White Mountain Rolls

Growing up, items from Jackson’s Bakery in Rochester, New York, were always an integral part of birthdays, holidays, graduations and celebrations.  Jackson’s is as old school as bakeries come. They have been in business since my grandparents were young, and are well known in Rochester.  Their cakes, cookies, kuckens and breads are all fantastic and made fresh daily; according to my Grandpa Glen, who was quite the “Dapper Dan”, everything always looks bodacious in Jackson’s, and it does.  White Mountain Rolls are a family favorite and one of their popular items.  They are a lightly sweet, cake like roll that we used for small sandwiches, toast and dinner rolls.  Moving from Rochester after college, Jackson’s is one of the things I miss most, so I had to try and recreate my childhood favorite at home.

I found this recipe on online from a New England cooking site; it was taken from an old Boston cookbook from 1884.  What I thought was most interesting is that the recipe called for folding in a stiffly beaten egg white into the dough.  I have made a lot of yeast breads, and this was the first recipe I have ever seen this in.

It is important to keep the dough soft and a little tacky.  Too much flour will give you a dense roll.

I’ve made them a few times, and made some of my own tweaks to the recipe to get it closer to Jackson’s.  I think they turn out pretty darn close to the originals, but nothing can beat Jackson’s.

White Mountain Rolls

Adapted from New England Recipes

Makes 18 Rolls

3 – 3 1/2 cups white flour
2.5 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup, 4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg white
flour for dusting
Warm milk in a sauce pan to lukewarm (do not exceed 110 degrees).  Pour ¼ cup warm milk in glass measuring cup, add yeast and ¼ teaspoon sugar and stir, let rise 5 to 10 minutes.  If yeast does not rise in 10 minutes throw away, yeast in no longer active and will not raise your dough.  While yeast is proofing, add butter, sugar, salt to warm milk in pan, and allow to just melt.  In a separate bowl: Beat egg white until stiff.  Set aside.  

Pour in milk, butter, sugar and salt mixture into a medium size mixing bowl and add yeast mixture.  Whisk in one cup of flour until there are no lumps.  Fold in egg white.  Gently mix/fold in remaining 2 cups of flour in two additions.  Dough should be slightly tacky and just barley stick to your hand.  Add up to 1/2 cup more flour to adjust consistency.  Give dough a few turns in the bowl, just to knead into a smooth ball.  Transfer to oiled bowl.  Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let double in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle about 9 x 14″.  Cut dough horizontally into three even strips.  Cut dough vertically into 6 even strips.  Take each dough square and round edges and shape into about 2 x 3″ rolls.  Place on floured baking sheet.  Dust tops with flour.  Cover with tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to one hour.  While rolls are rising, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake rolls in oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and they sound hollow when tapped.  Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.  Can be frozen for up to one month.



  1. says

    I too ate LOTS of Jackson’s pastry’s./ I still return there for some great kutchens and of course the White Mountain rolls. In fact I have ordered some for Thanksgiving. They are the BEST.

  2. Mary says

    I just ordered Jackson’s white mountain rolls for Thanksgiving. We also had the tradition of birthday cakes only from Jackson’s. Their mouthwatering kuchens also are so yummy! We are like “kids in a candy store” when we go there. I will try your recipe before Christmas and let you know how they come out, any changes I might make. Jackson’s bakery has been a tradition in our family for over 30yrs. Family are out of town now but when visiting request only Jackson bakery delectables. Mary

  3. JoMarcia says

    I love Jacksons bakery. I always purchase their kuchens and mountain top rolls. My children who live out of state just love their pastries. I was going to order some of the rolls for Christmas Eve for our meat platter, but am excited about trying your recipe!

  4. margo shaw says

    Just making these now. Is the baking sheet lined with parchment before flouring? Greased? Just floured?

  5. Margo Shaw says

    That worked beautifully! No sticking at all. They look fabulous but I’d better let them cool before trying one! Thank you for getting back to me so promptly.

    • Donna says

      Made these for Thanksgiving. They definitely can give Jackson’s Bakery a run for their money as I have frequent this establishment since my parents did. Now I live a very short drive from there. They even did my wedding cake,45 years ago. And you still have to put an order in for their White mountain Rolls. They fly out the door

  6. says

    You are a Godsend! I just tried ordering these rolls for Thanksgiving and they aren’t taking anymore orders. My daughter is coming home from college and there must be rolls!

  7. Susan khuns says

    Hello, thank you for the white mountain rolls recipe. I live in Rochester and have enjoyed Jackson’s baked goods for years. I thought that this year I would bake my own. Well, everything was going well until I cut them, placed on cookie sheet to rise – but they didn’t! After 1 hour I tried baking and they never puffed up. So disappointed! Before I try again, any suggestions? My yeast was fresh and did proof.????

    • says

      Hi Susan! Only thing I can think of is the first rise over-proofed and there wasn’t any spring left for the second rise. Rise times are estimated so I would also look for visual queues as well, especially if you are working in a warm environment the rise can happen a lot faster. Hope it works for you! Jackson’s is always super busy this week 🙂

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