Sweet rolls and more at bakery

Published 9:07 am Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Bless Your Spoon

By Stephanie Williams Dean


If you arrive at the small town of Faith early enough, you might get to see Shelley Yost hand-rolling dough for the famous sweet rolls she sells at her establishment, Yosties Bakery and Eatery.

You’ll easily imagine the taste of decadent cinnamon rolls just by taking a few deep breaths of the warm, fresh aroma of melted butter and hot cinnamon sugar – there’s nothing quite like the smell of sweet bread dough freshly baked and right out of the oven.

Expect to be greeted with a smile as Donna takes your order while standing behind a chippy, black counter that was built during the Civil War. A friend, Bobby Cecil, was persuaded to sell Shelley the old service counter that came from the pool hall in Salisbury, The Friendly Cue, after closing down about the same time the bakery was opening.     

One of my favorite road trip destinations, I discovered Faith and Yosties while taking my grandson to a nearby horse camp last summer.  The small town’s located about six miles south of Salisbury.

“People in Faith are big on community and civic organizations. It’s really unique as far as places to live due to being so community oriented. People know each other, take care of each other, and care about each other. Our customers overall are just the best people. They sort of adopted me and the people who work for me,” explained Shelley.

Donna helps Shelley prepare food in the mornings, but her main focus is on making the town folk feel good when they come in. That’s important to Shelley. Not just preparing the food but making people feel welcome and comfortable. She wants customers to feel like they’re walking into their own kitchen at home.

“That’s what we try to make it like here. We give food to people who walk in if they’re hungry. If I know it’s someone’s birthday, I give them a cinnamon roll.”

I’d say anyone who gives you a sweet roll is your friend for life, right? Actually, they give away samples of everything they sell.

Shelley believes this is the reason they are the exact opposite of a make more money mentality. People are more important. It’s crucial to work with a conscientious team, and she’s found her people. It’s not just about cooking; it’s more about connections with people.

“We’re just ladies in the kitchen taking care of people.”

Customers like to go to the bakery and watch Shelley rolling out the sweet rolls. Arriving most mornings at 6 or earlier, Shelley prepares simple, delicious goods from scratch. Everything she makes at the bakery except the cheese straws is made from the same dough.

Her pepperoni rolls are a big thing. They’re a West Virginia regional food. Shelley’s originally from Ohio but lived in West Virginia for about 15 years. That’s where she first learned about pepperoni rolls. While living there, the young homemaker began making her own bread and pizza dough.  She started out making it just for herself and friends who hung out at her house.

Shelley confesses she’s had no formal training – she trained herself – at home in her kitchen, and she’s never held a job that involved baking.

“My mom, Rosie, she was the ultimate 60s mom who cooked dinner every night. She baked cookies, pies, and cakes. But I never saw her make bread. I remember holding the mixer and helping her make cookies when I had to stand on a stool, so I was pretty small.”

Her mother even made her own egg noodles. Shelley still has her mom’s recipe box – with all the recipes written in her mom’s handwriting. She has all her extended family’s recipes, too.

As a child, she enjoyed cooking with her mother. “Cookies came out of it. It ended in cookies. What was there not to like? I’ve made lots of my mother’s cookie recipes, but as far as yeast dough, I was on my own there.”

When Shelley reflects on her past, she’d be the first to describe herself as a hippie. As a young woman, she was into growing gardens, canning, and raising animals, all while trying to achieve a self-sustaining lifestyle.

When first learning to cook, she canned everything because she and her former husband, Gary, lived with no electricity for a few years. Living in a remote place of West Virginia, there was no electricity available at their house.  They had gas lights, gas heat, gas refrigerator, and stove – everything was gas – and had no running water. They lived like that for five years, and looking back, Shelley loved that lifestyle.

“I was just a young, hippie homesteader working to be self-sufficient.”

When Shelley took up baking, her choice of flour was any brand she could afford to buy, as cheap as she could buy it. While married, the couple got a lot of government surplus foods.

