Scrolling through recipes on Pinterest and this was the recipe that caught my eye - "Lunch Lady Cafeteria Rolls." I don't know about you but I certainly don't have fond memories of the rolls that were served by the lunch ladies when I was in school. (Keep in mind that it's been 25 years since I've been in a school cafeteria and lunch room protocol has changed in the last quarter decade.) Apparently my experience with underwhelming cafeteria rolls was not the norm though, there WERE school kids around the country being served delicious, fresh baked rolls on their school lunch tray every day.
The image that comes to my mind when I read "lunch lady cafeteria rolls" was completely different than the picture that accompanied the recipe on reallifedinner.com. I can assure you that these were NOT the rolls that were being served in our school cafeteria.
I have to admit that I was feeling a little cheated out of warm cafeteria rolls when I found a link at the bottom of the recipe to another page that featured Lunch Lady Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls! Seriously, were there kids in the 80's eating delicious, freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the school cafeteria in the morning? I'm fairly certain that my school never served breakfast - let alone a warm, homemade cinnamon roll.
I may not have grown up eating fresh bread in my school cafeteria but it's never too late to make up for lost time. I made a batch of these rolls for my family last week.
Apparently the lunch ladies of the 80s were quite efficient. They used the same dough for the cinnamon rolls as they did for the rolls. I decided to do the same. I made 1 batch of dough and divided it in half. I made a dozen cinnamon rolls and a pan of rolls to serve with dinner. (Those lunch ladies are pretty clever.)
Posting the roll recipe today and tomorrow, I'll post the directions for turning the dough into cinnamon rolls.
Lunch Lady Cafeteria Rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 + 3/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons shortening
Add melted butter (cooled), milk, eggs and salt to yeast mixture.
In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Stir until combined. Cut in shortening.
Divide half of dough into small pieces for rolls.
Remove from pans to cool completely. Gently pull apart.
So now I want to hear from those of you who were eating fresh baked rolls and cinnamon rolls in their school cafeteria in the 80s. I have a feeling that it was geographically specific but I want to hear from you to confirm my suspicions. If the lunch ladies in your school cafeteria were. And don't worry, if you're like me and you missed out on fresh rolls in your school cafeteria - now you can bake them for yourself at home.
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