Sunday, July 22, 2012

Carrot & Steel Cut Oat Rolls

A few weeks ago while I was spending lots of time up at my parents' house, I was able to go through  many fun cookbooks. My mom found several volumes of "The Pleasures of Cooking" cookbooks, which feature only recipes that use the Cuisinart food processor. Carl Sontheimer, the man who introduced the Cuisinart into the US (we thank him for this), owned the magazine and also was a recipe contributor.

These cookbooks were definitely ahead of their times. The recipes were published in the early to mid-80s, and they included ingredients that weren't even available at most grocery chain stores until fairly recently.

One of the recipes I came across was for these carrot and oat rolls. Now, these rolls use steel cut oats. Ok, when did you first hear about steel cut oats? I know that most people in the 80s didn't know about or use steel cut oats in their cooking, but I could be wrong!

I made these rolls & they are delicious. They don't use any butter or oil, and just a tad of sugar, but yet they still taste so sweet and buttery. The rolls are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, cut in half with a couple small pats of butter and a tiny drizzle of honey. But they also taste really good plain, served along with dinner. You could even use them as a sandwich roll - they'd be good with brie, honey, and apple slices.

You might notice that my rolls aren't perfectly shaped. It's true, I'm a total dough novice. It took me a very long time to overcome my fear of working with dough, and although I overcame it, I still have lots of room for improvement. Hopefully (probably) yours will be prettier than mine! Enjoy.

Recipe for Carrot & Steel Cut Oat Rolls

8 ounces of peeled baby carrots, cut in half
1/4 cup of steel cut oats
1 Tbsp. of dark brown sugar (firmly packed), 
plus more for sprinkling
1 package of active dry yeast
1 tsp. of salt
3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Fit a food processor with a metal blade. Put the 1/4 cup steel cut oats in the bowl of the processor. 

Put the carrots in a large saucepan and just barely cover with water. Put the water over medium heat and simmer the carrots until they are cooked through (about 25 minutes or so). Once carrots finish cooking, pour 3/4 cup of the hot water from the cooked carrots into a liquid glass measuring cup. Drain the remaining water. Put the cooked carrots into the bowl of the food processor with the steel cut oats. Process the carrots and oats together for several seconds (5 - 10 seconds), scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. 

When the water in the measuring cup registers 110 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, stir in the dark brown sugar and the yeast. 

Put the flour and salt in the bowl with the carrots and oats. Turn on the motor, and pour the water/sugar/yeast mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream. When the dough cleans the sides of the bowl, let the motor run for about 40 more seconds. 

Spray a large metal bowl lightly with baking spray and dust it with a little bit of flour. Transfer the dough into the bowl (the dough will feel really sticky). Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a lid, and then leave in a warm place to rise. Let rise for about an hour. 

Once dough has risen, turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Divide into equal pieces (about 16) and shape each piece into a roll. Place on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled (you can use baking spray). Cover the rolls with lightly oiled saran wrap, and let rise for another 45 minutes.

When dough has about doubled in size, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If desired, spray tops of rolls with a little baking spray or pat with a little butter. Sprinkle on a bit of dark brown sugar. Bake the rolls for 12 minutes at 400 degrees. 

These rolls are best when they are fresh out of the oven. Sadly, they lose some of their delicious flavor and moistness after a couple days of storing. I'd recommend making them for dinner guests or a large & hungry family! 

Recipe Source: The Pleasures of Cooking, Volume VIII No. 2, 1985