Luck of the Eater

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, an excitement fills the air. People are preparing their most impressive green outfits, planning meals of “traditional” corned beef and cabbage (bleh), and most importantly, stocking up on the libations. You don’t need much of an excuse to drink around here, but this holiday seems like the perfect reason to get totally smashed, so that seems to be the point of the whole day by the time one reaches college. Of course, I don’t drink and am not even the least bit Irish, so this holiday has typically fallen through the cracks for me. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t know what it’s all about or how one is supposed to celebrate without imbibing great quantities of alcohol, but I’ve decided that I want to pay my respects to the celebration in the only way I know how: By baking!

Setting aside the sugar after having overdosed a bit on marshmallows, it was high time to get something green back into my body. And what could be more appropriate for St. Patrick’s day than green clovers, after all? Smuggling a handful of spinach into the young dough, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not about to fulfill anyone’s daily requirement, but it did add some lovely flavor and just a hint of natural coloring.

Even if this holiday doesn’t hold much significance for me, just pulling those lovely golden buns out of the oven was cause for celebration. Finally, a simple sort of bread that is cooperative, easy, and incredibly tasty, appropriate for more than just special occasions, too. Even my mom was taken aback by how “buttery” they were! For all those who are yeast-phobic, give this one a try- You might just find that you luck will improve. It’s no coincidence that they embody such a fortuitous symbol!

Four-Leaf Clover Rolls

1 Cup Soymilk
1 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Package Dry Active Yeast
1/4 Cup Margarine
1 Tablespoon Flax Seeds
2 Tablespoons Water
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Frozen Chopped Spinach, Thawed
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoons Margarine, Melted

Briefly heat the soymilk just until it’s lukewarm, around 90 degrees or so. Add in the sugar and yeast and let it sit for about 15 minutes to become frothy and active.

When ready, melt the 1/4 cup of margarine and add it to the liquid mix. Grind up the flax seeds using a spice or coffee grinder, and then process them for just a minute with the water. Incorporate this into the other liquids as well, along with the salt and thawed spinach (make sure you squeeze as much water out as possible!)

Now, transfer this mix into your mixer and begin gradually adding flour in a couple of installments. You may need more or less than called for, so just keep an eye on it and allow it to fully combine everything before changing the amounts. Once it has more or less come together, switch in your dough hook, and allow it to process for about 10 minutes, until it’s a smooth elastic ball. You can also knead it by hand, but be aware that it will take longer to reach the proper texture.

Lightly grease a large bowl and drop the ball of dough in, covering lightly, and allow it to sit in a warm place for about an hour and a half, until doubled in size. After it’s nicely risen, lightly grease a muffin tin in which to house the rolls. Gently punch the dough down, and cut it into four pieces. Each of those pieces should be cut into 12 more pieces, and then you’ll want to roll each of those pieces between your hands to form nice smooth little balls. Fit four balls into each muffin indentation. Cover the whole tray with a clean towel, and let it sit to rise again for one and a half hours.

As the rolls near the end of their final proofing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and melt the single tablespoon of margarine. Lightly brush the tops of each roll with the margarine just before popping them into the oven. Bake for about 16 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let them sit in the muffin tin for 10 minutes after leaving the oven, and then finish cooling them on a wire rack.

Makes 12 rolls.

Printable Recipe

50 thoughts on “Luck of the Eater

  1. Okay, I think this will just HAVE to be the first yeast bread I try. (I will definitely need that luck they convey through the clovers. . .). They look just perfect!

  2. WOW. i want some!! Hannah you are so good at making food so aesthetically pleasing!!

    Oh yeah by the way, how do you make such great craftwork? Can I learn how to make that teddy in the previous post too?

  3. What a great idea! I have made “clover” rolls before but never thought to make the green four “leaf” kind. Those are awesome!

  4. Having never been a huge fan of the traditional soda bread that comes out for St. Patty’s, I was so psyched to see these cute and far more delicious looking and sounding carbohydratey treats! Yesss!

  5. Do those ever look delicious! I have to make some of those. Thank you for the recipe.

    I have a 90 minute rolls recipe that I used to make for soup nights, but it had milk in it. I’ll try using soy milk in place of that. You have given me courage to adapt it.

  6. These look so good! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try these out. Need to stop by the market for a couple things, but hopefully I can make a batch for St. Patties day.

  7. Just stunning! The perfect bread to soak up all the green beer I’ll be drinking! :) Just kidding …about the drinking. Lovely rolls Hannah!

  8. Wow Hannah these are so cute!! They look awesome. Definitely saving this recipe. :) I don’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day in any way but I love an excuse to bake something like this.

  9. okay, I HAVE to make those rolls for St. Patrick’s Day – they’re so lovely!! But I’ve never worked with yeast before… any brands you recommend? any tips for using it, so that the rolls DO rise?

  10. How festive!! I haven’t even thought about st paddy’s day food… guess it’s coming up pretty quick. I haven’t made rolls in forever and these look sooooo yummy.

  11. It must be nice to live in a country that has so many different holidays! All the different backgrounds, traditions, and of course foods. These rolls are beautiful!

  12. I love them! Makes me want to make bread (almost)! If only I had a mixer… kneading is so hard on my tiny counter… I love the uber creativity though!

  13. Mmmmmmmm. they look delicious!!! After months of waiting, your book finally arrived at my house (I have terrible Amazon karma…). I am “yeast-phobic” but will take your word for it and give it a try. I’m going to print this out and stick it in the book for later use. Oh, wait…. I need to make something for Easter dinner…. yum! Thanks Hannah!

  14. St. Patrick’s Day is the celebration of St. Patrick bringing Catholicism and Christianity to Ireland. As for the green-themed stuff, that’s just for fun.

    Aside from that, I just have to try your rolls – they look scrumptious!

  15. My four-year-old son and I made these today after school (and all afternoon) and proudly served them with dinner. They were not as beautiful as yours, but they were delicious! And a great excuse to get down and clean that mixer that’s been sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Thanks for this recipe.

  16. Hi! I write for Babble and was wondering if I could use one of the images from this post to promote your post and blog on Babble’s Family Kitchen this afternoon for St. Patty’s Day. I will of course, tell about your blog, books, and link back and everything.

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