Heartland Cooks: Dufek Family Homemade Bread & Cinnamon Rolls

Heartland Cooks 10/24/14 - Dufek Family Homemade Bread
Dr. Jim Dufek is a professor at Southeast Missouri State University, and also an accomplished bread baker.
Dr. Jim Dufek is a professor at Southeast Missouri State University, and also an accomplished bread baker.
Jim learned to bake bread from his mother Lucille Dufek.
Jim learned to bake bread from his mother Lucille Dufek.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - This week's Heartland Cook follows his family recipe of baking homemade bread.

Dr. Jim Dufek moved to Cape Girardeau 30 years ago from Nebraska. Before he left, he had his mother, Lucille teach him to make the family's sweet bread.

This recipe can be used to make dinner rolls, loaves of bread, or dusted with cinnamon and brown sugar, rolled up and coated with caramel to make incredibly soft and chewy cinnamon rolls your family is sure to love.


  • 2 Packages of Instant Dry Yeast
  • 2 cups of Milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup soft margarine
  • 5 – 7 cups flour


In a large bowl, mix dry yeast with 3 cups sifted flour.

Melt margarine over medium heat and add milk, sugar and salt to the pot, heating to 110 degrees.

Add the heated milk-margarine mix to the flour and yeast mixture. Be careful not to add the liquid if it is hotter than 110 degrees or you will kill the yeast.

Beat eggs in a small bowl until frothy and add to flour mix. Mix thoroughly.

Continue to add 3 ½ to 4 more cups of sifted flour a little at a time, mixing with your hands as the dough gets thick.

Knead bread dough until all flour has been incorporated and a smooth dough ball forms.

Place dough in a well-greased bowl, cover and set aside in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, or about an hour.

Punch dough down and allow to rise again for another hour.

Roll out the dough on a smooth surface.

Using a cookie cutter, cut 2 inch for dinner rolls, or 3 ½ inch circles for sandwich buns out of the rolled dough. Set smaller circles in a greased round pan with only about ¼ inch between.

Place 3 ½ - 4 inch dough circles on a greased cookie sheet one inch apart if making sandwich rolls.

Use remaining dough to form small loaves with your hands and place in well-greased loaf pans.

If you're making cinnamon rolls, cut 8 – 10 inch strips out of the dough. Spread softened margarine on the top and then sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top.

Roll from one end to the other, carefully tugging to stretch the dough as you roll it.

Cut roll into one-inch slices. Place each small roll, spiral up in a high-sided, well-greased pan.

Allow dough in all forms to rise again until doubled (30-45 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake dinner/sandwich rolls 15-17 minutes.

Bake loaves of bread 27-30 minutes, rotating the pan at least twice to evenly brown.

Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

Topping Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix and heat on medium high until it just starts to boil.

Allow mixture to cool and pour over rolls just before baking.

Bake cinnamon rolls for 20- 25 minutes or until caramel topping begins to bubble.

Bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls are best served warm!

Dr. Dufek's tip: If I'm going to go through the approximately 4 hour process of baking bread, I'm really going to go for it. I usually bake a triple batch and make loaves, rolls and cinnamon rolls.

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