rock ‘n roll
. . . aaaaaaaaand . . . the sourdough rolls project rolls on. These ones are feeling a little glam, what with their purple leopard-print pot-holder and all.
I wasn’t actually going to work on the rolls project this week. I have a few other treats I’ve been storing up, meaning to try. But then we had an excessive amount of parmesan cheese in the fridge. Lauren got pesto supplies, not realizing that the amount of basil which goes into pesto relative to all the other ingredients is ginormous. So, extra cheese.
What could we do with cheese. Hmmm, cheese.
Ah! Dinner rolls!
Parmesan Pull-Aparts are the third installment of this series, which begain with cornmeal-tinged èpis de blé and continued on to buttermilk fantails. Some bloggers might try to tackle a whole cookbook; not I. I’m just trying to turn a few recipes from the February 2009 Gourmet into sourdough versions of themselves.
Monday is our day off from training, which makes it a perfect day for bread-baking. It’s the only day of the week when I have the morning free to knead, stretch, and fold my bread dough into airy oblivion. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading Hamelman, it’s to stretch and fold.
And so that’s what I did to this dough after feeding it a healthy amount of sourdough starter. At the end of the process, I spread my dozen little dough-balls around a pie pan, brushed them with egg wash, and stuck them in the oven. When they came out, they had risen tall and were beautifully flower-like, ringing the pie pan. The shredded parmesan on the outer surface had turned brown and a little crispy, speckling their golden surface. This bread is rich, with milk, egg, and butter in the dough; they look like dinner rolls, but white, substanceless supermarket fluff they are not. Nevertheless, all this richness does not weigh them down or make them heavy – they are flaky and delicious.
Not bad for needing to use up some parmesan cheese, eh? Other than the addition of sourdough, I increased the amount of flour used and decreased the amount of butter.
I’d normally make a double recipe, but we only have four people living in our house right now instead of the usual eleven. Things get eaten much more slowly.
My final word of advice would be to eat these straight from the oven, or at least warm them up again if you don’t demolish the whole plate immediately. While all bread is basically more amazing when it’s hot, the addition of cheese makes it particularly so for these rolls. They’ll be good under any circumstances, but melty cheese… mmmm.
Submitting to YeastSpotting as always.
Sourdough and Parmesan Pull-Apart Rolls
(adapted from Gourmet, February 2009)
2/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 to 1 cup fed sourdough starter
3 cups white bread flour
1 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs (2 for bread, 1 for egg wash)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon water
Start by placing the milk and honey in a microwavable bowl, and nuke them for 20-30 seconds or until the milk is warm and the honey is easily stirred in. To this bowl, add your sourdough starter, and stir until it has an even consistency. Next, add a cup of the flour, the salt, and the butter. The butter should be softened, but not melted; the warmth of the dough will melt it the rest of the way. Stir this mixture quite a bit until the butter seems incorporated. Stir in the cheese and 2 eggs, and finally the rest of the flour. Turn the dough onto a work surface and let it sit while you rinse out the bowl and smear it with butter or olive oil. Knead the dough until it is a cohesive ball – it will be shaggy in texture – and place in the bowl, covered with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise for 2 1/2 hours. I stretched and folded after 60 and 100 minutes, first stretching (gently!) the dough into a large rectangle, then folding it in thirds like a letter, then folding this long skinny rectangle in thirds again.
After it has finished rising, divide the dough into 12 even parts. Roll each portion into a ball and place around a 9-inch pie pan (or other baking vessel of your choosing). Cover the pan with a dishcloth and let rise up to 1 1/2 hours.
Finally, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make a wash by whisking the lone remaining egg with the tablespoon of water, and use a pastry brush to slather the wash over the rolls. Toss ’em in the oven for 30 minutes, take ’em out, and eat immediately! You won’t be able to hold yourself back!