and I could make good bread but not Momma's bread. I started remembering how she did things. I had always thought she did the sponge method. Started searching for recipes and now I know what she did. Momma made a quick sour dough bread. She never kept any of the starter, it was used in each batch of bread. It has taken me until now to understand how she made the wonderful memories for our family.
If I should ever be able to make rolls to taste like Momma's I will be pleased. Somewhere in the far back of my mind I see Momma making her bread. I am going to try and see the whole picture With her help maybe I can have one more pipping hot roll with butter just like Momma made.
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