It rained torrentially all weekend and will continue to all week, giving me plenty of time to bake after missing last weekend because we were traveling in Taiwan (and eating ALL of the food there). People sometimes ask how I decide what to cook on any given day, and the answer is simple – like most cooks, I look at what I have on hand and decide what to make from there. In this case, I had one roasted beet left over in the fridge from when I made my roasted beets with feta, and had already decided I was in the mood to bake something savory after having made plum cookies on Saturday. As it so often does, BBC Good Food came to the rescue with an awesome recipe based on a quick search.
These rolls are like cinnamon rolls but with a savory, salty, and beet-y filling. I have to say, they’re one of the prettiest things I’ve made, from start to finish, since I started baking a few years ago – the beets give the filling a really gorgeous and deep color that contrasts nicely with the dough and the cheese. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also delicious! 5/5, would make (and stuff my face with) again.
For the bread dough
- 325g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 175g whole wheat flour
- 7g packet or 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra
- 2 tsp powdered sugar
- 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
For the filling
- 6 strips of streaky bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
- 160g mature cheddar, grated
- 1 cooked beet, grated
- To make the dough, tip the flours, yeast, oil, sugar, rosemary, 1½ tsp salt, and 325ml warm water into the bowl of a standing mixer. On low speed with the dough hook, bring the mixture together, adding a little extra flour if it feels too sticky or a drizzling extra water if too dry. Turn the speed up to 3 and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, or until it feels soft and springy. (If you don’t have a mixer, bring the dough together with your hands and then knead for 10 minutes.)
- Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave somewhere warm to rise for 2 hrs, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, prepare the filling ingredients. Fry the bacon until crisp, then tip onto a plate covered with paper towels to drain and cool. Grate the cheese and the beet into separate bowls. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment, or lightly grease it with oil and set aside.
- Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead to knock out the air bubbles, then roll to a large rectangle, roughly 35 x 45cm. Sprinkle half the cheese over the surface and top with the bacon bits, grated beet, then the remaining cheese.
- Starting from one of the long edges, tightly roll the bread into a long cylinder, then cut it into 8-10 even pieces (I had 10 plus one little mini-swirl from the edge). Transfer the bread scrolls on your prepared cookie sheet. Cover the sheet with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 400F/200C/180C fan/gas 6. Uncover the rolls and brush with a little extra oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, then serve warm.
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