Saturday, February 20, 2010

Uncle Bob's Cardamon Rolls

Peggy's grandpa (Uncle Bob's dad) was a Swedish baker. They had a shop in Berkeley, CA, until around the depression time. So the Swedish bread making should run in the family. Hmmm. One of our favorites was Uncle Bob's cardamom rolls. Peggy sought the recipe from him, but somehow, they never turned out the same as his.  He passed away a few years ago, taking the mystery of how he made his rolls with him forever.

Peggy worked for a long time trying to duplicate his rolls.  She developed this delicious recipe for cardamom rolls, but, admittedly, they still are not quite as good as Uncle Bob's, but they are sooo close! His original recipe is located at the end of this blog (well the recipe he gave us anyway).

Here is our recipe for use in a bread machine: 
Here are the ten ingredients of our recipe:

  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 3/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
Put the butter into the milk and microwave for 70 to 77 seconds.  The butter will be mostly melted.  Pour into the bread machine basket (which you've taken out of the machine so you don't get flour and junk in the machine itself).

 We like to avoid getting dishes dirty, so we beat the egg in the measuring cup we just used for the milk.

Put everything else into the bread machine EXCEPT the raisins, set them aside. (Make sure the salt is separated from the yeast--put the flour between, so the yeast isn't killed too early by the salt).
Set the bread machine to "Dough" and start it. 

After 90 minutes your dough should look like this:

Coat a 9"X13" baking dish with shortening, and while you're at it, coat your hands too.
Take the dough, plop it into the baking dish.  Form a depression and dump in the raisins. (Raisins too early gives too much of a metallic taste to the dough.)

Fold the dough over the raisins and stretch the dough and fold it over itself.  We do this a bunch of times until the raisins are evenly distributed.

Then pull the dough apart into equally sized pieces, 15 in this case.


Stretch the dough around itself a few times and pinch it closed on the bottom to smooth the rolls out.

Then we cover the rolls with a non-terrycloth kitchen towel and let them rise for a couple of hours.

Like so (maybe even larger would be fine):

 Put them in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  And this is what you get:

And finally, break apart a hot roll, put a little butter on it and...

It's too bad you can't smell and taste this on the blog!

Here's the original recipe:

• Scald: 2 cups milk.
• Pour over: 5/8 cup shortening and
• ¾ cup sugar
• Mix in: ¾ to1 cup raisins
• Add in: 8 cups sifted flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ¾ teaspoon cardamom
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• 1 egg
• Add in: 1 cake or 2 Tablespoons yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water

Knead until elastic. Let rise in bowl greased with shortening until doubled. Punch down dough. Form into balls. Let rise again in greased pan until doubled. Bake about 18 minutes at 375º.


  1. I thought his original recipe said, "Add 'enough' flour" but never specified what that meant. Was the 8 cups a guess or did he tell you that later? xok

  2. He gave Patti a recipe and me a recipe, both different. Hers said 8 cups.