I was really young when the bakery closed but I still remember it fondly. Our family office is on the same block as the bakery. When we'd go to visit my dad and grandma Margaret at work we sometimes got to walk down to the bakery with grandma and pick out a treat. I remember it smelled heavenly and was always really warm, so much so that sometimes the front windows were steamed up.
The Bluebird Coffee Club started in the Royal Bakery and after it closed moved to Shaffer House Bakery and then to its current home at the Bluebird restaurant. (More about the BCC here) To this day we still have Logan old timers come back to town for a visit and stop in to the office asking about the fate of the Royal Bakery. It seems that everyone remembers it well.
I had it on good authority from a strictly anonymous source that Ben Jarvis, owner of the Culligan Water service here in Logan and son of my "uncle" Jim, had the recipe for Bob's sweet rolls. When I contacted Ben he graciously agreed to share his write up of an afternoon spent watching Bob make sweet rolls from scratch. The recipe isn't exact, as you'll read in the write up, but it is as close as we mere mortals can get. If you have friends or family that remember the Royal Bakery, please pass this on to them and keep the memories flowing.
My sincere thanks go to Ben Jarvis for sharing this with me. Remember to give credit where credit is due if you share this with others.
My favorite kind of sweet rolls are orange rolls. To make orange rolls, I would use the basic recipe described below and then use the following filling: 1/2 c light brown sugar, 1/2 c granulated sugar, 1/2 c melted butter, 2 T orange zest, 1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice. Then frost with this mixture: 8oz cream cheese, 1/2 c butter, 3 c powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 T orange zest, 1/4 fresh squeezed orange juice, pinch of salt.
Notes on this recipe:
- When I made this for the first time I followed it almost exactly as described and the batch was so large it almost overwhelmed my 5qt kitchenaid stand mixer. If you have a larger capacity mixer you'll be fine, if your mixer is 5qts or small it might be a struggle.
- The second time I made this I cut the water by 1 cup and just added flour until I had a soft and smooth dough consistency and it made a smaller but more manageable batch.
- I use unflavored* dental floss to cut the dough after I've rolled it up. I slide a piece of floss under the roll about 1" in and the wrap the floss all the way around and pull it tight, it cuts right through without smashing the roll like a knife or a pastry cutter would. *mint flavored floss will leave a slight taste on the rolls.
- I recommend used a thick layer of grease in the pans, such as crisco, or quick release foil. The spill over of the filling can be a pain to clean up.
- Pack your rolls in tight so that your whole pan is filled. If there are any gaps you tend to get oddly shaped rolls that aren't even in size. The full recipe without the reduced water and flour will fill 1 jelly roll pan and one 9x13 pan, a little under 2 dozen medium rolls or 1 dozen large rolls.
- Remove the rolls from the pans while they are still warm, if you allow them to cool on the pans they will stick and can fall apart when you try to get them out.
- Allow the rolls to cool fully before frosting.