Founded in 1868 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Austro-Hungarian brothers Charles and Maximillian Fleischmann, Fleischmann’s Yeast has a long history of recipe outreach to home cooks. In 1877, it was one of the first companies to put out a free recipe book, followed by the many more you can still find in antiquarian book-nooks and crannies. In the ‘90s, aware that local fairs were among the richest mines to plumb for American regional recipes coming out of home kitchens, Fleischmann’s started sponsoring recipe contests at State and County fairs. The tradition stuck and Fleischmann fair contests now attract tens of thousands of contestants annually. Categories switch out from year to year, ranging from “best special occasion breads” to “mother-daughter themes,” to “sensational sandwich breads” all celebrating home baking.
Among those rising to the top in recent years? This Cuyahoga County Fair Fleischmann’s grand-prize-winning recipe from Bryan Welch of Parma, Ohio, tucks caramelized onion, port wine, bacon and smoked cheddar cheese into pinwheel rolls easy-baked in a muffin tin. Brushed with butter, the rolls have a crisp crunchy exterior, staying tender & moist on the inside, where you find the sweet onions, bacon and cheese.
Welch says he learned baking from his wife who is also a county fair winning cook. The idea for stuffing the rolls with this ingredient combo came from Welch’s love for caramelized onion and bacon on pizzas—the smoked cheddar adds extra depth. For best success with this recipe? Welch suggests “a very fine dice for the onion, stir often, use fresh-as-possible yeast for the dough. And be sure to grease the tins,” for easy release.