While tasting Tartine’s famous morning buns, Chef April Bloomfield had a culinary lightbulb go off. She wanted to make a savory morning bun for her soon-to-be open Tosca and boy, did she ever. Tosca hadn’t served food since 1965 so April really wanted to serve breakfast even if it was hard-boiled eggs, savory morning buns and some good coffee. She landed on a combination of funky Provolone, broccoli rabe, cured Calabrian chilis, garlic and olive oil.
RECIPE FOR SAVORY MORNING BUNS
Makes about 8
FOR THE YEAST DOUGH
1¼ cup whole milk, gently heated just until warm to the touch
1 ounce (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon packed) fresh cake yeast
1 1/8 pounds all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
FOR THE BUTTER BLOB
1 pound (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into approximately ½-inch slices
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
FOR THE FILLING
1 bunch broccoli raab, thick stems trimmed and discarded (¼ pound leaves, florets, and thin stalks; the rest reserved for another purpose), roughly chopped
4½ ounces aged provolone, roughly chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon drained, stemmed, chopped oil-packed Calabrian chilies (about 3)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Maldon or another flaky sea salt
MAKE THE PESTO
Working in batches if necessary, combine the broccoli raab, provolone, garlic, chili, olive oil, and Maldon salt in a food processor and process, pulsing and stirring occasionally, to a chunky paste with no large pieces of garlic or cheese.
BAKE THE BUNS
Preheat the oven to 475 F.
Roll the dough so it measures about 15 by 9 inches. You might need to wait a bit until the chill comes off so it’s easier to roll, but don’t let it get warm.
Spread the pesto evenly onto the dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Roll the dough the short way to form a 15-inch-long, 2½-inch thick log. Wet the fingers of one hand and run them along the seam, then turn the log seam side down and press down gently so the seam adheres.
If you’re fussy like me, trim off the end so the sides are nice and straight. Cut the log crosswise in 1½-inch thick slices. SHE THINKS SHE SHOULD’VE CUT THEM A LITTLE THINNER, BECAUSE THEY’LL RISE.
Put the slices into muffin pan cups, pinching the bottoms so they fit and lightly pressing down so they touch the bottom of the cups. The dough will come about ¼ to ½ inch above the rim. Cover them with plastic wrap and keep them in a warm place
Bake the buns in the center of the oven until they’re croissant-golden-brown and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. Gently pry them out of the tray and let them cool slightly on a wire rack.