Saturday, March 26, 2016

Italian Sweet Rolls ‪#‎thebookclubcookbookCC

Are you ready for Easter?  I think I will be but right now I am no where close.  My post today doesn't have anything to do with Easter but it did help me with my Easter planning.

I am super excited for today's post. March was my hosting month for  #‎thebookclubcookbookCC.  You can read my invite post hereI choose A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith for the March book.

As you know, I and several other bloggers are cooking and  baking our way through The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.  Each month the host picks a novel and recipe from the book.  You can read the novel or not and to join you make a recipe, either from the cookbook, or your own inspired recipe. 

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is all about Francis Nolan, her life growing up in Brooklyn at the turn of the century.  I picked this book somewhat ignorantly.  It's classic, at times controversial, but read widely in schools.  I had no idea and had never read it on my own or in school.  Luckily though I fell in love with the story and Francie.  The book was somewhat long and I was a afraid with my busy baby life I wouldn't have enough time finish within the month.  The book drew me in though as Francis grows up and explains the world around her.  There are so many details.  Too many to share. All I can say is I would highly recommend this novel. 

As for the food there are so many special and not so special moments that incorporate food. The Nolans were not rich and struggled to have enough food.  They were creative with the meals they did have, and dreamed out foods they didn't.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a Food rich book.  A special treat for Francis and her brother were sweet rolls. Although just a few pennies at the time it was still a stretch to buy, normally they waited for day old rolls to save a bit more. Sweet rolls were the destination of after work courting trip.

These rolls came about as I was looking for some roll recipes for our Easter meal.  The dough is rich from sugar and egg but comes together very easily. The smell will fill your house as you bake them off.  I quickly ate three before they cooled and completely understood how Francie adored the rolls as an escape from her tough world.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers participating this month.

Italian Sweet Rolls

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus rise time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake bread Easter
Ingredients (24 Rolls)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • Pinch of salt (about 1/16 teaspoon)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Warm just until the butter is completely melted and remove from the heat. Let cool until just warm.
Combine the yeast, salt, eggs and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the warm milk and half of the flour. Knead with the dough hook until combined. Add more flour gradually until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the mixer. Knead the dough about 3-5 minutes longer, or until completely smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over once to coat the top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place, about 1 hour.

Gently deflate the dough with your hand. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and pat it down slightly so that the dough has an even thickness. Cut the dough into 24 even pieces. Roll each piece to form a ball. Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap and let rise again for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small condiment cup. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the loaves with the mixture.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and fragrant. Let cool until warm.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with a glaze if desired.
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As this month's host, I, am giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from March 1st till March 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

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*Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.


  1. Perfect Emily. I was going to do a search for a new roll recipe for tomorrow and now I don't need to. I will let you know how they work out for me. Thanks for hosting this month.

  2. ahhhh i love carbs! these sweet rolls are calling to me!

  3. Those look fantastic! My husband is currently gluten-free, so I'll have to wait on making those. But - wow!

  4. I just wanted to drop you a note Emily and let you know that I featured my adaptation of this recipe today in our first Brunch Week installment. They turned out great. Thanks for the recipe. You can see my post at


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