Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mediterranean Stuffed Cheese Buns

Perhaps these buns look a bit familiar to you. You're probably remembering them from Peeta's Stuffed Cheese Buns that I made when The Hunger Games came out. Don't laugh at the name. I know you are.

Well, these fabulous rolls are even better than those old Peeta buns of yore. Would Peeta have thought of adding sun-dried tomatoes? Would Peeta have been clever enough to load them with pesto? Would Peeta even know what artichokes and olives are? And you wonder why I'm team Gale. Not that Gale would even know how to cook, but..... oh, just go with it.

The stupid part is that I forgot to make some plain ones for Cookie and Boots. Well, actually the stupid part is that they screamed and ran when they saw the pesto. I don't understand the tastebuds of children.

Anywho, I don't really have much of an excuse for my lack of posts lately. I have had a little bit of a cold I guess, but you probably won't excuse me for that. I mean, it would have been enough for me to beg Mom to let me stay home from school in fourth grade so I could watch Legend of the Hidden Temple all day and maybe browse a bit through my Scholastic book order or organize my Beanie Baby collection. But not enough for a grown-up to neglect their duties.

Does 19 years old really have to count as grown-up? Ew.

So anyways, let's get back to these non-Peeta cheese buns. It all starts out with any goodies you can find. I had some mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and pesto. You could also add other things like red bell pepper, feta cheese, red onion, or even some cooked chicken. Just be creative. 

Chop and mix it all up while the dough is rising. 

That would also be good as a sort of tapenade-ish thing on a crusty piece of bread. Just sayin. 

But today, you're going to stuff it into a fat lump of bread dough.

And then top it with some mozzarella cheese. I only had shredded which was annoying because I think a little cube of it would have been easier, but whatever. I survived.

Pinch it in securely.

And after you bake them, this is what you get. 

Have fun. 

Mediterranean Stuffed Cheese Buns 

1 cup warm water (probably somewhere between 105º and 115º. I just get it hot from the tap. Don't get it too hot or it will kill the yeast.)
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup pesto
About 8 oz. of mozzarella cheese cut into cubes. 

Butter and Parmesan cheese for top.

Mix together the yeast and water and let it sit for a couple minutes. Add the sugar, garlic powder, seasoning, melted butter, and oil. Add the flour a little and a time, mixing in your stand mixer with a dough hook. Add the salt. Knead for 10 minutes, in the stand mixer or by hand. Let the dough rise in a greased bowl (I used the same bowl) covered with a wet cloth for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all the filling ingredients except the cheese chunks. Preheat the oven to 375º. Divide the dough into about 10 to 20 pieces or so (you can make them as big or small as you want). Flatten each piece of dough into a large disk and place a spoonful of the filling in the middle. Top that with a chunk of cheese. Then pinch the dough back together and place the roll pinched side down on a greased baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough. Bake at 375ºF for about 15-25 minutes until the bread is golden brown (just keep cooking them until they begin to brown). Brush with the some melted butter and parmesan cheese and cook for a few more minutes. Serve with warm pizza sauce if you wish.

And don't forget to dip them in some pizza sauce if you want to.

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