Make It Tonight: Cheese

Dec 26, 2018

The last week of December generally revolves around food and gatherings—whatever it is you’re celebrating, it can likely be made even more festive with some homemade baking. Cinnamon buns are common brunch fare at this time of year, when you have a little extra time in the morning, the kids are off school and there may be more people around the breakfast table. But if you’re a fan of doughy and savoury, or if you happen to have surplus cheese ends in the fridge, leftover from the holiday cheese boards, these cheesy, buttery buns are as stunning coming out of the oven as they are delicious to eat.

A simple yeast dough makes a great holiday project, especially if it’s something you haven’t attempted before. After the kneading and rising, roll or pat it into a square or rectangle, and instead of smothering it with cinnamon sugar, spread it with butter and load it with grated cheese—one kind, or an assortment. If you’re a fan of garlic bread, add a crushed clove to your melted butter to infuse it with garlic before you brush it over the dough. And if you have some fresh herbs in the kitchen, like sage or thyme, a sprinkle would be welcome here, too.

Roll, slice and bake—or stash half away in the fridge, which will slow the rise enough to bake them in the next 24 hours or so, or freeze for another day that will benefit from a warm house, gooey cheese and freshly baked bread.

Buttery Cheese Buns

Wk1 Cheese buns blogIngredients:
Dough:
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk, warmed
2 large eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp salt

Filling:
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups grated aged white cheddar or Gouda
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Directions:
Put the water in a large bowl, sprinkle with yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy. In a small bowl, stir together warm milk and eggs. Add to the yeast mixture along with 3 cups of the flour and the remaining sugar; mix until well blended and sticky. Add the butter and remaining flour and stir or beat with the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer until you have a soft, sticky dough; knead for about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place back in the bowl, cover and let rise for an hour, or until doubled. 

Divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, roll into a rectangle that’s about 10×15-inches and about 1/4-inch thick. Brush each piece with half the melted butter and scatter with cheese. Starting on a long side, roll the dough up into a log, and cut it crosswise into thirds. Cut each piece into thirds to get 9 pieces. Place cut-side-up into two 8 or 9-inch round pans, cover and let rise for another hour while you preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until deep golden.

 

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Buttery Cheese Buns

 

Put the water in a large bowl, sprinkle with yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy. In a small bowl, stir together warm milk and eggs. Add to the yeast mixture along with 3 cups of the flour and the remaining sugar; mix until well blended and sticky. Add the butter and remaining flour and stir or beat with the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer until you have a soft, sticky dough; knead for about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place back in the bowl, cover and let rise for an hour, or until doubled.

 

Divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, roll into a rectangle that’s about 10×15-inches and about 1/4-inch thick. Brush each piece with half the melted butter and scatter with cheese. Starting on a long side, roll the dough up into a log, and cut it crosswise into thirds. Cut each piece into thirds to get 9 pieces. Place cut-side-up into two 8 or 9-inch round pans, cover and let rise for another hour while you preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until deep golden.

 

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