Saturday, 5 January 2013
Bread and cheese? Together? Sounds brilliant to me. Panini al Gorgonzola, or Gorgonzola and Walnut Rolls
A little anecdote to set us off. I was thinking about the way that I really now enjoy making bread, now I seem to make stuff that does indeed resemble a loaf rather than a sponge, and it seems a far cry from the conversation that I had about 15 years ago with an English adviser who had come into the school where I was working to 'advise', as in 'state the bleeding obvious and get paid £300 for doing so', and whilst she was telling us things that we already knew, she was also waxing lyrical about the joy of making her own bread and asked me if I made my own. I looked at her with more than a little bewilderment and told her that no, it was easier to buy it from Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and that my time was taken up by ploughing through paperwork with a little bit of marking to justify the fact that I teach for a living. Yes, I started off bolshy and have progressively got worse. She merely smiled. She had time to make her own bread. Or, if she was far too busy, she made time.
And, she was right. Fast forward 15 years and here I am, dabbling in bakery and making the odd loaf here or there. Out of all the recipes I have made, the meals I have produced, the cakes I have frosted, I get no better satisfaction from making bread. It must be the rigorous involvement of kneading, plus the nurturing glances at the dough as it rises and then, to top it all, the smell as it bakes. Glorious.
So, this recipe, like many of the others, is from Gino D'Acampo's 'Italian Home Baking' and it combines two ingredients which were made for each other, Gorgonzola and walnuts. It produces a taste which is all at once nutty with an almost spicy then creamy hit of Gorgonzola. I got Lola and Finn to dip these rolls into tomato soup, once they got a bit past their best, but at their best, with a little prosciutto and a icy cold glass of wine, really, really heavenly.
So, when it comes to making bread, now I make time. It's worth it.
Panini al Gorgonzola, or Gorgonzola and Walnut Rolls, from 'Italian Home Baking' by Gino D'Acampo
Makes 12 rolls
350g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
350g wholemeal flour (I used spelt flour)
7g fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
200ml full fat milk, warm
250ml water, warm
180g Gorgonzola cheese, cubed
90g walnuts, roughly chopped
olive oil for brushing
Brush two baking trays with oil.
Combine the flours, the yeast and the salt together in a large bowl. make a well in the centre.
Pour the milk and the water and mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or so.
Work the Gorgonzola and the walnuts into the dough and return the dough to the bowl. Brush the top with some oil and cover with cling film. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place away from draughts for about an hour.
When risen, turn out the dough into a lightly floured surface then divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. Place on the oiled baking trays, putting space between each roll to allow them to rise once more. Brush with oil and cover with cling film and allow them to rise for a second time. This time, for about 45 minutes.
Whilst the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 220c, Gas 7.
Remove the cling film and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the trays and leave the rolls to cool slightly on a wire rack.
You can eat these warm. And why wouldn't you? And then you can eat more of them when they have cooled further.