The Fresh Loaf

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Basil buns

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breadsong's picture
breadsong

Basil buns

Hello everyone,
These basil buns are my adaptation of Jan Hedh’s Risotto Bread, from his book, Artisan Breads.

I loved Mr. Hedh’s idea of including fresh basil in a prefermented dough.  Our season for fresh basil is here! –
I was curious to try making these rolls, to see how they would taste.
                                      

The aroma of basil held very nicely after baking and the basil flavor is definitely there! There is a nice sweetness from the durum, along with tanginess and richness from the yogurt and parmigiano cheese. The crumb is very soft and moist  from the yogurt and risotto, but the risotto is not visible in the crumb after the bake.

I tried stencilling the tops with a basil leaf, and also tried applying a basil leaf with an egg white/water wash, wanting to see how a whole, tender basil leaf would hold up to baking. The leaf lost its bright green color during the bake, but the leaf didn’t brown like I feared it might.

one of the rolls, before baking

                                                             a stencilled roll

crumb (golden from the durum, nice and soft!)

The adapted formula (I wanted to call these rolls 'Pane Risotto con Basilico' in honor of their Italian flavorings :^)   ):

....this was how much basil I used (leaves are pictured on a dinner plate)


 ...the dough after all the ingredients were mixed together


                       One last shot :^)

Thank you, Mr. Hedh, for these lovely, fragrant, delicious little rolls!

Happy baking everyone,
:^) breadsong

Submitted to Susan's YeastSpotting



 



 



 

Comments

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Yummy, Breadsong! very nice looking buns. I love the color of the crust you always achieve. The crumn color is also very attractive. Your photos and display are also great! I'd imagine how the kitchen smelled.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Khalid,
Thank you so much - I'm glad you liked the photos!
Re: crust color - I was relieved when some color did appear - but this didn't happen until the very end of the bake.
(I was starting to get a little worried the rolls would be pale!).
:^) breadsong

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Risotto, cheese and basil should go so well together.  These have to be fragrant rolls.   I've been wanting to use some chicken stock in bread for a while now.  Using it to make risotto and incorporating it that way is perfect! I'm starting to get into rolls!

Very ncie baking

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi dabrownman,
I adore the aroma and flavor of fresh basil (parmigiano and risotto too!), so couldn't resist making these buns.
Given how creatively you use ingredients, I'm sure you'll find a wonderful way to flavor risotto to use for your rolls;
I look forward to seeing what you make.
Thank you for your comment - I really appreciate it!
:^) breadsong

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Beautiful. My mouth is watering...

Thanks for detailing the method and formula in such a clear and concise way. Great post! 

Michael

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Michael, and thank you!
Nothing like fresh basil, risotto, and parmigiano to get the taste buds revved up... :^)
Thanks so much re: the formula/method. I tried to be careful when documenting the steps, not wanting to cause anyone difficulty, should they be following what I wrote.
:^) breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Breadsong,

Love these rolls and your stenciling.  Would be hard to bit into one of these - like destroying a piece of art!

Thanks for the inspiration!  I have been having the urge to bake a bread with rice in it lately but hadn't even thought of using risotto.

Now I have an addition to my 'to bake' list :-)

Take Care,

Janet

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janet,
Thank you! - you are so kind :^) I hope those you bake for like these risotto rolls!
Another rice bread which had lovely flavor and texture was Mr. Reinhart's Wild Rice and Onion Bread.
Hmmm, now you've got me remembering Karin's wild rice sourdough - a bread I always meant to bake (thanks!).
:^) breadsong

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Karin's is the one I have been thinking of making lately but I am out of wild rice.......The Wild Rice and Onion one is nice too....so many breads - so little time.  

Think I need to bake in themes....one week sandwich loaves, next week lean loaves, the next with seeds and so on and so forth.....the possibilities are endless.  A good idea but I always get side tracked when someone posts something irresistible here and I never seem to make it back on track...

