Raspberry Creme Rolls

To begin, in your mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon of yeast, 1/2 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Your going to let that sit until it blooms; it’s also called proofing the yeast. Making sure it’s active. (I don’t necessarily follow their rules.)

While your waiting, we’ll start our milk.  In a small pan add 1 cup of buttermilk, heat on medium low, use a candy thermometer, get it up to about 150-160, turn off the stove, add 1/4 cup of butter directly from the refrigerator. The butter will bring down the temperature of the buttermilk. When the milk is 105-115 add it to the yeast mixture.


Pour the milk into a bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment.  Add your yeast and 2/3 cup of sugar.  Stir it a little bit, cover, and walk away.  You are testing your yeast to prove that it is alive and active with this first step.

I checked the bowl about 10 minutes later, after I finished gathering the other ingredients for the rolls. If the yeast/sugar/milk solution has become frothy or bubbly, you have your “proof” that the yeast is alive. If not, the yeast is a dud. Toss it out and start over again with a new batch of active dry yeast.  Our yeast was ready and good to go.

With the mixer running, add your softened butter – be sure it is not melted or too hard.  Crack 2 large eggs, add them one at a time, then a touch of salt.  Let the mixer run for a bit.  Manually scrape down the sides and stir by hand as needed.  Next, slowly add the flour.  Little by little.  Mix for up to 10 minutes on medium high speed until a soft dough forms.  I thought my mixer was going to break down as it jostled about for 10 minutes!  Luckily, we were fine.

Raspberry Rolls

Raspberry Rolls

For the amount of flour: the recipe states 4.25 – 4.5 cups.  I used 4 and 1/2 cups because the dough was much too sticky with only 4 and 1/4 cup.  In fact, after 10 minutes in the stand mixer, I kneaded the dough by hand on a floured surface for about two minutes because I still felt it was much too sticky.  To test the dough’s readiness, poke the dough with your finger and if it springs back, it is good to go. After mixing for 10 minutes and then kneading by hand on a floured surface, the dough was ready to rise.


1 T. Yeast

1/2 C. Water

1 T. Sugar

1 C. Buttermilk

2/3 C. Sugar

2 Eggs

4 1/2 C. Flour

Form the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place, until it doubles in size.  We had the stove on earlier from warming up the milk, so we placed the bowl on the flat electric stove-top and went to decorate the tree as we waited.  If you make these in the summer time, be sure it is not an overly humid day as the air’s moisture will have a negative affect on the dough’s rising. The dough took about 1.5 hours to practically double in size.

Get your baking pan ready. I used a 9×13 baking pan, your standard size cake pan, and lined it with parchment paper. I sprayed the parchment paper with nonstick spray so the rolls could easily be removed.

Get your roll on. Break out your rolling pin (and your ruler!) and roll that glorious ball of dough into a 10×24 inch rectangle on a generously floured surface.  Oh geez.  I completely underestimated this size before we got out the ruler!  Trust me, it will roll out into a rectangle this large.  Make sure the dough is completely uniform in thickness and a precisely 10×24 inches in size.

Mix frozen raspberries with a touch of cornstarch and sugar.  Frozen – yes, frozen.  Fresh raspberries will be much too juicy and delicate for the filling, which is perfect since they are not in their prime this time of year. Frozen berries are the way to go – try blueberries or cherries instead. Pour the cold sugared raspberries over the large dough rectangle and tightly roll up.

Using your sharpest knife, cut into 16 rolls. This means the rolls were precisely 1.5 inches in thickness. Stuff the rolls into your baking pan, 4 in each row, leaving space between each one so they have room to expand. Some rolls will be more tightly compacted since the pan is longer than it is wide. That’s ok, I promise. Cover your baking pan and store in a warm place once again.

More waiting time – about 2 hours. That’s ok, there really isn’t much “work time” with this recipe – just more “wait time.”  In this step, be prepared for the berries to release their juices. The bottom of your pan will be FULL of a glorious sweet red raspberry juice, only to be absorbed in the baking process. It turns into an incredible sticky raspberry glaze over the bottom of the rolls.

