These small batch Cheesy Bread Rolls with honey butter are the savory twin to Cinnamon Rolls, and equally as good! They are made with the softest, most pillowy dough which doesn't require a stand mixer, filled with a delicious cheese filling, and topped off with warm honey butter. It's basically like a cheese board in the form of bread, and I can't think of many things better than that!
My easy Cinnamon Roll recipe has been a favorite of many, and I was itching to turn it into a savory version. Bread is one of my favorite things to eat, and works with pretty much everything, and bringing cheese into the mix was the obvious answer. Many years ago I tried a similar recipe from Cloudy Kitchen and absolutely loved it, so I had to put my own spin on it.
Here's what you will need for this recipe (exact quantities are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post):
- Whole milk, warmed up
- Granulated sugar
- Active dry yeast (you can also use instant yeast)
- All purpose or plain flour
- Unsalted butter, softened
- Egg; if you don't eat eggs, you can use ¼ cup yogurt instead
- Unsalted utter
- Chopped or minced garlic
- All purpose flour
- Whole milk
- Salt, pepper and chili flakes for seasoning
- Shredded cheese - I like to use mozzarella, cheddar and gouda, but you can really play around with what cheeses you use!
- Cream cheese
- Unsalted utter
HOW TO MAKE SMALL BATCH CHEESY BREAD ROLLS (CINNAMON ROLLS STYLE)
Now, let's go through the recipe step by step. This isn't exactly "difficult" or technical, it just takes a little time:
1. Make the dough
Add all dough ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer. Make sure your milk is warm to touch, but not hot. The heat will help activate the yeast. Ideally, active dry yeast should first be bloomed with the milk, but I find that step to unnecessary and my dough rises just fine with an all-in-one-dump method.
Use the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer to knead the dough, starting at a low speed and increasing as you go. The dough will be really sticky at first, but over several minutes (7-10 min), it will become smooth and stretchy once enough gluten has developed in it. Keep kneading until it reaches that stage and starts pulling away from the edges of the bowl.
Once the dough is smooth and stretchy, place it in a clean bowl sprayed with oil, and cover with cling wrap. Place the bowl in a warm place - inside your oven with the oven light on is often ideal - and let it rise.
It is important to proof the dough fully before moving to the next step. It can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, but you're looking for the dough to be at least double in size, and if poked lightly, it should spring back partly.
2. Prepare the cheese sauce
While the dough is proofing, you can prepare the cheese sauce.
First, melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Then add the flour and mix for another minute until the flour smells toasty. Add the milk and seasonings, and keep stirring until all lumps disappear and the sauce starts to thicken up.
Turn down the heat, and add the cheeses. Keep stirring until the cheese melt in. Turn off the heat and taste the sauce, adjusting the seasoning as needed.
The consistency should be thick, but not too thick (it shouldn't be hard to stir). If it feels too thick, add a little more milk to make it thinner. It will thicken up more as it cools down.
3. Assemble the rolls
Once the dough has doubled in size and the cheese sauce is cooked, we can move on to the fun part: assembly! Prep an Eighth sheet pan with parchment paper. If you don't have an Eighth sheet pan, you can also use a different sized pan but it won't be filled all the way (which is fine).
Lightly dust a counter with flour, and turn out the dough. Use your hands and rolling pin to roll it out into a 12x14" rectangle. Spread the cheese sauce (it shouldn't be hot) evenly using an offset spatula.
If you like, you can sprinkle on some more cheese, or even play around with other toppings like caramelized onions or Everything But The Bagel seasoning.
Then, cut the rectangle into 6 strips along the length, each about 2x14". Carefully roll each strip into a cinnamon roll shape, as tightly as possible, and place onto the lined Eighth sheet pan.
The reason I like to cut into strips and then roll up is it makes the rolls much neater, and reduces the amount of mess by ten fold! I know a lot of people say it's easy to cut rolls with floss, but floss gets sticky and slimy too, so trust me, this method works best!
Once all 6 rolls are in the pan, you are going to give the rolls their second proof. Place them in a warm spot for ~30-45 minutes until they puff up again.
In the last 20 minutes of the second rise, pre-heat your oven to 375F. Once the rolls have puffed up again, place them into the oven, and bake for about 20-22 minutes until they look light golden in color. Remove from the oven.
5. Brush with honey butter and serve
Lastly, we are going to brush our rolls with honey butter! Melt the butter and mix in honey (it should be warm to mix in properly), and brush generously onto the rolls while they are still hot using a pastry brush.
Serve, and enjoy!! These are best eaten fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. I recommend heating them up in a toaster oven (or your oven) so they feel fresh again when you enjoy them.
You can play around with this recipe in so many ways! Here are some ideas:
- Use more cream cheese and Everything But The Bagel Seasoning and turn these into bagel rolls
- Spread caramelized onions on top of the cheese sauce before rolling
- Add corn to make a corn and cheese version
- Play around with different cheeses
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, you can! But it will take time and patience, and you need to avoid the temptation to add more flour. See my detailed instructions for a similar dough made for my Cinnamon rolls here.
Yes, instant yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast in the same quantity, and you don't need to first activate it. Simply throw everything together and knead.
The rolls should develop a light golden color when they are done baking. In addition, try picking up one roll with a fork and knife, and look at the edges where it was touching the other rolls. Do they look cooked, or do you see specks of raw dough?
Yes! If you do, use a 9x13" pan to bake them.
You can store these rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Any longer than that, store them in the fridge and heat them in a toaster oven for a few minutes before enjoying.
If you enjoy this recipe, you will also love my other bread recipes!
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