“I think the government gave us a lot of flour and butter. It was in the 80s, and the government bought stuff from companies like butter, cheese, cornmeal, rice, and other items. They bought it to keep the prices up.”

Everyone was poor where they lived, and everyone got the subsidy. She lived so far away from stores that everything had to be made from scratch. That’s what initially influenced her bread making – convenience.

Shelley never worked outside the home, but instead, she and her husband worked at freelance jobs. He was a design painter and tattoo artist, and she got into that for a while as well.

The couple then moved to Rowan County where their daughter, Emerald, was born. In 1996, the couple moved to Etowah, Tenn. and started baking in what looked like a shrunken waffle house – it had two booths and six stools – and they sold many of the same baked goods they do now.

“I was looking for something to do where I could take my daughter to work with me instead of putting her in daycare. We served breakfast and lunch, and she would be in the playpen while I was working.”

Shelley had the baby a little later in life, so she was more reluctant to be separated from her during the day.

When the young woman first met her husband, Gary had this really good hot dog and chili recipe he’d gotten from a prominent hot dog stand in Fairmont WV – and Shelley had baking skills. At first, she started making the pepperoni rolls because hotdog chili tasted so good on them. Everyone loved the rolls so much that they secured the place in TN and began selling them. She knew how to bake cinnamon buns already, so she sold those, too.

“I tried to make as many products as possible out of the same dough, and they were incredibly popular.”

Later, they moved back to Salisbury and opened a bakery in the basement of a house they rented until another location was established.

“About every other call was for cheese straws – that’s another whole story.  Being from Ohio, I didn’t know what a cheese straw was. It took me a couple of years, but I finally picked up a pack of cheese straws at a food booth in an antique mall, and we ate them all on the way home. Then we knew why people were asking for them.”

It took Shelley another six months of making bad cheese straws before she came up with another recipe. She went to a reputable bakery to sample theirs – it was the only place that sold cheese straws locally – and she’d heard they made the best straws around.

When Shelley finally came up with a fancy southern cheese straw recipe that tasted as good as theirs, she started making and selling them. Now they’re a huge part of her business.

“I had no idea how much people love their cheese straws. My business is a mix between the West Virginia pepperoni rolls, the hotdogs with chili, my cinnamon buns, and Rowan County cheese straws – that’s where I lived when I started making them in my basement.”

While their daughter was still young, the couple changed gears again and moved to Florida for five years where Shelley’s husband worked as an auctioneer.

Wanting to know why she returned to the area, I inquired, “So what brought you back to the area? Why did you come back and finally settle down in Faith?”

Shelley knew of Faith from earlier days when she’d lived in Salisbury. And for such a little town, Faith had a great big reputation. The town’s Fourth of July celebration that commemorates freedom and independence also honors those who made sacrifices for the Red, White, and Blue. One of the largest celebrations in NC, the festivities are complete with a carnival, parade, and fireworks. The carnival company that’s hired – it stays in town for a week – drawing visitors from many states. The family also enjoyed the public swimming hole, Blue Waters Pool, in nearby Salisbury.

“When we bought our house here, I had no intention of going back into the food business. We kept running into people who continued asking me for those cinnamon buns, so due to popular demand, I started again.”

The building became available, and it seemed like a good time to start again. Shelley had no equipment when she started back up, but with so many good used restaurant deals out there, she was able to get up and running– on a shoestring and with a meager budget.

“My former husband’s nickname is “Yostie,” so that’s where we came up with the name for the business.”

That was in 2007, and Shelley’s bakery has continued to operate in the same location for 12 years now.

“Our sweet rolls are really different. I think most people use a sweet dough, but our dough is more of any ol’ timey bread. It’s old fashioned and so simple – just bread with good stuff on it.”

Shelley started with a basic recipe for dough although the dough she makes now has evolved from having to make more and more product. She started out making a whole wheat dough but makes a white country Italian dough now.

“Some of the sales reps from the flour companies – one in particular – helped me the most to get my recipe exact. I use unbleached white flour.”

