We kicked off gelato season at the cafe a couple of weeks ago and my mind is occupied by developing recipes for gelato, sorbet, and ice-cream since. Inspiration comes to me non-stop and I can barely keep up with turning these ideas into frozen treats to enjoy. It is hard to pick favourites but I am partial to a few: miso caramel, matcha with caramelized white chocolate, cinnamon with fig compote & candied walnuts, lemon meringue, black sesame, and espresso with espresso caramel are my current top picks.
With the heavy emphasis on sweets in my professional life, I crave savoury food more than ever on my time off. It doesn’t help that I am not so keen on spending long hours at my home kitchen either. I often find myself stare longingly at bags of chips in supermarket. Oooh, not good. Not good at all. I need to find some quick savoury snacks to make at home that would not result in hours of guilt.
I love the deeply satisfying spicy kick of kimchi but I have a low tolerance for heat. If I could, I would totally snack on bowls of kimchi with nothing else on the side. Rice is of course the default accompaniment but I rarely feel the craving for a bowl of rice. But I do love bread!
Remember my quick and easy mantra? Making bread dough from scratch and all that fermenting require planning. Easy enough but definitely falling short on the quick requirement. Fortunately, ready-made pizza dough is widely available in most supermarket and it is the shortcut to (sort of) homemade bread bliss.
I layered and swirled chopped kimchi, toasted sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds into squishy soft pizza dough. With a slick of egg wash, the buns baked into mahogany outside with tender crumb and jolts of spicy kimchi in every bite. It was ridiculously addictive! Using the same technique, I also made Sesame Chives Buns and can imagine lots of sweet or savoury possibilities. How about blueberry cream cheese breakfast buns? Or even taking advantage of the soft pizza dough and fashion into a pan of cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting?
makes 4 large buns
- 600g store-bought pizza dough, divided into 4 pieces of 150g each
- 8 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds
- 2 cups of finely chopped kimchi
- 1 egg, whisked
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stretch or roll a 150g dough piece roughly into a rectangle as thin as you possibly can.
- Smear or brush with thin layer of sesame oil, about 2 teaspoons. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Scatter 1/2 cup of chopped kimchi evenly on dough leaving 1 cm border.
- Roll into a tight jelly roll from the long side. Pinch to seal the edges. Roll the rope into a snail. Flatten the snail with palm of your hands. Repeat for remaining 3 balls of dough.
- Flatten the shaped buns once more on prepared baking sheet. Brush with whisked egg. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden. Eat while still warm.
- Sesame & Chive Buns: replace kimchi with chopped Chinese chives. Season with salt in step 3.