Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pesto Roll Variation

Since not everyone wants a sweet snack, we decided to work on a savory roll as well. My husband Dave set aside some lean bread dough to experiment. We had some tomato pesto and some spinach artichoke filling left over from some appetizers we'd made.

These are not only delicious as a snack, they also go well with a meal. Last night I made a chicken soup with roasted butternut squash and served the rolls with it.

Several months ago we made pesto twists and also pesto-stuffed rolls. However the stuffed rolls kept blowing open so we had about as many rejects as acceptable rolls. The twists were really good, but a little crunchier than these. So far we like these the best, but we'll see what our customers think.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cinnamon Roll Dough

In Paris I learned how to make a brioche dough light and heavenly, not like the heavy greasy brioche I'd tasted in the past. This involves a lot of slapping the buttery dough on the table as bits of it fly across the room or land in your hair. A messy job, but worth the trouble.

When I make it at home, my dogs think the slapping part sounds scary and a bit dangerous, but they standby for cleanup when the dough starts flying.

It's really difficult to believe when you start kneading that this sticky mess will turn into a satiny dough that can actually be formed into a shape... but it does. The shape shown above is called a couronne.

While brioche is too rich and labor intensive for my cinnamon rolls, the techniques we used improve the quality of the cinnamon roll dough. It's basically what they referred to as a milk bread (ingredients include milk) in Paris. What's nice is that you can make it the night before and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight.

I've been tweaking the dough to try to make as much in one 20-quart mixer batch as possible. Right now I can make 80 to 120 cinnamon rolls (depending on the shape and size) from one batch.