The flour she uses is from a bakery supply company and is not available in a store. The dough’s made up of flour and something called Country Italian base which keeps things consistent. She buys it through a manufacturer, and it has different flours in it. The bag of artisan premium spring wheat flour is labeled for artisanal baking. Shelley’s dough is a basic combination of flour, yeast, and solid vegetable shortening.

The filling in her sweet rolls consists of creamed margarine, cinnamon, and brown sugar. The cinnamon rolls are drizzled in icing made up of powdered sugar, water, and clear vanilla.

Simple, right?

As far as ingredients go, Shelley’s all for the less expensive, generic foods. She shops at Aldi and believes the quality and taste is the same as the more expensive labels. She’s never been picky about brands – and thinks store brands are just as good. But she does draw a line.

“When it comes to produce, go to farmers markets and buy as fresh as you can or buy from produce stands.”

As a baker, her biggest obstacle in business was learning how to make more product, more efficiently, and faster. The baked goods were popular from the beginning. While the pepperoni rolls were a hard sell at first because no one knew what they were, they’re most popular now.

The spicy oil from the pepperoni soaks into the bread while it bakes – resulting in savory goodness that melts in your mouth.

A recipe from Cincinnati, Ohio, the chili spaghetti has noodles layered with shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and hot dog chili served with or without onions.

“It was a hard sell at first, too, but now it’s popular. It didn’t take long – all a customer had to do was try it. We have people who come in here and never try anything else.”

Shelley believes her success comes from not trying to make everything.  Sometimes restaurants try to do too many things, so they don’t do anything well. A good place to start is learning how to bake the things you love – and can do well.

And don’t be afraid of making a mistake. If you want to learn how to make something, get all the information you can and be determined – keep trying.

“I must have thrown away 100 pounds of cheese straws before I got the recipe right because I wanted to make the perfect cheese straw. If you want to make biscuits, keep trying till you get the perfect biscuit. And don’t try to please other people – make what you like.”

This girl still has some hippie in her. Shelley’s single, happy, and continues to enjoy going to hippie fests every year. They’re all around – one was started last year at the fairgrounds in Salisbury with good music, vendors, lots of tie-dyes, artworks, and other hippie stuff.  She loves the bubble man who comes to sell his giant bubble makers.

A Buzza motto hanging on the wall defines Shelley. “The House by the Side of the Road,” by Sam Walter Foss reads like this:

“Let me live in a house by the side of the road. Where the race of men go by – The men who are good, and the men who are bad; As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner’s seat. Or hurl the cynic’s ban; Let me live in a house by the side of the road – and be a friend to man.”

Bakery hours recently changed, and they close at 3 pm during the week now instead of 6, so that’s given Shelley a little breathing room and time for more of what she loves to do like kayaking in the summertime.  She’s busy planting herb and flower gardens at home.  When she does cook, she likes fresh herbs.

With another talented cook in the family, Shelley’s daughter, Emerald, enjoys using fresh herbs from their garden. Emerald’s now 24 years old and is trying some new things – she branched out and made dumplings one night for dinner.

“My daughter was 11 when we moved here. Faith is an awesome town – it has been a wonderful place to raise a child.”

Yosties Bakery and Eatery is located at 202 N. Main Street in Faith, NC. For more information, call (704) 279-0669. The bakery will be closed from April 20th through April 29th.

Another area attraction located in the nearby town of Rockwell, NC is Tiger World which is a nonprofit preserve for tigers and other endangered animals. Be sure to take your kids and check this out.

Included are some basic dough recipes that can be used for sweet rolls, braids, breads, and rolls. For the filling, try varying the measurements of butter, sugars, and cinnamon or come up with your own blend of spices, flavorings, and butter that you prefer. Shelley combines softened butter, sugar and cinnamon into a spreadable paste, but many recipes call for the melted butter to be spread on the dough and then sprinkling with sugar and cinnamon – 2 parts of sugar to 1 part of cinnamon as a general rule. Brown and other sugars are variations to white. Cinnamon rolls can be enjoyed plain or you can chose the powdered sugar mixture you prefer for the icing and the amount for drizzling. I vote for heavy. But, anyway you get there, this trip’s going to be one to savour – whether straight out of your oven – or Shelley’s.


