I’ve recently been asking different cooks to tell me what they make for the holidays that is an absolute must or favorite of their family.
The one they always are required to make that may not necessarily be for the holidays, but all times of the year and is devoured by all.
The one that, if missing on special occasions, brings disappointment and scowls to their crowd. The one they are famous for, or that has survived through the years.
I found two recipes in the same location. The first one here today is a pull-apart bread situation.
Sure, there are lots of recipes for those, but in this particular one, there is one ingredient that I had never before heard of as a component and it may be as new to you as well.
We’ll start with Audrey Jarrett, receptionist in Dr. Mely Lim’s medical office, the owner of said recipe. I brought up the subject of “best recipe” and she promptly complied.
“I had been married for five years when my mother-in-law, who is now 91 years old, shared her bread recipe,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett has been making it herself for years. As she recited how she prepared it, the ingredients were standard issue — butter, dough, seasonings.
Standard until she got to the last of her list. Egg whites. That took me by surprise. I’ve never seen a pull-apart calling for those. Until now.
As to the popularity of the pan of baked goodness, Jarrett says: “I have always made the garlic bread for Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other time of year when the kids request it.”
It’s a simple recipe to assemble, taking advantage of frozen roll dough. There is a little rising time, which is expected using a yeast dough rather than canned biscuits.
She said her family likes the rolls to rise over the pan so they can enjoy the crunchy part that results after baking.
But, according to Jarrett and her co-worker who seemed to know about the bread, it’s worth the wait.
And why not, with melted butter, slightly accented by garlic and onion and those egg whites making for a nice browning.
Jarrett gave some thawing advice: “I place the rolls on a piece of sprayed parchment, covering with another parchment sheet.”
There are two sticks of butter involved to begin with, but Jarrett indicated you can spread more butter on the finished roll, too.
Or dip into additional garlic butter. No one is counting calories, are they? Not with the holidays staring us in the face.
This is the first recipe I received. A little down the line will be one from Lynn Bostic, office manager of the same location as Jarrett, who provided the how-to for “Dad’s Special.”
“Special” what? That answer will come later, too.