I am consistently happy with the way these cheesy asparagus sourdough buns turn out. The recipe reminds me of a classic way I enjoy preparing asparagus – roasted with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, and a dusting of grated parmesan cheese – all baked onto a sourdough bun. Who doesn’t love cheesy asparagus ?
The dough has no butter or cream in it, but is just as tasty, and the texture is smooth and fluffy. Greek yogurt is the integral component of the enriched dough for these cheesy asparagus sourdough buns. It adds a pleasant tang to the already sour flavor and deepens the sharpness. Mild cream cheese provides a nice bed for the asparagus and parmesan to lay atop and bake into a melodious blend, enhanced by a hint of crushed red pepper.
for the dough
- 120g sourdough starter
- 300g whole milk greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 70g granulated sugar
- 10g salt
- 450g all-purpose flour
for the toppings and assembly
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 2-3 inch pieces
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pinch and squeeze the dough to work the ingredients together until all is incorporated. Wet your hands and stretch the dough up and fold it in half over itself. Turn the bowl clockwise 90° and stretch and fold it once again. Turn the bowl twice more, each time 90° and stretch and fold each time, for a total of four stretches and folds. Then let the dough sit for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch, fold, rotate, and rest sequence for a total of 6 times, over the course of 2 and a half hours. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let the dough sit until it has doubled and nearly tripled, about 14-16 hours at room temperature.
Separate the buns into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball by tucking the sides underneath each other and pinching at the bottom. Let the dough rest for 1-2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Press each ball of dough down in the center and smear it with about 1 ½ teaspoons of cream cheese. Top each bun with a few pieces of asparagus and 1 teaspoon of parmesan cheese and a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper.
Bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden and enjoy hot from the oven, warm, or cold!