1

Spiced Pickled Beets

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My mom says I’m an old soul. My friends say I’m an 80 year-old, trapped in a 24 year-old’s body. Personally, I think I’m just kind of boring.

I’ve never really liked parties. I refuse to jaywalk because I think it sets a bad example for little kids. My favourite clothes usually involve stretchy waistbands. I’ll take Cary Grant over Channing Tatum any day. And I own an inordinate amount of mason jars.

So yeah, I’m basically an 80-year-old. And did I mention that I pickle?

In my defense, pickling is, at least in my opinion, quite “in” right now. We’re getting back to our grandmother’s way of doing things, in reaction to the now-obvious negative effects of chemical preservatives. Plus, it just tastes so good! Seriously, have you ever had store-bought pickled beets? Gross. But home-pickled beets, well, they are simply amazing.

In my mind, pickled beets are synonymous with my grandmother’s cooking. Her cramped little kitchen must have reeked of vinegar for the entire months of September and October, because the rate that she pumped out pickled beets was truly extraordinary.

She had cupboards of them, which she would inevitably open up every December to select a jar suitable for my family’s Christmas dinner. Her beets were always the perfect balance of sweet and tart, earthy and punchy, with minimal aftertaste. She cornered the market on the perfect beet.

These beets are based on one of her original recipes, so they share that punchy-earthy flavour combination. But for my beets, I wanted to incorporate some exotic, warm spices into the mix, so I prepared the brine with some whole cinnamon, cloves and star anise, which gives it a really nice licorice taste. This warm blend of spices lends a Christmasy feel to them, making them a great gift idea for the holidays.

spices prep

Spiced Pickled Beets
Makes 7 500-ml jars.

TOOLS:

-Home canning kit (I got this one at Canadian Tire for $50. It has everything you need to get started, and has more than paid for itself with all the money I’ve saved in giving away jam and beets as Christmas gifts!)
-7 500-ml glass mason jars and lids, sanitized
-Large stockpot
-Measuring cups and spoons

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb to 3 lb beets
9 cups white pickling vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
1 cup kosher salt
8 to 9 whole star anise
2 sticks cinnamon
2 1/2 to 3 tbsp whole cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a large pot, boil beets until just fork-tender, about 30 minutes; do not over-boil. Drain, trim ends and peel away skin. Chop into desired size chunks (quartered or into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes).

2. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, combine vinegar, sugar, salt, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

3. Divide beets among jars. Pour vinegar mixture into jars, filling within 1/4 inch of rims. (NOTE: You may have some left over.) Remove air bubbles with a non-metallic wand and wipe rims with a clean dish cloth. Seal and place in canner with boiling water for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from canner and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours; seals will pop down during this time. If seals of any jars do not pop down, simply consume those beets within 3 to 4 days. Beets are best served cold.

Enjoy!

2

Vanilla Peach Scones

I can’t remember exactly what was going through my mind when I clicked the “register” button on my computer’s screen.

Some combination of excitement, nervousness and sheer, unadulterated fear, no doubt.

I felt that same frenzied conglomeration of emotion welling up in my throat yesterday afternoon, as I carefully fastened the last button on my newly acquired chef’s jacket, my fingers trembling with trepidation.

I didn’t know what to expect when my eyes met in the mirror – to be honest, I thought I’d look like a phony playing dress-up.

Except as I stepped back and took a full stare at myself, from the crisp white jacket to my carefully tied-back mop of hair, I felt something a little different. I felt like me.

In two weeks, I start my chef training certificate, a two-year program I’ll take on evenings and weekends between work. It’s expensive, time-consuming and in a terribly inconvenient location, but I don’t care. Because at the end of it, I get to be a chef.

It’s been two years since the idea first popped into my head – in fact, just as I’d filled out my application to Prince Edward Island’s Culinary Institute of Canada, I was offered my job here in Toronto. Needless to say, my application was tossed in the garbage bin as I packed for the move.

I thought that working for a food magazine would settle my desire to go to chef school, but if anything, it made it stronger. My passion for food developed into full-on obsession, and I’ve been rolling up my sleeves to develop recipes in my own kitchen ever since.

I wish I could say that I have some sort of plan – that after graduating, I want to work for a bakeshop and bake cupcakes all day, but there’s no such thing. Maybe I will decide that cooking is what I’m meant to do, maybe I’ll hate it. Maybe I’ll just be a better home cook, or maybe I’ll turn out to be a real culinary genius. Either way, I owe it to myself to give this a shot, to open myself up to failure and accept that I have a whole lot left to learn.

