It’s easy to get in a rut in the kitchen—eggs, toast, coffee, pie. Repeat. Thanksgiving’s the same way: We can’t even tell Auntie Lou her stuffing she’s made every year for the past three decades doesn’t taste good (or that, actually, you don’t like turkey).
These rolls are a baking project that, upon completion, are meant to startle your guests, your Thanksgiving traditions, and yourself—in a good way. You can tell guests the starter and dough contain carrot juice, its starches turning to an earthy sweetness during fermentation. You can tell them the recipe comes from the new cookbook from Bien Cuit, a superb bakery in Brooklyn. You can ask them if they’ve ever had roasted carrots in their rolls before and they will tell you no, and then you can say these have some. You can tell them these rolls did take a long time (there is stretching and folding and proofing and resting), and they will tell you it was worth it—that the rolls' rich flavor is how they always imagined fall to taste (sorry, stuffing).
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And then, you must instruct them to butter the rolls with salted butter. That is a rut you won’t ever want to snap out of.