Gran Ruth's Green Rolls Recipe on Food52


Gran Ruth's Green Rolls

August 20, 2019
3 Ratings
Photo by Ruth & Hadley Strange
Author Notes

When my husband and I were dating, and the holidays rolled around, I was introduced to "Green Rolls," which were made and served at Thanksgiving in the Strange household. After we became engaged, I was informed that anyone marrying into the Strange family had to learn how to make Gran Ruth's Green Rolls. So, my future mother-in-law carefully instructed me one Thanksgiving and I faithfully make them every year. Why are they called Green Rolls, you may ask? When my husband was a child, the adults told all of the children that if they ate too many of Gran Ruth's rolls, they would turn green! —Leslie C Strange

  • Makes 3 - 4 dozen
  • 1 pint Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening (like Crisco™)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Yeast
  • 4 - 6 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter, cut into 1 tsp pats, then cut into fourths
  • 1/4 cup Flour, for dusting while kneading
In This Recipe
  1. Place milk, shortening and sugar into medium saucepan. Scald, but do not boil, the mixture until shortening has melted and sugar dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Pouring the mixture into a large, glass mixing bowl helps speed the cooling process along, just watch that it does not get cold.
  3. Remove ¼ cup of the milk mixture and dissolve the yeast in it. Wait 5 minutes for the yeast to proof. Add the yeast mixture back into the milk mixture and stir.
  4. If you did not pour the mixture into a mixing bowl yet, do so now and add enough flour to make a thick dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl (the dough may still be a little sticky). Let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Gently punch down the dough. Mix the baking soda, baking powder and salt with a little flour and add to the dough by sprinkling on top. Lightly knead the dough to mix those ingredients in and then knead until smooth.
  6. Form rolls by rolling a piece of dough into a ball about the size of a walnut. (*FAMILY SECRET ALERT* - before placing on ungreased baking sheet, place one of the small pieces of butter in the center of the ball and seal well). Continue forming rolls and placing them on the baking sheet, sides slightly touching.
  7. Cover with a cloth and let rise 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 450° F for 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • aargersi
  • AntoniaJames
  • Leslie C Strange
    Leslie C Strange

    4 Reviews

    aargersi December 12, 2014
    Hidden butter. Yum.
    AntoniaJames December 12, 2014
    I agree, Abbie! Hidden butter, yes. So, so yes. ;o)
    Author Comment
    Leslie C. December 12, 2014
    Thank you so much!
    AntoniaJames December 11, 2014
    What a wonderful story! And I do appreciate your sharing the "family secret alert," which sounds like wise advice, indeed. Thank you for posting this recipe! ;o)