Homemade bread. I could almost just stop talking with those two words. I’m not sure there is anything better than fresh homemade bread, in any form! I love baking sweet treats and cooking, but my absolute favorite and most prized skill is baking bread. My Aunt Lori taught me how to make homemade bread March 2011 and to say I’m addicted is an understatement. I have made bread dozens of dozens of times since then. I’ve tried making all kinds of breads, rolls, buns, any and every recipe I can get my hands on. I love everything about making bread and each heavenly doughy ball is like a baby to me as I guide it through all of the stages of it’s development. I know, I’m odd, huh?! None of my family members are complaining about my bread making obsession. I love bringing it to dinners or giving it as gifts with a jar of apple butter or cinnamon honey butter!
So when I saw this recipe at How Sweet Eats I knew it’d be the perfect recipe to make for rolls to take to our Thanksgiving dinners. Since we go to two each year this recipe couldn’t have been better since it yields 30 rolls, so I had 15 to take to each dinner! I will definitely be making these again, and again, and again!
I know working with yeast intimidates a lot of people. It intimidated me too until my aunt taught me what I needed to know. I’m one of those people that will never remember something I’ve been told or read how to do, but I’ll never forget something I’ve been shown how to do. So I took a lot of step by step pictures so you can see exactly what you’re looking for! No fear, you can do this, and once you start you’ll never want to stop!
Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls
makes about 30 rolls
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2-6 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed
melted butter for brushing
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (with an attached dough hook), combine warm water, yeast, olive oil and 1 tablespoon honey and mix with a spoon. Let sit until foamy, about 10-15 minutes. Add warm milk, remaining honey, egg and butter, and mix on low speed until just combined, then add in 2 cups of flour and salt. Mix on low speed, gradually increasing to medium as flour becomes incorporated. Slowly add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, stopping at 5 cups. Knead the dough on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, then check to see if the dough is sticky. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour and knead until it becomes smooth, but you want some stick to it. Remove dough from the bowl and form into a ball with your hands, covering with a bit more flour until it is no longer sticking to your hands.
2. Brush a large bowl with melted butter. Add dough to the bowl, turning once or twice to cover in butter. Place a towel over top and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours. Punch dough down, then transfer to a floured workspace. Tear small pieces of dough off the larger piece, and roll into balls slightly larger than one inch wide. You will end up with about 90 dough balls. Brush a muffin tin with melted butter, then add 3 dough balls to each tin. **If you are making these the night ahead, stop here and read make ahead directions below!**
3. Cover and let rise again, in a warm spot, for about an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tops of each clover with a hefty glug of melted butter. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until tops are just golden brown. Remove from over and brush tops with melted butter again, repeating the brushing another few times as the rolls cool. Remove from the tins and serve.
Recipe lightly adapted from How Sweet Eats
***Make Ahead Directions***
Prepare through step 2, do not let rise the second time. Cover shaped rolls loosely with plastic wrap, leaving room for dough to rise. Chill for 2 to 24 hours. Uncover; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake as directed.