Much different than the classic dinner roll, a butter roll is a sweet, creamy dessert I remember from growing up in the southern part of the United States. The origin of the butter roll has been somewhat difficult to ascertain, but the most reliable sources tell me it was a treat which was probably first prepared in slave quarters. The butter roll is inexpensive and easy to make, and the result is the closest thing to manna you're likely to find this side of heaven.
2 cups (475 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
1 cup (190 grams) shortening
1/2 cup (120 mL) water
3/4 cup (180 grams) butter, softened
1/4 cup (50 grams) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) nutmeg
2 cups (475 mL) milk
2/3 cup (130 grams) white sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 7x11 inch (18 x 28 cm) baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut shortening in thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in water and press dough together with your hands. Roll out pastry into a large rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the pastry, then sprinkle on 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar and the nutmeg. Roll up the dough jelly roll style and pinch to seal. Cut into 12 even slices. Place the rolls in the prepared pan.
In a small saucepan, heat milk, 2/3 cup (130 grams) sugar and vanilla until mixture begins to bubble. Pour milk mixture over rolls.
Bake in preheated oven until brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
And never, ever substitute margarine for butter, in a butter roll !