Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Shamrocks AKA Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I know. I know. It's a stretch, but I needed a batch of bake once-serve twice rolls that could be served for dinner on St. Patrick's Day as well as Easter Sunday. While doing research for an earlier post on Edna Lewis, I came across the recipe she used to make old-fashioned cloverleaf rolls. The recipe belonged to her mother and I knew immediately that I wanted to try it. The rolls shown in the photograph above were made using her recipe, and, while I'm sharing it with you today, I'm also going to direct you to an easier version that was developed by her partner, Scott Peacock. You can find his recipe here, and if you'd like to see a video of the rolls being made you might want to view this link. I'm suggesting an alternate recipe because Edna's rolls, which use a starter that must sit for a day before using, are made with a sticky dough that is difficult to work with. Scott's version is quite straight forward and much easier to handle. Both recipes are similar in taste, though the use of a potato starter and lard put hers a notch above his in terms of flavor. If you are an experienced hand at bread baking, or are a patient beginner, use her recipe. If you want something that's easy to execute, use his. Both recipes tend to produce sticky doughs but the amount of extra flour you will need is easier to control in Scott's version. Under the best of circumstances, the dough in both recipes will remain tacky, so don't be alarmed. As long as the dough doesn't stick to your fingers you'll be fine. The good news is that these rolls require no kneading, and once they are baked they freeze beautifully. Those of you who try these will be happy campers. Here is Edna's recipe.
Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Edna Lewis and Food and Wine Magazine
1 medium baking potato ( 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
3 cups water
5-1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons lard or solid vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon salt
1) In a medium saucepan, cover potato with water and bring to a boil. Cook until potato is just beginning to fall apart, about 15 minutes. Drain potato, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Pass potato through a ricer into a large bowl. Add reserved potato water and let cool slightly. Stir in 6 tablespoons of flour, sugar and yeast. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and let stand overnight in a draft-free place.
2) Uncover starter; it should be foamy and have a slightly fermented aroma. Add milk, eggs and 2-1/2 cups of flour and stir until incorporated. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of lard and salt. Add remaining 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, and stir vigorously to form a silky, slightly soft dough that pulls away from the bowl as you stir, about 8 minutes. It will still be tacky but will not stick to your hands.
3) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
4) Gently deflate dough by turning it in bowl several times. Cover bowl and let dough rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.
5) In a small bowl, combine remaining 6 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of melted lard. Punch down dough and divide it into 5 equal pieces. Cut 1 piece of dough into 18 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball; dip balls in melted butter and lard and place 3 balls in each cup of a muffin pan. Continue to form rolls, working with 1 large piece of dough at a time. Brush tops of the rolls with the butter and lard and set aside in a draft-free spot until risen just beyond the rims of the muffin cups, about 1 1/2 hours.
6) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake rolls in the lower and middle thirds of oven for 15 minutes. Remove rolls from oven and brush liberally with butter and lard. Return rolls to the oven and bake for 5 to 6 minutes longer, or until golden all over. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen cloverleaf rolls.
Cook's Note: To make ahead, prepare dough through step 4. Gently punch down and refrigerate, covered, overnight. Bring to room temperature and proceed with recipe.
One Year Ago Today: A Collection of Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day
Two Years Ago Today: Frozen Lemon Yogurt