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 day....you 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 (...so 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.

:/dma

7 comments:

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!
diane

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 try...now 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!

diane

Noire said...

I want to eat those now! They look amazing!