Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Robin Hood to the Rescue! Recipes for Potato Cloverleaf Rolls and Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Robin Hood Baking
Over 250 Recipes from Robin Hood's Baking Festival and Home Baking Cookbooks
Spiral-bound, 384 pages

Wow, can you believe that Robin Hood Flour - Canada's top flour producer - is over 100 years old? I still have a faded, stained and dog-eared copy of my grandma's Robin Hood baking companion from goodness knows when. Over the years the Robin Hood Test Kitchen has come out with lots of delicious baking recipes and now their new book, Robin Hood Baking, combines the best of their acclaimed Baking Festival and Home Baking cookbooks.
It is a large and easy to read book, about the size of a school binder and it lays flat - perfect for when you are up to your elbows in flour! The book is interspersed with full-page glossy colour photos, one every few pages and each recipe comes with tips, variations and a breakdown of just how much time the recipe will take. (A good thing!)

These are recipes that you will actually make. Good family and friend recipes that everyone will enjoy.

The chapters include:

Baking Basics
Baking Equipment
Baking Tips and Techniques
Making Perfect Cakes
Cookies, Bars and Squares
Perfect Pie Crust and Pastry
Muffins and Biscuits
Quick Breads and Yeast Breads
Baking at High Altitudes
Emergency Substitution Tables

Bars & Squares
Cakes & Frostings
Pies & Pastry
Family Favorites
Holiday Baking

In our KitchenPuppy test kitchen we made Potato Cloverleaf Rolls and Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars. Both simple to make and even more enjoyable to eat!

Recipes below
Old-Fashioned Cloverleaf Potato Rolls
Moist and flavourful, this traditional favorite will never go out of style. 
Makes 2 dozen rolls
Preparation: 30 minutes
Rising: 80 minutes
Baking: 12 minutes
Freezing: excellent

In addition to a tender texture, mashed potatoes give yeast bread extra moistness and a subtle, rich, creamy flavour.
Grandmothers made extra mashed potatoes so they would have them on hand to make these rolls. If you prefer, you can make them using instant mashed potatoes for convenience.
Us a thermometer to check the temperature of the liquid. If it's too hot, the yeast will be killed. If it's too cool, the action of the yeast will slow it down.
If you prefer a shiny top, bruch the rolls lightly with butter or an egg wash just before baking.
Sprinkle sesame of poppy seeds over top, if desired.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) during second rising
  • Two 12-cup muffin pans, greased
1¼ milk (300ml)
½ cup butter (125 mL)
½ cup mashed potatoes (125 mL)
4¾ to 5 cups Robin Hood Best for Bread Homestyle White or All Purpose Flour (1.175 to1.25 L)
¼ cup granulated sugar (50 mL)
2¼ tsp quick-rise instant yeast (1 envelope/¼ oz/8 g/11 mL)
1½ tsp salt (7 mL)
1 egg, beaten
Melted butter, optional

Continued below
1. Heat milk, butter and mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture is hot (125°F/50°C) and butter is melted.

2. Combine 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir in milk mixture and egg. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until blended. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 10 minutes, adding enough flour to make the dough smooth and eleatic. Cover an let rest for 20 minutes.

3. Shaping: Divide dough into eight portions. Cut each portion into nine pieces to make 72 pieces total. Shape each piece into a ball. Place 3 balls in the bottom of each prepared muffin cup.
Repeat, using all the balls to fill the 24 cups. Cover with a tea towel and let stand in a warm place (75 to 85°/24-29°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Brush with melted butter, if using.

4. Bake on center rack of oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately. Cool for 10 minutes on rack.

Try other shapes, such as snails, spirals, crescents and small balls but remember to keep them all about the same size to ensure that the dough rises and bakes uniformly.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars
Swirls of chocolate and creamy peanut butter top a chewy oat cookie base.
Makes about 2 dozen bars
Preparation: 20 minutes
Baking: 30 minutes
Refrigeration: 15 minutes
Freezing: excellent

Tip - Swirl topping gently for a more attractive look
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  • 8-inch (2 L) or 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan, greased
½ cup butter or margarine, softened (125 mL)
½ cup packed brown sugar (125 mL)
½ cup corn syrup (125 mL)
1 tsp vanilla (5 mL)
3 cups Robin Hood Oats (750 mL)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (125 mL)
¼ cup creamy peanut butter (50 mL)

1. Cream butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until smooth. Stir in oats, mixing thoroughly. Press firmly into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until light golden and center is barely firm. Cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top. Drop small spoonfuls of peanut butter over chips. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Swirl chocolate and peanut butter together to marble. Cool completely, then refrigerate for 15 minutes to set topping. Cut into bars.

Variation - A sprinkling of chopped peanuts on top adds a nice touch.