A New Easter Tradition


Yesterday afternoon we did something we had never attempted before. That’s right, we made caramel rolls. North Dakota-style caramel rolls. That is pronounced car-mel. Not that southern-fried CARE-ah-mell pronunciation. And no nuts. We don’t do that here. Putting nuts on caramel rolls is just sick and wrong. When I run the zoo this will become part of the United States Code Annotated.

My mother, my aunt, and one of their best friends made incredible caramel rolls. My mom never parted with her recipe (part of her insane dislike for her daughter-in-laws), one of my cousins has my aunt’s recipe, and I would assume that the friend’s recipe is in the hands of her daughters. So we didn’t have a recipe. My wife is a spectacular cook and loves baking, but she dislikes working with dough or anything she has to roll out. So we’ve never attempted this before.

This recipe was getting passed around on Facebook. One of my classmates posted it and I grabbed it there. It’s a lot of work and though my wife thought we could have done better if we had bread flour, they were incredible. Here’s the original blog post that was linked on Facebook.


So if you’re in the mood for sticky goodness, the kind of comfort food that makes you want to curl up into a carbohydrate-enriched coma, this is a sure ticket to nirvana.

North Dakota Caramel Rolls

1 pkg rapid rise active dry yeast

½ cup sugar

½ cup shortening

2 cups buttermilk

6 cups bread flour

2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of water. In a large standing mixer, cream sugar and shortening. Add buttermilk, yeast mixture, 2 cups flour, salt, baking powder and soda. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining 4 cups of flour to make a very soft dough (I did this part with my mixer’s bread hook). Turn onto a floured surface and knead 4-8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while you make the caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce 

3 cups brown sugar

2 cups heavy cream

2 Tbs light corn syrup

2-4 Tbs butter unsalted butter, softened or melted

1 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbs white sugar

Combine brown sugar, cream and light corn syrup in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved & sauce is slightly thickened. Pour caramel sauce in equal amounts in the bottom of two 9×13 pans. [I usually get 12-14 rolls out of one batch. In order to avoid crowding, don’t place more than 6-7 rolls in each pan.]

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a large 10×18 inch rectangle. Spread with the softened butter. Sprinkle cinnamon & sugar over the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up and press to seal. Cut into 1″ thick slices.

Place the rolls on top of the caramel sauce in your 2 pans. Cover with a bread cloth & let rise near your warming oven until doubled in size – about 1-2 hours. Bake in preheated 375° oven for 25-30 minutes. Invert onto platter while rolls are still warm.

About jeroljohnson

I guess I'm the crying on the inside kind of clown
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