This Thursday I wrote a TBT cookbook review of The Cheese Board: Collective Works from the great cheese collective in Berkeley, California. It’s a great culinary institution and this book is a tribute to the most talented bakers that have refined the collective’s recipes for decades.
This is Suzi’s favorite recipe from the book: the ultimate in Cheese Rolls. You may find something as good. It is impossible to find a cheese roll that is better.
There are two recipes here, one for the Cheese Roll and one for the Suburban Bread Dough serving as a foundation. That recipe itself calls for Sourdough Starter and I’m not including that recipe here. You may have a starter of your own or, and I hope you do this, get a copy of the The Cheese Board and check out Page 90!
Make these once, and you will experience cheese addiction. It’s okay. It’s not against the law. In fact, it ought to be the law.
Yield: 12-14 rolls
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 recipe Suburban Bread dough [recipe below] prepared through the first rise
Combine the cheeses in a medium bowl.
Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Begin to gently flatten and pull the dough into a rectangular shape. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 by 18- inch rectangle. Evenly distribute the cheese over the entire surface of the dough. Roll the rectangle up jelly roll—style. (If cheese slips out from the roll, simply stuff it back in.) With a knife, cut into 1 ½ -inch-thick slices. Place the rolls onto the prepared pan; it’s fine if they touch each other. Cover with a floured kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least 3 hours, or until increased in size by one-half and a finger pressed into the dough leaves an impression.
Fifteen minutes before the cheese rolls are finished rising, remove all but the middle rack from the oven. Place a metal roasting pan on the floor of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Pour ½ cup cold water into a measuring cup and add enough ice cubes to bring the volume to 1 cup. Using a spray bottle, heavily mist the rolls with water. Working quickly so that you don’t lose too much heat, place the baking sheet in the oven and pour the ice water into the roasting pan. Immediately close the oven door to maintain a steamy environment.
Bake for 5 minutes, then prepare another round of ice water and repeat the process. Bake for 15 minutes longer, then rotate the baking sheet front to back. Bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, for a total baking time of 35 to 40 minutes, or until the bread is a rich brown and the cheese is hot and bubbly. Using the spray bottle, mist the rolls. Close the oven door and bake for 1 more minute. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the rolls cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
Yield: 2 loaves
- 4 ½ cups [22.5 ounces] bread flour
- ⅔ cup [3.25] whole-wheat flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons wheat bran
- 2 cups cool water
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup [5 ounces] Sourdough Starter
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the flours and wheat bran.
If using a stand mixer, add the water to the bowl and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add the salt and sourdough starter. Switch to the dough hook, increase the mixer speed to medium, and knead for 12 minutes, or until the dough is slightly tacky and soft. (After a couple of minutes, the dough should gather around the hook; you can add extra flour by the tablespoonful if the dough does not pull away from the sides of the bowl.) Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, shiny, and passes the windowpane test.
If making by hand, add the water to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Let rest for 10 minutes. Add the salt and sourdough starter, and mix until all the ingredients are combined. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 minutes, adding flour by the tablespoonful as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. The kneading is complete when the dough is smooth, shiny, and passes the window- pane test.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large oiled bowl. Turn the dough over to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least 5 hours, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, either put the dough in a cool place (60°F) and let it rise overnight, or refrigerate the dough overnight and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours the next day before proceeding with the recipe.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 pieces. Gently form each piece into a loose round and cover with a floured kitchen towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into large rounds. Flour the insides of 2 proofing baskets or lightly flour a baking sheet. Place the loaves in the baskets, seam side up, or seam side down on the prepared pan. Or, shape the dough into batards and let rise in oblong proofing baskets or directly on a prepared baking sheet.
Put the loaves in a proofing chamber and let rise in a warm place for 5 hours, until increased in size by one-half and a finger pressed into the dough leaves an impression.
If using a baking stone, 45 minutes before the bread is finished rising, arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Place the baking stone on the lower rack and place a metal roasting pan on the floor of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
If using a baking sheet only, 15 minutes before the loaves have finished rising, remove all but the middle rack from the oven and place a metal roasting pan on the oven floor. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
If rising the dough in baskets, lightly dust a baking sheet with flour and turn the baskets upside-down to gently release the loaves onto the sheet 4 inches apart. Slash the top of the loaves (see page 31). If rising on a sheet, slash the top of the loaves and, using a spray bottle, lightly mist them with water and dust with flour.
Pour ½ cup cold water into a measuring cup and add enough ice cubes to bring the volume to 1 cup. Working quickly so that you don’t lose too much heat, place the baking sheet in the oven and pour the ice water into the roasting pan. Immediately close the oven door to maintain a steamy environment.
Bake for 5 minutes, then prepare another round of ice water and repeat the process. Bake for 15 minutes longer, then rotate the baking sheet front to back. Bake at least 25 more minutes, for a total baking time of 45 minutes, or until the bread is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Or, if using a baking stone, 5 minutes before the end of the bake, transfer the breads from the pan directly onto the stone and finish the bake. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool.
Source: The Cheese Board: Collective Works [Ten Speed Press, 2003]