Friday, January 7, 2011

Fan Tans ~ Buttermilk Rolls

Ok, well I have attempted two of my 2011 Food Goals in Fan Tans,

1) baking bread from scratch and
2) Baking from my vintage "Joy of Cooking~ 1943 edition" cookbook


I have made bread from scratch before, but I am very much the novice on this and want to try more breads and recipes.

I had some buttermilk in my fridge and kept contemplating on what to do with it because I rarely have buttermilk. So, I started perusing through my vintage cookbook and in the index there are 3 recipes under buttermilk, potato rolls, rolls and sherbet (yes, I said sherbet!).

I went with the rolls, didn't want to go for the potato rolls, they are listed as a coffee cake as well, definitely not in the mood for some buttermilk sherbet, so rolls it is!

Plus with an alternate name such as fan tans, I thought Fan-Tan-tastic!!!

Fan Tans or Buttermilk Rolls
Recipe from Joy of Cooking 1943 Edition by Irma S. Rombauer

  •  4 C. of bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 *yeast cake or 1 pkg. of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. soda
  • 2 T. melted butter, plus some for spreading
Scald buttermilk until warm, ~ 110 F

Yeah, I got to use my new digital multi-purpose thermometer!
and disslove yeast in 1/3 c. of buttermilk (~ 5 min.).  
 Put remaining buttermilk in mixing bowl.

Add dissolved yeast and buttermilk to remaining buttermilk with 1/4 C. sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. soda. Beat well, then stir in 2 C. of flour gradually, add 2 T. butter melted, add rest of flour.

Dough will become smooth. Place dough ball in a greased bowl, turning to cover all sides.  

 Cover the dough with a cloth or wrap. Let it rise until it has doubled (or tripled according to 1943 Joy of Cooking) in size. (~ 1 hour in a warm place 72-85 F)

Once doubled, separate it into two parts. Roll each dough half into a rectangle about 1/8' thick (~ 9" x 18")

Let the rolling begin!

(Shew! 9" x 18" that is a huge roll of dough if you ask me, but that is just me personally, I never thought I was going to get it rolled out that big, actually I only made it to 9" x 14" and learned you really shouldn't stress about how big you rolled it out, that will just determine how many rolls you have or don't have :0) )

Brush each half of rolled dough with melted butter, cut the dough lengthwise into 1 1/2 inch strips so you should have about 6 long strips.

Then stack the strips

Then cut the stack of strips into 1 1/2 inch long strips

*Loco Cocoa Tip: I used floss to go under the dough stack and then cross over top to cut my slices so they come out smooth, you could also use bakers twine if you have it, or just cut it!!! But I had so much fun slicing through it with floss!!!
Place the stack of strips in a buttered muffin tin with the cut edges up.
 Let the rolls rise in a warm place until they have doubled in size.

Then bake at 425 F for 15 to 20 min., until lightly brown and serve!

Note: This recipe is also in the updated 75th anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking under Buttermilk Rolls with very little variation, new edition uses only 1 1/2 C. buttermilk and it has nice illustrations. *yeast cake: I was a little intimidated by this, because honestly I had never heard of a yeast cake, but it is just a different form of the yeast and is actually still sold today, but I have never ran across any!

So, there you go, my first version of Fan Tans, Buttermilk roll style and a recipe from my 1943 Joy of Cooking cookbook, I promise next time to make something that is not in the updated 75th anniversary edition as well, but it was neat to compare the two recipes slight differences and the wording from the two is very different!

I am hoping next time my bread will rise a little more so maybe it is a little more flaky and condensed together vs. such distinct "fans" of bread, but they were still yummy!

So, if your arm needs a little workout rolling out some dough or you have some leftover buttermilk, or you are just craving some yummy, buttery, homemade bread then please give these a try!

Until next time,
Happy Baking,
Lynn aka Loco Cocoa


  1. Yum. That floss trick is so cool! You should do a whole page of just are really knowledgable in the kitchen!

  2. Thanks! I will have to keep a tips post in mind!!! I at least try to put in things I think are helpful as I go along! Glad they are useful!

  3. those pretty rolls bet they were delish. I need to try that one out, I am pretty novice at bread baking too but the more you do it the better you get.

  4. Suzanne: Hope you get to try them and enjoy! It was a great recipe. I hope to continue to make more bread to get better at it!