For this episode of Hollywood Kitchen I made Jean Harlow's Hot Rolls. The recipe was taken from the book "Hollywood Famous Recipes of the Movie Stars", which was published in 1932.
A friend gave me instructions on how to simplify the recipe. Also they didn't have standardized ovens back then, so we had to estimate the oven temperature and cooking time.
1 packet of quick rise yeast (I used Fleischmann's Yeast)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of flour (add more as needed)
1 cup warm whole milk
1/4 cup soft or melted butter
1/4 cup of melted or soft shortening (I used Crisco)
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Put the dry ingredients (yeast, sugar, salt, flour) all into one bowl.
Then put wet ingredients (milk, butter, shortening, egg) into one bowl.
I combined the wet and dry ingredients together and stirred. I was told that the dough should not be sticky, but also not dry either. I would advise adding more flour to achieve this effect.
You can roll out the dough and cut it into squares or make little balls of dough. Arrange on a lined or greased cookie sheet and allow them to rise in a warm environment. Rising times can vary, but I gave mine about 1 hour and it worked well. You can brush additional butter on top if desired.
I baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and I checked them frequently. The bottoms will burn VERY quickly. If you prefer them a bit more crispy, you might want to leave them in longer. My friend advised me to take them out when the bottoms started getting golden brown and to let them cool.
I made my rolls late at night. The next morning my entire apartment smelled like fresh bread. It was heavenly!
My guest for this episode was Darrell Rooney. He is a one of the foremost Harlow collectors in the world and curated a Harlow exhibit at The Hollywood Museum. He co-authored the book "Harlow in Hollywood: The Bombshell in the Glamour Capital 1928 - 1937" with Mark Vieira. It you love Harlow, you will want to get your hands on a copy of this book asap. I also suggest reading "Bombshell: The Life and Death of Jean Harlow" by David Stenn.
The Final Product
As I promised, I drove over the Darrell's house and hand delivered the hot rolls after our episode. We both enjoyed them. The rolls are great for breakfast and jam or with dinner.
In researching this episode, I found several articles from movie magazines of the 1930s talking about Harlow's food favorites.