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Homemade Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls

Updated on November 10, 2014

My mom's recipe for yeast rolls

Well, not really my mom's recipe. This is my Aunt Ruth's recipe from 1938. It's just that the whole family uses it and has for 70 or so years. I have had to flesh it out a bit because when it comes to the cooking instructions, it just says "Bake".

This is comfort food. We had these rolls at every holiday. Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, we would wake up to the smell of the rolls baking in the oven. As we got older, we would also make them at different times but the best smells were on Thanksgiving morning with the turkey and the rolls baking together. Makes me homesick.

From Ruth Edmonds, Sweeny, Texas 1938 Thanks Aunt Ruth, I still and will always miss you.

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Cast your vote for Yeast Rolls


  1. This is directly from the recipe.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and add to the egg that has been slightly beaten.
  3. Add the sugar, salt and lard (shortening). Stir in 4 cups of flour all at once.
  4. Knead.
  5. Add the other 3 cups one at a time.
  6. Knead.
  7. Put in bowl to rise.
  8. When it has doubled in size, knead again and make small balls. Dip each ball into the butter and place three in a greased muffin tin.
  9. Let rise until the rolls fill the tin.
  10. Bake - this was always where we had fun. My aunt used to say that when the wood fire was hot enough, you would know. Except for camping, I don't cook on a wood fire so we figured out that they should be cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are brown on top (about 12 to 15 minutes).


  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups water (lukewarm)
  • 3 tablespoons lard (melted) - This is where I substitute shortening
  • 1 yeast cake (tablespoon) - conversion to something that is easily available at the market - 1 packed tablespoon cake yeast converts to 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of butter
  • melted when it is time to form the rolls.

Things you might need

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 12-Cup Muffin Pan, Gray
Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 12-Cup Muffin Pan, Gray

I like that this in non-stick. Less fats in the rolls.


Bunny Rolls - This does not come with a recipe but can be made with the yeast rolls. It works our really well but you have to watch the ears.

Bunny Rolls
Bunny Rolls | Source

Teddy Bear Bread

The Extraordinary Art of Cake - The bread  recipe looks yummy so you have my permission to use it instead of my yeast rolls. Either way, it would make cute teddy bears.
The Extraordinary Art of Cake - The bread recipe looks yummy so you have my permission to use it instead of my yeast rolls. Either way, it would make cute teddy bears. | Source

Bread Machine

I don't make rolls as often as I would like because I am too lazy to mess with the kneading stuff. Someone suggested I use my bread machine...Duh! I never gave it a thought so we will have fresh rolls more often now. I love my bread machine which is now more than a few years old. I use it a lot when I am going camping and make fresh bread to take along. If you don't have a bread machine, the investment is worth it.

Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, Black
Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, Black

I like the machines that make the bread in the shape of a regular loaf. Mine is doing fine but we have had to make repairs. If I every replace it, this is the one that I will get. It does the 2-lb loaf and anything less is not worth the money. I really love this bread machine.


Doesn't this sound yummy?

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    • pericaluic profile image

      pericaluic 4 years ago


    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Sounds yummy and easy to make. Delightful lens. Thank you for publishing it.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      Finally got around to trying these, and they're spectacular! Your Aunt Ruth knew her dinner rolls! And yep, they turn out just great from the bread machine. Next time maybe I'll try making the bunnies or bears out of them.

    • profile image

      Soldiersister8184 5 years ago

      This sounds splendid! I'll be practicing this through the coming year, as it's my generation's turn to do Thanksgiving dinner next time. Thank you for a recipe my kids will enjoy.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 6 years ago

      Yum! I do very well with crusty french/italian style breads, but soft rolls and buns have never been my strong point. I'll have to give this a whirl! Much as we love a crusty sourdough, some dishes are just better paired with a nice, fluffy dinner roll.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 7 years ago

      Simple yet so effective recipe. Thanks for sharing this old recipe with us.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I love cloverleaf rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've never made them myself though.