1/3 cup dry milk

2 ¼ cups lukewarm water

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup pumpkin

2 beaten eggs

3 Tbsp. (4 pkg.) active dry yeast

7 ½ -8 cups unbleached bread flour

Dissolve dry milk in lukewarm water. Add butter, honey, salt, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix well. Add yeast and stir well. Mix in 5 cups of flour. Beat well until dough is smooth. Then add 2 ½ -3 cups more flour to make a stiff and pliable dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased, covered bowl, and let rise until double. Punch down and let rise again until almost double. Turn out on a floured surface, and divide into 3 equal parts. Round each part into a smooth ball, cover with a dough cloth, and let rest for a few minutes. For loaves, divide each ball into 3 parts. Roll into 3 ropes and braid together, pinching ends securely, and place into a greased loaf pan or for more free form loaf, place on cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled, and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15-10 minutes. This recipe can be used for making bread, braids, coffee cakes, cinnamon or dinner rolls.


Egg bread dough recipe

2 Tbsp. softened salted butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

½ cups powdered sugar

3 Tbsp. milk

¼ tsp. vanilla

Using egg bread dough recipe, roll out the dough ball into a rectangle that measures about 7 x 9. Spread with an even layer of butter, leaving 1 inch with no butter along the long edge. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. At the unbuttered side, roll up lengthwise. Pinch seam together securely. Slice into 8-12 pieces. Put in an 8-inch round pan, sprinkling the top with cinnamon sugar Let rise until doubled. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10-15 minute or until golden brown. Whisk together milk and vanilla. Whisk in powdered sugar gradually until desired consistence is reached. Drizzle glaze on cooled rolls.


2/3 cup sold shortening

1 cup sugar

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 cup mashed potatoes

1 cup warmed milk

1 pkg. dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

2 eggs

7 cups flour

In a large bowl, mix shortening, sugar, salt, potatoes, and milk. Dissolve yeast in water. Add yeast and eggs to the mixture. Add 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make a thick, slightly sticky dough. Place in a large bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Shape into loaf and place in a loaf pan or cookie sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or longer until done. This dough can be used to make bread, braids, coffee cakes, cinnamon or dinner rolls.


1/3 Basic Sweet Yeast Dough recipe

½ cup melted butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans

Divide dough into 24 pieces. Roll each into a small ball. Dip balls in butter. Mix brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and nuts in a bowl. Roll each dough ball in sugar mixture and place each evenly around a greased 12-cup tube pan. Let rise 3 hours until doubled. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes. When done, invert onto a tray, scraping any remaining sugar or nuts from pan onto top of the ring. Cool. To serve, pull chunks rather than slicing.


1/3 Basic Sweet Yeast Dough recipe

3 Tbsp. melted butter

3 oz. softened cream cheese

4 Tbsp. apricot preserves

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

Roll dough on a floured surface to 15 x 13 rectangle. Brush with butter to within 1 inch of edge. Beat together cream cheese, preserves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread 2 inches of filling down the center length of the rectangle. Along the dough’s edge, make cuts 2 inches apart on each side from edge to filling. Overlap strips alternately over filling to resemble a braid. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise 2 hours until doubled. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove and cool. Can be drizzled with a sugar glaze.


2 envelopes dry yeast

½ cup lukewarm water

1 cup sour cream

½ cup sugar

½ cup melted butter

1 tsp. salt

4 cups flour

2 beaten eggs

16 oz. softened cream cheese

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt


2 cups confectioner’s sugar

¼ cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the bread, in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and stir until yeast dissolves. In a saucepan, heat sour cream over low heat. Stir in sugar, butter, and 1 tsp. salt. Let cool. To the yeast mixture, add the sour cream mixture, flour, and 2 eggs, and mix well. Cover and chill for 10 hours. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into an 8 x 12 rectangle on a floured surface.

