For some people, yeasty things inspires the same reaction in them as watching the shower scene in Psycho and then taking a shower. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. My first attempt with the blasted stuff resulted in a dense, brick like loaf of something that was supposed to resemble bread, but instead turned out to be a potential lethal weapon. I made this kind of face when I saw my yeasty disaster:
So I avoided yeast and everything else vaguely resembling it for a long, long time. But bloggers kept posting recipes with the most amazing, heavenly photos of beautiful, yeast-based foodstuffs. Not one to be beaten down by anything, least of all a measly packet of yeast, I tried again with cloverleaf rolls. I took my time, double and triple checked each step of the recipe, and the rolls were freaking gorgeous. Light, fluffy, yeasty and wonderful. Attacking yeast based goods after that was a snap and now, many loaves of bread, french loaves, bolillos, rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc. later, I feel like an expert. There are still moments, while I’m waiting on the dough to come alive, where I feel nervous that something is going to go wrong and that crappy, dense loaf of pure suck will return to haunt me, but it hasn’t happened yet. For my Labor Day three day weekend, I went on a yeast baking binge, trying a new pizza dough for monster sized calzones,
rolls for our Sunday supper, English muffins, and gorgeous, herb-y boules for panini later in the week.
My friend Sarah mentioned these wonderful rolls in one of her lovely blog posts and of course I demanded she post a recipe for them. I STILL had a half of that monster zucchini my mother in law gave me (one half was turned into ginger zucchini cupcakes) and I wanted something a bit healthier for the rest of the vegetable. I’m glad my demanding nature got me access to these because they’re pretty spectacular.
Zucchini Yeast Rolls
recipe adapted from One Hour of Home
2 cups zucchini, shredded (and I STILL have 1/4 of that damned monster zucchini left!)
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
approximately 2 more cups of bread flour
In a bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar, oil, and salt. Warm the milk to a barely warm temp. No hotter than 110 degrees, please. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for a few minutes. Combine the milk and yeast with the zucchini mixture. Add in the 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup AP flour. Stir together until the flour is mixed in. Add in more flour a little at a time until you get a nice, soft dough. I can’t tell you exactly how much I added after the initial 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup AP, but just add in a little at a time. You can always add more, but you can’t take out. Bear in mind that the dough will be rather sticky so don’t be alarmed if it is. That’s a good thing. Knead it either by hand 8 to 10 minutes or with your electric mixer/dough hook for the same amount of time. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to grease all sides of it, cover with a towel or plastic, and let rise until doubled (like an hour). Punch down the risen dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Form your rolls: I copied Sarah and made cloverleaf rolls in my muffin tins because I ended up with a lot of dough and I think they’ll freeze easier. Since the dough is still going to be sticky, dust your hands with plenty of flour before you form your rolls. It will make it easier to handle the dough. To make cloverleaf rolls, grease muffin tins with cooking spray and roll small balls out of the dough. Place 3 dough balls at a time in each tin. Cover and let them rise again, 30 minutes to an hour. Brush with some milk, then bake at 350 until golden brown. This batch yielded about 30 rolls.
dinner tonight: roasted chicken, mashed potatoes (the purple skinned, russet-like ones from our garden), and olive oil drizzled, salt and peppered simple roasted beets (also from our garden). nothing tastes as good as stuff you’ve grown yourself. true story.