Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Adding Some Class with Nancy of Gotta Get Baked

Bacon Pesto Parmesan Rolls

Have I got a treat for you...

Like many of my food blogger friends I've made, I met Nancy of Gotta Get Baked through the #SundaySupper Movement. Like the other ladies I've featured here over the last few months, Nancy has a true talent in the kitchen but her skills are very different than mine. As her blog name suggests, she is a baker which requires precision in what she does which is different from cooking. I'd also like to point out that she's a criminal law attorney so I'm awed that she has the time to maintain a busy career, a family and have time to produce delicious food. I'd like to give you a list of my favorite dishes Nancy has made, but I honestly can't choose because they're all so unique.

Something else I admire about Nancy is her writing style. It's often funny, thought-provoking, candid but always sincere. Her straight-forward approach conveys her thoughts in a clear manner and it's something I wish I had. She even has a category of posts called Angry Asian but what makes her different from others is things that get under her skin are very reasonable. How could you argue against common courtesy, cyber-bullying and the public's obsession with celebrities?

Before I leave you with Nancy, I'd like to note my strong recommendation to follow Nancy on twitter, instagram, and pinterest, plus add her on G+ in addition to giving her facebook page a Like.

And now, I present Nancy:

Howdy, readers of Crazy Foodie Stunts! I’m Nancy and I blog over at gotta get baked. I’m honoured to be featured in DB’s Adding Some Class series today.

I had the pleasure of meeting DB through our Sunday Supper group. He stands out not only for being one of the few men in the group but more importantly because he’s highly intelligent, incredibly talented in the kitchen and he’s always challenging himself to be better at what he does.

Given how much I admire DB, I had to think of something ridiculously awesome to make for him. I wanted to go savoury in keeping with the savoury foods DB usually cooks but I also had to bake because, duh, my blog name. Baking’s in my veins. It’s my everything.

Bacon. Pesto. Parmesan. Carbs. These are some of the foods that make my world go round and they also happened to be in my fridge. I combined them into no-knead, overnight savoury rolls.

In the process, I almost burned my house down. Ok, not really (I’m prone to hyperbole) but I did have a smokin’ hot time baking these, literally. I thought I was being brilliant by baking the rolls in my cheesecake pan for easy removal of the rim after the rolls cooled. People, these rolls were bursting with olive oil from the pesto and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. All of that grease dripped onto the bottom of my oven. The fragrance in the air turned quickly from gloriously delicious to acrid and forest fire-y. Plumes of smokes were billowing out of my oven. I.freaked.out. The fire alarm would not stop ringing. My poor dog was beside herself.

As I stood there fanning the smoke out of the open windows, the words “grease fire” kept running through my head. I wondered if I had enough time to google “what to do when the oven’s on fire and you don’t own a fire extinguisher”. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. I didn’t burn my house down and I ended up with these fabulously crispy, flavourful bacon pesto parmesan rolls.

I used home made pesto but you can also use the store bought stuff.

No Knead, Overnight, Bacon Pesto Parmesan Rolls (adapted from Jim Lahey’s My Bread, Pancetta Rolls at p. 73)

2 cups bacon, diced
2 tbsp bacon grease, cooled
3 cups bread flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups cool water (55 to 65 degrees F)
flour for dusting
pesto (as much or as little as you want)
grated parmesan (as much or as little as you want)

Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring until crisp and golden. Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, bacon, salt and yeast. Add the water and reserved bacon grease. Using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix together until you have a wet, sticky dough. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is covered in bubbles and the dough has doubled in size, anywhere from 12 to 18 hours.

When the first rise is complete, generously flour a work surface. Using a bowl scraper or rubber spatula, scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Flour your hands and lift the edges of the dough towards the center, making a round ball.

Generously dust a tea towel with flour and place the dough in the centre of the towel, seam side down. Flour the top of the dough. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise for another 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has doubled and it holds the impression when you gently poke it with your finger.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Use a round 9 inch cake pan or a square 9X13 pan to bake the rolls. I wouldn’t recommend oiling/greasing the pan because oil will pool on the bottom from the pesto as it bakes.

