Friday, October 09, 2020

Cheddar Swirl Buns


This recipe, from Deb Perelman’s excellent Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, was originally called Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns. You can think of it as a savory version of a breakfast bun, but to me, it’s more of a dish I would eat at brunch (at the earliest) or as a side to lunch or dinner. (If you’re going for straight breakfast, I’m a bigger fan of her plum poppy seed muffins.) This was absolutely delicious, and a big hit with my family! I served it as a lunch along with corn on the cob and everyone was happy. 

For the dough 
3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour 
1 tsp. table salt 
a few grinds of black pepper 
1 Tbsp. sugar 
2 ¼ tsp. (1 packet) active dry yeast 
1 cup lactose-free milk 
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) lactose-free butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm + 1 Tbsp. for brushing 

For the filling 
½ cup grated white onion 
1 ½ cup (6 oz.) grated sharp cheddar cheese 
2 tsp. fresh minced dill (I’m not a huge fan of dill so I omitted it) 
½ tsp. table salt 
a few grinds of black pepper 

Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the yeast into the milk until it dissolves, then pour the yeast-milk mixture and the 4 tablespoons melted butter into the flour, and mix them together with the paddle of an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until a shaggy ball forms. 

If you are using a mixer, switch to the dough hook, and knead on low about 6 minutes, or until a smooth and slightly sticky ball has formed. If you are making these be hand, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, until smooth. 

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Alternatively, you could chill the dough at this point over night, or for up to 3 days, then bring it back to room temperature and pick up where you left off. 

Scoop the dough out of the bowl onto a well-floured counter and roll into a 12”×16” rectangle. Mix remaining filling ingredients and spread over the rectangle, leaving a ½-inch border at the short ends. Roll tightly and from one short end to another, making a 12” log. With a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut the log into 12 1-inch rounds. 

Using parchment paper, line the bottom of two small pans (9” round or 8” square) or one 9”×13” baking pan, and arrange 6 rolls in each of the smaller pans or all 12 in the larger, with an even amount of space in between. Brush tops with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, cover the pan(s) with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temp until doubled again, about 2 hours. When almost doubled, preheat oven to 350 °F. 

Once the rolls have fully doubled, baked for 20 – 25 minutes, until the tops are golden and the cheese is bubbling from the center. Serve immediately.

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