This recipe is the result of some over-zealous grocery shopping – I spotted a sale on fresh Ontario peaches and stocked up, not realizing that my boyfriend hates the stone-fruit, leaving me to devour all four pounds of peaches before they start to get mushy. So, armed with a basket of the yellow fruit and a pantry full of baking goodies, I set out to make the best peach scone I’ve ever had. With speckles of vanilla bean, flaky pastry and chunks of juicy peaches, these scones are just that. And with whole-wheat flour, a sprinkling of flaxseeds and very little sugar, they’re a perfect healthy start to my day.



Vanilla Peach Scones
Makes 6 scones.

The trick to baking with peaches is to blanche them first – this allows you to peel away the skin, revealing supple, juicy flesh ready to stir into your favorite pancakes, muffins or scones!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large peach (or 2 small peaches)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground flaxseeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup half-n-half
1 tsp almond extract
1 vanilla bean pod (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Slivered almonds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice and arrange near stovetop.

2. Turn peach upside-down and cut a shallow ‘x’ mark into bottom of skin; do not puncture flesh. Add peach to pot and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Carefully remove from pot and immediately transfer to ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel peach by lifting skin by the ‘x’ mark. Dice peach and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, flaxseeds and salt. With the large holes of a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture, occasionally tossing flour over shards of butter. With your fingers, work butter into flour mixture by rubbing together until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add peach and toss gently to coat.

4. Split vanilla bean and run the tip of your knife through center to extract beans. In a small bowl, whisk half-n-half, almond extract and vanilla beans. Form a well in center of flour mixture and add half-n-half mixture to well. With a rubber spatula, gently mix until just combined.

5. Lightly dust a cutting board with flour. Turn dough out onto flour and gently form into a ball. (TIP: Do not knead or overmix; the key to flaky scones is to work the dough as little as possible). Flatten ball into a 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into six equal pieces.

6. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush each with egg. Top with almonds and bake in center of oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until golden. Let cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy!

1

Creamy Potato & Ham Soup

It’s been almost a year since I moved away from the East Coast to Toronto – a year that has been by far my most difficult, stressful and terrifying, but at the same time incredibly satisfying.

I’ve had a hard time remembering what my life was like before the move – from the layout of my third-floor Fredericton apartment to the events of the days leading up to the moment where I packed my life in a silver Honda Civic and left everything I knew behind.

I think part of me had blocked it out, to protect myself from getting homesick or feeling out of place in my new home. But lately, as the one year anniversary of my move approaches, snippets of my old life keep creeping in.

It happens unexpectedly, when I’m least prepared. Today it was the smell of an old sweater I hadn’t worn or washed since I moved, still carrying the floral scent of the dryer sheets I used to use.

Yesterday it was the aromatic chance encounter of fresh-squeezed orange juice and fresh-made French bread – a heavenly pairing that will always make me think of the farmers’ market down the street from my old apartment.

Once it was a whiff of incense and the distinctive twist of a muscle that, when I closed my eyes, made me swear I was back in my old yoga studio on Fredericton’s sleepy Queen Street.

As I let these memories trickle their way into my consciousness, other things are edging their way back. I can finally remember the drive my mom and I made to move me to Ontario last March, which up until now was just a blur of random gas stations and candy wrappers. I can remember my first week at my new job – the heavy feeling in my stomach of both excitement and fear. And just this afternoon, I was able to fully recollect that moment after the taxi came to collect my mom, leaving me to walk back alone to the strange apartment that was to be my home.

It worried me when these memories first started coming back. I was afraid that it meant I was getting homesick or unhappy. But ultimately, I think somehow I’ve finally come to realize that my memories are not a series of unconnected dots to be filed away by year and forgotten, but rather a timeline of who I am and how I came to be here. These memories are something I should appreciate, because I owe them who I am today.

I decided to make a good, traditional East Coast potato soup after spotting a bag of PEI potatoes at the grocery store last week. I took them home, quickly released them from the familiar Cavendish logo bag, and took a good whiff. You might think all dirt smells the same, but I swear the minute those spuds hit my nose, I was home.

Creamy Potato & Ham Soup
Serves 6.

Tools

Large stockpot
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Wooden spoon
Measuring cups and spoons
Slotted spoon
Blender
Small bowl

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 lb cooked ham, chopped
5 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
6 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup table cream (18%), divided
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish, as desired
Chopped green onions for garnish, as desired

Instructions


1. In a large stockpot, heat oil on medium. Add garlic and onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened and onion turns translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add ham and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until any liquid released from ham is absorbed. Stir in 5 cups broth, cover and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

3. With a slotted spoon, remove 2 cups potatoes and transfer to a blender. Add 1/2 cup cream to blender and blend until smooth; mixture should be very thick and creamy. Scoop mixture into a small bowl and set aside. With slotted spoon, remove remaining potatoes from pot and transfer to blender. (TIP: If you want a chunkier soup, leave a cup or two of cubed potatoes in pot.) Add remaining 1/2 cup cream and blend until smooth.

