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To celebrate Mother’s Day, this is a recipe that I remember my mother and my aunt making frequently—it is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t feel he or she has the time to make homemade dough. I’ve adapted it from my aunt Jean’s recipe where she uses “homemade-style” white bread as a stand-in for pastry. Aunt Jean makes a batch of these rolls, lathers them up with a ton of melted butter and then parks them in the freezer for future cocktail parties or unexpected last-minute guests. A fairly decadent appetizer—they look elegant and they taste rich—these mushroom rolls don’t actually require much work.
Indeed this bread as pastry concept works for virtually any stuffing, savory or sweet. Just remember that if the filling is too wet it will sog up the bread. For example, if you’ve chosen something like mushrooms or apples as stuffing, cook them first. The liquid will evaporate and you’ll concentrate the flavor. I used regular old button mushrooms here, but you could get wild and go with any variety, from chanterelle to shiitake to Portobello. (And maybe finish it off with some truffle oil, aka Mushroom Helper.)
Makes 48 rolls
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, minced
10 ounces cultivated white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
24 slices homemade-style white bread, crusts removedHeat half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the thyme and the sherry. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the mixture is almost dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the sour cream, and season with salt and pepper. You should have 1 cup filling.
To make the rolls, preheat the oven to 350°F and melt the remaining butter. Roll out the bread with a rolling pin until very thin. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling on each slice of bread. Roll up the bread to enclose the filling and form a cylinder, and brush all over with melted butter. (At this point, the rolls can be placed in a zipper-type plastic freezer bag and frozen for future use. Frozen rolls take a few extra minutes in the oven.) Cut the rolls crosswise into 2 pieces, place on a baking sheet, seam-side down and bake for about 15 minutes or until crisp. Serve warm.
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