Saturday, September 4, 2010

Soft cheese and onion buns

I started at my new school this past Monday. I imagine that with the move back to full-time teaching, extra-curricular coaching, and my desire to spend any free time with my family, my baking and blogging will both be slowing way down.

But we had our back-to-school staff lunch yesterday, and I just couldn't imagine making anything but bread. I needed something simple. We were at school for freshman orientation until late Thursday night and we had an early morning meeting on Friday. And I needed sleep.

So I opened up Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and stumbled on to the recipe for soft cheese and onion bread. This seemed to be a quicker version of the potato, cheddar, chive torpedo, which was one of my absolute favorite breads from the BBA.

When I got home on Thursday night, I quickly mixed up the dough. It proofed in the fridge overnight. I woke up early on Friday and decided to go with one of P.R.'s variations. I rolled out the dough the same way I do for cinnamon buns, but with chunks of cheese inside. I made three-quarters of a recipe, which gave me a 9x13 pan plus three extra cheese buns.

These were a huge hit at work. I didn't think they were nearly as good as the potato, cheddar, chive torpedoes. I thought the texture wasn't as soft, maybe because I didn't use potato water or milk to tenderize the bread, and I didn't find them as flavorful. While the kiddos liked the torpedoes, they wouldn't eat these. But hubby thought they were even better than the torpedoes, so clearly this is a make-again recipe.

Soft cheese and onion buns
from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday
21 oz bread flour
.38 oz salt
1.65 oz sugar
6 oz beer, warmed (we used Sprecter's Black Bavarian)
6.75 oz warm water + 2 Tbsp buttermilk powder
.38 oz instant yeast
1.5 oz melted unsalted butter
1 oz chopped green onions
9 oz cubed extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, sugar, and buttermilk powder. Separately, combine the water and the beer. (I used extra-hot water to help warm up the beer.) Then whisk in the yeast until disolved. Pour the mixture and the melted butter into the dry ingredients.
2. Mix using the paddle attachment and the lowest speed for a minute or two. Let the dough rest for five minutes.
3. Switch to the dough hook and mix for three minutes (I used speed 2).
4. Add the onions and knead by hand for a minute or two until they are incorporated.
5. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge overnight.
6. By morning, the dough should have doubled. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured and oiled surface. Roll it out into a 12x12 square. Sprinkle the cubed cheese over the top and then roll it out into a log. Rock the log back and forth on the counter to extend it slightly and to get out some of the air pockets.
7. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces (I use flavorless dental floss to cut through the dough) and place them in a parchment lined, greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
8. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F, turning the pans after 10 minutes.
9. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.


  1. This looks just delicious! I wonder if it would work in a bread machine? I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it but I don't have a mixer with a dough hook.

    I love bread...any kind of bread...I'm Irish to the core - ha! So this blog is going to be a treat for me. I clicked on your link from BLissed Out Grandma...lucky for me.

  2. This sounds like a great recipe! You should make the Mellow Bakers' cheese bread soon - it's AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

  3. That is the best looking bread, I have seen. All that oozing cheese.