4. Reduce heat to low, return all blended potatoes to pot and stir well to combine. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and milk to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and cook (do not simmer or boil) until heated through. Top each serving with cheese and green onions, as desired.

Enjoy!

0

Frying Pan Cookies

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I really, really love to cook. And, if you’ve ever seen me cook, you know that when I do, I like to utilize, in the words of my boyfriend, “Every goddamn dish in the house.”

I also happen to be one of those people who, when completed a task, likes the mess to go away on its own – I’m done with it. I don’t want to look at crusty baking sheets and flour-spattered counters for more than five minutes after the cookies come out of the oven – but I also really, really hate doing dishes.

In my fantasy world, this is where I’d be saying something cheeky like “This is where my boyfriend comes in,” and I don’t blame you for jumping to that conclusion yourself (unless of course, you know TJ…).

So instead of using this space to praise my thoughtful boyfriend, who always rewards my baking and cooking by offering to do the dishes, I’m going to take this time to complain about the fact that somehow, mine seemed to have skipped that gene that everyone else’s boyfriend seems to have – that gene that makes men know that in the end, they’re far better off if they just break down and wash the dishes.

Watching TJ do the dishes (on those rare, fleeting occasions) is a painful, agonizing process. First comes the nag from me: I turn on my sweetest possible voice, bat my eyelashes a few times in his general direction, and ponder, ever so slightly, if he would mind doing the dishes.

Then comes the grunt of acknowledgement from his side of the room.

…Forty minutes pass…

This is when I start to get grumpy. I probe him again, a deeper, darker inflection to my voice as I ask him again, if he could do the dishes.

It continues like this until either a) I get really angry and start doing them myself, or b) he gets the hint and finally walks over to the sink, washes a dish or two, then gets bored and goes back to whatever foolish thing he was doing before, leaving me to either a) nag him again, or b) do them myself.

So you can see why a recipe called Frying Pan Cookies caught my eye when I was sifting through a pile of my grandmother’s old recipe cards a couple of weeks back. Cookies you can make in one simple skillet? I was hooked.

I’ll be the first to admit that the cooking method is not the only unconventional thing about these cookies. They’re not really cookies at all, actually, more like sweet little balls of sugar, Rice Krispies and chewy chunks of dried fruit. But they’re fun to make, yummy to eat and, most important, all you need is one glorious, easy-to-clean skillet.

Tools

Large frying pan
(Okay, you also need measuring cups and spoons and a wooden spoon to stir. But that’s it!)

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped dried cherries, cranberries or dates (for less sweetness, go for unsweetened)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies (I used the red and green kind to be festive!)
1 1/2 cups dried shredded coconut

Instructions

In a large frying pan, add 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar. Mix until well combined. Stir in dried fruit, butter and salt. Place on low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and Rice Krispies. Let cool slightly. Spread coconut out on a large cutting board. Form Rice Krispie mixture into 1-inch balls and roll in coconut.

Tip: If you have trouble getting the cookies to bind, sprinkle just a few drops of water onto cookies and roll into balls with damp hands.

Enjoy!
0

Cookie Dough Ice Cream and Chocolate Sugar Cookie Bowls

Working for a food magazine that promotes healthy eating kind of means you have to, well, you know, eat well. Practice what you preach and all that.

It hasn’t really been a huge shake-up in my life, this conscious decision to embrace healthy foods. I’ve always been a pretty decent eater, more often inclined to eat fresh, whole foods than pre-packaged goodies.

Case in point: When I was eight or nine years old, my bedtime snack of choice was green beans – a big old can of boiled and buttered green beans. Healthy, right?

My sister likes to jokingly accuse my parents of having reserved the healthy food in the fridge for me, relegating her to the packages of chips and cookies that lurked in the cupboards of our childhood. I would deny it, but I can vividly remember my spoiled-little-sister grin when my dad would announce the Red Delicious apples were “only for Little Miss Bean” (I swear my nickname had nothing to do with my green bean snacking…).

So I’ve been eating especially well lately – it’s hard not to when you spend a good part of your day at work reading and writing about the dangers of eating poorly. I’ve even cut back on baking, that weekly ritual of creaming butter and sugar that my boyfriend swears caused him to lose his “hockey body” – whatever that means.

