Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons butter
3/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
Strawberry, blueberry, or apricot jam for accompaniment
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, ¼ cup of the butter, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm before proceeding.
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and remaining ½ teaspoon of sugar in ¼ cup of warm water (110 degrees F.) Add the eggs and stir to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon, add the flour 1 cup at a time. The dough will be quite stiff and somewhat sticky. If the dough gets too stiff to stir with a spoon, use your hands to mix.
- Lightly grease the inside of a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Lightly grease a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap with the remaining teaspoon of butter and use it to cover the bowl. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, at least 2 hours.
- Melt remaining ¼ cup of butter and transfer to a small bowl to cool. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a thickness of ½ inch. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 36 equal pieces. Tuck the cut edges of each piece under so as to form a smooth round ball of dough. Place 3 balls of dough side by side into each well of a muffin tin. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of each roll with some of the melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the dinner rolls in the center of the oven until golden brown and puffed, about 18 to 20 minutes. Be sure to serve the rolls while they are still warm with your favorite jams.