Small Batch Cheesy Jalapeño Rolls
Yield: 6 rolls
Total time: 2 hr.

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Hi everyone! Today I have a little bit of a different baked good recipe for you, that of the savory kind! I absolutely love working with yeast dough, so with the big game day coming up I knew I had to make some snacks/appetizers for that! That brings me to these small batch cheesy jalapeño rolls! The dough is super soft and fluffy (thanks to tangzhong!), and the middle is full of cheesy-jalapeño goodness.

Cheesy jalapeño rolls are made with a yeast dough. We will start by making tangzhong, a slurry consisting of milk and flour that makes the final product into the softest, fluffiest bread you’ve ever had. We add that to all of the dough ingredients, knead it up, and then let it rest. After resting, it gets rolled out and topped with butter, monterey jack and cheddar cheese, as well as spices. You roll that up like your standard cinnamon roll, slice it, and let it rise until doubled in size. After that, they get baked and then they are all yours to enjoy!

What is tangzhong?

Tangzhong is a Japanese method that involves cooking a portion of the flour in a recipe with a portion of the liquid in a recipe until you get a thick slurry. Doing so pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour, allowing them to hold on to more liquid. This means that the product being made with tangzhong will be much softer as the dough is much more hydrated than it could be without the use of tangzhong. It’s a super easy way to make your breads even more delicious. You can read more about tangzhong in my article, here.

A couple of things to note

1. Measuring the ingredients. My recipes are all written in grams because it is a more accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!

2. Room temperature ingredients. The butter and eggs need to be at room temperature in order to properly incorporate with the dough. Take them out 30 minutes before starting the recipe, or follow this little hack if you forget (like I often do!): How to get room temperature ingredients QUICKLY.

3. Let the dough rise in a warm environment. Yeast doughs like warm environments, it’s where they thrive! Most often you will be able to get away with letting the dough rise at room temperature. However, on particularly cold days, I like to turn my oven on to the lowest temperature it can go, and let the dough rise on top of the stove near the back where it gets warm.

To make small batch jalapeño cheesy rolls, you will need:

All purpose flour: for structure, gluten, and chewiness. The flour is also part of the tangzhong, which helps us in producing the softest of rolls.

Whole milk: for hydration and a bit of tenderizing. The milk is used in the dough as is, and in the tangzhong.

Instant yeast: I use instant yeast because it works much faster than active dry yeast. However, if you have active dry yeast and no instant, then you can easily sub in an equal amount of the active dry yeast. You will just need to make some minor adjustments to the process and timing, which I will talk about below.

Salt: for flavor, and for keeping the yeast from making the dough rise too much.

Granulated sugar: we will use just one teaspoon of sugar to help the yeast with rising.

Egg: for moisture, binding the dough together, and richness.

Unsalted butter: in the dough, the butter will add a bit of moisture and tenderize it. We will also use butter in the filling for butter-y, cheesy goodness. Because salt is really important in yeast doughs, I would not recommend using salted butter in the dough. However, you can use salted butter in the filling, just leave out the extra salt!

Monterey jack cheese: a great melting cheese with a mild flavor. If you want, you can use all monterey jack, all cheddar cheese, or your favorite melting cheese in the filling! Just be sure that you are using the blocks of cheese and not the pre-shredded cheeses.

Cheddar cheese: adds some sharpness and depth of flavor to the filling.

Black pepper: for seasoning.

Paprika: for seasoning.

 Jalapeño: to add some nice spiciness to the rolls.

Green onion: adds some extra flavor to the rolls. We won’t use a lot, but you can feel free to leave it out if you wish! You can also substitute in 1 tsp. of dried green onions.

Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast?

Yes! You will need to make a few minor adjustments to the process.

  1. In the beginning, heat the milk from the dough ingredients to 95°-105°F (35°C-38°C). Mix together the warmed milk, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the mixture begins to foam. Once it foams, that means your yeast has been activated, is alive, and is ready to be added to the dough.
  2. The dough will take longer to rise on the first proof. It may take up to 1.5 hours to double in size.
  3. The dough will take longer to rise on the second proof. It may take up to 1.5 hours to double in size again. All you are really looking for on both proofs if for the dough to double from its original size, so if it is ready before that long, it is good to go!

Can I make these cheesy jalapeño rolls ahead of time?

Yes! There are two ways you could go about this.

  1. Make the dough the night before. My favorite way to handle this dough and most yeast doughs is to use this method. Simply knead the dough together, cover it in the mixing bowl, and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, the dough will have completed its’ first rise and be much easier to handle.
  2. Assemble the rolls the night before. After assembling the rolls, cover them in your prepared baking dish and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take out the rolls and let them come to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

I don’t have an eighth sheet pan, what can I use?

This is my favorite eighth sheet pan that I can’t recommend enough because it’s super useful (and super cute – it’s so tiny!) However, if you don’t have one you can cut the rolls into 9 pieces and use an 8×8″ pan.

Tools & ingredients helpful for making this recipe:

I hope you enjoy these small batch cheesy jalapeño rolls. If you make them, I would love to see and know your thoughts! Leave a rating down below & tag me on Instagram with a picture @freshbeanbakery. Happy baking! x

Cheesy Jalapeño Rolls

Print Recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 rolls

Ingredients

Tangzhong

  • 25 g all purpose flour
  • 100 g whole milk

Dough

  • 215 g all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 50 g whole milk
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 42 g unsalted butter room temperature

Cheesy Jalapeño Filling

  • 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 80 g monterey jack cheese
  • 70 g cheddar cheese
  • salt, pepper & paprika to taste
  • 100 g milk
  • 1 medium jalapeño minced
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced

Instructions

Tangzhong

  • In a small saucepan, add the flour and milk. Stir together over medium heat until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat.

Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add all of the dough ingredients and the tangzhong. Start kneading on low speed for 1 minute, then knead on medium speed for 10 min, or until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and no longer sticks to the bottom.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 min. In the meantime, prepare the filling
  • Finely dice the jalapeño and thinly slice the green onion. Slice the cheese into thin strips so it melts easier.
  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and butter. Whisk until the butter is melted.
  • Add in both cheeses and the milk. Whisk occasionally until the mixture is smooth and cohesive, then remove from the heat.
  • Whisk in salt, pepper, paprika, the jalapeño and the green onion. Set aside until the dough is ready to be rolled out.
  • Generously butter an eighth sheet pan. Set aside.
  • After 30 minutes of rest, roll out the dough into a 14" x 12" rectangle. Spread the cheesy filling over the dough. Starting from the longer side of the dough, roll up the dough into a log.
  • Slice the rolls into 6 even slices and place into the buttered sheet pan. Lightly cover the rolls with plastic wrap, and leave to rise until doubled in size (~40 min.).
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Once the rolls have doubled in size, place them in the oven and bake for 20-25 min., until the tops begin to lightly brown.
  • Immediately serve the warm rolls, and enjoy!

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