These Cheddar Cheese Yeast Rolls are a pillowy soft and fluffy cheese-infused dinner roll with a chewy, cheesy crust. This is a bread machine recipe, but you can still make these rolls without one.
The recipe for these Cheese Dinner Rolls was first published in 2010. The post has been updated, revised, and expanded with new pictures and information as of 11/2019.
These may be the best cheese rolls on the planet! My family thinks so.
Nothing beats unrolling hot-out-of-the-oven cheese rolls to find melty Cheddar cheese combined with soft, flaky bread. The crispy cheese bits formed where the cheese meets the pan and bakes up crunchy on top add another layer of texture and taste.
Eat them with dinner or use as slider buns with a piece of ham or turkey.
Really, these are the most requested rolls in my bread recipe repertoire. Giving them close competition are My Favorite Cinnamon Rolls, Bread Machine Monkey Bread: A Savory Version and Crusty French Bread Mixed in a Bread Machine.
Keep reading to find out how to make these easy dinner rolls stuffed with cheese.
Can I use a stand mixer instead of a bread machine to make these rolls?
This recipe is designed for a bread machine. I think a bread-making machine does the best job of kneading the dough.
RELATED POST: Five Reasons Why I’m in Love with My Bread-Maker Machine
However, you can use a stand mixer or even make them by hand if you prefer. See the notes after the recipe for directions.
The Tangzhong technique:
(Skip this section if you are not into the details. Just follow the recipe.)
The Tangzhong technique is a simple modification that improves the texture, taste, and freshness window of homemade bread.
RELATED POSTS: My Favorite Dinner Rolls–Updated with the Tangzhong Method
A small amount of flour is whisked into milk or water and heated to thicken the mixture. This “magic pudding” can be made quickly in a microwave. Add more liquid to cool down the temperature immediately. Pour into your bread machine along with the remaining ingredients.
This process makes it possible to use less flour and more liquid. In other words, the percentage of hydration is higher.
Ingredients and substitutions:
The recipe calls for unbleached wheat flour. You can substitute bread flour if you prefer, but you will probably need slightly less flour. If you want to use whole wheat flour, I recommend you use no more than 1 cup. Make up the rest with unbleached flour.
The recipe includes weight measurements as well as cups. Weighing the flour is much more accurate.
If you don’t have scales available, use a scoop or a spoon to fill a measuring cup before leveling the top. Using your measuring cup to scoop up the flour will usually result in using too much flour. Bye-bye fluffy rolls!
Instant yeast or bread machine yeast (same thing) is always easier, so that’s what I use. However, if you can’t get it or don’t have it, use regular active dry yeast instead. Read about the differences in these types of yeast here.
Traditional yeast should be dissolved in 1/4 cup of the milk (warmed but not too hot) already called for in the recipe. Allow the yeast to soften for about 10 minutes or until it is dissolved. Add to the recipe as the last ingredient in the same manner as instant yeast.
Any milk you have on hand will work. However, the higher the fat content (whole milk is the best), the richer and moister your rolls will be.
Medium or sharp Cheddar cheese is my cheese of choice. If you want to try something else, pick a semi-hard cheese. Gouda, Swiss or Pepper Jack come to mind.
Always hold back some of the flour called for in the recipe.
For example, if the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour, only add 2 and 3/4 cups of flour initially. Check your dough and add the remaining flour as necessary.
I recommend doing this ANYTIME you make homemade bread. Environmental variations (some beyond your control) and user technique can make a difference. See the related post below for more details.
Spray the bread pans with an oil/flour mixture like Baker’s Joy.
This is especially important if your pans do not have a high quality non-stick finish. Cheese can stick to the pan like glue, man.
Use a pizza cutter to cut the strips.
It’s quick! Otherwise, use a large kitchen knife.
My preferred “floured surface” is a silicone baking mat.
Throw it into the dishwasher when you’re done. Just be careful when you are cutting the dough not to also cut the mat. I’ve been doing it for years without a problem.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes. Make the dough, let it rise, and shape into rolls. Refrigerate. When ready to bake, allow the rolls to come to room temperature and rise until almost double before baking.
Because the recipe employs the Tangzhong technique, these rolls will remain amazingly fresh for another day or two or three after baking.
How to form the rolls and add the cheese:
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If you make this recipe and enjoy it, consider helping other readers and me by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required. Thank you for visiting! Paula
- 1 cup milk, divided
- 3 cups (360 grams) unbleached flour, divided
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 2 teaspoons bread-machine or instant yeast
- 2 cups (8 ounces) of shredded Cheddar cheese
Making the Dough:
Tip: It's easier to measure out the total amount of milk and flour (as directed in step #1) you will need before you get started.
- Measure out 1 cup of milk. In a separate small bowl, measure out 3 cups flour.
- Make flour paste by stirring 3 tablespoons of the flour you just measured out and half of the milk (1/2 cup) together in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cook on High in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. Cook an additional 15-30 seconds, if necessary, until mixture is as thick as pudding.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk to the cooked milk/flour mixture and whisk energetically. It's OK if there are still a few lumps. They will disappear in the mixing process. Add to the bread-machine pan.
- Add egg, heavy cream or egg yolk, sugar, salt, softened butter, remaining flour (hold back about 1/4 cup), and yeast to the pan and select the dough cycle. Press "Start."
- After about 10 minutes, open the bread machine lid and check the dough. If too wet, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If too dry, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
- When dough cycle finishes, check to see if the dough has risen to double its original size. If so, remove it to a floured surface. If not, allow the dough to remain in the machine until it is doubled.
Making and Baking the Rolls:
- Remove the dough from the bread machine onto a floured surface. I like to use a silicone mat because clean-up is easy (dishwasher).
- Divide dough in half. Form each half into a neat ball, flouring the surface as you work to prevent sticking.
- Use a rolling pin to roll one dough ball into a 13 x 9 rectangle.
- Evenly distribute 1 cup of the cheese over the top of the rectangle.
- Divide into 4 equally-sized strips long-ways, then divide each strip in half short-ways. You should have 8 total strips. Roll each strip starting from either of the short ends.
- Place rolls into a greased (spray with Baker's Joy for best results) 8 or 9-inch pan in a spoke fashion.
- Repeat steps 2-6 with the other half of the dough.
- Cover pans with a tea towel or cheap shower cap and set aside to rise again until almost double. This will probably take an hour, plus or minus, depending on the room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F when you think the rolls are almost ready to bake.
- Place rolls on the middle shelf of your oven. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Run a plastic knife around the edge to loosen any cheese stuck to the edge. Turn rolls out onto a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes. Brush all over with melted butter.
- Tip: If you leave rolls in the pan too long after baking, they will sweat and become soggy on the bottom.
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
- To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in the recipe.
- If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in the recipe.
- Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread-machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape rolls.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 29mg Sodium: 239mg Carbohydrates: 43g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 10g
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