There is nothing in the world like freshly baked yeasty rolls. The smell of them baking, the first soft bite of a warm roll, the feeling of accomplishment in having made them. I am by no means an expert at the vagaries of yeast and baking, so I am always intrigued by simple recipes for breads and rolls, like this one. This process is pretty simple and foolproof, with no kneading or multiple risings required. The addition of just a hint of cheese and the spicy butter glaze makes these seem like a complicated and sophisticated achievement.
I like to grate cheese on the fine holes of a box grater for this, because the cheese then sort of melts into the rolls. These are not gooey, melty cheesy rolls, they just have a lovely taste of cheese flavor in the light, tender center. I like a just a little heat in the honey butter, but use as much as you like.
- 1 (.25 ounce) packet active dry yeast
- ¾ cups warm water (about 120)
- 2 – 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cups finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Measure the warm water in a measuring cup and stir in the yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes until bubbly.
- Put 1 ½ cups of the flour, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix to combine. Add the yeasty water and the melted butter and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the cheese until combined. Add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time and beat on medium until the dough is smooth and comes together, clinging to the beater, about 3 minutes. You may not use all the flour.
- Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Divide the dough into 13 pieces and roll into balls. Place each ball in the prepared pan, not touching each other, then cover and place in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375.
- When the rolls have risen, bake for 12 – 14 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- While the rolls are cooking melt the butter, honey and cayenne together in a small pan or in a bowl in the microwave. As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, stir the honey butter to combine and brush over the top of the rolls.