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.