Here’s Rico Rodriguez with Gunga Din. It has nothing at all to do with goat cheese or rolls, but I’m completely infatuated with his music at the moment. He’s a ska trombonist (he played the trombone on the Specials Message to you, Rudy) His album Man From Wareika is phenomenal, and I can’t stop playing it (thanks, Tony!). So sweet and soulful.
This makes six largish rolls. I wanted to start with a small batch, because I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out.
1 t. yeast
1/4 cup warm milk
1 t. sugar
4 T butter, very soft
2 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 cup milk soured with 1 t. lemon juice
4 T soft butter
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 cup goat cheese – crumbled
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
Dissolve the yeast & sugar in the warm milk and leave to get foamy.
In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the egg and the yeast mixture and mix well. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix everything together. Then add the soured milk. At this point you should have a workable dough, but if you need to add more flour or milk, go right ahead.
Knead for about 5 minutes, until the butter is completely incorporated, and the dough is soft and elastic.
Put it in a large, lightly oiled bowl, and roll it around so everything is coated. Leave it in a warm place about 2 hours to rise. Punch it down. (At this point I let it rise for about another hour and a half, because I wasn’t ready to cook it, but I’m not sure this second rising period is necessary, if you’re in a hurry)
About an hour before you’re ready to eat these…roll the dough out to be a big rectangle. 1/4 inch thin X 1 foot X 16 inches, approximately.
Mix the softened butter, the balsamic, the brown sugar and the thyme. It won’t all incorporate perfectly, but don’t worry about it. Spread this over the dough – right up to the edges. Now crumble the goat cheese over. It needn’t all be the same size, but try to get it fairly evenly distributed.
Now decide how many and how big you want your rolls, If you roll it up starting at the shorter end, you’ll have fewer bigger ones (right?) and vicey versey. Roll the dough up however you decide. Then cut it into pieces. I cut mine about 2 inches wide each, but you could make them smaller if you wanted to.
Let them rest for another 1/2 hour. During the last fifteen minutes of this, preheat the oven to 375.
Bake for about half an hour, till they’re big and fluffy and golden brown and crispy.