I Baked a Thing

This weekend, I dug into the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and baked a thing: Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns!

I’ve never made bread before so I was nervous to start with this recipe, but it sounded so delicious. Cheddar is my favorite cheese. (Giving myself permission to admit I’m not sophisticated in my cheese tastes.) So Friday evening, after Fig went to sleep, I got everything I needed all set up, and I went to work.IMG_4082Those of you who know about bread-making might be wondering about the pastry blender. (Full disclosure: I only recently bought the pastry blender because the author recommended it as an important tool. I really have no idea what they are supposed to do.) So yeah, I didn’t need it. I had the recipe confused with another one I was reading about the other day. And missing from the picture are a few key ingredients. But still, I stand by the picture. Including the baby monitor in the top left corner. Gotta keep an eye on my sweet Fig.

I’d planned on taking pictures of each step, but I was concentrating so hard on following the recipe that I didn’t take any pictures until I’d mixed and kneaded the dough and it was ready to rise.

IMG_4084This being my first time making bread, I wasn’t sure if it was on the right track, but it smelled like bread and it was a sticky ball, like it was described in the recipe. So I covered it up and stuck it in the fridge for the night. Then Saturday morning, I took the dough out and patiently waited for it to come back to room temperature. Finally, it did, so I patted it out and added the cheddar cheese, onion, and dill filling.

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Then I rolled it up and sliced it. I ended up with 11 buns instead of 12, but whatevs. And then I had to wait two more hours for them to double in size.

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Then I baked them for about 30 minutes. Recipe said 20-25, but our oven always seems to take longer, and I think glass dishes typically take longer to cook things as well. But oh my goodness, it was worth the wait.

IMG_4092They didn’t turn out as perfectly round buns, but I was very pleased with how they looked. My kitchen smelled like cheesy, oniony, bready goodness for the whole day. And most importantly, they tasted AMAZING. Sooooo cheesy, and the white onion brought a great flavor, and they weren’t too dill-y. I was worried the dill might be too assertive because I don’t typically like dill in anything other than pickles. But the dill in these rolls was just right. I mean, really, with that much cheddar cheese (Extra Sharp Tillamook, if you were wondering), they had to be awesome.

I count this one as a total success. I was completely intimidated by the prospect of making bread from scratch, but my fears were unfounded. The hardest part of this recipe was waiting twice for the dough to rise. My friend said I’d want to make my own bread all the time once I realized how good it is, and I must say, she’s right. (Shoutout to Laura!)

So one recipe down, 105 to go, and I’m feeling great about it. My plan is too cook at least one recipe every three weeks. I’d better get started on that 10k training pretty soon. (Actually, we did all get out for a nice long walk this afternoon for the first time in forever, since it wasn’t boiling hot outside. It was nice. I love our neighborhood.)

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