The sourdough craze has really taken off during the pandemic, perhaps because some people had more free time on their hands. Now that it's football season, I wanted to show off my newfound sourdough skills while mixing in a little jazz. I chose to take one of my favorite southern classics, Pimento cheese, and create pimento-stuffed sourdough bites.
The truth is that this Pimento cheese recipe is a bit skewed from the classic version, but I needed to make a few structural changes for the cheese to hold up during the cooking process.
This step-by-step tutorial is going to start with a sourdough dough that is ready to bake, so please take the chance to go make a batch. You are in luck as grocery stores seem to be back in stock of bread flour! Once you have a finished dough, you will want to portion it into about 12 1.5oz, balls, and let them rest in the refrigerator while you make the Pimento cheese.
Making pimento cheese is amazingly simple, but it is best if you use a food processor or a mixer to beat it together. Traditionally a pimento cheese has much more cream cheese and cheddar and no mozzarella and Parmesan. I have made these changes in hope of making a tighter cheese which will hold up to the cooking process and the baking better.
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Servings: 5 servings as a snack
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons mayo
2 Tablespoons cream cheese
2 Tablespoons diced Pimento peppers
2 Tablespoons sliced scallions
1 teaspoon paprika
3 dashed Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Sambal (optional)
Add all of the ingredients into the food processor except the diced Pimento peppers and scallions.
You want to beat this up until everything becomes one blob of orange with no streaks or clumps.
Transfer the cheese mixture into a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand which should leave you with a orange blob that now has flecks of green and red. Festive, right? At this point, you can just eat this with chips and enjoy, or you can scoop it into small ball (about 2 Tablespoons in size) and spread them out on a pan. Then you will pop these babies into the freezer to firm up. This step makes the pimento much harder and that helps with the stuffing process.
When the Pimento balls have become hard as a rock, you can pull them and your dough out.
Grab a little extra flour to keep the dough from becoming too sticky. Place a ball of dough into the flour and begin pressing it into a disc shape and place a ball of frozen pimento into the center of that disc.
Make a circle with your thumb and pointer finger as in the photo and set the disc of dough on top. Press down on the cheese, pushing it into the dough and almost through the hold in the circle your fingers make.
Then begin pinching the edges together to seal the ball. If you used a lot of flour this may not want to stick, so pinch hard or dip your finger in water and rub it over the seam to wet the flour and thus create a better seal. Round it up a bit and set it on a try to hang out while you finish.
After you have made all your balls, place them in the freezer again to cool the cheese back down. While that is chilling bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in a teaspoon of both baking soda and salt per quart of water (caution: when adding these the water will go a bit crazy and boil higher so if your water is close to the top of the pot, add slowly). You also want to preheat your oven to 425°F at this point.
When the water is ready, gently place each of the balls into the water. You may need to do this in batches if your pot is smaller. You want to boil these for about 2-3 minutes. They will float at about 1.5 minutes. If they stick to the bottom, gently use a spoon to loosen them.
When you remove the balls, allow excess water to drip off and place them on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and use your favorite savory spice mix on top. I used Everything but the Bagel spice mix.
Place the pan in the preheated 450°F oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. You may have some ruptures, which may not be pretty, but in truth, it is still cheese and sourdough bread which I would classify as a win. The rupture may occur if your seal was not fully closed or if the cheese was not fully centered on the dough ball.
These little babies are fun to snack on - hot, cold, room temp or dipped in a pesto. If you ever want to skip the sourdough part of this recipe, you can also substitute it with a pizza dough (made or purchased) and you will still end up with a solid final product. I hope you enjoy these and get to snack on them while watching your team win!
For more fun snack ideas for football season, check out The Chopping Block's new virtual Sip and Snack classes. In just 30 minutes, you'll learn how to make a craft cocktail from our spirits expert and a delicious snack from our chef that go perfectly well together. We featured bourbon with gougeres last Friday night, and they were a big hit!
- Sip and Snack: Oceanside Blanco (tequila cocktail) and Grilled Margarita Shrimp, Friday, September 25 5:15pm CST
- Sip and Snack: Flying Savory (gin cocktail) and Goat Cheese Crostini with Fig-Honey Compote, Friday, October 9 5:15pm