Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Taleggio & spinach roulade

January 27, 2019

We kicked off Ottolenghi club for 2019 with a big gathering at a friend's house - 10 people, 10 dishes and just an astonishingly good spread (see here for a full summary of the night's food). We decided not to make two dishes this time around, instead joining forces for one of the trickier dishes in Plenty More - the taleggio and spinach roulade.

It all takes a bit of time, but most if is waiting around for the dough to rest at various points in the process. The assembly requires a steadier hand than I can muster, but Cindy managed it very successfully. The result was delightful - a crusty, puffy dough and a rich delicious filling. We served it at room temperature, but I think it'd be even better if you got into it right out of the oven.

Taleggio & spinach roulade
(slightly adapted from a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty More)

160ml milk
2 teaspoons dried active yeast (we used one standard 7g sachet)
3 cups white bread flour
1 teaspoon cater sugar
50ml sunflower oil
1 egg and 1 egg yolk

100g cream cheese
100g baby spinach leaves
20g basil leaves
100g pecorino cheese, grated
200g taleggio cheese, broken into chunks
150g semi-dried tomatoes, drained

finishing touches
1 egg white
sesame seeds

Gently heat the milk in a small saucepan until just lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and keep stirring until it dissolves. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Place the rest of the dough ingredients in a large bowl with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the milk and yeast and stir it all together until you've got a good dough going. Knead your dough for 10-15 minutes, until you've got a smooth, shiny dough ball. (You can do all of this with a dough hook and an electric mixer if you like, but it was easy by hand.)

Brush another large bowl with oil and pop the dough in it, covered with a damp tea towel. Leave it all to rest for about 45 minutes - it should double in size. 

Unroll enough baking paper to cover a 30cm x 40cm baking tray. Drop the dough onto it and roll it out flat to fit the baking tray. Carefully transfer the paper and dough into the tray. Cover the dough with the tea towel again and let it rest for half an hour.

Now it's time for the filling - spread the cream cheese as best you can across the surface, sprinkle with salt and then scatter over the spinach, basil, pecorino, taleggio and semi-dried tomatoes. Now it's wrapping time - pick up one of the longer sides of the dough rectangle and carefully roll it up into a rough spiral. Try to leave it standing on its seam so that it stays rolled up when it bakes. Cover with a tea towel again and let it rest for another half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Brush the surface of your big dough log with the egg white and then sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 180°C and leave to cook for another 25 minutes. It should brown up nicely and a sharp knife should come out with some melted cheese on it, but no dough. 

Remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes. Cut into thick slices and serve.

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