Cheddar - Onion Yeast Rolls

Circle B Kitchen

These are pretty special little dinner rolls. Feel free to double the recipe - the leftovers make amazing little sandwich buns! A word about salt, though. If you'll be using a standard table salt, you will want to keep this to 1 teaspoon in the recipe. If using a fine sea salt or Morton's Kosher salt, you can push it up to 1 1/2 teaspoons. I use Diamond Crystal Kosher salt which is less salty, so I used 2 teaspoons.

Recipe Adapted from Cast Iron Baking

Makes 12 - 16 rolls

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1/2 cup minced onion

1 cup warm milk (105 - 110 degrees), divided

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon active dry yeast (1/2 pkg)

1/2 large egg

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (I like to use the large grater hole)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (see headnote)

2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. No need to clean the cast iron pan yet.

Place 1/2 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk in the yeast and sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Beat an egg and add half of it to the yeast mixture along with the cheese, salt, cooked onion, chives, 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining 1/2 cup of warm milk. Mix until thoroughly combined and then slowly add the flour until a soft dough forms. If the dough seems too wet, add a little more flour; if it's a little stiff, add a bit more milk. The dough should feel heavy, be more on the tacky side, but not sticky. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes. Alternately, you can mix this in a large bowl and knead by hand.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let stand in a draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces (each piece should weigh between 2 and 2.5 oz). You can form these into smaller rolls and get 16 out of this dough easily. Just use a larger cast iron pan. Spray the cast iron pan with cooking spray, roll each piece into a ball and place it into the pan. Cover and let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate some fresh Parmesan over the top of the rolls and bake until they are lightly browned, about 18-25 minutes, depending on the size of your rolls and the peculiarities of your oven. Serve warm.