Several years ago we went to went to the Epcot Wine and Food Expo. I have to admit I came away with quite a few ideas, some of which I have already shared. The Kalua Pork Sliders were one we went back to several times. Although inspired by this recipe, I have simplified it. Pulled Pork on Brioche Rolls with Pineapple Chutney makes a perfect sandwich with the added bonus that everything can be done ahead of time.
We both use Brioche but mine is a straight forward brioche. The recipe here is from an article I wrote for Bon Appetit Magazine many years ago called, “Sixty Second Brioche”. It was also included in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook.” It is one of the easiest breads you will ever make and I highlighted this version with sesame seeds. The finished dough is more of a batter and it has to be chilled overnight to make it workable because it is very soft and sticky and room temperature. The brioche utilizes a sponge, which is a mini dough, to increase the amount of rising power used without increasing the dry yeast. This step is used with yeast doughs that have a lot of fat (think eggs and butter) which slows down the yeasts ability to rise. The butter must be very cold so it cuts into the flour without becoming a paste. The rolls can be made ahead of time and frozen.
The Pineapple Chutney with ginger and red pepper accents the pulled pork perfectly. The original Kalua Pork Sliders were served with a spicy mayonnaise. I chose to omit that but if you prefer to use the mayonnaise go to, Crispy Fried Onion Rings for the Chipotle Mayonnaise. If you wish to speed this up, you can certainly substitute half size dollar rolls.
Although these are made as the little sandwiches, sliders, they can certainly be made on regular size buns.
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
Pinch of sugar 2 1/2 cups sifted bread flour (285 grams or 10 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, refrigerated
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup light cream or half and half, room temperature
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Make a sponge by adding 3 tablespoons flour from the total amount of measured flour and the pinch of sugar. Stir well and cover. Let double in bulk, about 15 to 20 minutes. In the processor bowl fitted with the steel blade, place the remaining flour and the salt and sugar. Process 5 seconds to mix. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and place in a circle over the dry ingredients.process until the butter is indistinguishable in the mixture, about 20 seconds. Scrape down and process 5 seconds more. Place the eggs in a circle over the flour/butter mixture, pour the cream over the eggs and add the sponge. Process approximately 20 to 30 seconds until the ball which initially forms, breaks down into a creamy, evenly dispersed batter in the processor bowl. Do not stop processing until the batter is formed, as the motor may stall when you try to restart it. The batter wil be very sticky and that is how it should be. Remove the batter from the processor bowl and place it in an ungreased bowl. To clean the last of the batter from the bowl and blade, pulse several times. The centrifugal force will clean the blade. Remove the blade and scrape out the rest of the batter.
Let the batter rise until doubled; punch down and refrigerate overnight. Working quickly, shape the dough into a 16 inch roll. Cut 16 even slices which are about 40 grams or 1 1/2 ounces each. Flatten one piece of dough slightly. Turn the top and bottom under as well as both sides. Pinch the bottom together and shape as in the Hot Cross Buns.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover. Let rise until double.
Brioche dough, above
1 egg, well beaten
5 pound pork butt
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil. Spray the foil. If there is a lot of visible fat, trim some off, but do not take all of it off. Place the meat in the pan, fat side up. Cover and bake for about 5 hours. Remove the foil carefully and check the meat. It should be very tender and falling off the bone. Cool slightly and then, with two forks, pull the meat apart. Add some of the juices to keep the meat moist. This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat to serve.
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple (about 3/4 pound) diced fairly small
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounces)
3/4 cup red pepper, diced fairly small
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pineapple Chutney Chipotle Mayonnaise, optional