Monday, April 2, 2012
Veggie Cheese Roll-ups
In the mid-90s I worked for a few years at a small cafe where we made everything from scratch. My one and only period in the food business, and what an amazing experience it was. I learned to make Cucumber-Dill Salad Dressing, homemade breads, the best peanut butter cookies in the world, and today’s feature, Veggie Cheese Roll-ups.
These roll-ups are not for the faint-hearted. Although packed with veggies and rolled up in a whole wheat bread dough, they are loaded with full-fat, cholesterol-laden sharp cheddar cheese.
If you’ve got the time, and the inclination, these are a treasure worth whipping up. I don’t make them often. My daughter insists I supply her with lots of them after she gives birth, so it may be that it’s been at least five years*, and four years before that. I really can’t remember, but I’ll never forget the recipe. Kind of like riding a bicycle; it really sticks in my mind. (*Spoke with my daughter and she reminded me this is the first time the youngest has eaten a Veggie Cheese Roll-up.)
You can use your favorite bread dough, even the store-bought kind, or you can use the recipe I’m going to share with you. My dough combines whole wheat and white flours. Oh, by the way, this is the first time I’ve made the dough since I bought my Kitchen Aid mixer. Love, love, love it... Now that I have a little arthritis in my fingers, having a mixer with a dough hook makes such a difference.
If you, however, have strong healthy fingers, knead the dough by hand. It’s like washing dishes by hand. Time consuming, yes, but you can put on some music--as fast or as slow as you like--and empty your mind of all those nagging problems. Just enjoy the moment and the repetitive motions.
I’ve made a discovery about taking food photos indoors (at least indoors at my place). I have to use the flash. I’ll leave it to you to guess which photos were taken with a flash. Hint ~ the color is so much more authentic, not so creamy or yellowy. To truly appreciate the detail of photos on this and other blogs, you can click on each photo to see an enlarged version.
The bread dough recipe makes two loaves, and it will make a huge pan of Veggie Cheese Roll-ups. I used two smaller (approx. 9x11) pans since I have a small stove/oven; fifteen roll-ups to a pan. So, figure on about 30 rolls, each cut about an inch thick before baking.
(enough for approximately 30 Veggie Cheese Roll-ups or 2 loaves of bread)
3 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 envelopes)
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or whole wheat bread flour)
4 cups all-purpose white flour (or a mix of white and whole wheat)
1. Stir together water, yeast, salt, EVOO and 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
2. Cover and let rest on counter at least 20 minutes.
3. Stir in more flour. The 4 cups is an approximation.
4. Knead by hand or machine until smooth.
5. Place dough ball in large greased bowl. Roll around till entire ball has been greased.
6. Cover and let rise in warm place 30-45 minutes.
7. Punch down and let rest 5-6 minutes on a floured surface. (continues below with 8.)
2 tablespoons EVOO
3/4 - 1 cup diced onion
10 oz. matchstix carrots
1-pound broccoli crowns, chopped
Salt & Pepper
1-pound sharp cheddar cheese,shredded
1. Combine all filling ingredients except cheese in large pan and cook over medium heat until cooked to desired tenderness.
2. Start off with small amounts of garlic powder (1/2-1 teaspoon) and S&P, then taste when nearing end of cooking. Add more garlic powder, S&P, according to your taste buds.
3. Remove from burner when done and pour into large pan to cool.
Making the Veggie Cheese Roll-ups
8. Starting from Step 7 above, flatten dough ball on floured surface.
9. Roll out in rectangle that is more long than wide.
10. Spread cooled filling on dough, stopping about 1-inch away from the two longer sides. Scatter the shredded/grated cheese the same way.
11. Roll up the dough and filling so that you end up with a very long roll. Gently stretch and pat to create a roll that is uniformly sized in all parts.
12. Cut into 1-inch sections and place side-by-side in greased pan(s).
13. Bake 35-45 minutes in pre-heated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven. Roll-ups should look well done.
About the onions ~
Use your favorite onion, about 3/4-1 cup. Since I left the dough rising on the counter while I walked to the store for the veggies, I took the easy way out and bought a package of diced onions in the produce section.
About the broccoli ~
Three-quarters of a pound of fresh broccoli crowns did it for me this time. I cut away the thickest part of the stems and chopped up the rest. An alternative is to use thawed 10 oz. packages of frozen broccoli.
About the carrots ~
A 10-ounce bag of shredded carrots did the trick this time. I usually shred them myself, but as I said, I was in a time crunch.
About the cheddar cheese ~
I used one pound of sharp cheddar cheese. I say, the sharper the better and I prefer to shred it myself.
Veggie Cheese Roll-ups freeze well and can be re-heated in a toaster oven. Microwave a cold roll-up for thirty seconds in a microwave.
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