My first experiences in the kitchen were of the baking kind. I’d get up early and make some kind of sweet coffee cake or cinnamon buns on Sunday morning to make my family happy. All I remember was that I was about ten when I started the ritual.
Baking became addictive for me, although I’ve since changed from sweet baked goods to preferring everything savory.
I happened to have a chunk of Comté, and decided to use it in a yeasted bread, along with sun-dried tomatoes, and make them in the style of cinnamon buns, much like the pesto pinwheels. Simple, yet delicious. By themselves, with a soup, stew, or just as a basic savory bread to serve with dinner.
So, I’m not writing down an exact recipe, because I like the idea of encouraging my readers who are novice cooks to come up with their own versions of recipes customized to their specific tastes. Don’t like sun-dried tomatoes? Use feta and olives instead! Or nuts!
But I’ll tell you what I did. And if you don’t make your own bread dough, you can make these rolls with purchased pizza dough.
Tomato Basil Pinwheels
Comté or Gruyère or Fontina, approximately 8 ounces
1 – 8.5 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 lb. bread dough or pizza dough, risen at least once
Olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
Dried Basil, about 1 tablespoon
Cayenne pepper flakes, optional.
Approximately 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
First grate the cheese you’re using.
Then place the sun-dried tomatoes in a colander to drain the oil. The product I used was julienned tomatoes packed in oil with Italian herbs.
My dough weighed exactly 16 ounces when it was ready to roll.
Roll out the dough to a rectangle, approximately 16″ in length by 10″ in width. First add a drizzle of olive oil, and top with the cheese.
Add the drained sun-dried tomatoes, and then the basil and cayenne pepper flakes, to taste.
Roll up the dough lengthwise, keeping it tight. Snip off the ends if necessary.
Slice down through the log, making even pieces, and place then spiral side up and down on a cookie sheet. Mine were about 2″ thick. The pinwheels don’t have to touch. Also, you could use a baking dish instead to contain them, or even muffin tins.
Let the pinwheels rise for at least 45 minutes while the oven is preheating to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle them with the finely-grated Parmesan, and put the cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes; they should be golden brown on the tops.
Let cool slightly and serve.