Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jalapeño Three-Cheese Swirls - #Twelve Loaves

#TwelveLoaves August: Savory... our August baking mission is taking on a savory side. Think breads with cheeses and spices, garlic and onion, oh my! I am SO ready to participate this month; delighted to be back in wi-fi range again, and have an official excuse to bake something savory. Since the galley cooktop just went wonky I have very strong motivation to bake often!

My usual pizza dough recipe produces a generous quantity of dough ready to flavor with herbs and spices, enough dough for two pizzas or one pizza and "something else". Today that "something else" was a trial batch of swirly buns filled with some favorite ingredients: fresh jalapeno bits, sliced green onions, slivered basil and a mix of freshly-grated Parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, with a dash of cumin and a sprinkle of salt and white pepper. Not a calzone, not a meat and cheese stromboli, this was more like un-sauced pizza pretending to be a savory sticky-bun style roll. Mmmm, yum, that filling looked pretty tempting even before it was rolled up into a log, ready for slicing and baking.

The dough cooperated and rolled out into a thin near-rectangle without giving me any grief, a welcome change after my recent sourdough cracker fiasco (link). The filling quantity seemed overly generous when scattered on top of the raw dough, but the proportions were perfect in the final product.

The large 6-hole muffin tins I had hoped to use were hiding out, nowhere to be found, probably stored at home in the shoreside kitchen, so this muffin-top pan substituted instead. Next time I might slice the roll into 8 or 9 pieces for thinner, less hearty servings, and skip the guilt when I proceed to eat two or three swirls at one sitting.

I enjoyed these buns plain, fresh from the oven at breakfast when the melting gooeyness of soft, subtle cheeses offered a mellow contrast to the zip and bite of green onions and jalapeños. Yum! RL preferred his with a slather of lime butter, and then another with a smear of lime kiwi jam (thank you, Jean L, for the delicious homemade jam). 

Like any leftover pizza slice, these swirls lost some of their appeal later in the afternoon when I tried one as a snack. Reheating briefly in the microwave took care of that. (Disclaimer: I swear cold pizza tastes best straight from the fridge, after midnight or at least before dawn.) The following morning two swirls remained, waiting for their turn at the table. Wow! those jalapenos had some kick by day two! Plain or with spreads, these were a pretty tasty experiment. RL prefers a softer, airy bread dough for rolled buns, but that's a lot to ask of a pizza dough. I might have to freeze the next batch to enjoy singly by myself at breakfast. Wait, here's a thought... how about reheated and sliced in half for a bacon and avocado sandwich? That has possibilities for another time... maybe not heart-healthy, but oh! so tasty.

Jalapeño Three-Cheese Swirls

Pizza Dough
1/2 recipe of Basic Pizza Dough (linkwith 1 teaspoon of dried basil and oregano and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder added and kneaded into the dough

1/4 cup each shredded Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses
6 small green onions, white and green portions, sliced
1 fat jalapeño pepper, deseeded, in small dice (maybe poblano next time)
2 tablespoons basil, julienned
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and white pepper, to taste

Cooking spray or shortening to oil the baking tins

  1. Prepare the pizza dough with the added herbs and garlic powder. Cover and let rest while you prepare the filling.
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and toss to mix. Set aside.
  3. Roll the dough out thin into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Scatter the cheese mixture evenly over the top, leaving a thin empty border along each short edge. 
  5. Begin with a short edge and roll up the dough, jellyroll fashion, into a log.
  6. Use a sharp knife or waxed twine to cut into 6 (or more) slices. Place each slice with a cut side up, into a prepared muffin tin or greased iron skillet.
  7. Rest, covered, while you preheat the oven to 375 F.
  8. Bake on the center rack of the 375 F oven for 30 minutes, or until tops (and bottoms) are lightly browned. 
  9. Serve immediately, or remove to a baking rack to cool and freeze.


  1. Great technique to roll up the dough then cut it into individual swirls. Looks wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Holly. Unflavored dental floss is my secret weapon for slicing rolled dough.

  2. A second batch with pepper jack, asadero and manchego plus a scattering of chorizo was voted a success. I'm still considering that bacon and avocado sandwich idea.


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