Purple Rolls with Wild Herb and Honey Goat Cheese
I have a little admission to make: I have had the neurological condition “synesthesia” all of my life. It’s a bizarre cross-wiring of the senses, giving me unusual but not-quite-super powers such as associating letters, numbers, words, sounds, names, time periods, physical sensations, sounds, touch and more each with a specific color. My favorite music tends to have a lot of blues and yellows. I’ve dated several maroon-associated men. And when I am at the height of my snuggly soft happiness, I am completely enveloped in purple.
Maybe that’s why I have an odd compulsion to color all of my starchy sweet comfort foods purple. Maybe I just like the challenge of dancing across the rainbow rather than sticking with the more well-known colors for any given thing. But I can tell you: when I eat purple food, it has a subtle effect on me. It slows me down. It lets me breathe, It reminds me that purple means pleasure, and I deserve to enjoy the sensual parts of life too. Like super soft springy dinner rolls slathered in goat cheese filled with floral herbs and local honey and all things soothing and fresh and joyful. Oh yes. That is the epitome of what purple means to me: soft, sensual, herbaceous, pillowy pleasure.
The psychological benefits of having your own color-coded emotions might not come through in this recipe, but the rest of it is designed to evoke that same soft sweet comfort. Just picture I am swaddling you in the softest blanket in a room dimmed and comfortably cool, with the scent of freshly-baked rolls filling the air and making you feel so safe, so taken care of, so lusciously relaxed and peaceful.
Slightly sweet and extra soft, these rolls are the perfect vessel for wild herb-filled goat cheese!
½ c. yogurt
¾ c. mashed purple sweet potatoes
½ c. blueberry puree
2 Tbs. melted butter
3 Tbs. sugar
3 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Yeast
Add the yogurt, mashed purple sweet potatoes, egg, blueberry puree, and butter to a blender. Blend on low speed until the mixture is very smooth. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix well. Dough should be slightly sticky. Knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes. (With wet dough like this, it can be easier to use a stand mixer with a hook attachment.)
Place the smooth dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let rise for 60 to 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each into a ball, then pinch dough from the sides to form a seam on the top, then flip. (This helps make a rounder roll.) Space out the rolls on a lightly greased pan. (Or pans, if yours isn’t as giant as mine is!) Cover the pans and let the rolls rise until they’re puffy, about another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are a slightly brownish purple.
Remove rolls from the oven and brush them with melted butter and allow to cool.
Wild Herb and Honey Goat Cheese:
This soft spread is delicious on the purple rolls (above.) Take stock of what is available to you - what wild herbs are growing in your area right now? What edible flowers could you add?
2 (4oz) logs of chevre, room temperature
½ c. chopped herbs and edible flowers of choice
¼ c. honey, slightly warmed
Mix all of the ingredients together to form a smooth spread.
Serve warm with purple rolls and enjoy!
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