Do you like cheesy pleasies? Our Israeli cook does.
In fall, a cook's thoughts lightly turn to bread.
That’s what happened to me two days ago. Colder weather wakes up the desire to bake. When I went bonkers in the kitchen, I wound up my day with these cheese rolls. The recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour site. On YouTube there is also a video about the French Pastry School in Chicago that includes a section on making this bread. It’s useful to watch. You get a good idea of how to handle the dough.
I adapted the recipe to suit local conditions, using fresh yeast and local cheese, omitting the optional enhancers. This bread needs to be started the night before you intend to bake.
- 1/4 cube of fresh yeast
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cup grated cheese (any cheese you like and know will melt well will work, but I do urge you to use a fairly assertive cheese, not a bland one)
For the starter
For the dough
For the starter:
Mix everything very well. Don’t be alarmed to see that this starter is rather dry.
Cover it and let it sit in your kitchen overnight. By morning, it will be light.
For the dough:
Combine the yeast and water. When the yeast has dissolved, add the starter.
Add the salt. Mix all very well.
Add the flour, kneading it in to obtain a firm, smooth dough.
Put the dough in an oiled or greased bowl. Cover it and let it rise for 1 1/2-2 hours – until it has almost doubled in size.
Deflate the dough gently. Have a floured surface ready to receive it. Roll it into a rectangle 3/4″ high.
Spray a little warm water over the surface of the dough, and cover it with the grated cheese.
Roll it up, starting with the long side closest to you. I rolled my rectangle out on baking paper, and once it was covered with cheese, I used the edge of the paper to coax it into a log. Once rolled and lying seam-side down, I just nudged it back to the center of the paper and let it finish rising there.
Cover the cheese-filled log and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes. It should be well-risen and light.
Preheat the oven to 425° F (190° C).
Cut the log vertically into 8 slices, or in 4 slices for larger portions, or in half for two loaves.
Place the slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Don’t worry about the open bottoms. They seal up in baking. Spray with warm water and bake immediately. Waiting around will deflate the rolls, and much of their charm is in their very light texture.
Bake 20 minutes if you have cut 4 or 8 slices; 35 minutes if you have 2 loaves.
Suggestion: Have a soup and a salad ready, and serve this bread hot with them. Oh boy, it's delicious.
Related Topics: Baking