“I want everything
I want everything to be
a cup or a tool,
I want people to enter a hardware
store through the door of my odes.”
This excerpt from ‘House of Odes’ by Pablo Neruda seems a fitting welcome for a food blog. An invitation, if you will, to cook and make and share. With me, with your friends, with your family. Food is, after all, a communal experience.
And in the spirit of sharing, the kids and I made these Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls – a communal kind of meal – last weekend. It was a HOT weekend. The kind of sweltering, humid heat that harks back to our Queensland days. The kind of heat that makes you long for cool waters. Australia is the midst of a climate-change style heatwave and though our double-brick apartment is relatively well insulated, the lack of curtains (and cooling) means that the heat creeps in. It was definitely too hot for baking. But I saw these on Arthur Street Kitchen, then bought a ruby-red bunch of rhubarb at the market, and I thought ‘fuck it – I want scrolls’.
And I regret nothing. These scrolls are quite perfect. Beautifully soft, with the complex flavours of sourdough. The rhubarb gives the sweetness a touch of tart, which means these are completely acceptable for breakfast. We ate them for afternoon tea, all four of us, sprawled out on the couch, getting crumbs in the cracks and not even caring!
Rhubarb & Rosemary Scrolls
These scrolls are adapted from Hetty McKinnon’s ‘Overnight sourdough cinnamon and walnut scrolls with honey caramel glaze’. I’ve adapted Hetty’s dough with a new filling and flavour profile. If you don’t have any sourdough starter but are keen to try, here is a good place to start.
110 grams butter, cold
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
2/3 cup sourdough starter
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
550 grams rhubarb
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsps brown sugar
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp greek yoghurt
The night before baking, prepare the dough. Cut up the butter into chunks and in a large bowl combine the flours, sugar and butter. Using your fingertips, mix the butter through until it resembles breadcrumbs (a few larger chunks of butter are fine). Stir in the sourdough starter and milk, and mix until a soft dough forms. Cover and place in a warm spot for approx. 8 – 10 hours.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Preheat oven to 200°c/400°f. Remove any leaves from the rhubarb, and chop the stalks into even-sized pieces approx. 3cm long. Toss with the coconut oil and two tablespoons of the sugar and roast for 30 minutes – the rhubarb should be very tender. Transfer the cooked rhubarb to a bowl and, using a fork, shmush it until it forms a kind of chunky paste. Leave covered in the fridge overnight.
The next morning preheat oven to 180˚c/350˚f.
Finely chop the rosemary leaves, then combine with the salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sprinkle over the risen dough and knead in – don’t overdo it, simply knead until it is mixed through.
Generously flour your bench top and rolling pin, and roll out the dough. You’re aiming for a rectangle about 1cm thick, 40cm long, and 25cm wide. Spread the roasted rhubarb evenly across the rolled out dough, right to the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar then roll tightly along the long edge. Slice into twelve pieces.
Lightly butter or oil a baking dish (I used a drizzle of coconut oil), place the scrolls in the dish, then bake for 30 minutes, or until the scrolls are puffed and golden (start checking for colour at 25 mins.). Remove and leave to cool.
While the scrolls are cooling make the glaze by whisking together the vanilla essence, icing sugar, and yoghurt. Spread over the top of the scrolls.
These are best eaten fresh, but will last for 3 – 4 days in a covered container.