Let’s kick off the New Year with a recipe and a read!
I’ve been basking in books all throughout Christmas break – it’s my favorite way to relax!
During break, I decided to catch up on the December/January Cook the Books Club pick, Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Crystal King.
Feast of Sorrow is a historical fiction novel set in ancient Rome. I love a good historical fiction, and this book was no exception. I loved it! Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.
On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure.
Apicius rightfully believes that Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with Thrasius’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and fantastic meals. Thrasius finds a family in Apicius’s household, his daughter Apicata, his wife Aelia, and her handmaiden, Passia whom Thrasius quickly falls in love with. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his reckless disregard for any who might get in his way takes a dangerous turn that threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome.
There was no shortage of foodie inspiration from this novel. The story follows Thrasius, the new coquus (head chef) of Marcus Apicius’ kitchen, the food descriptions frequent and mouthwatering.
Though devastating at times, I loved the book – the premise hooked me right away and I could hardly put it down once I started!
My inspiration for today’s recipe came showed up on the second page of the book! The idea took root and I just had to go for it! In the book, the dish is described as “…ham in pastry, with honey and figs…”
Later, more pastry is added to shape the hams into little pigs!
Guys, I love making bread and pastry into other things! I was sold right then and there!
Based on the description, I think the recipe is meant to be something like a beef wellington – a chunk of ham wrapped in puff pastry or pie dough.
But when I started brainstorming, I went for stuffed yeast bread instead with my favorite bun recipe and reminiscent of the ever-popular pizza stuffed buns. And because I had it around, I added swiss cheese too. Mmmmm….ham & swiss! So delicious!
I used deli ham today (I read the book *just* after we finished off the last of my crockpot ham), but chunks of baked ham would also be phenomenal!
Ham & Swiss Stuffed Piglet Buns
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, divided
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast (1 packet)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
4 ounces ham, diced
4 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, butter, egg, salt, and water. Mix until smooth.
Slowly add in the remaining flour, switching to the dough hook as necessary. Knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Remove dough from the bowl and allow it to rest, lightly covered, for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment of silicone mats.
Divide the dough into 2 – 2 ½ ounce pieces. Flatten each piece. Place a heaping teaspoon of ham and a heaping teaspoon of swiss cheese in the center of each dough piece. Wrap the edges of the dough around the filling and pinch to seal. Place the dough, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheets. If desired, use dough scraps to create ears, snouts, and tails to create little piglets.
Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow the buns to raise for 30 minutes or until light and puffy.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool slightly before enjoying.
Makes about 10 Ham & Swiss Buns
Want more? Don’t miss these amazing recipes!
|Pizza Stuffed Buns|
|Ham & Swiss Stromboli|
|Creamy Ham, Swiss, & Potato Soup|
Ham & Swiss Stuffed Piglet Buns
Ham & Swiss Stuffed Piglet Buns are as adorable as they are delicious - plus don't miss a great historical fiction book review! #foodiesread
- 3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 ounces ham
- 4 ounces swiss cheese
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, butter, egg, salt, and water. Mix until smooth. Slowly add in the remaining flour, switching to the dough hook as necessary. Knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.Remove dough from the bowl and allow it to rest, lightly covered, for 5 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment of silicone mats.Divide the dough into 2 – 2 ½ ounce pieces. Flatten each piece. Place a heaping teaspoon of ham and a heaping teaspoon of swiss cheese in the center of each dough piece. Wrap the edges of the dough around the filling and pinch to seal. Place the dough, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheets. If desired, use dough scraps to create ears, snouts, and tails to create little piglets. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow the buns to raise for 30 minutes or until light and puffy.Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before enjoying.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10 servings
Fantastic, Amy. I have had little luck making things out of dough. They all resemble blobs. These piggies look amazing.ReplyDelete
I thought that a version of this, too. I'm glad you made it!! And I loved the book.ReplyDelete
Apicata would have loved these little stuffed piglets. Great job Amy.ReplyDelete
Simply adorable! You would have made Apicata so happy! Did you see that the author tweeted about these? So cool!ReplyDelete
This is such a creative post! I think you would be a hit in that kitchen making these little piggy doughs. I love it :-)ReplyDelete
They are so cute and look delicious too!ReplyDelete
Those are DARLING!!!!ReplyDelete
These are absolutely adorable! OMG! I love ham and swiss but these piggies make them! How cute!ReplyDelete
So fun! My niece will love these :)ReplyDelete
These little piggies buns are adorable! And filled with such yummy filling, too!ReplyDelete
These are ridiculously cute!ReplyDelete
Your piggies are so cute. I know my kids would flip over them.ReplyDelete
These are a great idea!ReplyDelete
Those little piggies are adorable! And I love the swiss cheese with the ham. I bet turkey and swiss would be amazing too!ReplyDelete
Love the little piggies! I bet this would be really great with turkey.ReplyDelete
You reminded me how fun it is to make stuffed buns: thanks! I like how the book inspired you and love the photo of the bun minus a bite: so tempting :)ReplyDelete
Your recipe made want to bake buns again soon: nice! I particularly like the photo withe the bun minus a bite: so tempting :)ReplyDelete
These are darling!!! Love the little nose!ReplyDelete
So cute AND tasty!!ReplyDelete
I love this idea, they are so cute and I bet tasty too!ReplyDelete