The reason for our recent trip to Hays,KS was to visit with Larry’s family and to see his mom. As much as we try to get her NOT to cook for us, it doesn’t happen. She is always cooking and baking, especially her bierocks, which she is famous for. She is known all over the Hays area as “The Bierock Lady”. She has been baking them for decades, and has perfected the recipe like no other. She has passed the recipe down to all of us, but ours never seem to turn out quite like hers. Maybe it’s because I have only been making them for a few years vs her making them for a lifetime. As Ollie herself says, it takes a lot of practice. http://a taste of germany
Ollie starts out with one basic soft dough that she turns into 4 different recipes. She turns that one dough into her bierocks, her Polish sausage wraps, and her cinnamon rolls and cinnamon twists. People have been lining up to get her baked goods for years, and even though she has “retired” people are still begging her to make them for special occasions.
Ollie’s Basic Soft Dough
about 4 lbs flour
1/3 cup yeast
3/4 cup dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP salt
4 cups warm water
2 sticks melted butter
3 TBSP vegetable oil
Ollie cooks a lot like I do, and how a lot of us who have been cooking for a long time do. We don’t really measure things out too much. We cook by feel and by sight. So like me, and all the rest of us cooks, Ollie measures by “about this much and about that much” rather than actual measured amounts.
In a big stand alone mixer, mix everything together, except the vegetable oil, at a medium speed using the dough hook, for about 10 minutes. Once the dough is mixed together, add the vegetable oil around the edges of the dough and fold in. Once the oil is incorporated into the dough, you can use it however you like by rolling it out on a lightly floured surface.
Since Ollie’s baking is legendary, it is also a family affair. All of her kids, her grand kids, and now some of the great grand kids have been helping Ollie out in the kitchen, even if only to “paint” the butter or eggwash onto the bierocks and cinnamon rolls or twists.
Ollie at home in her kitchen with her cinnamon rolls.
Larry is the youngest of 9 kids, and he remembers always “painting the bierocks” while growing up. He still paints them even now.
And now the video we’ve all been waiting for. This used to be a top secret recipe and has only been allowed to go public just recently. We are all honored that Ollie has finally decided to go public with this valued family treasure.
I hope you all enjoyed this rare treat to get a chance to bake with Ollie. This is a video first.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.