October 16, 2018

Recipe of the Month: Mushroom Barley Soup with Pumpkin Shaped Polenta Bread Rolls


Even without those adorable pumpkin-shaped bread rolls, our Mushroom Barley Soup is incredible. But adding those "gourd-eous" polenta rolls really turns an ordinary lunch or dinner into a party! Not only are they lovely to look at, but the rolls can also be used as soup bowls by cutting off the tops and scooping out the inside.


Happy Halloween!

Barley Mushroom Soup

makes 16 cups


  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 6 bunches chopped green onion
  • 2 cups celery
  • 2 chopped onions
  • ½ gallon chicken broth
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoons pepper
  • 4 russet potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Directions, Tips & Techniques

  1. Melt butter and sauté vegetables until tender.
  2. Add chicken broth, pearl barley, chopped parsley, bay leaf, dried thyme, and pepper to vegetables.  Cover and simmer for 60 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and heavy cream to soup and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Pumpkin-shaped Polenta Bread

makes 12 - 5oz. rolls


  • 2 cups warm water (98-102 degrees)
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup polenta
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 lb. bread flour (just over 7 cups approximately)
  • 2 eggs for egg wash plus green and orange food coloring

Directions, Tips & Techniques

  1. Pour water into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add yeast and sugar. Wait about ten minutes until yeast begins to bubble.
  2. Add all dry ingredients. Mix on 1st (low) speed for 4 minutes and then second speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and proof on counter for about an hour until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into 12 (5 oz.) pieces for the body of the pumpkins and 12 (½ oz.) pieces for the stems. Shape 5 oz. pieces into small balls, and pinch the ½ oz. pieces into a teardrop shape. Cover with plastic wrap and proof on counter for about an hour until doubled in size.
  5. Before baking, take a serrated knife and cut 5-7 slits from the top of the bun to the middle - these are what give the roll their pumpkin shape. Don’t cut too deep, just light cuts will be enough.

  6. Whisk together 1½ eggs with 1T. of water and 3-7 drops of orange food coloring depending on how vibrant you want your pumpkins. With a pastry brush, paint the 5 oz. pieces with orange egg wash.

  7. Whisk together ½ egg with 1 tsp. of water, add 2-5 drops of green food coloring depending on how vibrant you want the stems. With a pastry brush paint the  ½ oz. pieces with green egg wash.

  8. Using your thumb, make an indent in center of the 5 oz. pieces. You want the indent to be about ½". Place the green stems in the indent.
  9. Bake at 375ºF in convection oven until golden brown- about 20 minutes.
  10. Cool on wire racks.
  11. Enjoy!

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