First, Gruyere cheese is a wonderful thing. It's a hard cheese with a fairly mild flavor, and is totally amazing when melted. Then, how can you resist caramelized onions? Combined with the Gruyere, it's kind of like French onion soup in a roll. I added a handful of watercress for its peppery flavor. These were very tasty.
The ingredients are rolled up into the flattened dough in the same manner as cinnamon buns, and then the roll is sliced and baked.
The dough for these buns is pretty sticky, so you might have to add some more flour. Just don't add too much. I'm so used to working with really wet dough in most of the sourdough loaves I bake, so I didn't give it much thought... until I tried to roll out the dough. I ended up stretching it out like pizza dough, and then using my bench knife to roll it up into a log as it stuck to the counter.
Every time I feel like a bread master, a recipe comes along to slap me back into reality. Fortunately, it was a delicious reality.
You can make these with any savory filling to suit your taste and the season. Cheeses could include mozzarella (fresh or low moisture), goat cheese, cheddar, or muenster. I could imagine this with sun dried tomatoes, fresh thyme and basil, and mozzarella.
Gruyere, Caramelized Onions, and Watercress Buns
200 grams bread flour
200 grams water
1 gram instant yeast
All of the poolish
300 grams bread flour (plus more for dusting)
70 grams water
50 ml olive oil
9 grams salt
7 grams instant yeast
1 tablespoon oil
1 sweet or red onion, sliced
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
Large handful of watercress leaves
- Mix the poolish ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for about 4 hours.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the poolish, flour, water, olive oil, salt, and yeast. Mix on the second speed for about 10 minutes, until smooth. The dough should be slightly sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour, until doubled.
- In the meantime, cook the onions in the oil over low heat until softened, about 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Pat the dough out into a large (about 13 inch by 18 inch) rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle the onions, cheese, and watercress evenly over the dough.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Using a bench knife or dough scraper, roll the dough into a 13 inch long log. Slice the log with the bench knife into eight equal pieces and place them, sliced side up (and down) on the baking sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls on the middle rack of the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. I turned on the convection fan during the last 5 minutes.
- These rolls are fantastic fresh from the oven. They also freeze really well to be reheated or toasted later.