In a mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl until smooth. Spread ¼ of the mixture on each rectangle. Roll up in jelly roll fashion and pinch seam to seal. Fold the ends slightly under. Arrange rolls seam side down on 2 greased baking sheets. Make slits 2/3 through the tops of the rolls at 2-inch intervals. Cover and let rise until doubled — Bake in a 375-degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

For the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix well. Drizzle over the warm braids. Makes 4 braids.


1 pkg. active dry yeast

½ cup warm water (110 degrees)

2 ½ cup biscuit mix

1 beaten egg

½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

¼ cup strawberry preserves

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in biscuit mix, egg, and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Mix well. Turn onto a floured surface and knead. Place dough in center of greased 15 x 12-inch baking sheet. Roll out to 14 x 9 inches. In a mixer, combine cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, and juice. Spread mixture lengthwise down center third of the rectangle. Make 3-inch cuts at 1-inch intervals down both long sides. Fold strips at an angle over filling. Cover and chill overnight. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Spoon jam down in center of the loaf. Bake 7 minutes more. Cool. You can use any kind of preserves or jams.


½ cup whole milk

¼ cup salted butter

2 Tbsp. water

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 ¼ oz. pkg. active dry yeast

1 egg

1 ½ -2 cups all-purpose flour

Cherry pie filling

Heat milk butter and water to 110 degrees. In a bowl, mix 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the warm milk mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 5 minutes until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough to slightly less than ½ inch thick. Cut with a 2 ½ inch cutter. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Make a deep depression in a bun, fill with cherry pie filling. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter.


1 (1/4 oz.) pkg. active dry yeast

1 ¼ cup whole milk

5 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 ¾ cups sugar, divided

1 tsp. salt

2 beaten eggs

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. melted salted butter

3 Tbsp. cinnamon

2 cups chopped cooking apples

½ cup raisins


4 cups powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. melted, salted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

8-10 Tbsp. whole milk

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sift together 3 ½ cups flour, ¾ cups sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 Tbsp. butter. Stir until well blended. Add 1 cup of flour and stir until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of the bowl. Turn dough out of the floured surface. Knead in remaining ½ cup of flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat all surfaces. Cover bowl with plastic and let rise 2 hours until doubled. Turn dough out on floured surface and roll into an 18 x 14 rectangle.

Filling: Mix together ½ cup softened butter, 1 cup sugar, and cinnamon until smooth and spreadable. Spread filling over dough almost to edge. Sprinkle apples and raisins over filling. Tightly roll dough beginning on the long side. Pinch dough together at seam to seal. Cut rolls every 1 ¼ inch intervals. Place rolls in 2 greased, 8-inch square baking pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours until doubled. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown in a 350-degree oven.

Glaze: For the glaze, combine powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until consistency of a syrup. Drizzle atop cooled rolls.


1 cup milk

2 beaten eggs

6 Tbsp. sugar

4 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground pumpkin pie spice

6 Tbsp. butter

¾ oz. fresh yeast

1 ¼ cups currants

¼ cup chopped, candied, mixed citrus peel

Sweetened milk for glaze

1 ½ Tbsp. chopped candied cherries

Heat the milk in a saucepan until it is lukewarm. Then add 2/3 a cup to the eggs and mix in the sugar. Sift the flour, salt, and spice together in a bowl. Rub in the butter. Making a well in the center, add the milk mixture and the yeast, adding more milk if necessary to make a sticky dough. Knead on a floured surface and then knead in the currants and mixed citrus peel. Reserve 1 Tbsp. peel for the topping. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let sit until doubled in size. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead again for 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape about 8 inches long. Braid the 3 pieces together, turning under and pinching the end. Place on a floured baking sheet and let rise for 15 minutes. Brush the top of the braid with sweetened milk. Scatter with chopped cherries and reserved citrus peel. Bake the braid in a 425-degree oven for 45 minutes or until done. Cool.


