The Dinner Roll Recipe Over-Achieving Bakers Want This Thanksgiving

November  3, 2015

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.

late harvest carrot rolls

Late-Harvest Carrot Rolls

Makes 1 dozen rolls

For the starter:

66 grams (1/4 cups + 3 1/2 tablespoons) white flour
0.1 grams (small pinch) instant yeast
66 grams (1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon) carrot juice

For the carrots and rolls:

300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) large carrots
7 grams (2 teaspoons) light brown sugar
2 (1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea salt
15 grams (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
248 grams (1 3/4 cups + 1 1/2 teaspoons) white flour, plus additional as needed for working
60 grams (1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons) buckwheat flour
25 grams (2 tablespoons + 2 1/4 teaspoons) medium whole-wheat flour
8 grams (1 1/4 teaspoons) fine sea salt
0.8 grams (1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast
255 grams (1 cup + 1/2 tablespoon) carrot juice
25 grams (1 3/4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photos by Bobbi Lin

For more recipes from Bien Cuit, the book is available here.

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Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.