Saturday, May 06, 2017

Herbed Pinwheels

Yesterday I was looking for a recipe that I posted a long time ago. I found it but then started reading posts older than that one. It was fun to see some of the old recipes and to find that the five things I most wanted to change about myself ten years ago are still the ones that need the most work, although some progress has been made. Somehow I hadn't really understood that the blog is almost a teenager now. A lot of things have changed in the last 10+ years besides my hair now being silver gray instead of red.

My posts are not as chatty. I was busy then, but as I've gotten older it seems to take longer to do almost anything, including writing posts. I also didn't have Facebook then and I do spend at least half an hour on Facebook a day.

There aren't so many over the top desserts, either. I think some of the earlier excess can be laid at the feet of the Daring Bakers, but I wouldn't change a thing. I had such fun doing those complex recipes and learning how to make a mirror cake, a buche de noel, Gateau St. Honore', eclairs, and so many other delights. Now the dessert is more likely to be a homey gingerbread or lemon tea cake, something wacky like Christmas crack popcorn chunks, or a simple apricot tart. Having cut out all dairy is challenging when it comes to desserts, too. Anything with whipped cream is out, cheesecake and things with cream cheese are not on the menu either. Still, I have found substitutions so that I can still make Anzac cookies and brownies, and similar yummy delights.

The one thing that doesn't seem to have changed much is my passion for bread baking. Having a sourdough starter in the fridge probably helps there, but mostly I just love making bread and sharing bread with friends and family. It's basic, but it's love, too. My latest creation is a herbed roll for dinner on Tuesday that looks like a cinnamon roll, but is savory and herby and garlicky instead. I baked it in our toaster oven out in my art studio so as to keep the heat out there because the last few days have been hot for here and there was no way I was going to heat up the big oven.

For these I did a basic sourdough dough like the one here (except that I used all-purpose flour and bread flour, no whole wheat or 12-grain), rolled it out after the first rise to a 12 x 12-inch square, painted the dough with a combination of olive oil and lemon flavored olive oil (1 tablespoon of each, spread but leaving an inch all around bare), then sprinkled on Pensey's Sandwich Sprinkle, which is a combination of salt, garlic, black pepper, oregano, thyme and rosemary. I added some fresh rosemary, too (about 1 tablespoon, stripped from the stem and separated into leaves), then rolled it up like a jelly roll, sealing the edges.

Just like with cinnamon rolls, I cut the dough roll into slices about 1-inch thick, then put them into a greased flat pan. I didn't use a cake pan as I usually do because I was using the toaster oven and the thicken metal works better to get a nice crust on the bottom. I left a little space between the buns, covered them lightly and let them puff up while the oven preheated. I also added a little bit of sea salt on the tops of the rolls. They didn't puff up a whole lot, but there were still plenty of nice air pockets and a nice crumb.

I baked them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then switched to the broiler for 5 minutes, then back to fan bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. By then the rolls were baked and browned enough to enjoy. By then I was also hot enough to enjoy being inside again. We had microwaved steamed broccoli, chicken cooked at the market, and a cool salad. The rolls were wonderful with all of that.


  1. They look delicious. I bet they taste amazing made with sourdough and the lemon oil. Really fresh and spring-like :)

  2. They look yummy! It finally got cool enough to bake inside, today, so baked 2 regular loaves and one really long one in the angel-food loaf pan. Enough to keep us through the next heat wave, in any event. :)

  3. Katie, the combination of the lemon and herb flavors really was spring-like. Just finished the last two today. Amazing how sourdough baked goods last so long.
    David, I know what you mean about being cool enough. Not familiar with angel-food loaf pan...I only know of the round one with the tube in the middle.