This week I had a few highs and lows in the kitchen. I have been busy making breads and cakes and a soup or two. The breads all worked out triumphantly but the soup however was a fail. I was watching Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals which is a show I usually really like and most of the time everything works but I made his 15 minute creamy mushroom soup and it just bombed for me. His trick of using rice to make it creamy made so much sense to me but in practice, it just didn’t work. I felt like I was eating mushroom porridge. I’m not sure, but maybe I put too much rice in or let it sit for too long. It may be one of those dishes that you just have to eat straight away. This never works for me. I like to make dinners a little in advance or be able to keep leftovers for the next day. Anyway lesson learnt (but I shall try again)!
So onto the successes of last week…. my highlight was cheesy breakfast rolls. I know that usually this time of year, there is a lot of talk about cinnamon buns and various other sweet types, but I’m not a huge fan of the sweeter types (not saying I don’t like one now and then). But some of D’s closest friends were visiting from Poland. In an effort to not look like a lazy pregnant wifey, I made the breakfast rolls (and Jamie’s soup) from one of my favourite books ‘Smitten Kitchen Cookbook’. I have made these several times before but just tweaked the recipe to suit. I like lots of fillings! When it comes to cheese, the more the better. One of the things I miss most while pregnant is cheese…. good creamy brie or strong blue cheeses. Of course there are a few cheeses that are still allowed but the one highlight is that if it is cooked properly, one can eat anything! With this in mind, I made two batches of the rolls. One with the advised cheddar and one with a nice slab of gorgonzola (this one was to accompany the mushroom soup). Both were delicious, and I mean delicious!
SMITTEN KITCHEN’S CHEDDAR SWIRL BREAKFAST BUNS
Once you have the dough right, you could probably fill these with whatever cheeses and things you like. Next time I’m adding finely chopped crispy bacon. And like I said, I used blue cheese in one batch (matched with rosemary instead of dill). They are a great side dish to soups or as the title suggests, breakfast. I will give you the recipe as it is in the book, but in brackets are the measurements I used as I like more filling. The dough however, I did not change.
These are by no means quick to make. If you are pottering around the house or running errands while able to pop home every so often, or simply trying to keep busy while awaiting your unborn child, then these are the buns for you.
For the dough
- 375 g plain flour
- 1 tsp table salt
- few grinds of black pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 packet (7 g) of dried yeast
- 235 ml milk
- 55 g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus extra for brushing
For the filling
- 1/2 medium grated white onion (1 large grated white onion)
- 170 g grated mature cheddar cheese (220 g grated mature cheddar )
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh dill (4 tsp finely chopped dill)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- few grinds of black pepper
- and I also used 2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the yeast into the milk until it dissolves, then pour the yeast-milk mixture and the melted butter into the flour, mix them together with the paddle of an electric mixer or wooden spoon until a shaggy ball forms.
If you are using a mixer, switch to the dough hook, and knead on low about 6 minutes, or until smooth and slightly sticky ball has formed. If you are making these be hand, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 8 minutes until smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Alternatively, you could chill the dough at this point over night, up to 3 days, then bring it back to room temp and pick up where you left off.
Scoop the dough out of the bowl onto well-floured counter, and roll roughly into a 12×16 rectangle. Brush with Dijon mustard.
Mix filling ingredients and spread over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the short ends. Roll tightly and from one short end to another, making a log.
With a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut into one-inch rounds.
Using parchment paper, line the bottom of two baking tins, roughly 20cm round. Arrange half the rolls in each of the tins, with an even amount of space in between. Brush tops with melted butter, cover tins with cling film, and let rise at room temp until doubled again, about 2 hours. When almost doubled, pre-heat oven to 180C/160C fan oven.
Pop the tins into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. I managed to only eat one or two when they came out of the oven. The others were placed in the fridge and re-heated for breakfast the next few days. Enjoy!
Ah, so I had the same experience with the soup – and found the answer on Food52 – when you blend rice or potatoes they release their starch. Too much blending and you release too much starch and make it really stodgy. I think Oliver puts in way too much rice and that’s what makes it stodgy not smooth. These buns looks AMAZING!