Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cilantro-Scallion Bread

It’s time like these I’m grateful to have a grocery store with a bulk section. This Bon Appétit recipe calls for ½ cup of white sesame seeds; if I were still stuck buying them in little glass jars, I could easily have spent $10 on them. But in the bulk section, ½ cup came out to a grand total of $0.38! If you don’t have stores that offer sesame seeds in the bulk section, you should know that Bob’s Red Mill makes them at comparable prices (I found some at about $6.50/lb online; as sesame seeds can go rancid, though, consider freezing the extra if you have a lot).

This bread was pretty easy to make, and while it was delicious warm, I found that it dried out pretty quickly. I served them with a creamy vegan onion soup.

2 tsp active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (105 °F to 115 °F)
2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
2 tsp sugar, divided
1 ¾ cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, chilled, cubed
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped scallions
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour water into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar over; let stand until mixture bubbles, about 10 minutes.

Place flour, butter, remaining 1 tsp salt and remaining 1 tsp sugar in bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat in egg, yolk, and yeast mixture, scraping down sides.

Knead on medium speed until dough is soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. Form dough into a ball; transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine scallions and cilantro in a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in all sesame seeds and 3 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Roll dough into a 18”x9" rectangle. Spoon scallion mixture evenly onto center and spread mixture to corners of dough. Working from one short edge, roll dough rectangle into a cylinder. Cut cylinder into ¾” dough swirls. Transfer dough swirls to prepared baking sheet; brush with oil. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

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