Unwrap the dough and place it back onto the floured work surface. Cut the dough in half. Cut one half into four strips. Place as much pesto and grated parmesan as you want onto each strip. Roll up the strips – note, the dough is very wet and sticky. That’s how it should be so don’t be concerned. Place the rolls in your pan. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of baking, I turned the heat down to 380 degrees F because my rolls were browning rapidly. If the top is browning too much for your taste, you can also cover the pan with aluminum foil at this point. The rolls are ready when they’re dark brown.

Allow to cool and then dig in! The edges and bottom of the rolls are incredibly crispy and crunchy, the inside is soft yet a bit chewy, and the bacon and pesto are fabulously flavourful.  The Husband and I couldn’t stop eating them, which isn’t saying much because we’re pigs but honestly, these rolls are delicious.

The rolls are best the day they’re made. Store at room temperature in an air tight container. If they last longer than a couple of days, I recommend toasting them or heating them in the microwave before eating.

That’s it, folks! Thank you so much for inviting me here, DB!

Once again, Nancy has delivered. Bacon, pesto, and parmesan are some of my favorite ingredients. I'd like to thank her for being my guest today!

Before I leave you, please be sure to enter my Carla Hall cookbook giveaway and the garlic lover's prize package giveaway by tomorrow night when they both end!


  1. Nancy is one of my all-time favorite bloggers--love these rolls!! I've only ever made Jim Lahey's pizza dough before, but based on how amazing that was, I can only assume that these rolls are equally insane. I can't agree more with your observations about Nancy's writing style and crazy baking skills--great guest post!

  2. This is such a cool series DB! Great idea! And these rolls are pretty much my everything. Cheesy carbs for life!!

  3. First off, this is my first time stopping by--I was redirected here from Nancy's blog, so it's great to meet you, DB! I love the idea behind this series. As for Nancy's story......Nancy, I hope you're reading this, because the last time I almost started a grease fire and burned down the entire apartment, I was NOT a Google pro. And when I decided (this was yeaaaars ago) that I would, erm, deep-fry a ball of ice cream in a two-inch thick saute pan, I may have experienced a lapse in judgment. And when the electric burner whooshed up in flames and I almost reached for a cup of water to throw on top, I may have had another lapse. Thankfully, the fire subsided before I could get to the water so no harm done, but the moral of the story is that Google saves lives. Now I know. And I love this recipe--glad you could host, DB!

    1. Ermagawd Ala, what an amazing story! Deep frying ice cream was the right move…a 2 inch thick sauté pan not so much ;) Thank goodness the fire put itself out. I hope not all of the ice cream went to waste (because obviously, that would be the real shame!). Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Thank you so much for that amazing introduction and for featuring me today, DB! I had a great time making this and writing the post. I hope you enjoyed it!

  5. Very yummy and do-able indeed, Nancy. So glad you invited Nancy over, DB =)

  6. OH MY GOSH! It's the worst when stuff drips onto the bottom of your oven and gets all smoky! So glad it ended up being ok and that you ended up with these INSAAAANE rolls!!!

  7. So fun to find you featuring the ever delightful Nancy on your blog, DB. I love the sound of these savory rolls...and can relate to the oven fire. Unfortunately, our smoke detector automatically contacted the fire department! Fun explaining to the neighbors that I was just baking :)

  8. Love this post and love my girl Nancy!!!

  9. Nancy these rolls are insane. I am glad the fire was minor and didn't affect the rolls. I've had to use my fire extinguisher once in my's not fun to clean up. DB, I am so glad to have found your blog through Nancy.

  10. Oh yeah.... crazy good. LOVE this.. :-)

  11. Nancy I almost died laughing reading what happened in your oven! You are so funny but I'm so glad everything turned out okay!! The rolls look so good!!

  12. DB, can't wait for your next installment of this series!!! and Nancy, oh my gawd.. I'm loving what goes on in your head. . these rolls!!! Bacon. Pesto. Parmesan. Carbs. Love. It. All. Want. Now.


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