Pesto-and-Cheese-Stuffed Brioche Scrolls with Bacon-Tomato Jam

These buttery pesto-and-Asiago-cheese-stuffed brioche spiraled pastries are a perfect treat for any time of day.

Pesto-and-Cheese-Stuffed Brioche Scrolls with Bacon-Tomato Jam
Pesto-and-Cheese-Stuffed Brioche Scrolls with Bacon-Tomato Jam. Photo:

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

These savory cousins to cinnamon rolls feature buttery brioche scrolls filled with nutty pesto and salty Asiago cheese. The recipe, from Timmy Gibbons and Bobby Schaffer of Chicago’s Lost Larson bakery, begins with a sweet and buttery brioche dough. Thanks to a lengthy kneading time as well as an autolyse — a rest period after initially mixing the flour and liquid — the dough develops a strong gluten network, resulting in a pillowy-soft and tender crumb. Adding small pieces of chilled butter to the dough while kneading allows the butter to gradually incorporate, giving the dough a smooth and glossy appearance. For a malleable dough that won’t stick to your hands, be sure to chill the dough well (which allows the butter to solidify) before shaping it into a rectangle for spreading the pesto onto. While the dough will feel sticky before chilling, avoid adding additional flour — too much flour will turn the brioche dry and crumbly. After baking, top the still-warm scrolls with a dollop of homemade tomato-bacon jam. The jam will melt over the warm scrolls, adding a touch of smoky, syrupy sweetness that is balanced by the acid from the cherry tomatoes. Toeing the line between sweet and savory, these hearty pastries are sure to be a crowd favorite; they are best served warm. To reheat the scrolls, warm them at 300°F for five minutes before topping with bacon jam and garnishing. Serve any leftover tomato-bacon jam with cream cheese and crackers.

Ingredients

Brioche Dough Base

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (about 14 7/8 ounces)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (about 4 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope instant yeast or quick-rising yeast (such as Fleischmann’s RapidRise)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled

  • Cooking spray

Pesto-and-Cheese-Stuffed Brioche Scrolls with Bacon-Tomato Jam

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon slices, chopped

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (from 1 small [6-ounce] onion)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 large garlic clove, grated on a Microplane (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  • 1 cup chopped tomato (from 1 medium [10-ounce] tomato)

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • Brioche Dough Base, chilled

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 1 (7-ounce) jar basil pesto (such as Rana) or 1 cup homemade pesto

  • 1 1/2 ounces Asiago cheese, finely shredded (about 2/3 cup), plus more for garnish (optional)

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • Small fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Directions

Make the brioche dough base:

  1. Beat bread flour, whole-wheat flour, milk, and eggs with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment on low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

  2. Return chilled dough in bowl to stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Add sugar, salt, and yeast to dough, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 2 minutes. Add butter, and beat until just incorporated, about 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and is glossy and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. (Dough will be very sticky.) Transfer dough to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) large bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature until slightly risen, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.

Make the pesto-and-cheese-stuffed brioche scrolls with bacon-tomato jam:

  1. Cook bacon in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until fat is completely rendered and bacon is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; reserve drippings in skillet. Add onion, salt, pepper, and garlic to skillet; cook over medium-low, stirring often, until onion and garlic are tender but have not developed any color, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in tomato and brown sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down and mixture thickens and becomes jammy in consistency, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in vinegar and reserved bacon until mixture is well combined. Transfer jam to a medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn brioche dough base out onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll into a 13- x 20-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick). Spread pesto evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one short edge; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Roll dough up toward 1/2-inch border to create a log (being careful not to roll too tightly); cut crosswise into about 12 (1 1/2-inch-thick) rounds, tucking ends of dough underneath each round. Arrange rounds evenly on prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 to 3 inches between rounds. Cover loosely with lightly greased (with cooking spray) plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until dough is doubled in volume and soft to the touch, about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 325°F with racks in top third and bottom third positions during final 20 minutes of dough proofing time.

  3. Uncover proofed scrolls, and gently brush with lightly beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven until scrolls are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheets from front to back and between top and bottom racks halfway through baking time. Immediately top each scroll with about 1 1/2 tablespoons reserved bacon jam. Garnish with basil and additional Asiago cheese, if desired. Transfer scrolls to a wire rack, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Make Ahead

Brioche dough base can be stored in refrigerator up to 16 hours. Bacon jam can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Note

Scrolls are best served warm. To reheat, warm at 300°F for 5 minutes before topping with bacon jam and garnishing.

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