The results have been encouraging. My skin’s cleared up quite a bit, I have enough energy to run regularly and my boyfriend’s lost more than 20 lbs. I’ve been proud of my new lifestyle, boasting to my friends and family how they ought to try it too.

That is, until tonight.

Somehow fate would have it that just as my healthy lifestyle started to really pick up, I would stumble upon a photo of these dastardly delicious cookie bowls, ingeniously made by flipping a muffin tin upside down and covering the convex moulds with dough. Something deep, deep inside of me insisted that I had to have them.

And then, of course, I had to find something to put in the bowls, and what better than creamy homemade vanilla ice cream? And it only made sense to stuff the leftover cookie dough into the ice cream maker too. Doing otherwise would have been a flat-out waste. Right?

I have to promise myself that this temporary relapse into gluttony is just that – temporary. That once I get my fix of these crumbly cookie bowls and smooth and creamy ice cream, I’ll get back on track.

Here’s to hoping…

Cookie Dough Ice Cream and Chocolate Sugar Cookie Bowls
Makes about 9 bowls and 1 litre ice cream

Tools

Mixing bowls
Measuring cups and spoons
Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
Rubber spatula
Cutting board
Rolling pin
Kitchen knife
Muffin tin
Ice cream maker

Ingredients

Cookie Bowls
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp potato starch
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Olive oil cooking spray

Ice Cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups half and half
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chip cookie dough

Instructions

Prepare cookie bowls:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. With an electric hand mixer, beat until fluffy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer on medium speed.

While mixer is running, add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating after each addition. Fold in chocolate chips. Reserve 1/2 cup dough, and form remaining dough into a large ball.

Dust a cutting board and rolling pin with flour. Turn dough out onto board and roll into 1/4-inch thickness.

Turn a muffin tin upside-down and mist with cooking spray. Cut out circles of dough large enough to cover the inverted holes of your muffin tin (TIP: I use a pizza cutter, as it allows me to make smooth circles). With a spatula or the flat edge of a large knife, lift circles of cookie dough from board and place over top of inverted muffin tin holes, cupping dough around holes to form a cohesive cup. If needed, patch any holes or tears with additional batter. Remove excess dough from around the cups.

Bake for 10 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then carefully pry cookie bowls from tin. Turn right-side-up and transfer to cooling rack.

Prepare ice cream:

(NOTE: Most ice cream makers require you to freeze the ice cream maker bowl for up to 12 hours before use.)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except cookie dough. Turn ice cream maker on and pour cream mixture into bowl of maker. Churn according to maker directions, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, form reserved cookie dough into pea-size balls. Ten minutes before ice cream is complete, add cookie dough while maker is running.

Spoon ice cream into cookie bowls and, if desired, garnish with additional chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

1

Cherry Squares

My boyfriend’s been having trouble sleeping lately. He’s had too much roaming around in his head over the past few months that the idea of resting still with his thoughts seems lost on him.

I shouldn’t blame him, but sometimes I do – like at 2 am, when he’s keeping me awake with all his tossing and turning. It’s hard not to become a raging lunatic when you’ve been lying next to an eggbeater, your eyes burning into the back of your head from that distinct combination of frustration and fatigue. It’s even more difficult not to consider slipping a sedative in his supper when I’ve just spent all day exhausted because of his incessant bed-spinning.

The last three months have been his most difficult. He left his job back home to move to Ontario with me. We were naive enough to think that finding a new job here, in one of the biggest cities in the country, wouldn’t be that hard for him. Yet he waits, every day, to hear back from one of the couple dozen applications he’s sent out, hoping for good news. I come home from work, and he’s so lonely it’s sad. You can tell I’m the only human face he’s seen all day, because he’s so anxious to show me everything he’s done that day.

Then the night comes: he tries to numb his mind with video games and podcasts, but nothing seems to be able to calm him down enough to sleep. Eventually he nods off, but rarely before 3 am.

We tried over-the-counter drugs, with weird names like Sleep ‘N Relax, and even weirder ingredients, like catnip. They worked for the first few nights, although I’m tempted to think it had more of the placebo affect than anything else. Within a week or two, he was back to his irregular routine of 5 am bedtimes and 2 pm mornings.

Last week I was doing some research for work when I came across an interesting find. Cherries, apparently, are a natural sedative. Deeming this a far better solution than slipping some concoction into his pasta sauce, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work and bought a bag of cherries. I knew that if I were to get him to eat them, I’d have to slip them into something he would find appealing. If anyone would have a good cherry dessert recipe, I knew it had to be my grandmother. After a little sifting through her old recipe tins, I found it. Scribbled on a blue recipe card was the answer to my problem: cherry squares.

