Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cloverleaf Butter Rolls

My past attempts at rolls have come out, well... not the greatest. They haven't risen, or the water wasn't warm enough, or I just didn't read the recipe thoroughly enough. But this time... oh, this time, they came out perfectly. Three-piece pull apart buttery rolls, which we dunked into homemade broccoli cheese soup on a chilly fall night. The recipe makes 30 rolls, so with a family of 5 we had plenty to go around, and still had leftovers for a morning roll with a cup of coffee. 

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls

  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups of all-purpose flour, or more if needed
  • melted butter for brushing
In the bowl of your electric mixer (with an attached dough hook), combine warm water, yeast, olive oil and 1 tablespoon honey and mix with a spoon. Let sit until foamy, about 10-15 minutes. Add warm milk, remaining honey, egg and butter, and mix on low speed until just combined, then add in 2 cups of flour and salt. Mix on low speed, gradually increasing to medium as flour becomes incorporated. Slowly add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, stopping at 5 cups. Knead the dough on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, then check to see if the dough is sticky. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour and knead until it becomes smooth, but you want some stick to it. Remove dough from the bowl and form into a ball with your hands, covering with a bit more flour until it is no longer sticking to your hands.
Brush a large bowl with melted butter. Add dough to the bowl, turning once or twice to cover in butter. Place a towel over top and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours. 

Punch dough down, then transfer to a floured workspace. Tear small pieces of dough off the larger piece, and roll into balls slightly larger than one inch wide. You will end up with about 90 dough balls. Brush a muffin tin with melted butter, then add 3 dough balls to each tin. Cover and let rise again, in a warm spot, for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tops of each clover with a hefty glug of melted butter. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until tops are just golden brown. Remove from over and brush tops with melted butter again, repeating the brushing another few times as the rolls cool. Remove from the tins and serve.

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