The rolls only take about 25 minutes in the oven. Be sure to cover your rolls with foil – it didn’t state this in the original recipe, but this is crucial to prevent the tops of your rolls from getting too brown.  I covered my rolls about halfway through the baking process; the next time I make these, they will be covered the entire time in the oven. The recipe also states 425 F degrees. WAY too hot for my rolls. Go for 400 F here.

Oh my lanta, the SMELL of these rolls baking is pure bread oblivion!

Cool your rolls, in the pan, on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.  I cooled mine overnight so they’d be ready for their glaze shower first thing in the morning.

Make your glaze. A simple combination of heavy cream and powdered sugar. Nothing else.  Feel free to use half-and-half or milk.  With either half-and-half or milk, keep in mind it you may need more sugar than I used to get the glaze to be as thick and creamy.

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Texture is important to me as I’m sure it is to you.  I’ll disappoint some of you by saying this, but making bread takes practice.  There are so many variables that go into making a truly delicious loaf of bread. I rarely make bread when it’s raining.  The rain changes the way my bread turns out and not for the better.
Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Sourdough Sandwich Bread

As a rule of thumb the dough should be soft, smooth, pull away from the bowl but should stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl.  Let’s get started.  You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup lukewarm Water
  • 2-1/4 tsp rapid-rise/instant Yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 3-1/2 – 4-1/2 cups Bread Flour (white unbleached)
  • 1 tbsp Real Salt
  • 1 cup (110 degrees F.) organic/raw Milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp raw Honey
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil

Start by testing your yeast. Add water, yeast and sugar to your mixing bowl, let sit for about 10 min., if it foams up, your good to go. Add sourdough starter, cover the bowl and leave it sit for while to allow the sourdough to work.  I forgot it this afternoon for several hours, it got a little crusty on top, I just mixed it back in.

While your waiting heat the milk, add butter, you can add the honey at this time to the milk but I normally just add it to my yeast mixture, even if it’s hardened.  When the milk mixture has cooled add it to your yeast bowl.  Add honey if you haven’t already.

Mix on medium for about two minutes or until everything is combined. Continue added flour, mixing on 2 until a dough ball starts to form. This recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of flour, I think I actually used 4 1/2 cups.  It doesn’t matter what matters is the texture and feel of your dough.  You don’t want to add too much flour, the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but should stick to the bottom.

Prepare 2- 9×5 loaf pans, I like to line them with parchment paper and just grease the ends with coconut oil.

Knead for at least a total of ten minutes. While the bread is kneading, grease a large bowl with coconut oil, drop the dough and rotate until all sides are coated with oil. Set in a warm, not hot place for about 60 minutes, doubling in size.

Cut the dough in half. Shape, let rise again until double in size.  This loaf grows very little in the oven (at least at 4,000 feet).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a pan of hot water on the shelve below to put moisture in the oven. I use a square baking pan with an inch of hot water.

When ready, put bread in oven, turn down to 350 degrees after five minutes (if you are baking at 4,000 feet). Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes. It is done when you tap the bottom of the loaf and it sounds hollow.

This is the recipe that inspired mine, but it’s really not the same bread anymore.

American (White) Sandwich Bread

Here is another recipe you may want to try.  Looks yummy.

Sourdough Sandwich Bread




Easy Cream Biscuits

Whipping cream takes the place of butter and milk in these quick and delicious biscuits.

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 cup whipping cream (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Stir in enough cream to make a soft dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently knead 12 to 15 strokes until the dough holds together.

Pat or roll out dough until 1/2 inch thick.  Cut dough with a round cutter or, cut in 2 inch square. (I just use an ice cream scoop.) Arrange biscuits 2 inches apart on 1 or 2 ungreased large baking sheets.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.  Makes about 12 biscuits.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

These dinner rolls are tender and buttery; they simply melt in your mouth. I use this recipe all the time and share it with my friends.  Fluffy Dinner Rolls are just the beginning. This dough makes the best hot dog buns, onion rolls, garlic rolls, herb rolls, meat pockets, even cinnamon rolls.  The list is endless.

