Carrots are popular fare here at the house, we serve them just about any way that you can think of, savory and sweet. Since this challenge is all about "the learning" for me, I decided I wanted to try something that I had not tried with carrots before and landed on figuring out a carrot bread/roll recipe as my guys are awfully fond of homemade bread/rolls.
I read the carrot section of the book and decided I would go with a savory bread rather than a sweet one as I had made carrot muffins before so that sort of covered the sweet and didn't seem "new and different" enough. Since Thanksgiving is coming up in a couple of weeks, I decided I was going to make a roll that would go well with our Thanksgiving meal, one that would appeal to the younger kids and adults alike (I made cloverleaf shaped rolls as it has been my experience that kids will eat any roll shaped like a cloverleaf so they can pull apart the little sections and eat them one by one), and one that would incorporate flavors to make it seem that one was eating an actual carrot side dish, not just a bread roll. (This is way more than I have ever thought about a recipe in my entire life.)
Some of our favorite flavors with carrots are dill, thyme, and parsley, so I figured I would toss all these in the bread dough, add some scallions to give it a bit of oniony goodness (because I am always about the oniony goodness and fortunately so is my family), and I thought about celery seed but decided against it in the end as I wanted the carrot flavor to come through if possible.
The dough is silky smooth and a joy to work with and knead. I fell in love with the color and the little bits of herbs that show so nicely in the dough.
Voila...herbed carrot rolls that taste like carrots and herbs, just lovely...and even lovelier with a dab of butter on them as you would perhaps serve with your carrots as a side dish.
Not only did they taste like carrots as I wanted them to, they are very pretty in color. These are definitely going on the Thanksgiving table this year.
Before this challenge, I might have eventually thought to put carrots in a bread, but I am not certain that I would have thought to coordinate the herbs that are paired with the carrots to come up with something like this recipe. Oh, this if fun..and delicious!
They have some wonderful carrot recipes this week on the Flavors blog, go check it out. The Flavors challenge is based on the book The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg. Every week for a year the seven group members will each create a recipe using the featured ingredient and match it with the flavors that enhance it best by consulting those pages in the book. They have invited others to join along in the cooking and posting, posting a chart detailing the featured seasonal ingredient for each week, so if you'd like to pop in now and again and try your hand at it, just make your recipe, post it, and link the post in the comments section (click here) that week. While you are there you can check out the seven recipes submitted that week by the group members.
Herbed Carrot Cloverleaf Yeast Rolls
Makes 12 Cloverleaf Rolls
Carrot preparation: Steam (to retain flavor and color) 1/2 pound of fresh carrots (peeled/trimmed/cut into thick coins) until easily pieced with tip of a knife.
Puree the carrots in a food processor until smooth. Cool to room temperature before using.
1/4 ounce active dry yeast (i.e., one .25 ounce package)
1/2 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees F)
1/6 cup unsalted BUTTER, softened
1/8 cup SUGAR
1/2 cup pureed steamed CARROT
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly chopped dill
2 sprigs of thyme leaves (removed from the stem)
2 full scallions, green and white parts) thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh PARSLEY
3 cups of all-purpose flour
a little cream to brush on the tops before baking
Measure the yeast into the warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes.
Into a large mixing bowl add the yeast/milk mixture, butter, sugar, carrot puree, egg, salt, dill, thyme, scallions, parsley and flour.
Stir with a large spatula or spoon to mix it all into a soft dough that adheres into a rough ball of dough.
Turn this onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (perhaps 5-7 minutes).
Place the dough ball into a medium bowl that has been lightly oiled with olive oil, turn the dough so that the top is also oiled.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise until it has doubled (about an hour).
When the dough has risen, divide it into 12 equal pieces (about 2-1/8 ounces each). Divide each of those pieces into three pieces each.
Make the cloverleaf rolls by rolling the little three pieces of dough into balls and placing the three balls into the cavity of a previously buttered muffin tin.
Cover and let rise until they rise nicely over the pan top (about 30 minutes).
Brush the tops with a little cream.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until they are nicely colored.
Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.
These are good with or without butter. The carrot flavor actually intensifies when the roll is at room temperature rather than piping hot. Either way, they are delicious.
Note: Ingredients in CAPITAL BOLD letters are strongest choices; ingredients in bold are good choices; ingredients underlined are desirable choices.