Once you find yourself on the receiving end of such an eye-opening spice, you start wondering how you can apply to your recipes. That’s the only reason I can come up with that would explain why every restaurant in Chicago was serving hearts of palm a year or so ago.
And this year? Jicama seems to really be popular. And it’s especially popular with me, because I just love saying it out loud. Few other words give off the appearance they should be spoken with a throaty Klingon growl like Jicama. You just want to scream, “Jy-Ka-Ma!” But when you realize that first time it’s pronounced “Hi-cuh-ma,” you end up saying to yourself, “Awwwww, that’s so peaceful.” It’s my favorite food word after falafel. Fa-LA-fel.
And my current favorite? Oh, it’s back. The Bacon Salt has returned. After falling in love with the stuff last week, a discussion arose about what we could toss it on next. Being of the baking persuasion, I wondered about bacon bread. I’ll save you from the logic train that ensued, but let’s just say that we ended up with a recipe calling for cheese stuffed bread.
I had originally discovered this recipe over on bakingsheet, but hadn’t found a good reason to make them. Until Bacon Salt. I adjusted the recipe a bit, adding some butter to the activation process, and replacing the regular sugar and salt with kosher salt and brown sugar for taste. If you don’t have Bacon Salt (blasphemy!), you could honestly sprinkle anything on top. The original recipe calls for garlic salt, which would also be pretty dang tasty. So, again, if for some reason you haven’t run out to buy Bacon Salt, make these with your favorite topping.
Baking these fresh, the aroma of cheese, butter, bread and bacon just fills the house, and that’s no bad thing. It’s miraculous. Try and eat these hot, because they taste like nothing else. Die hard fans of my pretzel bread say these trump the pretzel bread, and they never thought they would say that. I take that as a huge compliment. Even Katie, who said she wouldn’t go near the Bacon Salt has been converted. She loves these rolls. She’s made me promise to make them only on special occasions because she’s afraid of what eating a dozen of these a day would do to her body. (Hint: She’d probably smell like Bacon Salt)
Bacon-Dusted, Mozzarella-Stuffed Dinner Rolls
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup water, warm (110-115F)
- 1/2 cup milk, warm (110-115F)
- 1 tbsp brown or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2-2 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
- Fresh mozarella cheese cut into 12, 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp Hickory Bacon Salt
- 1 tsp grated Parmesan Cheese
In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, milk, sugar and butter and let stand for 5 minutes, until yeast is activated and has gone foamy. Add salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour, stirring well. Add the remaining flour gradually, mix until the dough comes together into a ball, away from the sides of the bowl. Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, 5 minutes should do. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until doubled, about 60 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place a square of cheese inside each ball and pinch tightly to seal the dough around the cheese. Reform into a ball if need be. Place seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, or into well greased cupcake tins, and cover with a dish towel for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F while rolls rest.
Using a fork, mix the Bacon Salt and Parmesan cheese. Brush rolls with the melted butter and sprinkle with the Bacon Salt & Parmesan cheese mixture. Bake rolls for 18 minutes, turning after 9 minutes, until golden.
Serve right away, as the cheese is best hot. You may end up with one or two cheese explosions, but really, is there anything better than slightly burnt cheese?
Makes 12 rolls.