Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quick and Easy Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

I'm writing a baking cookbook currrently and realized it would be nice to add a Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls recipe. I looked in my cookbooks for inspiration and in an old, out-of-print book (that wasn't even a cookbook!) I found a recipe for cloverleaf dinner rolls that could allegedly be made in 30 minutes.

Too good to be true! I thought.

Turns out I was right. The ingredients list was totally out of whack and what I ended up with was a gooey mess. Certainly not anything resembling a yeast-raised bread dough.

But the idea intrigued me, so I left the computer and the book writing, put on an apron, and started experimenting. I loved the idea of a quick dinner roll recipe--one that could be ready in a hurry for those times when you suddenly have more people than you were expecting to feed, or you realize that dinner will be slim pickings otherwise--so I knew that I had to keep that thought in mind.

Following is the recipe that I came up with. They are tasty, have a lovely soft texture, and are really, really good slathered with butter! Here's a picture of the finished result:

Quick Cloverleaf Rolls

2¼ tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
1¼ cups warm water
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt (I think a bit more salt might be good, but cook's choice)
2 eggs
2 T. oil
4½-5 cups flour
butter (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water to which a pinch of sugar has been added. Let set for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt and mix together. Beat in eggs one at a time, using an electric mixer if you have one, or else vigorously with a large wooden spoon. Add oil and beat again to blend.

Gradually beat in 2-3 cups flour and keep beating the mixture for 3 minutes. By hand, continue to add flour until the dough begins to form a soft ball and leave the sides of the bowl.

Turn out ball of dough on a floured surface and, with buttered hands, gently knead for 3 minutes, adding small bits of flour if necessary. This dough is very soft and sticky, but persevere. Keeping your hands buttered will help.

Grease a muffin tin. Keeping your hands well buttered, break off small pieces of dough and roll into balls about the size of large marbles. Place three balls of dough in each muffin tin cup and gently press down.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 15-17 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and immediately brush the tops with butter. Remove the rolls from the muffin tin cups and place on a rack to cool.

These are worth making. They are simple and quick. And if you time things right, they should come out of the oven just minutes before dinner is served; the aroma will surely bring your loved ones to the table in a hurry!

May God richly bless you and your loved ones.