Friday, February 12, 2010

Buttermilk Cluster Rolls - Ruhlman's Recipe

The weather in Paris lately has been frigid & bizarre. Sunny one second, flurry storm the next, followed by hail, more sun, snow....all in the same get the idea. Sure feels like winter. Which is why I took so much comfort in making these buttermilk cluster rolls. The apartment smelled like a bread shop. A comforting scent wafted through the air and a warmth from the oven made it feel comfy. It's worth making these rolls just for that experience alone.

Click here for the recipe: Recipe for Buttermilk cluster rolls from Ruhlman's blog. There are very clear instructions & references to other blogs for detailed information on making them.

Here are my observations, conclusions, opinions:

1) Very good recipe. It's the kind of bread roll that's best served with something having a sauce (as the french say) or with gravy (as we say) because it's made for mopping up the plate, no matter what language you speak.

2) I proofed the dough in our oven at 35°C, the proofing setting. This worked well, especially since our apartment felt a bit on the cold side before I started all this bread making. After 1 hour it was at the double-in-size stage and normally I'd have proceeded with punching it down. However, this time, I followed the recipe & let it go 2 hours. Man did it puff up! Triple in size, I'd say. If I could hazard a guess, I'd say this had something to do with the texture being so nice. (Along with the revised recipe?)

3) I topped them with my favorite "everything" combo: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion powder, garlic salt & thyme. Délicieux.

4) Size of roll: too big for me. Mine were 100g each (3.5 ounces) before baking. I got a baker's dozen out of them. However, next time I'll try to make them 50g each. Seems plenty enough to me. Plus, it'd give me more of that topping-to-bread ratio which I think would be really nice.

5) I used the revised recipe (709g flour & 510g buttermilk, but added back a bit more flour when it was too sticky). The texture was extremely light & fluffy. I loved the texture the best. Can you practically feel how light & fluffy these are??!!
6) You gotta eat them straight out of the oven. I know, it goes without saying ( why did I just say that?!)

7) There's no additional butter or olive oil in this bread. The only fat comes from the buttermilk (which counts for enough I suppose!). I tasted this difference. I must admit that I kind of missed that other kind of taste when it comes to bread...but that only happened when I ate them without anything else. When I had a sauce to mop it up with, I didn't miss it at all.

8) Would I make these again? Yes. I absolutely loved the texture of this. (Isn't that obvious by now?) But, here's what I'm thinking: wouldn't it be great to use this recipe as the base for a cinnamon roll?? I'd get the additional flavor from butter that I'm looking for, and then the sugar-cinnamon filling would add more goodness....

So, this is what I'm going to try next. Or sometime soon anyway. Will let you know how it turns out.



BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Diane,
I have enjoyed all your recipes, these rolls sound delicious. Could I ask where you find buttermilk here in Paris or do you mix up your own? I've been looking all over.
Happpy Valentine's week-end.

girlcookinparis said...

Hi BonjourRomance, Thanks for your comment. I used to make my own buttermilk before I learned the translation. It's known in France as either "lait fermenté" or "lait ribot". I've used both and the lait fermenté has a thicker consistency. You can find them at many grocery stores in Paris. The cost is under 1.50€ per liter. Once I knew the translation, I started seeing it everywhere! Good luck & Happy Valentine's to you, too!

Victoria said...

Oh wow! these rolls look so good! I haven't had much breadmaking expereince...but from Rhulman's blog it seems pretty straight forward! Gotta give these a what to make with sauce? :)

Gillian Young said...

Oh my...please try this as a base for a cinnamon roll and let me know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

great article. I would love to follow you on twitter.

girlcookinparis said...

Hi Victoria, I hope you do give them a try. As far as bread baking goes, these really are pretty straight forward, as you say!

Hey Gillian, Will definitely keep you posted on the cinnamon rolls!


Noire said...

I want to eat those now! They look amazing!