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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Butternut Squash & Spinach Rolls

These rolls are awesome.  I was hesitant to make them because of the squash spinach combo, but the flavor was so savory and the rolls themselves are extremely soft.  I will be making these again soon. 

  • 1-1/2 Cup Butternut Squash Soup (I got mine at Trader Joes)
  • 3 Ounces Spinach Leaves (1 cup somewhat packed)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, or Shortening (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast or 2-1/4 Teaspoons (I used Rapid Rise yeast**)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (can sub evaporated cane juice / sucanat or coconut sugar for an unrefined option)
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  • 2-1/2 to 3 Cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
Warm the soup a bit (you want it to be pretty warm to activate the yeast, but not too hot, which could kill the yeast). Place it in your blender and blend with the spinach until smooth.
Place the soup mixture, oil or shortening, yeast (see below if using Rapid Rise**), sugar, salt, and wheat flour in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Gradually add in the bread or all-purpose flour until the dough reaches a nice soft, pliable consistency that you can handle. As it gets thick, you will want to knead it with your hands. I used just over 2-3/4 cup flour.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to lightly coat it with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour. 
If making pull-apart rolls, lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Divide the dough into 12 or 18 equal pieces and form each piece into rounds. Place the rounds in your prepared baking dish. Cover the dish with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise again, until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. If the air in your kitchen is too cool, preheat your oven to warm, turn it off, place the dish with your dough in the oven, and leave the oven door propped slightly open.
When the dough is almost done rising, preheat your oven to 400º F (205º C). Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops take on a golden hue.
No butternut soup? To make rolls just as deliciously soft and bakery-like as these, try the Tender Squash Dinner Roll recipe in Go Dairy Free. It uses mashed squash (or pumpkin) for perfect rolls every time.

**Rapid Rise yeast gets rid of the need to let the dough rise once before shaping.  I use to decrease the time it takes to make bread.  To use Rapid Rise yeast, add yeast to flour mixture instead of wet mixture.  No need to let the yeast activate first.  You will need to still have warm liquids to activate the yeast later.  

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