Day 4: Dinner Rolls

I don’t about you, but at my family’s Thanksgiving’s day dinner table the dinner roll plays a small but very important “roll” in the dinner.

The roll is the plate sweeper, liquid soaker and all-around clean-up tool. Without dinner rolls, all of the crumbs, small bits and juicy green bean/turkey and gravy leftovers are left to be swept down the garbage disposal, never to be enjoyed again.

The type of rolls on the table differ from family to family. My family prefers a homemade crescent roll. My grandmother is the master roll crafter but my mother and I have both learned her tricks and tips and now carry on the tradition at our own Thanksgiving day dinners.

Rolls are a fairly simple menu item. The primary ingredient is wheat – grown here in Kansas, the nation’s largest producer of hard, red winter wheat.

The Wheat Foods Council reports that one bushel of wheat yields approximately 42 pounds of white flour. A white wheat crescent roll recipe provided by the Kansas Wheat Commission requires about 5 cups of flour for a serving of 24 rolls. That means you could get about 120 rolls from a bushel of wheat. Sadly I think my family could make all of those disappear – we’re big roll fans!

Kansas wheat farmers plant their wheat in October and harvest the crop in June. Million of acres of wheat are produced in Kansas alone each year. About 21 different states grow some version of wheat. U.S. wheat is exported to countries across the globe. Exports have fluctuated sharply since the 1960s but have seen a noticeable uptick in the past few years.

Each recipe requires a unique mixture of butter and yeast. Rolls have, on average, about 150 calories and 5 grams of fat. To boost the health factor, make your rolls whole wheat. If you are looking for a new and unique dinner roll recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, log onto the Kansas Wheat Commission website at http://www.kswheat.com.

I don’t know what Day 5 will bring – stay tuned to find out.


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