June 19, 2021

HERITAGE RECIPE: Tender Crust Dinner Rolls (and Woman's World Beauty Tips from 1900!)

When I was looking for a recipe today, I realized that I still have some fresh yeast left over from Nan's Coffee Cake; the yeast was relatively expensive, so I wanted to use it before it expires. I didn't want to do another dessert recipe, so I chose to make Tender Crust Dinner Rolls.

This recipe was submitted to the Rockwood, Michigan Area Historical Society by Jeanette Herzog; it comes from her grandmother, Leona Skinner. I wasn't able to find anything online about either of them, unfortunately, except that Leona was born in 1898 and passed away in 1953. So, I'm guessing this recipe is from the early 1900's (perhaps older, if it was passed down to her).

As always, I am typing this out exactly as written, and I followed the directions without any modifications. Make sure you check my notes after the recipe if something is unclear. The printable recipe clarifies anything that I was unsure of.

Here is a printer-friendly version!


3 T. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk, scalded
1 cake yeast
3-1/2 to 4 c. sifted flour
2 eggs


Add butter, sugar, and salt to scalded milk; cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk mixture. Add 1 cup of flour and beat with rotary beater until well blended. Add egg and beat again until smooth. Mix in remaining flour, mixing thoroughly. Allow dough to rest, covered, on rolling board for about 5 minutes. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise, covered, in a warm place until double in bulk. Pinch and knead lightly. Divide into desired shapes. Cover with damp cloth and let rise until light. Bake in hot oven, 325 F, about 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

My Notes:

The ingredients are pretty simple. The yeast cake is fresh yeast--a small cake is 0.6 ounces and a large cake is 2.0 ounces. I had a large one, so I just used 0.6 ounces of it. (A small cake is for roughly 3-4 cups of flour.)

I don't think it's absolutely necessary to scald the milk (from what I've read, the purpose of scalding the milk in these older recipes was to kill bacteria. However, heating the milk also serves the purpose of melting the butter and dissolving the yeast--so it's helpful either way.

I definitely needed the full 4 cups of flour. I was tempted to add more because the dough was still a little sticky. This picture is from after letting it rise for a while...

I rolled mine into balls about the size of an egg. I got 20 rolls out of the batch (they were a little small--I think next time, I'd do 16 rolls). I weighed the batch when I was done, and the batch weighed 950 grams total. So next time, I'll make them roughly 55-60 grams each.

Before rising:

Covered with a damp towel:

Just before going into the oven:

I baked them 15 minutes and they still looked a little pale, so I ended up baking them for a total of about 18 minutes and they were perfect. They probably could have gone another minute or two, but I didn't want to risk burning them--and I wanted them to be very soft.


Holy cow, these are delicious! "Tender crust" is a great description--the rolls are super soft and fluffy. It's kind of like not having a crust at all--just the super soft, squishy part of warm bread. Yum!

I commented to Jerry that they would make perfect sandwich rolls or hamburger buns. You could just shape them into larger discs and bake a little longer. I'm going to try it soon.

This is a great recipe, and I'll definitely be making it again!

The heritage cookbook includes some fun tidbits including excerpts from the Woman's World book, printed in 1900. Since I don't have a story to go along with this recipe, I'll share these beauty tips :)

  • To keep the face from wrinkles, lie down, if possible, once or twice daily in a darkened room; close the eyes and let the facial muscles rest.
  • Preserve your temper if you wish to preserve a youthful expression.
  • Sleep eight hours in twenty-four.
  • Leave the top sash of your window open about an inch at night.
  • Exercise in the open air as often as possible.; walking is the best possible exercise you could have.
  • CaCao-butter applied at night and washed off in the morning will keep the skin soft and clean.
  • Cream of lemon-juice rubbed in at night will remove all sun-burns.
  • Shade a strong light so that it may fall on your work whilst your eyes may remain in the shadow.
  • The bath not only serves to cleanse the body, it acts as a tonic.
  • The best skin tonic you can have is a tepid bath, using Starlight Royal Toilet Soap.


  1. Like so many, I started baking bread during quarantine last year. If you have a thermometer, bread is done at 190 degrees so you can gauge in addition to color.

  2. *Homer Simpson voice* Mmmm, toilet soup.

    1. HAHAHAHA! When I read your comment, I was so confused--what on earth are they talking about? But yes, that was definitely a typo. It should be *soap* not *soup*, hahaha.

  3. Scalding milk breaks down the whey protein which makes brad more tender because yeast does not eat protein, only carbs. This also allows the dough to rise faster and retain moisture better.

  4. OMG! I'll be right over!!!! YUMMMMMMM!!!

  5. There's something about homemade bread that just tastes so much better. Those rolls look delicious.


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