Cheddar Cheese Swirl Buns

Some savoury lovin’ from the oven today.

Do you ever have times where you’re craving something so badly or thinking about a certain food that you feel like you have to have that you just need to go out and buy whatever it is?
Of course you do.
That’s what I felt like this past weekend when I kept thinking about these cheese pepperoni rolls that my local grocery store carries. Lovely soft white rolls, filled with a pepperoni stick, and topped with a layer of cheddar cheese.
Instead of going out to buy them though, I remembered that I had seen a recipe in Deb’s book that I had been meaning to try for Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns. While they are in the breakfast section of her cookbook, that is pretty much the only meal I haven’t had them at, but I imagine if you’re a savoury breakfast sort of person these would float your boat. These would be delicious no matter what time you ate them!
Deb’s rolls don’t call for any pepperoni, and this worked out well for me because I didn’t have pepperoni on hand, just lots of cheddar cheese. They’re good enough without pepperoni anyways. And instead of being the long, rectangle shaped buns that my grocery store makes, these buns have the appearance of a swirly cinnamon bun which in my opinion, is way more fun than a stick shape!
The milk, butter and olive oil enriched dough is filled with a mixture of cheddar cheese, grated onion, and parsely. Deb’s recipe calls for only butter in the dough, but I decided to mix things up by using half olive oil and half butter. The original recipe also called for fresh dill instead of parsley which I think would also be excellent, but I didn’t have any dill on hand either. As you have probably gathered, this recipe is fairly versatile so feel free to switch up what cheese you use and what herbs you add to the filling.
Overall even though I didn’t end up with exactly what I had been craving, I think that these soft, flavourful, cheese rolls are even better. When you need a cheese bun fix you need a cheese bun fix, and there’s no time to go the grocery store! Enjoy:)

Cheddar Cheese Swirl Buns

3 cups (13.25 oz or 375 grams) bread flour (I ended up using less than this)
1 tsp table salt
Few grinds black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) instant yeast
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled to luke warm
2 Tbsp olive oil
Extra melted butter for brushing on tops of the rolls before baking them
1/2 cup (1/2 medium) grated white onion
1 1/2 cups (6 oz. or 170g) grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (or dill)
1/4 tsp table salt
Few grinds of black pepper
Directions for the dough:
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the yeast into the milk until it dissolves, then pour the yeast-milk mixture and the melted butter into the flour, and mix them together with a wooden spoon, until a shaggy ball can be formed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it for about 8 minutes, until smooth.
Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest until it double, up to 2 hours but mine took only an hour using Quick Rise yeast.
Form the buns:
Scoop the dough out of the bowl onto a well-floured counter, and roll into a 12-by-16 inch rectangle (get your ruler out!). Mix filling ingredients, and spread thinly over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the short ends. Roll tightly from one short end to the other, into a 12-inch log. With a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut the log into twelve 1-inch rolls.
Spray two small pans (8 inch or 9 inch) or one 9-by-13 inch baking pan, and arrange six rolls in each of 2 smaller pans or 12 rolls in the large one, with an even amount of space between them. Brush the tops with additional melted butter (completely missed this step and they still tasted phenomenal!), cover the pan(s) with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled again, 1-2 hours. When they’re almost doubled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake Buns:
Once the rolls have fully doubled, bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the cheese bubbles from their centerrs. Serve immediately. They will also keep for at least 3 days on the counter well wrapped… if they last that long.
(Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman)

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