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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: Serve plump Gruyere buttermilk buns with a bowl of soup or a hearty winter salad

Gruyere Buttermilk Buns.Sheryl Julian

Makes 12

These rustic cheese buns can be the savory highlight of a soup supper or a hearty composed winter vegetable salad. To make them, stir a mixture of sauteed onion and parsley, along with grated Gruyere, into a biscuit-like buttermilk dough made with some whole-wheat flour. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before shaping and baking. While the dough chills, the flour will absorb the liquids and make the dough easier to cut and shape later. If you like, before they go into the oven, roll the plump buns in sunflower seeds for a crunchy finish.

ONION

2tablespoons unsalted butter
1small onion, coarsely chopped
¼cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until softened.

2. Stir in the parsley with a pinch each of salt and pepper; set aside to cool.

DOUGH

cups all-purpose flour
½cup whole-wheat flour
teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2teaspoons Dijon mustard
cups buttermilk, or more if needed
5ounces Gruyere or other Swiss cheese, such as Emmenthal or Comte, shredded on the large holes of a grater
Extra all-purpose flour (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold the dough ingredients, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two blunt knives, cut the fat into the flour mixture until it is reduced to pearl-size pieces. With your fingertips, crumble the mixture for a minute or two to reduce the butter to smaller flakes.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, mustard, 1 cup of the buttermilk, and onion mixture. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture, then scatter the Gruyere on top. With a rubber spatula, stir to form a dough. Add more of the remaining buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the dry patches until the dough comes together.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide the dough in half. Gently roll each piece into a log. Wrap them separately in parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

4. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Set the logs on a lightly floured counter. Cut each log into 6 even-size pieces. Roll each piece into a high plump ball. Transfer the balls, smooth sides up, to the baking sheets, setting 6 on each sheet so there's space around them.

6. Bake the buns for 25 minutes, reversing the position of the baking sheets from back to front halfway through baking, or until the buns are firm to the touch and golden brown. They will sound hollow when you tap the bottom lightly with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lisa Yockelson

Makes 12

These rustic cheese buns can be the savory highlight of a soup supper or a hearty composed winter vegetable salad. To make them, stir a mixture of sauteed onion and parsley, along with grated Gruyere, into a biscuit-like buttermilk dough made with some whole-wheat flour. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before shaping and baking. While the dough chills, the flour will absorb the liquids and make the dough easier to cut and shape later. If you like, before they go into the oven, roll the plump buns in sunflower seeds for a crunchy finish.

ONION

2tablespoons unsalted butter
1small onion, coarsely chopped
¼cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until softened.

2. Stir in the parsley with a pinch each of salt and pepper; set aside to cool.

DOUGH

cups all-purpose flour
½cup whole-wheat flour
teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 egg yolk
2teaspoons Dijon mustard
cups buttermilk, or more if needed
5ounces Gruyere or other Swiss cheese, such as Emmenthal or Comte, shredded on the large holes of a grater
Extra all-purpose flour (for sprinkling)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold the dough ingredients, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two blunt knives, cut the fat into the flour mixture until it is reduced to pearl-size pieces. With your fingertips, crumble the mixture for a minute or two to reduce the butter to smaller flakes.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, mustard, 1 cup of the buttermilk, and onion mixture. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture, then scatter the Gruyere on top. With a rubber spatula, stir to form a dough. Add more of the remaining buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the dry patches until the dough comes together.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide the dough in half. Gently roll each piece into a log. Wrap them separately in parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

4. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Set the logs on a lightly floured counter. Cut each log into 6 even-size pieces. Roll each piece into a high plump ball. Transfer the balls, smooth sides up, to the baking sheets, setting 6 on each sheet so there's space around them.

6. Bake the buns for 25 minutes, reversing the position of the baking sheets from back to front halfway through baking, or until the buns are firm to the touch and golden brown. They will sound hollow when you tap the bottom lightly with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.Lisa Yockelson