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Tue, Sep. 23rd, 2008, 10:18 am
Cheese Stuffed Crusty Rolls

Starter:
1 ¼ cups (175g) bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon instant yeast
½ cup (120ml) cool water

Dough:
all of the starter
1 cup (240ml) + 2 tablespoons to 1 ¼ cups (300ml) lukewarm water – I used 300ml
½ teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups (490g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon instant yeast

Filling:
1 ½ cups (280g/10oz) grated Monterey Jack cheese – I used the yellow mozzarella we have here, that seems to be really similar to Monterey Jack
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence

To make the starter: mix the 1 ¼ cups flour, salt, yeast, and ½ cup water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix till well combined. Cover with plastic and let rest overnight at room temperature.

Make the filling: mix well all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

To make the dough: combine the risen starter with the water, salt, flour, and yeast. Knead by hand or with a stand mixer for a few minutes. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until it’s nearly doubled in size. Gently deflate the dough, and pat and stretch it into a ¾ inch-thick rectangle, about 9x12in (23x30cm). Spritz with water, and sprinkle with the grated cheese and the herbs. Starting with a long side, roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Place the log, seam-side down, on a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface. Cover it and let it rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, till it’s puffy though not doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF. Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads; or simply cut the dough in half, for two normal-sized loaves. Place them on one (for two loaves) or two (for four mini-loaves) lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side up. Spread them open a bit, if necessary, to more fully expose the cheese and close the other end. Spritz with warm water, and immediately place them in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes (for the mini-loaves), or 35 minutes (for the full-sized loaves), or until the cheese is melted and the loaves are a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Note: You can also roll the log and cut 12 slices from it and set them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and proceed with the recipe as written.