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Hamburger Pinwheels

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  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk (or a little less)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk

I usually make the filling first, so it has a chance to cool down. Fry the hamburger in a skillet until it is crumbled into small pieces, and grey all over. Cook the onion with it if you like (I always do). Drain or spoon off some of the fat. Don't get rid of all of the fat. You need some of it to absorb the flour. So after you have spooned off most of the fat, add the flour, salt and pepper. Stir it up until the flour is dissolved in the fat. Add the milk and continue stirring until the mixture thickens considerably, and boils. Boil for a minute and remove the filling from the heat. If you want to cool it down quickly, transfer the filling to a bowl and put it into the fridge or freezer while you prepare the dough. This is what I usually do. It also gives me a chance to wash the skillet before anything sticks to it unmercifully. 

To make the dough, get out a big bowl. In it combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the shortening. Use your fingers or a fork to mash in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the milk, forming a nice, slightly stiff dough. Knead it about 8 or ten times to get the gluten in the flour activated a little bit. Rip a piece of waxed paper off of the roll. Place it on your counter and pat the dough into a thick rectangle on top of it. Use a rolling pin or sturdy jar to roll the dough out into a big rectangle, about 1/2 an inch thick, or a little thinner. 

Spread the cool filling onto the dough, like spreading butter on bread. Spread it to within 3/4" of the edges. It is good to cool the filling down because hot filling is challenging to work with. Warm filling is acceptable. Now, using the waxed paper to help, roll the dough up like a jelly roll, peeling back the waxed paper as you roll. Form a long cylinder of dough and filling swirled together. Toss the waxed paper in the garbage. Slice the roll with a sharp knife into 12 or 15 pieces. Lay the pieces on an oiled cookie sheet, rearranging them slightly so they are pretty and pinwheel shaped if necessary. Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. These are good served with Italian Tomato Sauce or canned tomato sauce, or Cheese Sauce or Tomato Gravy or even plain old ketchup. I like them with steamed broccoli and carrot raisin salad, and macaroni and cheese. Kids like these pretty well.

Freezer Cooking

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