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The Fluffiest Cheese Bread Rolls You Will Ever Make

These Cheddar Cheese Yeast Bread 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 post has been updated, revised, and expanded with new pictures and information as of 11/2019.

Piping hot cheese dinner rolls.

Why these are 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.

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

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

  • 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 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!
  • 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. It no longer needs to be dissolved but may be a little slower to rise.
  • 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

***Recipe Tips

#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.

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.

#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

show the finger test for assessing if the dough 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.
uncooked cheese 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.
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-degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Internal temperature should reach 190-degrees.

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Pin the picture below to save for later.

Hot-out-of-the-oven Cheddar Cheese Dinner Rolls



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. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t 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 privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula

Fluffy Cheese Bread Rolls

Fluffy Cheese Bread Rolls

Yield: 16 rolls
Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

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

Ingredients

  • 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

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



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Alison McDonald

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Best cheese buns ever! Way better than store bought!

Paula

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hi Alison, So glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Kathleen

Monday 20th of June 2016

Can you make this recipe into a loaf of bread? If so how long would you bake it?

Paula

Thursday 23rd of June 2016

Kathleen, The dough for these rolls is very soft so I wouldn't advise it for a loaf of bread. paula

Daneka

Sunday 8th of November 2015

If I don't have a stand mixer, what do you recommend? Can I mix it all by hand?

Also, I made these once before and they got too brown on top without being all the way cooked inside. What am I doing wrong?

Paula

Monday 9th of November 2015

Hi Daneka, Yes, you can make these rolls by hand. It will be a little more work but should taste just as yummy. Not for sure why your rolls got too brown. Possibilities: Rack too close to top heating element. Move down. Your oven temperature could be calibrated or mistakenly runs too high. Have you checked it in awhile with an oven thermometer? If you continue to have a problem, set your timer for half way through baking time and cover loosely with foil to prevent further browning, if necessary. I frequently have to do this with loaves of bread but not with rolls. What kind of pan are you using? If using a lightweight aluminum pan or foil pan (cheap?), the rolls may not bake right and have a nice brown crust so they will get too brown on top while you are waiting for that to happen. Good luck! Glad you wrote. paula

Doris McCoy

Sunday 3rd of August 2014

I am thrilled with your instructions and recipes for rolls, the cheese rolls especially. The pictures are so real looking, you feel that you can pick up a roll and eat it.

I am making a note of your website and will return to it often to see "What's cooking."

Doris

Jennifer

Wednesday 18th of April 2012

Just wanted to say I love your blog!! Keep up the good work! Your videos are awesome and now I can make perfect dinner rolls!! :)

Paula

Wednesday 18th of April 2012

Thanks Jennifer, Glad to hear it!