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Southern Cast Iron is a magazine you want to consider in your life. I know, you have too many magazines. This one is deliciously important and different.

Comfort food is a necessity. A true necessity. A warm roll. Melted cheese. And an army of herbs, marching in flavorful cooperation. That’s what these cheese rolls promise you. The picture here is before cooking, the dough white, the cheese unmelted, the herbs freshly cut and scattered with abandon.

Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for just a few moments, and then you will experience a roll of perfection. There is time needed for a double rise here, so these rolls may not be a weeknight delight for you. But, on a weekend afternoon, you can happily enjoy the glory of rising dough and the aroma of melting cheese.

White wine, of course.

Cheesy Herb Rolls

Yield: makes 10


For the rolls:

  • ½ cup warm whole milk (105° to 110°)
  • ½ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Cheese and Herb Filling (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil

For the cheese and herb filling [about 2 cups]:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper


Make the filling:

First, a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.

Second, in a medium bowl, beat garlic, butter, and all remaining ingredients with a mixer at medium speed until well combined.

Make the rolls:

First, in a medium bowl, combine warm milk, ½ cup warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is frothy and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour and salt. With mixer on low speed, add yeast mixture, 4 tablespoons melted butter, and egg yolk, beating just until combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Spray a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 15×10-inch rectangle. Spread Cheese and Herb Filling onto dough. Starting with one long side, roll dough into a log; pinch seam to seal. Slice into 10 rolls. Place rolls in prepared skillet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft- free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 45 minutes, placing mozzarella pieces in between buns halfway through rising.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Finally, in a small bowl, whisk together oregano, thyme, basil, and remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Brush onto warm buns.

Source: Southern Cast Iron Magazine, 2017

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/20th second at ISO‑3200