Years ago we lived in New Zealand, the country which, as one of my friends (when he was just a little boy) thought existed at the very end of the World. I know it sounds as a cliché now, but it was an important question for him to ask back then. The funny thing is that his father, to whom the question was addressed answered simply with – yes, it is! Sometimes we do that to our children!
I can not agree with that information though, but I can argue with the fact that we are talking about a unique place on this planet and for many reasons really: Luxurious and beautiful nature, heartful people, lots of sun and rain (quite often at the same time), rainbows straight afterwards that can stop the traffic instantly and, of course – Marmite! A word that raised my curiosity instantly the first time I heard it. And it came from a person I just met in one of my the first days living in New Zealand. I’ll never know why anyone would talk about Marmite to a total stranger. Could be my fault because I just happen to draw people into conversation about food and if you are in New Zealand, well Marmite might pop up.
I was taken by the passion Marmite was presented to me with, and naturally I had to taste it. I don’t want to raise any issues here, but I was simply shocked by the taste of it! I thought I’ll never again have to go through that until recently when one of my friends, offered a nice pastry to my son. He was so delighted after tasting it that I had to go back to buy more, for him and of course for myself. And that is how a new chapter started. This time with Vegemite; I’ll just add the similar yeast extract because I equally love all my friends from this side of the World and could not dare comparing Marmite to Vegemite or the opposite. It took me some time to decide to bake these myself but once I started I couldn’t stop.
Cheese & Vegemite rolls
350 gr white spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 full teaspoons dry yeast
180 ml warm milk (I used soy) plus two tablespoons
75 butter (melted and cooled to room temperature)
3 tablespoon Vegemite
200 gr shredded cheese of choice
Mix flour, sugar, salt and dry yeast in a big mixing bowl. Mix milk, one egg and butter in a jug, add to a flour mixture and mix until you get a nice smooth dough. It’ll take 10 minutes to do it. Of course, you could use a stand mixer with appropriate attachments to do so. I don’t do it that way. I like the feel of the dough and kneading is equal to creating to me, and it is a peaceful and relaxing moment of the process of making rolls that I don’t want to skip. Once done, leave aside, covered with cloth for an hour to rise.
When the dough reaches double size, take it out on a floured working surface and roll to (approximately) 30×25 cm rectangles. Spread Vegemite and top up with cheese before rolling into a big log. Chop into equal pieces (4 cm each). Arrange in a baking dish (cut side down) and brush with egg wash (egg wash is a mixture of one egg and two tablespoons of milk whisked together). Leave to rise again for another 45 minutes to an hour. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool before serving.