Cloverleaf Hot Rolls
1 package (1/4 ounce) fast-acting yeast (see Note)
1 cup lukewarm whole milk
2 tablespoons soft butter, plus extra for brushing on rolls after baking
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour (see Note)
In a small bowl, place the yeast in the milk. Let stand 5 minutes. Then mix in the 2 tablespoons soft butter, sugar and salt. If using an electric mixer with dough attachment, place the mixture in the work bowl. With the motor running, slowly add the flour a bit at a time until all the flour is added and the dough is just mixed. Then time the mixing for 2 minutes. (If mixing by hand, mix for 5 minutes after incorporation.)
Turn the dough into a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean linen dish towel and set in a draft-free, warm (not hot) place. Let rise until doubling in bulk, about 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured workspace, punch it down and knead a few times.
Butter a large muffin tin (18 cups). Pinch the dough off in quarter-size pieces and roll each into a small ball. Place 3 balls in each cup of the muffin tin, until all the dough is used.
Once again, cover with a clean linen dish towel and set in a draft-free, warm (not hot) place to rise for another hour or until doubling in bulk.
Heat oven to 425 F. Bake the rolls for 12 to 18 minutes, until dark golden-brown. Remove from the oven, brush the tops with melted butter and serve immediately with additional butter and honey, if desired. Makes 18 rolls.
Note:You may use regular yeast, but you will need to increase the rising time in both steps. Watch dough and allow it to rise until doubling in bulk both times.
You may substitute all-purpose flour, but the bread flour produces a finer grain for the yeast roll, making them fluffier and lighter.
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