Bangladesh Artisans

1 fair trade ingredientsAs a Ten Thousand Villages store manager in Saskatoon, I have had the opportunity to share the story of Ten Thousand Villages with many people, either one-on-one in the store or to larger groups. For those of you who know the interesting story, you’ll know that Ten Thousand Villages was started in 1946 by a woman named Edna Ruth Byler.

Edna was also Mennonite Central Committee’s Akron, Pennsylvania hostess for a number of years. And from what I understand, she was an amazing baker. While there, she would make buns and doughnuts. Her recipe can be found in the More-with-Less Cookbook. The cookbook says she even offered classes on how to make this recipe!

I love to bake and to use fair trade ingredients in my baking. I also love to share my baking with others – which is good, because this recipe is huge. It will make 100 doughnuts/buns! I often make a half recipe so I can use my stand mixer to do some of the work.

This recipe is also very versatile. You can make cinnamon/sticky rolls (my favourite), doughnuts, dinner rolls or coffee cake. It also freezes well. I’ve given you my three favourite options below, and the others are listed in the cookbook. Enjoy!

Edna Ruth Byler’s Potato Dough Baked Goods

2 Dough after 1st rise

  • 3 pkg. (6 ¾ tsp.) dry yeast in 1 c. lukewarm water

Mix in large bowl:

  • 1 qt. (4 c.) scalded milk
  • 2 c. mashed potatoes (no milk added)
  • 1 c. fat (half butter, half margarine)
  • 1 c. sugar

Let cool to lukewarm, then add:

  • Yeast mixture
  • 6 c. flour

Let stand until mixture foams up (about 20 minutes). Add:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 11 – 12 c. flour

A little more flour may be needed, but dough should be soft. (I add the flour one cup at a time until it’s the right consistency.) Turn out onto a floured board and knead until satiny. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk.


3 doughnuts rolled and cut Roll out dough. Cut doughnuts. Place on trays and let rise until not quite double in size.
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4 doughnuts frying Fry in hot shortening (375°F).
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5 doughnuts with sugar coating At this point, Edna suggests dipping them in a glaze – we just coat them with sugar when cool. (The glaze recipe is in the cookbook if you would like to use it.)

Cinnamon Buns

6 dough rolled with sugar Prepare a mixture of butter and margarine and a mixture of sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll a piece of dough to about 18” x 9”. Spread dough with butter mixture and sprinkle over some of the sugar mixture.
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7 cinnamon buns baked Roll up the dough as for a jelly roll. Cut 1½” slices and place in greased pans, pressing down lightly on each piece. Cover and let rise in warm place until nearly double. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until browned. These may be iced with doughnut glaze as soon as they are taken from the oven, or left plain.

Sticky Buns

8 sticky buns Handle dough the same as for cinnamon buns, except make a mixture of brown and white sugars, cinnamon and a little white corn syrup and water.
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9 sticky buns baked Spread in bottom of heavily greased pans with nuts, if desired, before putting in rolls. Immediately after baking, invert pans over trays and let syrup run down before removing pans.



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Kitchen Window Pie Dish You’re Welcome Serving Tray Golden Cane Sugar


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