Too much time spent on the internet these days. Browsing recipes, food blogs, and pinterest has become an escape from the rest of the internet where terrible things are filling my feeds. These days it’s a series of shocks whenever I open the New York Times website – stay on for more than five minutes and the site is guaranteed to be updated with another story about an executive order from the president that is going to make life worse for a lot of people.
I was on the phone with my mom the other day, and she reminded me that we cannot stay in a state of shock all the time. Our brains just can’t do that sort of thing. In between all the crazy, there is everyday life, and that’s ok. So I’ll keep blogging about food during those moments.
This post is about some cheddar oregano twist buns that I made last weekend. My oregano plant on the balcony has gone wild and produced obscene amounts of oregano, and I’ve been trying to come up with new ways to use it in our meals. Oregano is intense, both in color and in taste. And it tastes kinda like pizza when it’s cooked. So a type of pizza bun seemed like a good idea to spend a bouquet of oregano on.
As this was a somewhat spontaneously decided upon baking experiment, I had to use some bread dough that I already had. Of course, I’m well versed in using everyday bread dough for a variety of things, but I still wonder if you could make these more shapely with another type of dough. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.
So I shaped my dough, and then rolled it, making a thin, wide rectangle
And then I got to work on the filling, spreading the dough with oregano yoghurt sauce, fresh oregano leaves, and crumbled cheddar cheese.
The next step was to roll the dough into a roulade, slice it down the middle lengthwise, and then cut each half in multiple same-size pieces. After that, I twisted the pieces together in pairs to make buns. This bit was tricky, the twists ended up messier than I had envisioned, so at this time I realized that a sturdier dough might have served me well.
But the buns rose well and baked well, and when they came out of the oven they were crisp, golden and a bit sticky, and they smelled just like I thought they would.
Despite their somewhat rough exterior, these twist buns were tasty. They were also handy enough to make a good school or work lunch, and in fact, Paulus declared that he would bring twist buns to work instead of going out with his colleagues the next day. He didn’t have much of a change to do so though. I discovered that the left-over dressing made an excellent dipping sauce, and this may have lead me to consuming a few more twists than was strictly necessary.
On the bright side, this use for oregano is a keeper, and next time I’ll just double the recipe to make more twist buns.
Cheddar Oregano Twists
Yoghurt oregano dressing
- 3 tbsp greek yoghurt
- 1 cup of cottage cheese (you can substitute more yoghurt instead)
- 1 medium bunch of fresh oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 handfuls of bread dough https://mustardandrye.me/2014/11/24/everyday-bread-dough-recipe/
- 1 big bunch of fresh oregano
- 1 cup of sharp cheddar (crumbled)
To make the dressing
Put all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a food processor.
Turn the food processor on to combine the ingredients. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is working (but keep the lid on!).
When the oregano leaves are no longer visible as leaves, stop the food processor and taste. Add more salt or oregano if necessary.
To make the buns
Form you two big handfuls of dough into a ball by folding the edges under until the surface of the ball becomes taut. Dust some flour on your work surface.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangular shape of about 30 x 15 centimeters (12 x 6 inches). Make sure you flip the dough at intervals to avoid the bottom getting stuck to the counter. Dust with more flour as necessary. When you finish, your dough should be about 1/2 cm thick (0.2 inches). If your dough is much thicker, try to make the rectangle bigger.
Spread the dressing in a thin layer over the rectangle. Separate the oregano leaves from the stems. Scatter the leaves over the dough as well. Repeat with the cheddar crumbles.
Beginning at the longest edge nearest to you, start rolling the dough, making it into a roulade with layers of filling inside. Be careful not to pull or poke, as the filling might puncture the dough. When you reach the other side, leave the roulade with the seam down to rest for a minute.
Gently pull on the roulade to lengthen it. You want to try and add about the length of hand to it. Aim for a diameter of about 5 cm (2 inches), and make sure it is roughly the same across the length of the roulade.
Cut the roulade in half lengthwise with a bread knife. This can be tricky, but just be careful and go slow. As you're cutting, keep the middle of the roulade facing up so that the filling stays inside. When this is done, cut each half of the roulade into pieces of about 10-12 cm (4-5 inches).
Take two pieces and lay one over the over, so that they form an X. Then twist one end of the upper piece below the end of the lower piece and out on the other side. Pinch the ends together to make them stay. Do the same with the other end. Repeat until every pair of pieces has been twisted into a bun.
Place the buns in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel an let rise for about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C (464 F) during this time.
Bake the twist buns for about 15 minutes. If they are not yet golden on top, give them another 5 minutes and check again. When they are ready, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
Serve with any left over dressing.