"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." Julia Child

Monday, March 25, 2013

loaded baked potato pinwheels

March Madness, y'all! Invited by a neighbor to come over and watch the Colorado State/Louisville game, a modified version of this standard southern comfort food that could be eaten with one hand, leaving the other free to cheer or jeer, was a slam dunk.

Yield: 16 pinwheels 
150 calories per pinwheel
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 4 hours

1/2 cup mashed potatoes (I used a fingerling blend, about five potatoes)
3 cups high gluten flour
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup half and half
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cooked bacon crumbles, about 4 slices
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Combine the lukewarm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Set aside. (See “spelt bread” for more on fermenting yeast.

2. Rinse the potatoes, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil, and cook the potatoes. Drain the water, mash, and set aside.

3. Cook about 4 slices of bacon, allow to cool, and then crumble. Be sure to keep the fat bacon fat, because we'll be using it later.  To avoid greasy hands, I like to crumble my bacon in a ziplock bag. I use a Nordic Ware bacon cooker because it is fast and drains the grease.

 4. Add 2 cups of the flour, salt, and mashed potatoes to your stand mixer bowl. “Stir”, using the paddle attachment, for about 30 seconds.

5. Add the reserved bacon fat (about 2 tablespoons) and the yeast mixture to the stand mixer bowl.  “Stir” until well blended, about 30 seconds.

6. Add the bacon crumbles and half and half. “Stir” for about 30 seconds.

7. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour to the stand mixer bowl, replace the paddle with the dough hook, and knead on speed 3 until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 5 minutes. The dough should feel wet, but should not be sticky.

8. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until it has doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

9. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half.  Using your rolling pin, shape one of the pieces into a rectangle.  Sprinkle on the cheese and form a jelly roll, rolling from the long side. Cut the jelly roll into 8 pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Place in lightly greased muffin tins (I opted to use my silicon baking cups, planning ahead for bubbly cheese), cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.  The pinwheels expand a lot in the oven, almost like popovers. I recommend using two muffin tins so you can space them out. 

The photos below show the rise during the second proof.

10. About 30 minutes into the proof, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

11. Brush the pinwheels with an egg wash and sprinkle with cracked pepper (and/or additional shredded cheese).

12. Arrange a water bath and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pinwheels are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. (See step 9 of “carbs, glorious carbs!” for more on water baths.

Original recipe found here.

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