Yesterday was baking day in our household (in truth, most days are baking days), so that means we were baking bread. Now that it’s getting closer to summer, we switch from making loaves of bread to making rolls. They bake in about half the time, meaning you can get a bunch of dough in and out of the oven before the whole house seems like an oven. Not a small consideration.
Not only do rolls bake faster, but they are easier subjects on which to experiment with different flavors. Case in point, Gorgonzola-Pecan Rolls. We actually made a loaf of Gorgonzola-Pecan bread a couple of weeks ago, and three words fit it perfectly: Won. Der. Ful.
Unless, of course you’re one of those people who doesn’t care for blue cheese. Then the three words might be: Not. So. Much. There are blue cheeses we don’t like, as in the standard blue, but Gorgonzola is somehow different. Not as bluey, and, in these rolls, even less so. So, let’s get started.
Makes 17 rolls
- 1/3 batch basic bread dough
- 60 grams Gorgonzola
- 40 grams chopped pecans
For these rolls, we knew we’d be making 17 (this number fits our pans) rolls that start out as 40-gram chunks of dough, but we wanted to add in 100 grams of pecans and cheese (about 15%), so we cut back on the amount of dough to 580 grams: (580 + 100) /17 = 40. You could easily substitute another nut for the pecans, perhaps walnuts, or even another cheese. Try it; in the worst case, you’ll have 17 rolls (or fewer) that didn’t turn out great.
Mix in nuts and cheese. Spread out the full chunk of dough with the stickier side up. Spread the chopped pecans and cheese on top. Fold dough over and seal. Knead about 50 times to distribute the mix-ins.
Cut and form rolls. With your dough cutter (or a knife) cut off 40-gram chunks of dough and shape into balls. If you cut the chunks too small, add a bit more dough; too large, trim off a bit. After a while you’ll get better at estimating the amount of dough needed and it’ll go pretty quickly.
Rest. Place the rolls on a floured board and cover with a damp towel.
Preheat oven (and pans) to 450°F. We happen to have a couple of cast iron muffin pans that work perfectly for small rolls. We heat these right in the oven. If you don’t, not to worry; just heat the oven. Let the oven heat for at least 30 minutes.
Bake. Place the rolls in the muffin pans, or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use kitchen shears to snip the top, and bake until nicely browned, about 18-20 minutes.
Cool. Remove from pans and let cool on a rack.
These rolls are best eaten the same day, but can be frozen for several weeks. Homemade bread does take a while (about 2-3 hours of your time spread over two or more days), but it’s the greatest home scratched product, and these rolls take the plain dough to new heights. We do have to admit that the loaf was better, since not as much cheese leaked out. Five stars!