Tag Archives: Yeast Bread

Cloverleaf Rolls

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Why Cloverleaf Rolls? For one thing, when you pull them apart each piece has some crust from the top, and some softer dough on the bottom. But then, too, they have more surface to put condiments on when you pull them apart; condiments like jelly, jam, preserves, honey and butter- and who doesn’t like to butter their rolls.

And then there are the possible toppings that you can bake onto the rolls. I chose plain, salt, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. I suspect that you might also have a favorite.

This recipe is also nice in that it is made over two days, so much of the work can be done ahead of time, and then only putting the rolls in the muffin cups and baking them is left for the second day; the days don’t even have to be consecutive. You can do the first part 2 or 3 days in advance if it helps make your party easier to schedule.

Cloverleaf Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (100 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 1 four-ounce packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • cooking spray
  • optional toppings, e.g. poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt

Directions

Day 1:

  • In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar and water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit until foamy- about 5 minutes.
  • Separate one egg; save the white for an egg wash, and the yolk will go into the dough with the other whole egg.
  • Add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture and, using the mixer, beat on medium until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, the whole egg and egg yolk, and the cooled melted butter; beat until combined.
  • Using a wooden spoon, add the other 2 1/2 cups of flour about a half cup at a time, and mix until it is all combined
  • Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer the dough to it. Spray the top of the dough, loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 2 days). The dough will double in size.

Day 2:

  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper, and divide it into 36 equal pieces (about 1 ounce each).
  • Coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Roll each dough piece into a smooth ball and place three balls in each muffin cup.
  • Coat the top of the filled cups with cooking spray, and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in size, 60-90 minutes.
  • Add a tablespoon of water to the reserved egg white, and paint the tops of each roll with this egg wash. If toppings are being used, sprinkle the topping on the rolls at this time.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls until puffed and golden- about 10-15 minutes.


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And here are some thoughts from my experience with this recipe. When I first put it together, I had too much moisture, and the dough balls did not keep there individual positions, but seemed to meld together on top so there was one very big roll. I have reduced the moisture, and now the recipe gives excellent results. Note that this is a yeast dough, but there is no kneading of the dough- the recipe is very easy except for getting all of the flour into the dough.

I found that I need to turn the ball of dough while adding the last 2 1/2 cups of flour. Otherwise, the dry flour seems to slip under the dough ball and hide, and stay dry; it is not part of the dough needed to make the rolls. So be certain that the dough ball picks up all of the flour, and none of it hides at the bottom of the bowl.

When dividing the dough ball into 36 equal pieces, you might want to weigh the first couple pieces you separate off to calibrate your eye for doing the rest. I found that what worked best was to cut rows from the ball, each about 1 inch wide, and then cut the row into individual pieces about the same size. A rather dull knife works well; I used a bench scraper, or a regular table knife.

The first row will be weird since it is on the edge of the ball and both ends are very curved and it is hard to see the long straight row that will make multiple pieces; leave this first row until you have done the second row, then you can see how to pull the long thin tails of the first row into the size pieces you need.

Even so, if you do not come out with just 36 equal pieces, you will need to determine which pieces are too large or too small and adjust their size.

Herb Bread

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This bread is a flavored yeast bread; the recipe makes two loaves, and uses the stand mixer much like the Dilly Bread and Cinnamon Bread recipes. The recipe is most like the Cinnamon Bread in that it starts by taking the chill off the milk.
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The recipe uses fresh herbs; if you have an herb garden, there is no problem. Now days, you can buy fresh herbs in the produce section of your favorite grocery store. If you want to try to use your bottled dry herbs, then remember that the formula is usually 3 to 1; three parts of fresh herbs is equal to 1 part of dried herbs. That would mean the 2 Tablespoon measure for which the recipe calls is about 2 teaspoons of dried herbs.

Herb Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture, 4 1/2 cups of flour and the chopped herbs. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 1 minute.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of mixer bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top of the dough. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour

Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire rack.


To warm the mixer bowl, I fill the bowl from the hot water faucet in the sink and let it sit for 5 minutes while I am chopping herbs; then dump it out and put the measured warm water and yeast in it.

If you don’t want flour flying all over, let it mix for a minute on the lowest speed so that the flour is partially moistened before turning the speed bake to Speed 2.
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While you can just roll each half of the dough into a loaf pan, you will discover that the baked loaves have risen in the center much more than at the ends, making it hard to get an nice even look. The trick is to use a rolling pin, and roll each half of the dough into a rectangle as wide as the loaf pans, and about 14 inches long. The rolling pin will smooth the dough and remove most of the gas bubbles. Then, start at the narrow end and roll the dough tightly up into a cylinder. Pinch the dough to seal the seam and ends. Turn the seam side down, and place in the greased loaf pan.
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I went beyond the recipe after I baked these loaves of Herb Bread; I brushed the tops with egg white and sprinkled them with sea salt. That is the white specks you see on the baked loaves of Herb Bread.
I think it is something to do with age, but I find that my taste tends to need stronger flavoring than most recipes use; thus, at times I will double the flavorings when it comes to herbs and spices. In this case, I have often used 3-4 Tablespoons of the fresh herbs from my garden; some of that increase in amount is also do to not wanting to waste the herbs after I have taken them from the garden.

Cinnamon Bread

This is the second of the flavored yeast breads that I enjoy, and make fairly often. In this case, I know that I have an easy target for any extra bread; Kris likes the cinnamon bread.
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Again, this bread is made in the stand mixer with the bread hook attachment. It is different from the Dilly Bread in that it starts with milk, and takes the chill off the milk before adding it to the yeast and sugar. The Dilly Bread doesn’t use any milk as such; the closest it gets to milk is the cottage cheese.

In the list of ingredients, you will see that the butter, sugar and eggs are all divided; that is, the amount shown in the ingredient list is for two uses each. The first use will be in the bread dough, and the second use will be when forming the loaves of bread or for the egg white, during the last minutes of baking the loaves.

Cinnamon Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter plus 2 Tablespoons divided
  • 6 1/2 – 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 cup divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg white, at room temperature divided
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Directions

Combine milk, water, and the 1/3 cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are warm (120°F to 130°F); butter does not need to melt.

Place 6 cups flour, the 6 Tablespoons sugar, salt, and yeast in the mixer bowl with the dough hook attached. Slowly turn from its slowest “stir” speed to Speed 2 and mix for 15 seconds. Add the eggs, then the warm liquids, and “stir” for about 1 minute. Mix on Speed 2 for 1 minute longer.

Continuing on Speed 2, add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bow; set aside.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle that is as wide as the loaf pans, and as long as about 14 inches. The more rectangular you can make the rolled out dough, the easier it will be to roll it into a loaf. Melt the final 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush each half with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll dough tightly from the narrow side and shape into loaves. Place in two loaf pans with the seam side down.

Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with beaten egg white. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.


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I have already warned you about how the divided ingredients are used. Hopefully, I have broken them out strongly enough in the ingredient list that you will not accidentally use them at the wrong time.

I also like my flavors stronger that what I find this recipe gives me; I use extra sugar and cinnamon when I sprinkle the rolled out dough. To make certain that I don’t use too much cinnamon, I just double the quantity of both the sugar and cinnamon in the mixture.

Finally, I don’t like the top crust of the bread getting too crusty and hard, so I tent the loaves for the last ten minutes of the 40 minute baking time. I have to remove the tenting after brushing the loaves with the egg white to allow it to brown.

Dilly Bread

This bread was a real frustration for me before I learned to knead it in the stand mixer. My skill set did not include kneading dough, and I was never able to make a good loaf of this bread before learning to use the dough hook on the stand mixer.
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Now, this is a simple, easy-to-make recipe that results in an excellent yeast bread with a flavor that I find somewhat addicting.

