I may be Irish only by marriage, but that’s reason enough for me to celebrate St Patrick’s Day because (as I’ve mentioned before) I’ll use any excuse to bake something and to have a party! We’re hosting dinner for friends and family at our house on Friday, and I’ll wear my special St Patrick’s Day shirt, jewelry, and apron. There’ll be corned beef with horseradish sauce, champ, sauteed cabbage, roasted carrots and parsnips, and green and gold decor. But instead of soda bread, I’ll be serving hearty walnut and currant cloverleaf rolls that will be wonderful with the other foods, even if they’re not authentically Irish.
To make the rolls, I started with a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. I tweaked it a bit by adding some wheat bran and whole milk, then I included an autolyse–the French term for a short rest period between the initial mixing of the dough and the kneading–that makes yeast dough easier to work with.
After kneading, the dough goes into my lightly oiled rising bucket with its cover on. I put a rubber band around the container level with the top of the dough at the start of the rise so that I can easily tell when it has doubled. The rising bucket keeps the dough warm and humid without having to put it in an oven or worry about drafts.
The dough is puffy and light, it doubled in just 45 minutes and is ready for it’s final shaping.
The dough is divided into eighths, and each piece is then divided into fourths and rolled into balls. These 6 ounce ramekins are perfect for hearty walnut and currant cloverleaf rolls, and also for creme brulee, or molten lava cakes, or any number of other recipes that make individual servings. Clear 6-oz custard cups will work just fine, if you have them.
Place the ramekins on a sheet pan to easily move them.
Cover the rolls lightly with waxed paper and in about 45 minutes, they’ll be ready to go into the preheated oven.
Hot out of the oven, the rolls are brushed with melted butter and cooled in the ramekins for five minutes.
Hearty walnut and currant cloverleaf rolls still warm from the oven with a melting pat of butter….mmmmmmmm.
Make hearty walnut and currant cloverleaf rolls for St Patrick’s Day, or any day of the year.
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Thanks, and bon appetit!
- 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz) warm water (110°F)
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz) warm whole milk (110°F)
- 2 cups (8.5 oz, 240 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup (4 oz, 113 grams) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 tablespoons wheat bran
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28 grams) soft salted butter
- 1/2 cup (2 oz, 60 grams) chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
- 1/2 cup (3 oz, 80 grams) Zante currants
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz, 14 grams) melted salted butter
- Add the warm water to a large bowl and stir the dry yeast into it with a fork; allow to soften for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the yeast mixture and mix until all of the flour is incorporated.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes (autolyse).
- Knead the dough by hand or machine until it's smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover tightly, and let it rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Grease or spray eight 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups
- Gently deflate the dough, divide into 8 pieces, further divide each piece into quarters and roll into balls.
- Place four small balls together, then into the ramekins.
- Lightly cover the pans with waxed paper and let the rolls rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they've crested over the rims of the ramekins.
- When the rolls have been rising for 30 minutes, start the oven preheating to 350°F.
- Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into their centers reads 200°F.
- Brush the rolls with the melted butter, and let them cool for 5 minutes in the ramekins then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling.
- Serve warm, or at room temperature.
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