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The Fluffiest Cheese Buns Ever (Bread Machine)

Preview: These fluffy Cheese Buns are a pillowy soft and fluffy cheese-infused dinner roll with a chewy, cheesy crust. This is a bread machine recipe, but you can make these rolls without one. See the recipe notes for details

My family thinks these cheese buns are the best dinner rolls on the planet. They always win extra points with my youngest grandson. I wish you similar results.

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.

The Tangzhong method is the secret to fluffiness. Keep reading to find out more. (Don’t worry. It’s simple.)

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.

Piping hot cheese buns

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?

The answer is a resounding YES! This recipe is designed for a bread machine. I think a bread-making machine does the best job of kneading the dough.

However, you can use a stand mixer or even make them by hand if you prefer. See the recipe notes for directions.

RELATED POST: Five Reasons Why I’m in Love with My Bread-Maker Machine


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.

Baked Cheese Dinner Rolls in a pan. brushed with butter.

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:

  • FLOUR: 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 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 fork or a spoon to fill a measuring cup carefully 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!
  • YEAST: 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. There is no longer any need to dissolve it according to King Arthur Baking.com. Add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast to make up for the slower rising capability.
  • EGGS: I always use the large size. If you have a different size, compensate with more or less liquid.
  • SALT: The recipe is written for table salt or sea salt. Add an extra 1/4 teaspoon if using Kosher salt.
  • MILK: 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.
  • CHEESE: 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.
Cheese rolls cooling on a wire rack

Tips for making successful Cheddar cheese bread rolls:

#1

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 (1 tablespoon at a time).

I recommend doing this ANYTIME you make homemade bread, especially if it’s a new recipe to you. Environmental variations (some beyond your control) and user technique can make a difference.


#2

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.


#3

Use a pizza cutter to cut the strips.

It’s quick! Otherwise, use a large kitchen knife.


#4

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.


How to assemble fluffy cheese buns:

showing the finger test for assessing if the dough in the bread machine has proofed enough
When the dough has risen enough, you can push two fingers into the dough and the holes will remain.
two dough balls
Empty the dough from the bread machine pan onto a floured surface. Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each into a ball.
Rolling out the bread dough on a silicone mat
Roll each portion into a 13 x 10-inch rectangle.
Covering dough with shredded cheese
Sprinkle with shredded cheese. I like medium Cheddar cheese, but feel free to substitute your favorite.
Cutting dough with a pizza cutter
Use a pizza cutter or large knife to cut the rectangle into 8 strips.
8 strips of dough covered with cheese
How to roll up cheese roll
Roll each strip starting from a narrow end.
showing how to roll a cheese bread roll
rolls before they have risen to double in size
Place rolls into an 8 or 9-inch pan in a spoke fashion. Cover loosely with a tea towel or a cheap shower cap.
raw cheese bread rolls (doubled in size) ready to bake
Place rolls in a warm place until they are almost doubled in size. (The rolls pictured above are ready to bake.) Sprinkle a little cheese on top. Bake in a preheated 375˚oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Internal temperature should reach 190-degrees.


Did you try 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. No comment required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or email me: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula


Yield: 16 rolls

Cheese Buns Recipe

Cheese Buns Recipe

Fluffy cheese buns are light and fluffy dinner rolls with melty cheese on the inside and crusty cheese on the outside.

Prep Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 1  cup milk, divided (227 gr)
  • 3 cups (360 grams) unbleached flour, divided
  • 1 egg (50 gr)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream or 1 egg yolk (14 gr)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (24 gr)
  • 1  1/4 teaspoon salt (7 gr)
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter (113 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons bread-machine or instant yeast (6 gr)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) of shredded Cheddar cheese (226 gr)

Instructions

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.

  1. Measure out 1 cup of milk. In a separate small bowl, measure out 3 cups flour.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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."
  5. 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. bread machine dough, too wet, too dry, and just right
  6. 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:

  1. Remove the dough from the bread machine onto a floured surface. I like to use a silicone mat because clean-up is easy (dishwasher).
  2. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a neat ball, flouring the surface as you work to prevent sticking.
  3. Use a rolling pin to roll one dough ball into a 13 x 9 rectangle.
  4. Evenly distribute 1 cup of the cheese over the top of the rectangle.
  5. 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.
  6. Place rolls into a greased (spray with Baker's Joy for best results) 8 or 9-inch pan in a spoke fashion.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 with the other half of the dough.
  8. 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.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F when you think the rolls are almost ready to bake.
  10. Place rolls on the middle shelf of your oven. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. 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.
  12. Tip: If you leave rolls in the pan too long after baking, they will sweat and become soggy on the bottom.

Notes

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: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. There is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 roll

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Mary and Bob Hopley

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

They are delicious and easy to make thanks

Paula

Wednesday 7th of July 2021

Thanks so much for coming back to say so.

Shilpy

Sunday 30th of May 2021

These cheese buns turn out absolutely wonderful. The recipe and instructions are so precise and easy to follow. I also tried stuffing them with roasted red peppers and garlic butter along with a little bit of cheese and the result was delicious. My family just cannot keep their hands off of them. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes.

Paula

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

Your idea to add roasted red peppers and garlic butter sounds wonderful! I want to try that myself. My grandkids go crazy for these rolls, so I'm not surprised that your family also loves them. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your variation.

Patti Orr

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Your recipes and site are so appreciated. The pictures make it so easy to make and they always turn out perfectly. Thank you!

Paula

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Thank you Patti. Your kind words are motivating!

Rita E Mallory

Saturday 13th of March 2021

I love your site, and the recipes, but why don't the picture's of the breads or rolls print out with recipe? I make my own loose leaf cookbooks of different things and a picture is always nice with the recipe.

Paula

Saturday 13th of March 2021

Rita,

Well, Rita, you are the first person to ask for them. So I changed my settings to include the picture. Although you may not see the change right away, it should be there within 24 hours. Thank you for writing.

Becky

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

These were fantastically fluffy. My family adored them!

I did notice that some of the cheese would fall out when I rolled up each bun. Any ideas how to prevent the cheese loss?

Paula

Friday 12th of March 2021

Hi Becky,

Hmmm. Practice maybe? We actually love when the cheese falls out and gets brown and chewy or crunchy. Glad you liked the rolls.

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