Last year we were unable to travel back home to be with our families for Thanksgiving because I was on travel restriction – due to being super pregnant with my youngest son. My family was awesome and came up to see us early and we had a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. We made the whole fest and it was delicious and coma-inducing! We also hand another delicious Thanksgiving meal at our neighbor Emily’s Friendsgiving celebration. So when the actual day rolled around, we decided to try some new things and have a delicious but untraditional thanksgiving. One of things we made were these Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns from Smitten Kitchen. We made a half batch and did it in days, the dough one day the proofing and filling another. They were super tasty and I knew we needed to make them again. When we were thinking about what to make for a breakfast treat for some of our friends, I thought these swirl buns would be a nice change of pace from some of the other things we have brought them. I was also curious if they would be as good as I remember….happy to report….these are worth adding to you fall breakfast routine!! They are super delicious!
I back on the yeasted dough band wagon for me with this recipe. Luckily for me, my jar of instant yeast in the fridge seems to never empty – I think it is magical – not sure who is refilling it while I sleep. I started the recipe with the dry ingredients in the bowl – flour, sugar, salt & pepper. Then I heated the milk and butter (which isn’t in the picture above – oops) until they reached 110 F degrees. Then I sprinkled the yeast over the top and mixed it together and let it rest so that it had time to bloom, about 5 – 10 minutes.
When I realized that the yeast was blooming and alive, I poured it over the dry ingredients in the bowl of the mixmaster. I used the paddle attachment to mix the ingredients together and then switched it for the dough hook. I let the mixmaster run on speed 4 for 6 minutes until the dough was nice and smooth. I placed the dough in a bowl that I oiled with olive oil spray and covered it with plastic wrap.
While it was proofing, I prepared the filling ingredients. I shredded some sharp cheddar cheese. I love the Barber’s – Sweet Red Grass Fed Cheddar or Prairie Breeze White Cheddar. I used the Sweet Red Grass Fed for this recipe. I always stick my cheese block in the freezer before I shred it. It helps the block stay hard and not get too squishy. I also grated a small white onion. I then put the onion in a wash cloth and rang it out to remove some of the extra liquid (I think I may have taken out too much this time…I would not squeeze it so many times next time). Then I mixed in salt, pepper and thyme. One of my favorite tricks for getting the onion smell out of your skin I learned from a super old episode of Julia Child. She said to pour salt into your hand until it is full and then rub them together with cold water. After that wash your hands with warm soapy water and the onion smell will disappear. I always keep a jug of salt under the sink now just for this – it is worth trying!
I changed my proofing method this time because I needed my oven to roast some vegetables for another project. So I placed the covered bowl close to my oven which was cranked up to 425 F degrees. It put off some nice warm air and my dough rose until it was doubled in size – this took a little more than an hour. I put my dough onto my floured dough mat and rolled it until it was very roughly a 12-by-16-inch rectangle (my dough never wants to actually roll into the correct shape…I’m working on it thought). I poured the filling over the top and spread it out. Then I rolled the dough from the short end to the other short end to make a jelly roll style log of dough and filling. I pinched it shut and turned the pinched side down on the dough mat.
I used my favorite tool to get even slices off a log of dough without squishing the shape or the filling out too much…unwaxed dental floss. I take a long piece and slide it under the log. I used the mat to make sure I was measuring my slices to be about 1 inch apart. Once the floss is in the correct place, I cross the floss over the top and pull the ends so that the floss cuts through the dough to make an even slice.
I put each of the slices in a parchment lined 9-by-13-inch baking pan. I brushed the top with butter and covered the top with plastic wrap and put them back by the oven, which was still on and chugging out warm air. As they rose, I made sure the oven was preheated to 350 F degrees. I let the buns rise until they doubled in size and the dough felt soft and velvety to the touch.
Once the buns were touching each other, where once there was space and I had poked them enough times to be sure they felt “just right” I put them in oven for 20 minutes. I went back to check on them and felt like they needed a few more minutes. I gave them about 3 to 5 minutes and pulled them out when the cheese was bubbling and slightly browned on top. I wished they were darker on top, but I didn’t want to over bake them. I think that these would benefit from brushing the butter on the top right before baking, instead of before proofing. The lack of color on the top didn’t stop anyone from devouring them though!
- If you are looking for a change of pace in the impressive breakfast bun department – this is the recipe for you!
- If you enjoy savory breakfast treats – this is the recipe for you!
- Brush the butter on right before baking
- This dough was really tender and had a great rise – I think I’m getting better at yeast dough!
Recipe: Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns
- 3 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp table salt
- Few grinds of black pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbsp butter melted, cooled to lukewarm – plus 1 tbsp for brushing rolls
- Olive Oil for oiling the bowl
- 1/2 cup grated white onion
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- Few grinds of black pepper
- Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the yeast into the milk (110 degrees) until it dissolves, then pour the yeast-milk mixture and the melted butter into the flour, and mix them together with the paddle attachment of the mixmaster.
- Switch to the dough hook, and knead at low speed for about 6 minutes until a smooth, slightly sticky ball is formed.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest until it doubles about 1 -2 hours.
- Scoop the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured counter and roll into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Mix the filling ingredients, and spread thinly over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch boarder at the short ends. Roll tightly from one short end to the other, into a 12-inch log. With a sharp serrated knife or with unscented, unwaxed floss, cut into 12 – 1 inch rolls.
- Using parchment paper, line the bottom of two small pans or one 9-by-13-inch baking pan, and arrange them with an even amount of space between them. Cover the pans with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature unit it doubled again, about 1- 2 hours. Brush the tops with additional melted butter.
- When they are almost doubled, preheat your oven to 350 F degrees
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the cheese bubbles from their centers.
Recipe Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook