Friday, 6 August 2010

Cheddar Chive Basil Rolls

The garden that wasn't.
Apparently I am not Martha Stewart. As much as I thought my enthusiasm for the kitchen and making everything from scratch would naturally translate to gardening once I had a little patch of land to call my own... alas it does not appear to be the case.
Oh I have a garden, mostly evergreens and some perennials that thrive on benign neglect but the wild grape, weeds, oregano, lemon balm and mint in the back garden roam free and I have neither the room or the energy for the mini-scale farming I imagined. But I do have herbs, in pots, herbs that like to be of use in the kitchen and only grow all the more when I steal big fists full for my dishes, or breads, as the case may be.
Cheddar, chive and basil make for an awesome combination. Serve these buns alongside a meal or make mini sammies on them. They taste like summer. Cheesy summer.

Cheddar Chive Basil Rolls
adapted from Joe and Gayle Ortiz, The Village Baker

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 whole egg, beaten
1.5 tbsp veg oil
1.5 tbsp sugar
0.5 tbsp salt
3 cups unbleached AP flour

2 cups finely dice sharp cheddar cheese
big handful chives, minced
handful of basil, chopped
glaze - 1 whole egg, beaten

Proof the yeast in a little of the warm water for 10 minutes, add to it the rest of the water, egg, oil and sugar. Mix the salt with the flour and start adding bit by bit until you have a cohesive mass. Mix on medium speed with a dough hook for 5 minutes. Adjust flour/water if necessary.
When the dough is soft and satiny, form into a ball and let rise in a large bowl, covered with a damp towel, until double in size (about 1 hour).

Flatten the dough out on your board and sprinkle with the diced cheese and herbs. Push the ingredients gently into the dough, then start folding the dough over onto itself, incorporating the embellishments. With both hands, drag this ball of dough around on the board until the cheese almost seems to pierce the outer surface of the dough. Then leave the dough on the worktable or in a bowl to rest, covered, for between 15 and 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Divide the dough into quarters, then divide each quarter into 4 equal pieces (16 in all). Round each into a small roll. Do not be alarmed if the cheese seems to break out of the dough; when baked those little cheese bits form a crusty coating on the rolls. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let them rise, covered and in a warm place, for between 20 and 30 minutes.
Glaze the rolls and bake them for between 12 and 15 minutes until they are golden brown. If a thin, crispy, waferlike crust has pooled underneath some of the rolls, be careful not to break it off when removing them from the tray; it is part of their crunch appeal.

These buns have been Yeastspotted!