Monday, 18 November 2013

Lobster Rolls

This weekend I went home to the countryside and was greeted by dad flourishing two cooked lobsters from his backpack – he does not habitually wear backpacks, but is a MAMIL, and treats cycling the 60 mile round trip to Portsmouth fish market like a trip to the corner shop!

In the summer there is nothing better than a lobster salad with the best mayonnaise, but the cold weather required comfort i.e. pillowy brioche to make New England (via Paris) -style lobster rolls.  Brioche dough is easy to make with a freestanding mixer and the only hassle is it needs to prove overnight in the fridge (which only meant waiting longer for the lobster!).  For the filling, I made a thousand island dressing, to keep with the American theme and gave diced avocado, old-school lettuce and vine tomatoes for everyone to build their own. The best sandwich ever??

Brioche Rolls
Adapted from Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets

300g Strong White Flour
7g Fast Action Dried Yeast
4 Eggs
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
50ml Milk, warmed
250g Unsalted Butter at room temperature, diced into 1cm squares

  • Whisk the yeast into the milk and leave for a moment to bubble.
  • In the bowl of  a free standing mixer with a dough hook place the flour, salt and sugar. Mix on a low speed and add the eggs to form a dough.
  • Slowly pour in the yeasty milk and mix for a few minutes.
  • With the mixer running, add in the butter one bit at a time, making sure the butter is fully incorporated each time. This takes a while – up to half an hour. By the end you should have a glossy dough.
  • Cover with cling film and leave to prove in the fridge overnight. In the morning take out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This should take 1 ½ hours.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Place widely apart on a well-floured baking tray and leave to prove for another hour.
  • Brush with egg wash and cook in the oven until golden and hollow when tapped – about 20 minutes.

Thousand Island Dressing

  • Grill 1 Yellow Pepper and 1 Red Pepper on all sides until blackened. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. After ten minutes peel off the charred skin, remove the seeds and cut into small dice.
  • In a bowl mix 6 tbsp Mayonnaise, 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup, a splash Worcestershire Sauce, a splash of Tabasco (to taste), the juice of half a Lemon, 1tsp Paprika, a pinch Cayenne Pepper and plenty of ground black pepper. Stir in the diced peppers and serve.