Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
For the dough
225 ml (8fl oz) warm water
2 tsp caster sugar
11/2 tsp dried yeast or 15g (1/2oz) fresh yeast or 1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast
375 g (13oz) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
For the filling
100 g (31/2oz) chorizo, cut into roughly 5mm (1/4in) cubes
150 g (5oz) gruyère cheese, cut into roughly 5mm (1/4in) cubes
3 tsp chopped thyme leaves
For the garlic butter
100 g (31/2oz) butter, softened
2–4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or finely grated
1 generous tbsp chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, chives and tarragon
In a measuring jug, mix the warm water with the sugar and yeast and leave to stand in a warm place for 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes creamy. If using fast-action yeast, there ?is no need to let the mixture stand.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric food mixer fitted with a dough hook, and make a well in the centre. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture, then pour into the well and mix with the flour into a loose dough. Knead by hand on a floured worktop for 10 minutes (8 minutes on a medium speed in the food mixer) or until the dough is smooth and slightly springy to the touch.
Grease the bowl with olive oil and place the dough back in it, then cover with cling film and leave to sit in a warm part of your kitchen for 1–2 hours or until more than doubled in size. (Depending on how warm your kitchen is, it may take longer.)
Once the dough has risen, transfer dough to a work surface dusted in flour. Divide the dough into 20 balls, then roll each out into a disc measuring about 5cm (21/2in) in diameter. Divide the chorizo, Gruyère and thyme between the discs, then enclose the filling within the discs, sealing tightly shut, and gently shape into balls.
Place the filled dough balls, well spaced apart, on 2–3 greased baking trays, then cover with clean tea towels and leave to prove for 20–30 minutes or until doubled in size?
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6, and make the garlic butter (if using).
Cream the butter in a bowl, then mix in the garlic and herbs.
When the dough balls have doubled in size, place in the oven and bake for 8–10 minutes or until cooked through and light golden all over. (Unless you have a fan oven, you will need to cook the dough balls in 2–3 batches.) Don’t worry if some of the cheese oozes out!
If using the garlic butter, melt it first in a saucepan, then either pour over the dough balls to serve or dip them into the melted butter.