Cheddar and Scallion Rolls

Continuing with my Season of Yeast, I decided to try something a little different – rolls. Who doesn’t love a warm, buttery, yeasty roll with dinner? Or with breakfast? Or eaten during Friends reruns while painting your toenails?

Don’t act like I’m the only one who would do that.

Anyway, these rolls caught my eye because they were relatively simple to make, I had all the ingredients on hand, and..like I said…who doesn’t want a roll?

Please note – I will be using a bread machine to do all of my dough kneading, then transferring to an oven. The idea of kneading is enough to give me a mental breakdown. If you don’t have a bread maker  then please just view these recipes as jumping off points and use your own techniques.

Cheddar and Scallion Rolls (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

1 cup milk plus juice of 1 lemon or 1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water at 120 F
1/4 cup oil
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2+1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 bunch scallions, white part diced

1 dash cayenne pepper

1. Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl, stir it, then let it sit for a few minutes.

This is called proofing the yeast. It is done to make sure the yeast is good, and some bakers say that it gets a better rise on the bread. If the yeast does not foam, toss it – it’s not good. Make sure that the water is right around 120F – too hot and it will kill the yeast, too cool and the yeast won’t activate.

2. Toss the other liquid ingredients in the breadmaker…

followed by the dry ingredients (excluding the scallions and cheese)…

and the proofed yeast. Set your breadmaker to the dough cycle and walk away.

3. When the mix-ins feature beeps  (or about 25 minutes into the mixing process), toss in the scallions and cheese. Then, let the dough continue until it is done mixing.

4. When the dough is ready, tip it into a greased baking pan.

5. Pat it out to the edges of the pan, flour it, and…

score it lightly with your knife.

6. Then, let it rise under a towel for about 25 minutes.

You know when it is done when you poke the bread with your finger and it rises back…

 

very slowly. While the bread rises, preheat your oven to 400F.

 

7. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, or until it is very golden brown,  starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and get s a hollow sound when tapped.

8. Let cool for 20 minutes or more. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! If you do, you will end up with gummy insides. The bread MUST be allowed to cool before it is cut.

The best bread I have ever made (not that that’s saying much). In all reality…whoa. Excellent, even though I had a little gummy problem, due to cutting too early. They rose beautifully, perhaps because of proofing the yeast. The outer sections, which were less gummy, had a tight hole structure that was still airy and light, with a hint of pepper and the bite of scallion. Next time, I would add more cheese and not flour the top – that was really gilding the lily. This wasn’t the buttery yeast roll I had envisioned, but an ideal sandwich roll or soup dunker. I heartily recommend this…

Especially as part of a breakfast involving eggs, bacon, and cheese!

Whole Wheat Cheddar Jalapeno Buns

So…I have this little secret.

No, it isn’t a third arm or the location of Jimmy Hoffa’s body or anything.

It’s…I am scared of yeast

Like really, super duper scared of yeast. Every single time I have tried to bake bread, it has been ahuge failure. Of gargantuan, leaden, gummy proportions. Awful.

So, I have declared the next few months as the season of yeast. I will be baking once a week until I can get a decent loaf of bread. I will post the more successful recipes here, and the truly awful failures…well, we will do a special post on those. 

Please note – I will be using a bread machine to do all of my dough kneading, then transferring to an oven. The idea of kneading is enough to give me a mental breakdown. If you don’t have a bread maker  then please just view these recipes as jumping off points and use your own techniques.

So…let’s jump into it shall we?

Season of Yeast #1: Whole Wheat Cheddar Jalapeno Buns (Adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

Ingredients:

1.5 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 

2 cups white flour 

1 1/4 cups milk, warmed to 120F

1/4 cup white sugar

1 beaten egg

2 tablespoons butter (cut into small cubes), plus 2 tsp. more melted for basting

1 1/4 tsp. rapid rise yeast

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

2 jalapenos, diced

1 tsp. salt

1. Load ingredients into your bread machine, according to the machine’s instructions. For me, that means liquids(including butter)…

followed by solids…

followed by yeast. Then, put the setting to dough and walk away until the mix ins feature beeps. 

2. When the mix in feature beeps (or about 20 minutes after the dough starts), add in the cheddar and the jalapenos.

3. When the dough is done mixing (time will vary, but for me it was about an hour and half , remove it and cut it in half. Be sure to remove the mixing paddle so it isn’t stuck in the dough!

4. Take each round, and on a floured surface, roll or pat it out to about 1 inch thickness…

then using a drinking glass or a cookie cutter, cut out 6 – 8 circles in the dough. 

5. Spray or brush with oil or butter, then lay the buns on a tinfoiled cookie sheet…

and cover for 25 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350F.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough sounds hollow when thumped.

7. Allow to cool, then split and serve.

These turned out quite well! They didn’t  rise as much as I would have liked, but that is probably due to the whole wheat flour and the fact that I didn’t use active dry yeast  Next time, I would definitely try active dry yeast, and maybe a bit more of it. But the flavor was great – sweet and wheaty, with the salty taste of cheddar and the bite of  jalapenos. These would be great with scrambled eggs or as a bun for my bbq chicken. Like, I said, this bread was not perfect, but I feel like I’m getting there!

1 good bread made, 2,8884 to go…