Janet

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Breadsong,

Well, these did make it to the front of my list and they came out of my summer oven a couple of hours ago.  No fancy stenciling.....that skill will have to be honed later.

This dough was great to work with and I am thinking it is the addition of yogurt.  I have made a couple of breads lately with yogurt and it seems to do something very nice to my doughs that regular milk does not do.  Seems like the doughs are lighter....hard to explain.

Have to say I changed your formula a bit....sorry.  I made it with WY as the main leavening with a tiny pinch of IY.  I also used a box of pre-mixed risotto Parmesan (I am not a cook :- O ) that I had on my shelf that my kids haven't been interested in.  Mixed it up, cooled it down and added it to the dough and then let it ferment overnight in the refrig. before shaping.  (Overnight fermenting works better with my schedule - makes things less hectic in the morning.)

These were very easy to shape - dough very extensible, and they baked up very nicely. Nice golden crust.  Now to bag them up and do my Monday deliveries and wait for responses on the flavor.  I can't imagine that people won't love them.  Nice and light and the fragrance is wonderful.

Thanks again for the inspiration :-)

Take Care,

Janet

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janet,
I'm so happy you liked how these turned out, and hope the 'flavor reports' are favorable!
You are so kind to bake for people and make deliveries...I imagine the welcome mat is always out for you!  :^)
Your WY variation, and shaping, have made for some very pretty rolls.
Thanks so much for the picture - I'm delighted to see what you've made!
:^) breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautifull photos and detailed formula..scaled for just the right amount of rolls for a family meal.  What a delicious combination of ingredients for your 'Basil Buns'.  These look like they were a lot of fun to make :)

I have some beautiful basil in my garden.  I can't think of anything I don't enjoy basil in or on.  I have a 'mini leaf basil' I just love it, same flavor as my favorite larger variety,  no chopping required, it's such a beautiful teensie leaf, I admire it so.  Things have been pretty busy around here lately, to say the least and a trip coming up soon.  Hopefully, I can get back in the swing of baking soon..your lovely buns are a real inspiration!  

The only breads I've been baking lately are with instant yeast and Italian.  IMHO, there's a lot to be said flavor wise using instant yeast pre-ferments in baking Italian breads for the home baker like me, they can bring out some wonderful flavor with a long slow cool ferment.  It's been hot so I have to adjust mine over a bowl of ice, it's the best I can do to keep the temperature just right. 

Sylvia

ps..blanching basil comes in very handy sometimes..it preserves the color :)

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Sylvia,
Reading your comment, I really regret not planting any mini-leaf basil this year; the tiny leaves would be perfect as-is, for adding into a dough like this!
It sounds like you are having a busy and fun summer, and hope you are back to baking soon :^) ... you make the most wonderful Italian breads ... your Pugliese is perfection and I often think of your Panesiglio Aversano and how good they were!
Thanks so much for your comment and tip for blanching. I always do that for pesto but didn't think to try it when prepping the basil for these rolls.
:^) breadsong

varda's picture
varda

Those leaf stencils are so perfect.   You make it look easy but I know it isn't.    Thanks for posting the details.  -Varda

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Varda,
Thank you! 
My basil plant had a multitude of gorgeous, but cupped leaves - I was happy to find one or two flat ones for this project,
to use for the stencil and for applying to the tops of the rolls.
Stencilling was going along fine up until the point where the leaf started to stick to the roll...after lifting the stem end of the leaf, I peeled the leaf off oh-so-carefully, trying not to scatter flour everywhere. Fortunately, the flour that had been sprinkled on top of the leaf stayed put!
:^) breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

The rolls look so elegant breadsong, like something that would be served in a 3 star Italian restaurant. I love the idea of having risotto as part of the mix, which I'm guessing adds body and gives a nice chew to the roll. When we have a good harvest of basil I'll usually just make pesto and use some to make the Pane al Pesto from Carol Field's "Italian Baker" but this sounds so much better. Added to favourites, grazie !

Cheers,

Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Franko,
Thank you so much! These rolls were a fun thing to bake for summer basil season :^)
And, thank you for pointing me to Ms. Field's recipe for Pane al Pesto! That bread sounds really lovely,
as is Ms. Field's description of "the bouquets of basil, so recently picked that the leaves were still warm from the sun..."
I hope you really like these rolls if you make them. Thank you so much for your generous comment, Franko!
:^) breadsong

isand66's picture
isand66

Fantastic looking rolls!  I love your adaptation of the recipe and your basil leaf idea was perfect.

I will have to give this one a try for sure.

Regards,
Ian

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Ian,
You got something nice and green into your bread, too, with your Guacamole bread! :^)
Thanks so much for your compliments! I'd been wanting to see how baking a basil leaf onto the top of a roll would work out; it was fun to try out the technique for this recipe.
I hope you enjoy these rolls as much as we have!
:^) breadsong

MC's picture
MC

These buns must have smelled and tasted heavenly. I too love risotto, parmigiano and basil but I would never have thought of combining them. Your creativity never ceases to amaze and inspire, breadsong! Both versions (stencil and basil leaf) look stunning. I can see them on a table at a Michelin-star restaurant! What did you eat them with? I am thinking tomato soup or a chilled gazpacho or a bright summer salad as they would be a perfect counterpoint taste- and nutrition-wise to a very light main course. Other suggestions?

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi MC  :^)
Thank you so much for your kind compliments!
I was so grateful to come across Mr. Hedh's recipe - it promised so much flavor, fermenting the dough right from the start, with fresh basil :^)
I read your comment this morning and was so bedazzled by your menu suggestions - I made a shopping list! and picked up some nice fresh produce: tonight we had for dinner gazpacho and a salad of grilled fresh corn, tomato and basil to go with these rolls.
Mmmm, just love these flavors of summer!

Other suggestions? Well, now you've got me thinking about what to have for dinner tomorrow :^)
Grilled fish, or scallops, with fennel/fresh herb salad maybe? The fennel and basil might go well together...
something simple such as one of these rolls, open face with a slice of ripe tomato and good cheese would make me perfectly happy too!
:^) breadsong


MC's picture
MC

... I love it. Making croûtons was a stroke of genius! Grilled fish with shaved fennel salad on the side sounds delicious with these buns. I'll have to make a batch when I get home and freeze them for when we have visitors from France at the end of the month. I bet they can't find those in Paris!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

MC,
I'm honored you want to make these rolls for company!, and thanks again for your wonderful menu suggestions.
*Loved* the croûtons - idea came along with the gazpacho recipe - seemed like such a perfect garnish!
:^) breadsong

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is what baking bread is all about!  Soup with croutons and salad with a delicious, fine looking roll.  You can't live on bread alone.  What a beautiful meal.  I'm drooling! Thank goodness it is breakfast time!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks, dabrownman :^)                   

We really did love the seasonal flavors - truly a joy to have good tomatoes, basil and corn at this time of year!
:^) breadsong

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

half you fine semolina basil bun recipe to make some buns.  Thanks for the inspiration.  They turned out very tasty!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi, and thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed these!
Those rolls you baked must have been really lovely taste-wise with the flavorings you chose!
:^) breadsong

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

"scale the flour" - is that just simply to weigh it ?

Thanks,

Anna

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Anna,
Yes, you are correct; to scale is to weigh the flour.
:^) breadsong

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I had a devil of a time to try and print this delicious-sounding recipe. Finally had to take "pictures" and then print them. I can't wait to make these buns, I also have an overabundance of basil.

Best,

anna

 

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Anna,
Sorry about the trouble with printing...next time I should try googledocs or something like that to make my formula file more accessible/easier for printing.
I hope you really like these rolls if you make them!
:^) breadsong

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I made a boule rather than individual rolls, the taste is unbelievably good with all that fresh basil and cheese and rice. So, so good !

Thank you !

anna

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Anna,
Thanks for letting me know how your bake turned out.
I'm so pleased to hear how much you liked the taste of this bread!
with many thanks,
:^) breadsong