While my brother and I were growing up, my Mother did a lot of baking and cooking. One of the favorite things that everyone remembers about my Mother were her buns. My sons, grandchildren, nephews and niece remember Grandma’s buns. That was one of the favorite things about visiting my parent’s home or when the grandparents visited ours. What the younger generation doesn’t know is how those buns came into being.
Every weekend as far back as I can remember, my Mother made what she called coffee cake. Her coffee cake was nothing like the coffee cake that is normally called coffee cake. Most coffee cakes are made with baking powder and are crumbly. My Mother’s ‘coffee cake’ was more like everybody’s favorite – Cinnamon Rolls, made with a yeast dough.
My Mother usually made it in a ring style. The dough was rolled out like Cinnamon Rolls, buttered and dressed with Cinnamon Sugar and sometimes with raisins or candied fruit. Then the dressed dough was rolled into a tube. This is where the difference came in – my Mother’s roll wasn’t cut into individual pieces. The tube was fastened into a circle and pinched together at the ends. Then the tube was partially cut about every 2-3 inches. It was placed on a greased baking sheet and then each partially cut section of dough was turned so that the layers of cinnamon could be seen.
Essentially the rolls were shaped into a flower-like pastry. During the winter holidays my Mother made these and topped them with a Vanilla Glaze and put Cherries on top. My Mother would wrap these cakes up in cellophane wrap and my Father brought every one of his co-workers one of my Mother’s creations for their holiday gift.
My Mother Naomi made these rolls every Friday and they were our Saturday breakfast. We usually ate them spread with butter, not frosting. I cannot remember a Saturday morning that we did not have these rolls. The year that I was nine my Mother had surgery for a hernia and could not make the dough. I convinced my Mother to let me do it and while she instructed and supervised, I made the dough for our weekend rolls. I don’t remember how they turned out, I only remember making the dough, but I do remember that my Mother talked about it to her friends and family members for a long time afterwards so they must have turned out pretty well.
As the years went by and the grandchildren were born, my Mother’s ‘coffee cake’ somehow evolved into little twisted buns that were always available for the grandchildren to eat when they visited or were brought to the children’s homes when my Mother visited them. In my home, we always had to watch out for my second eldest son Joel, who would have eaten the whole batch if allowed.
The dough is a rich butter dough and melts in your mouth. My children always had fond memories of these buns and all of the sudden one year it dawned on me, why don’t I make them. I knew exactly how my Mother made them and I had been making Cinnamon Rolls for years so now when there is a family event, I make ‘Grandma’s Buns for the grandchildren (my children and niece and nephew) and of course my grandchildren.
Several years ago I flew to Ohio with my son Joel, my granddaughter and grandson to attend the graduation of my eldest grandson who was attending school there. I made a batch of buns to take on the trip and to bring to my grandson in Ohio. The buns never made it all the way to Ohio. Between my son and grandchildren, they disappeared while we were on the plane. Since we were staying at my Grandson’s home in Ohio, I was put to work right away making another batch. Fortunately I know the recipe by heart. For my version of Grandma’s Buns check our recipe section. The recipe will be under Baked Items and then under Bread. http://sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/baked-productsbread/ So, this is the story of ‘Grandma’s Buns’. Anybody else out there have stories like this. It would be fun to hear them.