Monday, March 15, 2010

Bread Roulade With Vegetables and Honey Mustard Baked Tofu

This sounds difficult, but it really isn't. If pressed for time, you could even make this with store-bought frozen bread dough, and already baked tofu. I won't rat you out. The filling should be prepared well ahead of time because you want it cold when filling the dough (this will prevent it splitting and spilling, as well as soaking into the dough too much. That's a good rule of thumb for calzones as well.

I had some fresh spinach, so I used it. I'd go ahead and use whatever vegetables you have. I wouldn't go out and buy fresh spinach just to make this. But that's me. I only added a handful anyway.

The recipe will make two very large loaves. When cool, wrap the leftovers in foil, and keep refrigerated. Re-heat, uncovered on a baking sheet in a slow oven. I have not tried freezing these. I'd be curious to see how the unbaked ones did in the freezer. Maybe next time.

You Will Need:

For the dough:

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup warm water
3 teaspoons granulated dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 tablespoon salt
5-6 cups bread flour/strong flour

Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with the water and sugar. Let stand until foamy. Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat just until butter melts and salt dissolves. Remove and cool to lukewarm.

Add yeast to cooled milk in a large mixing bowl. Work in flour a cup at a time until you have a fairly stiff dough that can be kneaded without being too sticky. Knead until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl and let rise until doubled (about 2 hours). Punch down, let rise again until almost doubled (about 1 hour). Punch down, divide in two and let rest, covered 30 minutes.

Roll out and fill as directed later in recipe.

For the tofu:

1 block firm, or extra firm (NOT silken) tofu
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil

Press the tofu dry between kitchen towels. Slice into four pieces and on a fresh towel, press out more moisture. Do this a few times (You'll run through about five towels) taking care not to crumble the tofu. Combine the marinade ingredients, and pour half in a shallow dish. Arrange the tofu slices atop marinade, and then spread the rest on top. Cover with cling film and let sit 30 minutes. Turn the slices and let soak another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil (trust me on this-it makes a mess) and arrange the slices on it. Bake 30 minutes, then turn and bake another thirty minutes. Keep turning every thirty minutes until tofu is quite firm-this can take an hour and a half. Remove from oven, cut into tiny cubes, and let cool. Add to filling mixture below.

For the filling:

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
6 medium carrots, finely sliced on the diagonal (or however you like, just keep them small)
1 cup chopped fresh, raw spinach
2 cups chopped fresh parsley (I really like cooked parsley-you can use less or omit it if you prefer)
1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (crumbled)
2 small bay leaves
Salt/Black Pepper

Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy pot. Cook the onions, garlic, carrots, and spinach until soft. Add the parsley, mushrooms, and spices and continue to cook over very low heat until nearly mush. Remove bay leaves. Combine with cooked, diced tofu and cool completely (chilling is best) before filling dough. This can be prepared hours ahead.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously dust a large baking sheet with cornmeal.

Roll out each half of the dough into a large rectangle. From each half remove about a golf ball sized bit of dough for decorating the top. I'm not going to give you exact dimensions because it doesn't matter. You want the dough about an inch thick. After that, do as you like. Place the filling atop the dough leaving about 1 inch around the edges. Roll it up, pinch the seam closed and place on the baking sheet seam side down. Repeat with second roll.

To decorate, I cut out shapes and used fresh parsley, but you really don't need to do this. I made several slits in the top of each roll for venting. If you carefully lay the parsley around it that will help disguise the scoring. If you care. It is probably a sign of being well adjusted if you don't care. Obviously, I have character flaws that manifest themselves in the kitchen. Ahem. So decorate, or not as you see fit.

Brush with an egg wash (1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water) Reserve any extra for brushing again after ten minutes in the oven. This will give it a deeper colour. Let rise another ten minutes or so while the oven heats, then place on the centre rack of the oven. Bake ten minutes, remove and brush again with egg wash. Return to the oven and bake another twenty minutes or so. The bread should be deeply golden and feel somewhat firm. A bit longer is always better than underdone, so if in doubt, let it go a while longer.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes before cutting. Serve warm.

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