Tools

2 medium mixing bowls
pastry blender
rubber spatula
9-inch baking pan
hand mixer

Ingredients

1 cup flour
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole fresh or bottled cherries
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded coconut

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, mix in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add salt and spread onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch baking pan to form a bottom crust.

With a hand mixer, beat eggs. Add remaining 1 cup brown sugar and beat until well combined. Stir in cherries, vanilla and coconut. Using a rubber spatula, spread cherry mixture on top of bottom crust in pan. Bake for 35 minutes, until squares are solid and lightly browned.

Enjoy!

2

Pull-Apart Rolls

Growing up, you always think the hardest thing about love is finding the right person.

It’s practically bred into us since we were kids. No one dares tell the story of Cinderella’s happily-ever-after, because in reality the end isn’t nearly as fun as the beginning.

No one ever tells you just how hard the rest of it is. You grow up watching your parents fight from time to time, and you rarely see them kiss, but you never really consider the fact that they’re in a relationship; they’re always just your parents.

Love takes a lot of patience and adjustments – there’s no way any two people can survive together without changing some integral part of their personality. There’s no such thing as loving someone just the way they are – it’s about accepting who they are and willing to work through their shortfalls. It also takes a willingness to change.

I was a very different person when I started dating TJ seven years ago. My most noticeable and proudest adjustment has been my temper. My tendency to fly off the handle was something TJ picked up on pretty much immediately, and I’ve been working toward toning it down ever since.

We’re still working some things out, and will be for the rest of our lives. One of the biggest adjustments we’ve made recently is finding a balance between his lack of cleanliness and my obsessive-compulsive need to organize. He has a tendency to leave his socks all over our apartment, or to leave empty rolls of toilet paper on the stand without replacing it with a new one. Sometimes I get frustrated and rearrange his stuff (which he absolutely hates), or I’ll get grumpy and start nagging.

You have to make a lot of compromises, something I’ve never really had to make before meeting him. I can’t just live my life freely if I want it to involve him; every step we take needs to be calculated with each other in mind.

Sometimes I get angry with him for having to give up my neurotic need for an immaculate apartment, or for having to consider our finances as a whole before making any big decisions. And I know he gets mad when he can’t just throw his coat wherever he wants or eat barbeque chips for supper.

But no matter how loud we yell or how heavily we stomp away, we both know it’s worth it. Because I know that I’ll always be able to take my make-up off and stuff my hair in a bun at night and have him tell me I’m beautiful. Because I know that after I’ve had a hard day, I can come home and cry on the couch and not worry about him thinking less of me. Because I know that no matter how hard I fall, he’ll always be there.

Sometimes I get sad when I think of how carefree the early days were, or I get nostalgic when I see a new couple flirting together for the first time. But that stuff’s easy: anyone can put on a push-up bra and dole out sweet remarks. It takes real love to stick with someone after the mascara’s smudged off.

I waited a long time to try this recipe, mostly out of fear that I couldn’t possibly make rolls (breads tend to intimidate me). But after having a particularly nasty fight with TJ last weekend, I stormed into my kitchen, hauled out the mixing bowls and went to work. They worked out really well, and after a lot of compromise on both of our parts, so did we.

The recipe is from Canadian Living.

Tools

measuring cups
measuring spoons
medium saucepan
mixing bowls
wooden spoon
fork
wooden cutting board
two 9-inch round baking pans
cooling racks

Ingredients

2 tablespoons  sugar
1-1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup warm water
2-1/4 teaspoon (one package) active dry yeast
1 egg
4-1/2 cups flour

Instructions

After gathering ingredients, remove one teaspoon of sugar from required amount and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat milk, butter, salt and remaining sugar until butter is melted. Let cool.

In large bowl, add warm water to the remaining sugar and whisk until dissolved. Sprinkle in yeast, then let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in milk mixture and egg.

Stir in four cups of the flour, one cup at a time, using the bread attachment on your stand mixer, or with a fork. Turn onto lightly floured cutting board and knead, adding as much of the remaining 1/2 cup flour as necessary until smooth.

Grease a large bowl with margarine or butter. Place dough inside bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 1-1/2 hours in a warm place.

After dough has rise, punch down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and divide into 20 pieces. Shape each into a ball.

Place 2 balls in the centre of each of two greased 9-inch round metal cake pans. Surround each centre with eight balls. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until they’ve doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Dust with flour.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are golden on top. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to rack and let cool.

Enjoy!