Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Buns #BreadBakers


Loads of garlic, tons of butter and a heaping helping of salty grated Parmesan cheese make these soft yeast buns the perfect addition to any family dinner table.

Garlic bread has always been a standard addition when I consider the meal “Italian,” serving, for instance, spaghetti with meatballs or fettuccine Alfredo. But when we lived in Brazil, I discovered that garlic bread was served there with pretty much every party meal, including the famous Brazilian churrasco, a grilled meat extravaganza. It made me reconsider how we limit ourselves by our narrow experience of what goes with what and I’ve since made garlic bread the Brazilian way* to serve along with many meals. To carry that attitude one step farther, I served these cheesy garlic rolls along with some Parma-wrapped pan-fried cod and crunchy, spicy green beans. They were perfect for sopping up the buttery, lemony fish juices on our plates.
*Bonus recipe: Brazilian garlic bread
Stir together equal parts softened butter and mayonnaise (Sounds weird, but trust me. It adds just the right amount of salt.) with lots of crushed garlic and spread inside a French loaf opened down the middle. Turn the loaf on its uncut side and slice it into pieces, but don't cut quite all the way through so they are still hooked together. Wrap the whole thing tightly with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven till the bread is a little crunchy outside and the garlic spread has melted into the bread on the inside. Open the foil and serve, allowing folks to pull the almost-cut-through slices off themselves.
Back to our regularly scheduled buns
This month’s Bread Bakers theme is Family Feast Breads where we are sharing breads perfect for a celebration table. This particular bun recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Foods.* (<Amazon affiliate link) Along with some modifications in ingredient amounts, I added Parmesan cheese because, according to my husband who is only allowed to help himself to grated Parmesan after everyone at the table has had a fair turn, Parmesan makes everything better. I wholeheartedly concur.

Ingredients
For the bread:
3 1/4 cups or 410g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (5g)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
9 1/4 oz or 275ml tepid water (That works out to be 1 1/6 cups, rather an awkward cup measure, but there you go.)
1/3 cup or 50g stale breadcrumbs

For the compound butter:
1/2 bulb garlic*
1 cup or 225gunsalted butter (at room temperature)
3 oz or 85g finely grated Parmesan (heaping 3/4 cup) plus extra for sprinkling
Zest 1/2 lemon
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (15g)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*Garlic bulbs vary as do the size of garlic cloves so use your judgment on the amount, depending on your love of garlic. But to give you an idea, my cloves weighed 30g after peeling.

Method
Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Measure your yeast, sugar and sea salt into the well.

Pour in the tepid water and stir from the middle to combine the flour with the water, until you have a rough dough.



Knead the dough on a clean floured surface for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Sprinkle on a little more flour if necessary but try not to add very much.


Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.



Now you can get on with the butter. I cut back on Jamie’s recipe but this still makes twice as much as you need for these garlic buns, especially once I added the cheese. But trust me that having this compound butter in your refrigerator or freezer is a good thing. It’s beautiful spread on bread to make a more traditional garlic bread out of a French loaf as well as melted on top of a grilled steak or pan-fried fish. It makes a mean slice of garlic Texas toast as well.

The Compound Butter
Put the softened butter in a medium-sized bowl and add in the cayenne. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic into the butter bowl. Finely mince your parsley, stems and all.




Add the minced parsley, then finely grate the zest of the half lemon into the bowl and stir well to combine. My bowl was a little snug for stirring. Choose a bigger bowl than I did!


Add in the Parmesan and mix well.



Divide the garlic butter into two equal portions and roll one half up in the bottom of a baggie and refrigerate. If you are keeping it for a while, it can even be frozen and sliced as needed.



Use one third of the other half of the garlic butter to grease your baking pan.

Sprinkle it with the breadcrumbs, making sure to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Put the rest of the garlic butter in a plastic baggie but do not refrigerate. We want it soft enough to squeeze out.

When the dough has finished its first rise, divide it first into six smaller pieces and then divide each smaller piece into three, creating 18 pieces of dough in all.



Roll each of the 18 pieces of dough into balls and then place them in the prepared baking pan.



Cut the very corner off of your baggie of soft garlic butter and squeeze about half out onto and around the buns.



Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise for the second time in a warm place for about one and a half hours or until doubled in size.

One half hour before the rising time is up, start preheating your oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Remove the cling film and sprinkle the buns with some extra grated Parmesan.



Bake them in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until they are golden and springy.

Squeeze the remaining soft garlic butter over the buns and, as it melts, quickly spread it around with a pastry brush.



The outsides are crunchy from the toasted garlicky buttery cheesy breadcrumbs and your guests will be fighting over the corners. Or you could eat them in the kitchen before you put the tray out. Not that I would do such a thing.

Enjoy!



Many thanks to our host this month, Pavani from Cook’s Hideout. Have a look at all the beautiful Family Feast breads our bakers are sharing today!



BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

*Items purchased through an Amazon affiliate link cost no extra to the buyer but earn me a few pennies to buy more bacon. Thanks for the support.


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