These super soft bread rolls, filled with slow roasted squash, caramelized onion and a mildly grassy goat cheese will make for one amazing brunch or lunch. Best eaten fresh from the oven, but don’t hesitate to pop one in your lunchbox the next day – the bread stays super light and the fillings are gently spicy, sweet, tangy all at the same time. Strong but complementary flavours.
For me, baking bread was relatively unsuccessful until I decided to take the carrot rather than the stick approach to raising a loaf. The yoga way rather than the kickboxing way if you get my drift. You see the gluten in bread flour is what gives bread elasticity. If you work with it, rather than try to beat it into submission, you will have a far easier and nicer way of raising bread from scratch.
Learning a little chemistry about gluten has helped me understand how to coax a conventional bread dough along, encourage it to rise and hold a good texture. Gluten is a composite, which means that is made up of two separate proteins. Tightly coiled gliadin and strands of glutenin. When bread rises, the lift in the dough is held up by a mesh of glutenin. The gliadin gives elasticity to the dough. Baking coagulates and stabilizes the gluten to give shape and solidity. Water hydrates gluten to form a mesh. The process of kneading stretch out the gliadin strands whilst bubbles of carbon dioxide released by yeast and trapped within the dough expand it. You can see an excellent graphic explaining this here.
So from the experience and writings of ‘low knead’ and ‘no knead’ masters of bread, such as Dan Lepard and Dean Brettschneider, we have learnt to add a little extra water to our dough and to handle the dough lightly, alternating between gentle kneading/folding and resting. We talked about it in our sourdough naan post. This recipe uses conventional yeast but the same wisdom applies – no knead to knock the life out of your bread dough. Let it rest and the gluten will swell and the dough expand as the yeast does it’s work.
Here we have gently rolled out the dough to encase our filling, folded it over then sealed it and garnished with sesame.
We got the idea for the recipe from a recipe for blue cheese and walnut paves in Dean Brettschneider’s latest book ‘Bread‘ out on 16th October. Published by Jacqui Small we were sent a copy for review. We will be posting that review tomorrow, along with a chance to win a copy of the book.
We’ve made several recipes from this excellent book. Here is our autumnal idea for a pave bread stuffed with delicious seasonal produce.
Get some squash – we have some butternut here – spice it with cumin, cinnamon and paprika and roast it.
As for the onions, chop them finely and sweat them in a dot of olive oil till they have lost their water and become caramelized. A touch of balsamic will add a sweet and sour hint.
We added some mild goat cheese – creamy and soft.
When the dough is ready and the fillings prepped it is simply a matter of wrapping the filling into the dough. Put the goat cheese down first, since the bread is baked seam side down and you want the cheese to end up on top, melting down and oozing onto the rest of the filling.
Brushed with a little water and some sesame seeds scattered over them. Ready to bake and devour!
- For the bread
- 500g (3 cups) strong bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- two tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 and a half teaspoons of dried yeast (instant, quick yeast)
- 350ml (1 and half cups) tepid water
- For the roasted Squash
- 1 small to medium sized butternut (or similar) squash - chopped and deseeded
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- half teaspoon cinnamon
- half teaspoon paprika
- 1 sage leaf shredded finely
- salt and pepper
- For the Caramelized Onion
- 1 red onion
- half teaspoon olive oil
- half teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- pinch of salt and sugar
- 100g (3.5 oz) mild goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 230DegC (220DegC Fan oven, 445DegF).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, sugar and yeast.
- Slowly pour in the water, all the while stirring with a rubber spatula to mix the water into the flour.
- With lightly oiled hands, bring the dough together and knead by gently stretching and folding for 2-3 minutes, then allow it to rest for half a minute.
- Repeat this for a total kneading time of 12 to 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the ball of dough into an oiled, clean bowl and cover with cling film.
- Allow to rise for 60 minutes (it should have risen to double size by then).
- In the meantime sprinkle the seasonings and spice over the butternut and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 40 minutes or until the squash is soft and feels cooked.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Whilst the squash is roasting and the bread is rising, finely chop the onion (and remind yourself how good you are at multitasking!).
- Before frying the onion, if the dough has risen, gently tip it out onto a lightly floured worksurface and knock the dough back a little by folding an stretching three or four times. Place back in bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and then over a low to medium heat, sweat the onions till they reduced down considerably and beginning to caramelize (may take about 15 to 20 minutes).
- Add the balsamic and cook for a further 5 minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Chop the goat cheese into half inch (1.25cm) cubes.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worksurface and roll the dough out to 75cm by 15cm rectangle (29 by 6 in).
- Scatter the goat cheese across the length of the dough across the middle.
- Do the same for the squash and onion.
- Fold the top edge of dough down to half way (to semi cover the filling).
- Brush the lower edge with water, fold it up to cover the top edge and gently press to seal
- Turn the bread over so you have seam side down, and cut into 6 to 9 portions.
- Brush the tops lightly with water and scatter with sesame seeds
- Cover rolls with cling film and allow to rise for a further 30 minutes.
- Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown (optional- spray the bottom of the oven with warm water from a spray bottle if you have one to improve the crust by creating steam)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack
- Best served warm.
Adding this to Ren’s simple and in season linky