Sourdough dinner rolls with orange and rosemary

Sourdough dinner rolls with orange and rosemary

Rosemary and orange. Is that a good combo? It sounds like it should work, but I can’t remember that I had tasted it before. That was my reaction when I read a recipe for dinner rolls from a Swedish baker named Jan Hedh. I love rosemary in bread, but orange? I was not that sure. Bread that contains whole pieces of fruit is something I try to avoid. I don’t even like raisins in my bread. That is, by the way, a big problem during Christmas if you live in Sweden. EVERY traditional Swedish Christmas bread seems to be loaded with raisins.

But this recipe was different. It contained something called orange paste. That sounded much better, so I decided to give it a try.
The author had used commercial yeast in the original recipe. But I’m a sourdough-guy, so I decided to replace it with a wheat starter.
The hydration of the dough was also very low, only 45%. I can understand why, because it contains a lot of olive oil. 100 gram to 500-gram flour. A little bit too much for my taste, so I replaced the half of it with water.

It turned out to be a good decision. I decided to use a stretch and fold technique for this dough, instead of running it in a dough mixer. It was not that easy to mix all that oil into the dough, even if I had reduced it by half.

I also decided to reduce the amount of rosemary and orange paste by half. You normally serve dinner rolls with food, and I don’t want the bread standing out too much. It should be a complement to the main dish, but it should not take over the whole show. But if you want to try the original recipe, you only have to double the amount indicated in the ingredient list.

The Orange paste was, by the way, a quite ingenious idea. You only have to zest an orange and mix it with sugar by kneading it with the backside of a spoon or a palette knife. I can think of a lot of ways to use this nice ingredient. Drizzle it over a cup of vanilla ice cream together with some rum? No?
Yeah, I know. This is a recipe for bread. Not some dessert for people with a fondness for alcohol (but admit that it sounds good).

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Risotto ai Funghi Porcini

Risotto ai funghi Porcini

I remember the first time I ate Risotto. I had no idea what it was when I saw the name on the lunch menu in the school cafeteria. The kitchen staff had mixed boiled rice with some peas, sweet corn, bell pepper, ham, and called it Risotto. They explained to us kids that it was an Italien delicacy. None of us could understand why. It didn’t taste bad, but it was nothing to be impressed about.
I suppose we should have been suspicious when they served the same dish the following week. But now it had suddenly changed the name to Nasi Goreng. The only difference was that they had added some curry powder.

It took many years before I realized that real Risotto actually doesn’t taste like that. It was not until I read a recipe for Risotto in an Italian cookbook that I began to understand how cheated I had been in school. The recipe contained rice, shallot, chicken stock, white wine, and lots of parmesan cheese. You only had to read that ingredient list to realize that Risotto was something glorious.

This is my recipe for a Risotto ai Funghi Porcini. It’s very close to a traditional recipe from an Italien cookbook. The main difference is that I have used chicken broth instead of meat broth. Sometimes it can be hard to find real Porcini (or Penny bun). If so, you can use white mushrooms or Portabello. This year we have been blessed with lots of Porcini were I live. But I decided to mix the Porcini with white mushrooms, just to see how it tasted. It still tasted heavenly, so don’t let it stop you if you can’t find any Porcini. It’s still worth the effort, I promise.

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