We Knead To Bake #41 : Cheese & Vegetable Crescent Rolls
If you have been following the We Knead To Bake bread series here, you would know that every month I pick a bread recipe for the group to bake. Recently, by general consensus in the group, we decided that different members would volunteer to pick a bread recipe and host for each month. We started with this pattern three months back and Mayuri was our first host with a Naan Barbari. The Naan-e-Barbari is something I've baked before so I sat that one out. which I have baked before. For reasons beyond my control, my regular baking took a temporary back seat again so I’m yet to bake Niv Mani’s Pizza Swirl Bread (I’ll post it as soon as I bake that) but I did manage to bake an adapted version of Ankita Dave’s choice for July which was Vegetable Masala Buns.
In India, it is not at all unusual to find small street corner bakeries that sell bread and snacks, also selling stuffed buns. Given the love Indians have for “masala” or spices, it is a given that these buns almost always sport a spicy filling whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The vegetarian fillings are mostly mashed potato based, sometimes with a choice of a couple of other vegetables.
Ankita sourced her recipe from a chef in a bakery close to her and while the dough for the recipe was pretty much a regular bread dough, the filling was a bit unusual as it used an uncooked vegetable filling. I’ve always seen breads with vegetarian fillings that are usually cooked or at least stir fried but the spiced filling in Ankita’s recipe uses a vegetable salsa like filling. While I stuck to pretty much the given recipe for the dough, I decided to change the filling a little. I kept it raw but decided to add some readymade spicy and garlic cheese spread to the raw vegetables. I then fashioned the bread dough into Crescent Rolls rather than shaping them into more conventional buns or rolls.
For the dough :
For the filling:
- First make the dough. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl or pulse together in the bowl of the processor. Add the oil and as much water (probably about 3/4 cup or so)as required and knead the dough till it becomes soft, smooth and elastic.
- Shape into a ball, and place it in an oiled bowl, turning to coat it completely. Loosely cover and let it rise until double in size, for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Make the vegetable filling by mixing together all the ingredients. The filling should be moist but not wet or the bread rolls will turn soggy on the inside. If you’re letting the filling sit, then make sure to add the cheese spread and salt, if using, just before making the rolls so the filling doesn’t become watery.
- When the dough has risen, gently deflate it by kneading a couple of times. Then lightly roll out the dough into a circle about 1/4" thick. Using a scraper or pizza/ pie wheel cut the dough circle into 8 equal portions like you would cut a pizza.
- Shaping these Crescent Rolls is much like one would do for Croissants. Divide the filling into 8 portions or place about a heaped teaspoon of the filling lengthwise on the broad portion of each triangle a little away from the edge. Too much filling will make it difficult to shape the rolls and too little filling means a roll that’s not all that good. Carefully roll the edge over the filling and keep rolling till the point of the triangle into a crescent, sealing the end with a little water if necessary.
- Place the Crescent Rolls on a greased or parchment lined baking tray leaving space in between them. Loosely cover them and let them rise for about 30 minutes till they look puffy.
- Brush them with a little milk and sprinkle the kalonji/ onion seeds or sesame seeds, if using. Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 30 minutes or till they’re done and golden brown. Let them cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. These Crescent Rolls are best eaten the day they are baked.