Ultra soft bread gets filled with melty cheese inside. You will love these sweet cheese rolls for your snack, breakfast, or dessert.
Enjoying a rich, hot drink can be very comforting. And I think I am a late bloomer. But in the past years, I finally get how coffee lovers feel as they sip into a hot cup, savoring every slow gulp.
These sweet cheese rolls are the perfect companion for a nice cup of hot chocolate (or coffee). The sense of comfort that surrounds you like a blanket as you sip from a hot mug, a soft, warm bread in your hand, that can be hard to beat.
Filipino Style Sweet Cheese Rolls
These cheese rolls are spot on with the melty cheese nestled inside a soft, sweet bread dough. I love the sweetness and texture of the sprinkled sugar as I bite into the soft bread. I just can’t stop at one.
This bread dough uses a starter called tangzhong. It is made with flour and water that you cook together to form a paste. It adds softness to your finished bread.
I have gotten a common question from a lot of you regarding the previous version of this recipe. This used to be an overnight dough. Understandably, not all of us have the luxury of time or the patience to make a recipe with an “overnight” step in it, so I tweaked the recipe a little to accommodate that.
No more overnight sitting here. Just cook the tangzhong briefly into a paste and allow it to cool. We all win!
Again, another common complaint on the previous version of this recipe is that the cheddar cheese oozes out, leaving a hollow in the bread with a thin smear of cheese hanging on to the roof of the bread.
So we are changing that today. We are using cream cheese. It holds thru the baking. It remains inside the bread and you get more cheesy bites. Hail, oh cream cheese!
Characteristics of an Adequately Kneaded Dough
- It is still tacky but not sticky. As you knead, the stickiness of the dough diminishes. It turns from being a shaggy, loose dough into a smooth, clean-looking dough that no longer sticks to your hands or the board.
- It is stretchy. Pull out a little piece of dough, use your finger to stretch it out to form a small square. The dough should stretch thin enough for a translucent film to form in the center of the square. See windowpane test.
Making Sweet Cheese Rolls
Make the tangzhong: Whisk together flour and water in a small saucepan until the mixture is lump-free. Over medium heat, stir until a smooth paste is formed. This should not take long, about 45 seconds to a minute. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool.
Next, in a large mixing bowl, add the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it is foamy.
No thermometer? This water should be about two to three notches hotter from being lukewarm. You can dip your fingers quickly on it, but you cannot let it stay unlike when water is lukewarm.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the yeast mixture except the flour: the milk powder, the sugar, egg, salt, melted butter and tangzhong. Stir everything with a wooden spoon.
Add the 2 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour and stir it in until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Gradually add some of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour just until the dough gathers on the center of the bowl.
Turn the dough over on a floured surface and knead. Add a little bit of flour as needed just to help with the stickiness. Don’t overdo it, though. The dough should not be stiff and dry, instead, it should be soft, smooth and elastic after kneading.
Shape the kneaded dough into a ball, place it in a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Roll the dough into a 16×10 rectangle. Divide it into 4 sections vertically, then 5 sections horizontally to create 20 rectangles. It helps to score or mark the cuts first at the edges so you will get somewhat even portions of the dough.
Place strips of cream cheese into the edge of each rectangle. Roll each into a log. Pinch the edges together to close the rolls.
Place each roll onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Position them with about an inch of space in between. Cover the rolls loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
Let them rise for about an hour or more until the size is doubled. Preheat oven to 350 F. Once the temperature is attained, bake the rolls for 15-17 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden.
Once slightly cool, spread softened margarine on the rolls. Then, roll each of them on a plate of sugar.
There they are, fresh from the oven, glistening with sugar with warm cheese inside. Coffee time is just about to get started.
Place cheese rolls inside a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days. These bread stays soft until then. If you prefer, microwave them for 8 seconds to re-heat.
Do you love baking bread? Check out these other bread recipes:
- Japanese Milk Buns
- Milk Bread
- Yema Rolls
- Ube Bread Rolls
- Hawaiian Rolls
- Austrian Buchteln ( Sweet Mini Buns)
- Chocolate Walnut Bread
- Also, try serving these with Coffee Jelly. Perfect day!
- Bread Machine Pandesal
- Pandesal Recipe
My hands are weak to knead a dough. Can I use mixer instead? If I can, for how many minutes and is it in medium or high speed? Thank you.
Hi Kat! Yes you can knead this using a mixer. About 5-7 minutes using medium speed at first then speeding up until the dough gathers in the center of the bowl. Enjoy!
But when I did that when I followed the measurements, it immediately formed into dough. As if the water is not enough? So what I did was I used 1/3 of APF and 2/3 of water it turned good. The bread was amazing and fluffy. My family loved it. Thank you for your recipe.
Hi. Are you sure that it is 1/3 cup of water and 2/3 cup of apf for the tangzhong?
Hi, Katrina. Yes. Happy baking!
Jackie Messinger says
I ran out of regular cream cheese for the last 3 rolls, but subbed strawberry cream cheese. They turned out delicious!
Hi Jackie! That sounds delicious!!!