Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Caramelized Shallot and Sage Buns

Last night an idea came to me that was so exciting that I rushed out of bed to see if it had been done before.  Fingers crossed, I hit the search button and there it was, staring me right in the face.  I was devastated, but consoled myself with the thought that just because it's been done before doesn't mean that I can't do it better. This goes out to all of you who've made caramelized onion buns.  Are you ready for a throwdown? 

To give myself an edge in this imaginary competition, I used shallots instead of onions, but before laying them on, spread the dough with my amazing multitasking mushroom sage dip/spread/filling.  I had thought about making a thick parmesan bechamel to act as the "icing," but that will have to wait until next time, as I had hungry family members who were growing impatient.  The dough is based on this recipe for 90 minute cinnamon rolls, but I made a few minor changes to make it more savory. This is definitely a recipe that will have a place at our table for years to come.

Caramelized Shallot and Sage Buns

For the dough:

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/4 cups flour
1 package instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg

Heat milk and butter in microwave for 1-2 minutes, until butter is melted .  Let cool until lukewarm.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.  Mix well. In a medium sized bowl, beat together water, egg, and milk mixture and add to dry mixture.  Mix well, adding remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth.  Place in greased bowl,  cover with a damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 10 minutes.

Mushroom Spread

(This makes quite a bit extra, but freezes well and can be used for just about anything- pizzas, as a warm dip, or as a filling for Stuffed Mushrooms.)

2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil + extra for frying
1/2- 1 tsp black truffle oil (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Coat large frying pan with olive oil and heat to medium high.  Add onions and mushrooms until onions turn translucent, then reduce heat to medium and add garlic.  Cook for just about 30 seconds, then remove from heat and let cool.  Pulse walnuts in food processor until fine.  Add cooled mushroom mixture, sage, parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper, and truffle oil, if using, and pulse until well blended. 

For Caramelized Shallots: 

2 cups shallots, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

Add oil and butter to medium-sized pan and bring to medium high heat.  Add shallots and let cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until edges begin to brown slightly.  Turn heat down to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times.  Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.  


1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp melted butter


Preheat oven to 375F.
Roll out dough into a 9*12" rectangle on a lightly floured board.  Spread with 1/4 cup mushroom spread, then sprinkle caramelized shallots and mozzarella evenly over entire surface.  Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into 12 even slices.  Place in greased 8" pan and brush with melted butter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.


  1. In Moldova, all we have to eat is onions and cabbage. When our wheat crop harvests in June, I can't wait to try this sumptuous comestible.

    bread & peace,
    Nadeshda Betonomeshalka

    1. Thank you, Nadesha. I'm sorry to hear about the rough times your people are having. Bread and peace to you.