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Explosive buns

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The taste buds and nose are being bombarded. First, a hit of cheese, then a shot of heat-seeking mustard and finally, an olfactory strike from the onions.
    I've wanted to try Dan Lepard's Cheese Torpedoes since the recipe appeared in Guardian, and finally I have. Five or six torpedoes, as his original produces, are a little too much for my needs, so I halved the recipe. Actually, the fact that I only had half the amount of cheese decided it for me. I made smaller rolls instead of larger batons because they're easier to eat. The onion I used was a little pungent and added to the explosion. I suppose onion powder could be used instead (¼-½ teaspoon maybe, depending on taste).
    On the explosive device theme, I went for a smaller weapon and shaped the grenades by making a shallow criss-cross pattern on the top of the rolls. But I didn't score them so well and so the pattern wasn't distinct. Let's just say they had already exploded and so the shells look a little beat up.
    They may look like bombs, but taste-wise, they didn't bomb. The cheese is cut into cubes of significant size so when they melt while the rolls are baking, they leave little holes in the crumb. And then they start oozing out and there's all this crisp baked cheese sticking on the outside. They're like cheese wafers. I took some pictures with my camera but then couldn't upload them because the SD card was corrupted. These photos were taken with my camera phone a few days later, and by that time, I only had two of the rolls left, and none of the cheesy bits to show off.
Whether small or large, these cheesy rolls are great
Using the recipe for Dan Lepard's Cheddar Torpedoes
Makes 5 grenades

225g strong white flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon powdered mustard
150g Cheddar, cut into 1cm cubes
½ medium onion, finely chopped
150g warm water
1 teaspoon fast-action yeast
1 medium egg, beaten (divided)
Oil, for kneading
Fresh ground black pepper
  • Put the flour, salt and mustard in a large bowl, add the cheese and onion, and toss together.
  • Weigh the beaten egg and set aside half of it (for the egg wash to finish). In a jug, whisk the water, yeast and the other half of the egg until smooth. Pour this into the flour mixture and mix everything together to a soft dough. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly oil a worktop and knead the dough for just 10 seconds. Cover; repeat this 10-second knead two more times at 10-second intervals. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for an hour.
  • Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces, shape into fat sausages with tapered ends and place on a tray lined with baking/parchment paper. Cover and leave until risen between half and double.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C. Once the sausages have risen, using a shape knife, score the top in a criss-cross pattern. Brush with beaten egg, grind black pepper over them and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until evenly golden all over.

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