Saturday, February 25, 2012

Iowa recipes: Cornmeal rolls

I found this unusual recipe for cornmeal rolls in an Iowa farm newspaper and knew immediately that I wanted to try it.  The recipe was submitted by a grandmother who says she bakes these rolls with help from her grandkids for their family's twice-a-year "baking day."  I scribbled the recipe on a sheet of paper, then tried it a few weeks later.  Unfortunately, I realized right away that I made a mistake, because the recipe calls for margarine, but I didn't write down how much is needed.  Oops!  I tried to make a semi-educated guess and added 4 Tablespoons, which is probably a little on the heavy side, but I thought it would be better to have too much margarine than not enough.  (I actually used butter instead of margarine, by the way. I always bake with butter.)

When I added the 4-1/4 cups of flour listed in the recipe, I knew something wasn't right.  The dough was soupy and wasn't "solid" enough to knead.  So I added another 2 to 3 cups of flour until the dough was still sticky, but kneadable. I felt pretty proud of myself that I can now tell when the dough is ready just by feel. All my failed experiments are finally paying off!

The dough rose beautifully -- so well, in fact, that I ended up with more dough than I expected.  I ended up turning them into giant cinnamon rolls, but the recipe says you can shape the dough into biscuit-like rolls or doughnuts.

My husband, the taste-tester, said he really enjoyed the texture of these cornmeal rolls.  Yet he thought I made the rolls way too big.  He wants me to try this recipe again, but this time bake the dough as smaller dinner rolls.

So here's the recipe, with my guesstimation of margarine.  Next time, I think I'm just going to add 2 Tbls. margarine instead of 4 Tbls. and see how that turns out.  If anyone has any suggestions on how much margarine to add, I would appreciate it.  Enjoy!


Cornmeal rolls
  • 2 C. milk
  • 2 to 4 Tbls. margarine or butter (I used 4 Tbls, but will try next time with 2 Tbls.)
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1/3 C. cornmeal 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/4 C. warm water
  • 4-1/2 C. flour (I ended up using over 6 cups; just keep adding flour until the dough is kneadable)
 Cook milk, cornmeal, sugar, salt and margarine, and cool until lukewarm. Add eggs. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 C. warm water. Add to cooked mixture with beaten eggs and flour. Make into soft dough and knead for several minutes. Place in a greased bowl, put a dish towel over it, and let rise until doubled.

Punch down dough, and cover again for 10 minutes.  Then put on floured board and roll out 1-inch thick.  Cut with juice glass.  Put onto cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise again. Bake 8 to 12 minutes at 350 degree.

Can also make cinnamon rolls (8 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees) or doughnuts.


  1. Hey Teresa, I wanted to share this recipe with you since it looks pretty similar to the one you tried. I made these with my students many moons ago and kept the recipe b/c it was good!

  2. Awesome! Thanks so much for the link. I'm going to give it a try.

  3. i would stick with 4T (at least-if not more even) the butter helps rolls stay moist and dense otherwise they'd turn out like texture of wonder bread


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