Remember those school cafeteria cinnamon rolls? Here's the recipe

December 8, 2010 

The lovely ladies who make school cafeteria lunches know how to win the hearts and minds of their customers. Those of us of a certain age recall cinnamon rolls as the number one, all-time favorite school cafeteria food in the Tri-Cities. This story includes her secret recipe -- for 50 yummy rolls.

Moms can learn to bake school cinnamon rolls

By the Herald staff
Published on Nov. 2, 1973

Ida Cravens has had a good reputation among school children in Richland for 23 years.

Tonight many adults will get a taste of what their youngsters have been raving about.

Mrs. Cravens, director of food services for Hanford School, will demonstrate how she makes those gigantic cinnamon rolls that make chili day the best day of the week for kids who eat in school.

Mrs. Cravens will be participating in the first of eight food preparation workshops to be held this month in Richland and Pasco.

The free workshops are designed to inform the public about easy preparations of common foods, nutrition facts, food laws and ways to turn inexpensive foods into something delicious.

The workshop will be held in the Harry Kramer Center, Richland, and the Franklin County PUD in Pasco.

Sponsors of the series are the Benton-Franklin Counties Extension Service in cooperation with the Altrusa Clubs of Pasco-Kennewick and Richland, the Richland Recreation Department and the Franklin County PUD.

Mrs. Cravens, who oversees a staff of 12 cooks at Hanford, didn't think her recipe to make 50 cinnamon rolls was especially "large."

But then she must think in terms of serving 500 to 600 persons every week day at school.

"There is a certain way to roll the dough out and square it off so that it comes out even," said Mrs. Cravens.

Mrs. Cravens will also show how to make Knishia - a German meat filling made with onions, potatoes and seasonings rolled up in bread dough.

"It looks like a turnover," Mrs. Cravens described.

Also on the workshop program are Florence Handr, Pasco, demonstrating how to make stone ground whole wheat bread; Mayme Brown, West Richland, sour dough bread from a starter; Ida Horton, Richland, pumpkin bread and Area Extension Agent, Virginal Vaupel, holiday rolls with may variations.

Workshops on meat stretchers, stretching food dollars and nutrition labeling laws, Japanese cookery, vegetable casseroles and conserving electricity in the kitchen will be held.

Ida Cravens Cinnamon Rolls

Dissolve 2 ounces yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.

Add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water.

Scald 2 cups of milk.

Add 5 ounces of shortening, 5 ounces sugar and 1 ounce salt. Stir until dissolved. Cool.

Beat 2 eggs and add to milk mixture.

Add milk mixture to yeast mixture and gradually stir in 3 1/4 pounds flour.

Knead on floured board until the dough is smooth.

Put dough into greased bowl.

Place in warm spot for 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Let stand another 45 minutes.

Roll out in rectangle on floured board.

Butter the dough with 1/4 cup butter (or you can use margarine or oil if desired).

Sprinkle with 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon (raisins or nuts are optional).

Roll up.

Slice in one inch pieces (If a large cinnamon roll is desired, flatten slice with palm of hand).

Place slices in buttered pans or cookie sheets (13x15 inches).

Let stand in warm place for 45 minutes.

Bake 25 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Remove from oven and invert pan immediately.

Yield: 50 servings.

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