The trick to making these rolls is adding the last bit of flour a tablespoon at a time, to the mixer. (I use a Kitchenaid for all my bread dough.) As the dough firms up, watch it pull away from the sides, until all that sticks is the bottom. Be sure to mix it until the dough forms a ball. The dough will turn into a ball, and as you mix the dough the dough will try to settle on the bottom, add a tablespoon more flour mix in then stop.

You control just how light and fluffy they are. The more flour you add the more dense they will be, after a point.

For a change of pace, add some sourdough starter, after the yeast proofs, just remember to reduce the flour accordingly.  The more you make this recipe, the more comfortable you’ll become at making changes.


Substitute one cup wheat flour.

Wheat Sandwich Rolls*

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115)
1/3 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons RealSalt
1 cup scalded milk
1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
4 1/2 cups 
bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
2 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing rolls
2 tablespoons coconut oil, for the bowl

*Substitute one cup of bread flour for wheat flour.


Step 1:  Add yeast and one teaspoon of sugar to your mixing bowl,  add a 1/4 cup of warm water to your mixing bowl. (Water should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist.)  Let sit 10 minutes.  Add remaining sugar, 2 cups of flour and RealSalt to mixing bowl.

Step 2:  Scald milk (warm milk just until a film develops on the top) then add butter directly from the refrigerator to the pan with the milk.  The butter will cool the milk until just about right.  Cool mixture to 100 to 115 degrees F.

Step 3:  Add milk mixture to yeast, then beat in egg. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Step 4:  Add one cup of flour, knead until all the flour is mixed in, continue adding flour a little at a time. Knead the dough lightly for 5 minutes, working in the remaining flour. Place dough in a bowl, greased with coconut oil; turn the dough until all the dough in coated. Cover and let rise in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Step 5:  Punch dough down and lightly knead dough on a lightly floured pastry cloth. (I have a large plastic map that works well for this.) Dough will be slightly sticky, but use as little flour as possible for flouring your hands and the pastry cloth, otherwise the rolls will not be as feathery light as they should be. Pinch off small chunks of dough and shape into round rolls about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches in diameter. (I use a scale and for the rolls I weigh them out between 2 oz. and 3 oz.) Place in neat rows, not quite touching, in a coconut oiled 13- by 9- by 2-inch pan. Cover rolls and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

Hamburger Buns

Hamburger Buns

Step 6:  Brush tops of rolls with melted butter, then pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place rolls in oven, turn the heat down to 375 degrees F, bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve warm with plenty of butter.

You can make hamburger and hot dog buns out the dough too.

Tips for Baking @ 4k

Welcome to Baking at 4,000 ft. Here you will find tips to help you turn out a perfect loaf of bread every time. I use only organic flour, butter, farm fresh eggs and raw milk.  We do our best in the Hall family, to avoid pesticides, genetically modified organisms and other health affecting toxins.

The first thing you need to remember the darker the pan, the better. Light colored aluminum pans don’t bake well in the mountains, if that’s all you have, just remember things can burn and still appear undercooked. Use a thermometer.

Sourdough Croissants

Sourdough Croissants with Ham, eggs and cheese.

You will notice the last thing to be added to each recipe is the flour.  That is where we will make most of the recipe adjustments.  After doing this for awhile you will be able to judge the dough from sight and touch.  You can really feel a good dough when you begin to roll it out.

I always add about two tablespoons of liquid. So, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of water, use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons.  The same goes for milk. When it’s raining in the mountains, I don’t even attempt to make bread because it’s just not right.  The bread is always dry.

We are attempting to develop a really good sourdough croissant, I’ll let you know when I’ve finished.