Dilly Bread

(Catharine P. (Mother) Crary, 1971)

updated for stand mixer by Errol Crary, 2012

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 Tablespoons honey (instead of sugar)
  • 2 cup cottage cheese, large curd, luke warm
  • 2 Tablespoon onion, freshly grated
  • 4 Tablespoon butter, melted (try 10 seconds at a time in the microwave)
  • 4 Tablespoons dill seed (NOT dill weed)
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 egg
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups AP flour (I used unbleached flour)

Hardware

  • Two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pans
  • Stand Mixer with both flat beater and dough hook

Directions

Warm the mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the warmed mixing bowl. Add the 1 teaspoon of the honey and let stand 5 minutes.

Add the cottage cheese, 4 Tablespoons honey, onion, butter, dill seed, salt and baking soda. Attach the mixing bowl and flat beater to the stand mixer. Turn to Stir Speed, and mix 30 seconds. Add eggs and turn to Stir Speed for 15 seconds.

Exchange the flat beater for the dough hook and add 3 cups flour. After a couple rotations at Stir speed, turn to Speed 2 and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, each time starting at Stir speed and then increasing to Speed 2, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.

NOTE: Dough may not form a ball on the hook; however, as long as there is contact between dough and hook, kneading will be accomplished. Do NOT add more than the maximum amount of flour specified or dry loaf will result.

Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Slash the loaves diagonally about 3 times each.

Bake at 350°F for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Watch the tops, and if necessary the last 15 minutes tent with foil.

Remove from pans immediately. Cool on wire racks. Brushed the tops of each loaf with melted butter as soon as they are on the cooling racks and sprinkled with salt.

There are a couple items about the recipe that I should discuss. First, note that the recipe uses honey instead of granulated sugar. And the honey is divided; the first little bit is used to feed the yeast directly, while the sweetening of the dough uses the second larger amount.

I like the trick of starting the yeast right in the mixer bowl – saves another clean-up bowl. But, remember to warm the mixer bowl before you start so that the yeast doesn’t get a cold shock. I warm the bowl by filling it at the sink with straight hot water, and letting it sit for a couple minutes before dumping the hot water and moving ahead to start the yeast. Now don’t use too hot of water to start activation of the yeast- the recipe says warm. Warm water is body temperature- roughly the 90 – 100 degrees (a good use of the thermometer). If you must, it can be made by combining 2 parts ice water with 1 part boiling water. Warm water feels neither warm or cold when you feel it.

Now that the yeast is active, the other ingredients except the flour are mixed in. This is done with the flat, mixing beater on the stand mixer. This is exchanged for the dough hook when the flour is added.
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Getting a good rise on the dough seems to be all about the temperature. I invested in an instant read thermometer that has given me great results. (I once used it to check the oven temperature and discovered the knob that sets the temperature was off by 25 degrees). It is a good tool to have in your kitchen.
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And you need to find that draft-free spot where you can let the dough rise. I found mine in the laundry bay on top of the dryer. And, I have occasionally turned the dryer on for a few minutes to warm the area up. I found that I get a good rise if the temperature around the bowl of dough is in the range of 72 – 78 degrees. I let the towel covering the dough spread out to that any heat is under the towel and pushed toward the bowl, and doesn’t just escape upward.
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The next place I want to suggest how-to-do is in the sentence “Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan”. There are two pieces of experience I can give you here. Second, the loaf pans can be “greased” with the modern no-stick cooking spray; it worked great for me. But first, the shaping of the loafs needs attention. If you just plunk the dough into the loaf pans, it will end up looking like a mountain; that is, the ends will not rise anywhere nearly as much as the center of the loaf. The trick is to roll the dough out into a rectangle that is as wide as the loaf pan is long, and then rolling the dough up into a cylinder that stays as long as the loaf pan. Now place the rolled up cylinder in the loaf pan with the seam down. Voila!

I think the rest of the directions are fairly clear and straight forward. After the dough rises in the loaf pans, slash the tops before putting them in the oven. Remember to use a piece of foil on top of the loaves for the last 15 minutes. And the butter and salt on the tops while they are still warm makes all the difference; you will like the taste.
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