Sunday, June 1, 2008

Whole Wheat Ham & Cheese Roll

I grew up with white bread and only started with whole wheat when I was in England during my university years. Sandwiches were mostly served on rye or whole wheat bread and I guess it was because these type of bread could withstand the wet fillings of tuna mayo and cured meat with pickles better after long hours. As the craze for all things healthy and good spread, whole wheat baked goods were suddenly taking over everything from bread to tarts, croissants, pastries and cookies.

I admit that I am a bit skeptical of baking with this type of flour as it seems more coaser and drier in texture than its white counterpart and it is true that most Asian palates would still prefer the white type, my own mom being a good example. I have yet to locate a soft and fluffy slice of whole wheat bread when the white bread rules supreme in these qualities and taste as good when eaten by itself.

Having said though, I wanted to try using it once. My kids feed on whole wheat bread and I have undeniably turned into a health freak these days compared to my younger and reckless life before I was a housewife! Luckily there are no Japanese bread stores near where I live or else I would have live on their soft Japanese "Pan" forever and probably pile on the unhealthy carb sugar that white bread is infamous for.

It was a whole wheat sweet dough recipe that I located from one of the baking books I picked up at the library and it was meant for croissants. Initially I set out wanting to make Danish pastries but all the time, my mind was telling me I am a joke! Perhaps I am bias and cannot think of anything whole wheat but the grainy coarse slice of bread I have every morning. My expectation and imagination of the outcome of a sweet Danish pastry made this way only goes as far as a slab of super sweet raspberry jam with cream cheese piled on top of a bran muffin..... yes.... it still doesn't sound good!!

After making this sweet dough, I can de-throne the making of puff pastry as the most difficult to do in my baking so far. The multiple folding of the dough and the biggest slab of butter I have ever used in my kitchen really tells me that I work too hard sometimes and should really trust my grocery baker when croissants and Danish pastries are concerned. I was trying to keep the butter from squirting out here and there and at certain times, I really think that maybe I should just go with the flow and let the butter part envelope the dough part instead of the right way and maybe I will create something spectacular like the upside down pineapple cake when ingredients are mixed and made differently from the conventional manners. Lesson learned this time is to reduce the butter to half the amount suggested by the least a bit healthier and my sanity is saved from the butter blob creeping all over my hands and countertop which required extra scrubbing!

The idea of Danish pastry dissipated during the handling and rolling of the dough and so I proceeded to do a savory version of croissant. I chose ham and Monterey Jack cheese for the filling and black sesame seed for the top garnish. My stamina was down and I totally rolled up the pastries the easiest method without the need to further maneuver a triangle into a croissant.

The end product was suprisingly good. It was crisp outside and flaky soft inside. But it was more drier than the croissant that I get from outside. Perhaps that was not a fair comparison as the outside stores only had plain croissants and not made with whole wheat. Still, my most difficult food critic, Curry agreed that the pastry tasted good and as long as they love it, who am I to argue with!

1 comment:

Agnes said...

Lovely Crust I see~ :D Must be good as brekkie with Milk :D