Pardon my French, but these are some Kick Ass rolls!!! Francisco Migoya strikes again with his recipe for pecorino, roasted garlic, sea-salt and fried sage laminated brioche. I’ll admit to being intimidated, given my poor history with laminated dough, but anybody claiming to be a true butter-freak just has to try these. In short, you mix up some butter-heavy brioche dough (on its own a bit of a high-wire act), then fold in a block of butter as you would with croissant dough. Roll it all out flat, cover with shredded pecorino, roll into a log and cut into 2″ sections. Proof the rolls for a few hours, top with sea salt and a roasted garlic clove and bake. Finish with a single deep fried sage leaf.
Fickle mistress that she is, I’ve been unable to tame laminated dough, and this was no different. In short, the goal is to enclose a block of butter in dough, then fold it like an envelope, roll it out, repeated at least three times. The goal is to not work it so hard that the layers tear, or the butter melts. You can’t just pop it into the freezer or the butter will get harder than the dough, causing it to tear. Brioche dough presumably has already developed its full gluten, meaning it’s much more elastic than the butter. Roll it out too quickly and it’ll snap back like so much rubber. Even if you hit that magic temperature when the dough and butter share the same consistency, if you rush the process and roll too hard, the friction will melt the butter, ruining the dough.
The recipe called for resting the dough for at least 15 minutes between folds, but I gave it a good 30-45 just to be on the safe side. Even then, I might have pressed too hard when rolling these out, though the dough felt good to the touch. When they were baked, they puffed up nicely, filling the paper cups, but a decent amount of butter ‘flooded’ out. What should have been light and airy, was instead weighted down with melted butter and turned partially gummy inside.
So, though far from a smashing success, it still worked better than the last attempt, so I’m calling it progress. Regardless of the texture, the roasted garlic, with its hint of sweetness, worked extremely well with the cheese. Instead of sea salt though, I had some left-over pink Hawaiian salt that really finished it off nicely.
My wife and I both had one for breakfast this morning (and will probably carry that faint whiff of garlic throughout the day). Otherwise the rest were intended as a thank you gift for a friend that saved us the other night. Our babysitter was trapped in NY after a snowplow crushed her friend’s car, so she couldn’t get back to Boston. J however stepped in at the last-minute, freeing us up for a much-needed night out. Garlic-sage brioche is the absolute least we could do for him.