Zucchini, Chilli & Gruyère Buns. These buns have a cult following amongst our morning customers. Toasted with butter and a sprinkle of sea salt is the way they roll.
strong bakers flour 300 g
plain flour, plus extra for dusting 100 g
caster sugar 2 tsp
salt 2 tsp
olive oil 1 tbsp
fresh yeast 10 g or dried yeast 5 g
tepid water 300 ml
milk 1 tbsp
bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped 2
medium zucchini, grated 1
grated gruyère 60 g
Place the flours, sugar, salt, oil, yeast, water and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or use your hands to form the dough into a ball). Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until it begins to form a ball, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes to develop the protein and give your dough structure. (If you are kneading with your hands, stretch the dough as you are kneading it and continue to work it on the bench for 10 minutes longer than you would if using the machine.)
At this stage the dough will start to form a ball around the dough hook, peeling away from the sides of the bowl. To check that the dough is ready, you can do a stretch test. To do this, peel away a small piece of dough, roll it in the palms of your hand to form a ball and then stretch it out between your fingertips. If it doesn’t tear easily, it is ready. If it does, knead the dough for another few minutes to develop the structure of the bread.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic film or a tea towel and place in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in volume.
Knock back the dough by turning it out onto a lightly floured work surface, then gently pat it into 30 cm x 20 cm rectangle. Fold the dough in half, then in half again (as if you are folding a piece of paper). Return it to the bowl, then cover and prove for a further 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface once more, patting it gently with your hands to form the same rectangle as before. Sprinkle the chilli evenly over two-thirds of the dough, leaving the remaining third bare. Squeeze any moisture out of the zucchini and spread it over the chilli, followed by the cheese. Fold the bare portion of dough over half the cheese mixture, and then over again to completely envelop the filling.
Turn the dough so the seam is parallel to your body, using extra flour on the bench to stop it sticking, then pat it out to a 30 cm x 15 cm rectangle. Dust the top of the dough with a little flour (or leave it plain if you prefer), then cover with a tea towel and rest on the bench for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Using a dough cutter or a large knife cut the dough in half lengthways, then cut across the two rows to form 16 even square buns. Place the buns on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and prove one last time for 15 minutes or until they have doubled in volume.
Bake the buns for 25–30 minutes or until golden, then remove them from the oven and cool on the tray.
At Flour and Stone, we slice them in half horizontally and toast them, although they are just as delicious fresh from the oven. Either way, don’t forget the butter.
Extracted from Flour and Stone by Nadine Ingram, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP AU$55 or NZ$65.
Photography © Alan Benson