"From the bag I pull two fresh buns with a layer of cheese baked into the top. We always seem to have a supply of these since Peeta found out they were my favorite."
—Katniss, Catching Fire, chapter 10.
It's no mistake that Collins wrote Peeta as "the boy with the bread". He is warm and comforting and wholesome, just like a fresh baked loaf, and is exactly what the aloof Katniss needs. Close your eyes and imagine a cheesy, warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven bun. Imagine the smell. Imagine what your mouth and tongue would experience. Now imagine all of those nights Katniss curled up in Peeta's arms. It's the same thing. Except instead of something for the stomach, it's something for the spirit. Peeta is the warm, cheesy bun for Katniss' soul.
Note: There is a distinct difference between buns and biscuits. Buns rise with yeast and biscuits use baking powder, thus making biscuits more dense and buns, ideally, more fluffy. In the Hunger Games books they are specifically called "buns" so that means they need to be made with yeast like in the recipe directly below. I also have an awesome recipe for quick cheese biscuits though, so I've included it farther down in case you need some cheesy goodness in a hurry.
Peeta's Cheese Buns
1 Cup Warm Water (verging on hot)
1 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 1/4 tsp. Yeast
5 Cups Bread Flour
Canola or Vegetable Oil (for handling the dough)
10 oz. Block Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (or other block cheese like colby jack or something)
16 oz. pkg. Whole Mozzarella, cut into many chunks
1 Large Egg, room temperature
1 Tbsp. Water
1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
Silicone (Basting) Brush
Suggestion: Meat. Put a little slice/chunk of meat in there with the mozzarella, like summer sausage or pepperoni, for a savory surprise.
Note: You can certainly make the dough balls smaller, like golfball size. Just keep in mind that you'll probably need another tray, smaller mozzarella pieces, & that they'll bake for less time, about 15 mins or so.
Suggestion: Diced onion is a nice addition to these buns. If you're so inclined, dice up 1/2 a red onion & sprinkle it on the buns right before piling on the grated cheese.
Tip: Do not store the buns in the fridge because it'll cause the bread to go stale quicker. Simply leave the buns at room temperature. If a few days have gone by & you still have a few buns left, wrap them in foil & heat in a preheated, 450°F oven for 5-10 mins so they'll taste fresh again. Or just zap 'em in the microwave for like, 30 seconds (without the foil, of course).
Peeta's Easy Cheese Biscuits
(If Peeta made cheese biscuits they'd be awesome like this...)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
1/4 - 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Using a large spoon, mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Scoop golf ball sized "gobs" of dough onto the prepared pan, about 1" apart. Bake for about 10 mins or until the biscuits are golden & the visible shredded cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven & serve warm.
Suggestion: These cheese biscuits are awesome with finely diced red onion bits (see above photo), like, 1/4-1/2 cup depending on how much you love onions. Another yummy option is to add fresh herbs to the dough, like chives, basil, or oregano. Simply add these ingredients in the bowl with everything else & stir.
* Be sure to check out Prim's Homemade Goat Cheese! *