Like Marian, I have a strong distaste for raw carrots. The crunch, the sweetness, the orange flecks lodging between my teeth. But when a carrot has been simmering in stew or baked in a glaze of maple syrup, I find my revulsion turning to admiration, even love.
When I thought about making a batch of rolls for a dinner party, I knew I wanted to try something a bit more unique than my go-to light wheat rolls. I imagined a yeasty bread with flecks of either fruit or vegetable, and when I saw a bag of unopened carrots in my refrigerator drawer, I knew I could do no better.
In this case, I pulverized a handful of carrots in my food processor. This simple puree added flavor, moisture, and vibrant color. I adjusted by reducing the liquid in the original recipe and then adding a bit more flour during kneading. You will likely have to make your own small adjustments when baking due to the variance of climates and ingredients.
Golden Carrot Rolls
2 cups sliced carrots
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
1 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1. In a small bowl, proof your yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add 1 tsp of granulated sugar and allow to sit for 5-8 minutes. If yeast does not begin to foam, discard and begin with a new packet.
2. Meanwhile, place you carrots in a saucepan, cover with water, and cook over medium-high heat until tender. Drain and place in a blender or food processor (be certain your carrots have cooled...if too hot, you will have a carrot explosion). Add your egg and 1/4 cup of water and puree until smooth.
3. In a large bowl made for your stand mixer. Combine carrot mixture with yeast mixture. Stir in the oil, sugar, honey, salt and 3 cups of flour. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, stir in the remaining flour until a soft dough forms.
4. Use the dough hook on your stand mixer or alternately turn your dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down.
5. Shape into 24 balls. Place 2-in. apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Cover and allow to rise in warm place until almost doubled, about 40 minutes to an hour. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until browned.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores