Cloverleaf Rolls

January 7, 2014


No one can deny that one of the best parts of holiday celebrations is the food. For as long as I can remember my parents have thrown the most amazing dinner parties with the best food {drinks, appetizers, mains, sides, desserts}. It’s like eating at the best restaurant in town, but not having to pay for it– except if you count the hours of dishes my brother and I have to do. It’s worth it though. We have so many favorites that we still beg my parents to make, one of which is this roll recipe. I helped my mom make them for Christmas dinner and I was surprised how relatively easy they were to make. They are topped with a poppy seed and sesame seed mixture and they’re just the most addictive rolls ever. I love slathering butter on them and I can probably eat too many to count in one sitting. We might have tested this at one point! I love that they can easily be broken apart into three, though. Makes it easier to portion control if you haaaave to! 

Cloverleaf Rolls from Gourmet Magazine September 1994

3 Tablespoons warm water
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water
1 Tablespoons poppy seeds and/or toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling {we add 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt too}

special equipment: 2 muffin pans with a total of at least 18 (1/2-cup) muffin cups

Stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 Tablespoon sugar in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Then let it stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy. {If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast}.

Melt 3/4 stick butter in a small saucepan, then add milk and heat to lukewarm. Stir together yeast mixture, remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar, butter mixture, bread flour, and salt in a bowl with a wooden spoon until well combined. Then stir in 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or enough to make a slightly sticky dough.

Butter a large bowl. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, kneading in more all-purpose flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes {dough will still be slightly sticky}. Form dough into a ball and put in buttered bowl, turning to coat. Let dough rise, bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap, in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Butter 18 muffin cups with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into thirds. Working with 1 piece at a time {keep remaining portions covered}, cut off Tablespoon pieces of dough and form pieces into balls. Put 3 balls into each buttered muffin cup. Let rolls rise, loosely covered with a kitchen towel {not terry cloth}, in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

While rolls rise, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush rolls lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds and salt. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: Rolls can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept, wrapped well in foil, at room temperature. Reheat in foil in a preheated 350 degree over for 15 to 20 minutes.

These would be the perfect addition to a Sunday night dinner, you know, when we’re all back to eating carbs again! 
Is it February yet? jk!
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