Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CloverLeaf Rolls

CloverLeaf Rolls are very simple and attractive dinner/breakfast rolls made during festive occasions like Christmas, or St Patricks Day in Ireland,or festive family-dinner, Thanksgiving, communion etc.Actually they can be had anytime or everday.The shape is that of cloverleaf with three sections and it is supposed to represent the Holy Trinity and sometimes these may have tiny crosses marked on these rolls.

These can be made of any dough,though traditionally brioche(French Bread) dough which has eggs is used and is baked in muffin tins and it can be enhanced as per taste and palette.I used a simple recipe from here and modified it.

Ingredients:

All Purpose Flour: 2 .25 cups + if needed
Salt: 1 tsp
Active Dry Yeast: 1/2 tbsp
Milk/Soy Milk: 3/4 cup warmed
Water: 1/4 cup warmed
Tofu+SoyMilk : 2 tbsp ground paste
Shortening OR Canola /Vegetable Oil OR Melted Unsalted Butter : 2 tbsp
Sugar: 1/4 cup

Preparation:
In a large bowl, add yeast to warm water and mix well.Add in warm milk,sugar,tofu-soy milk paste ,oil/shortening/butter and salt and blend well.Add the flour in batches and mix well to form a smooth and soft dough.

I started with half of the flour and then gradually added remaining in batches,but make sure you stop adding it once the dough comes together and becomes smooth and 'not sticky'.The dough must be smooth and soft.Adding more flour,affects the texture of the rolls.They should be light and airy.So I used around 2 1/4 cups of flour even though as per the recipe I needed 1/2 cup more.Also I used soy milk instead of milk as I was using tofu instead of eggs.I used barely 2 tbsp of tofu and ground it with little soymilk to obtain a creamy paste to replace eggs.You can use 1 egg instead of tofu and used normal whole/low-fat milk instead of soymilk. I warmed the soymilk for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave.I also used vegetable oil in place of shortening which I did not have.I replaced 2 tbsp with the same quantity of veg.oil.
Once the dough is formed,you place it in a floured work area and knead it for 5-10 minutes atleast.


The more you knead the better the rolls.Put out all the hidden anger/emotiions against someone somewhere on to the dough and knead.It not just improves the bread,but your stress decreases.See kneading is therapeutic... :D.Do it to feel it.

Place the dough in a big greased bowl,turning it once inside the bowl so that it gets coated with oil and let it rest covered with a plastic wrap in a warm area until it doubles in volume or about 1 hour.

Once it doubles,punch it down,to release the air.Pinch of a small piece of the dough,roll it into a ball,place it in a greased muffin tin.Make two more similar dough balls and place in the same muffin cup-there will be 3 dough balls in each cup shaped like a leaf.Simply place the balls in a leaf like manner.Fill all the muffin cups in this fashion.It will look like this...


Now I had read that,these rolls,will take the shape of the muffin cup once they come out baking.So I kept the sizes very small,so only 1 came out with a muffin look.Also I played around with the sizes and kept big pieces in a baking dish as well.Like this...


Cookie Sheet will do fine,but I got hold of a pie pan and tried it... :D

Cover the muffin tin/baking dish with a plastic wrap and let the dough pieces rest in a warm area for around 30-45 minutes until they rise and almost double.Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 12-14 minute or until they become golden brown.


A Closer look..


Those in the baking dish came out as ........

For larger pieces in the pie dish I had to bake for 1 more minute.So check for oven time and start with 12 minutes.Also make sure your baking dish is greased,unless it is nonstick.

Also the above estimate give 16 big size rolls.If you do not want that much,after the first rise ,make as many rolls asyou want and freeze the rest of the bread dough.When needed,thaw the dough and then make rolls in the muffin tin and let it rise and then bake.Also you can make the rolls spicy,cheesy or sweet,as per the occasion.If you are adding herbs and other spices and cheese make sure you use greased baking/muffin dishes.

The rolls big as well as small ones were light and airy and soft and perfect for any time.Serve them with soup or gravy or chilli for dinner or with preserves or butter or honey for breakfast.Bitesized ones can be anytime snack.

A warm pack of these simple yet festive cloverleaf rolls are on their way to celebrate Bread Baking Day #15:Festive Breads,an event started by Zorra and currently hosted at Annarasa.

Fresh from the oven,another warm pack also go to Purvas Christmas Feast - a feast would be incomplete without these festive rolls.

Update On Dec 11,2008: The rolls are very simple and easy even for a novice baker.If you are okay with eggs,instead of tofu+soymilk use 1 single egg and also can use normal warm milk instead of the warmed soymilk I used.So a batch of these fresh rolls are on way to Vandana where she is conducting a Baking for Beginner event -a unique event that surely creates an awesome baker from a novice.Thanks Vandana for accepting these rolls.

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