Saturday, April 9

H = Hard Rolls (aka Cheese Rolls)

One of my very favorite things about attending the University of Oregon was grabbing a cheese roll on my way to class.  There were other highlights, but not being an academic and not really being "all there" I had to grasp on to simple things.  (I really had no idea what I was trying to accomplish while attending, of course, am I ever really "all there"?)

When I started attending baking classes I discovered our instructor had been the head chef for the bakery at the U of O  for many years and had actually developed many of the products they used there.  One of them being...  cheese rolls! Splendid, right?

Unfortunately, most of what we worked from in class were bakers measures - you weigh everything.  If you don't have a kitchen scale, it makes creating some of these a tad more challenging.  There are supposedly conversions out there, I have a kitchen scale so I've not attempted this with general conversion quantities.

Another issue I found with home bread making is steam.  Steaming is something commercial ovens can do just by flipping a switch to create that wonderful crisp crust.  Most home ovens don't come with that feature.  One way to get around this is to place a sheet pan on the bottom rack of your oven and fill it with a little water.  It doesn't give exactly the same results, but it works well enough for home baking.

Hard Rolls

13oz. water (total)
0.37oz. active dry yeast
1lb. 6oz. bread flour
0.5oz. salt
0.5oz sugar
0.5oz shortening
0.5oz. egg whites
shredded cheddar cheese

This is a "straight dough" method recipe which means once you activate your yeast you can toss everything else on top of the flour and let it go.
To activate your dry yeast, warm 2oz. of the water to 100-105°F and pour over the yeast.
Let sit for 5 mins. before adding your flour and finally the other ingredients.
Mix with dough hook on 2nd speed for 10 minutes.
Allow to rise at 80°F for about an hour.  You can turn your oven into a proof box by turning it on for about 1 minute and then shutting it back off.  Often, I go ahead and place that tray of hot water on the bottom of my oven while the dough is fermenting in there too.  I place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and then cover with a wet tea towel.  This assures the dough will not dry out while hanging out in your warm oven.
After your hour has passed, "punch down" the dough.  This means to press it (not kill it), usually with the fist, to help release some of the gases.
Cut dough into two equal parts.
On a lightly floured surface pat or roll dough to about an inch thick square.
Cover square with cheese.  (Not too much.)
Roll out remaining dough the same as before.
Place on top of cheesy square.
Using a bench knife/pizza cutter/knife cut into smaller squares of desired size.
As you pull the squares apart slightly pinch the edges together enclosing the cheese inside.
Place a few inches apart on a baking sheet and then top with more cheese.
Bake rolls at 450°F - with steam for 10 minutes.
Bake further until golden and cheese is crispy on top.

These rolls keep well in a plastic bag or air tight container, but ours never last more than a day or two.  We reheat them in a toaster oven and then spread with butter.  Drippy dairy goodness.  (Or clogged arteries - we can't decide.)
Yummy nonetheless!

1 comment:

  1. I totally just learned something new! I have always wondered why I can never make a crisp crust, now I know I'll have to try your steaming trick. Thanks


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