¼ pkg. dry yeast

½ cup warm water

½ cup scalded milk

¼ cup sugar

1/3 cup salted butter

1 tsp. salt

1 egg

3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour


½ cup melted salted butter

¾ cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

¾ cup pecans


4 Tbsp. salted butter

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 tsp clear vanilla

3-6 Tbsp. hot water

Dough: In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, and egg. (Make sure the milk and butter are cool) Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is elastic and not sticky. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl, cover and let rise 2 hours or until doubled. Once doubled, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 x 9-inch rectangle.

Filling: Spread melted butter all over rolled out dough. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans and sprinkle over buttered dough. Beginning on the long side, roll up the dough and pinch edges together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 dish with nonstick spray. Place cinnamon rolls close together in the pan and let rise 45 minutes until dough doubles.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until browned.

Glaze: Mix the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 Tbsp. at a time until the glaze reaches syrup consistency. Spread over cooled rolls.


1 pkg. dry yeast

¼ cup water

1 cup scalded milk

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup butter

1 tsp. salt

3 ½ cup sifted flour, divided

1 egg


½ cup sugar

¼ cup softened salted butter

1 ½ tsp cinnamon


1 cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp. whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a saucepan, combine milk, sugar, butter, and salt. Heat until butter is melted. Cool and pour the mixture into a mixer bowl. Add 1 cup of the flour and beat well. Beat in yeast water and egg. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. On a floured surface, roll the dough into two 16 x 8-inch rectangles.

For the filling, combine sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Spread on the dough. Roll up beginning with the long side and cut into 1-inch slices. Place into greased pans. Let rise for 45 minutes. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

For the glaze, combine sugar, milk, and extract in a bowl. When rolls are cooled, drizzle tops with glaze.


1 cup butter

½ cup milk

2 pkgs. dry yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

2 ½ cups flour,

¼ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 egg yolks


½ cup finely chopped pecans

½ cup chopped dates

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup milk

3 egg whites, beaten stiff

1 cup sugar

For the dough, melt butter, cool, and add to milk. Mix 2 pkgs. of yeast in water. In a bowl, sift flour, salt, and sugar together. Stir egg yolks into milk mixture. Add this to flour mixture. Add yeast. Beat well, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.

For the filling, mix nuts, dates, cinnamon, sugar, and milk. Heat over low heat to form a paste. Cool. In a mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add 1 cup sugar. Fold sugar mixture into filling paste.

Roll out ½ dough into a 20 inch square on a well-floured surface. Spread ½ filling over the dough and roll up like a jelly roll. Put this into a greased tube pan, seam side down. Repeat with other half of dough and mixture.  Put the second roll on top of first, seam side down. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Glaze if desired.


1 pkg. active dry yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

¾ cup milk

½ cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. salted butter

½ tsp. salt

3 ¼-3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs


6 Tbsp. butter

½ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp. shredded orange peel


1 ½ cup sifted powdered sugar

2-3 Tbsp. orange juice

Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water. Heat milk, ½ cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. butter, and ½ tsp. salt until warm or 115-degrees, stirring to melt butter. Add flour, yeast, and eggs. Beat at low speed on the mixer for a minute. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Knead for 5 minutes. Let rise until doubled for 2 hours. Punch down. Divide in half, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into 12 x 8-inch rectangles. Combine 6 Tbsp. butter, ½ cup sugar, and orange peel. Spread over dough. Roll up, starting with long side and seal seams. Slice each roll into 12 rolls. Place in greased round cake pans. Cover and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and drizzle with orange glaze.

Hints: Dough should be tacky but not sticky. If sticky, add additional flour. The dough will be easier to slice when chilled. For rolls, slice into 1 ½ inch slices. A basic glaze is made by combining powdered sugar with milk or water. For the glaze, take a pound of confectioners sugar, add 1 tsp. vanilla and add milk or water until you get the consistence you desire for a drizzle.  Investing in a powerful, stand mixer like Kitchen Aid with a bread hook is worth the cost when making homemade breads and rolls.