While many baked rolls tend to veer toward the dessert category, I decided to go the other way—to make savory rolls that were just as rich, delicate, and tender as their sweeter counterparts.
I used my Sourdough Savory Rolls with Parmesan and Ricotta recipe for the base, then started building and riffing on the flavors. After a bit of testing, I landed on a next-level combo of chopped chives plus Kerrygold Blarney Castle and Kerrygold Skellig cheeses. (Think: silky and creamy Gouda paired with a rich and tangy cheddar.) To top it all off—literally—I finished the baked rolls with a grating of Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, the perfect hit of vibrancy to keep you coming back for more. —Maurizio Leo
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe is shared in partnership with Kerrygold. —The Editors
- Prep time 7 hours 45 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- makes 9 rolls
For the filling:
Kerrygold Blarney Castle Cheese, grated
Kerrygold Skellig Cheese, grated
Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, grated
chopped fresh chives
For the dough:
Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
beaten eggs (a little shy of 2 eggs)
ripe sourdough starter
For the egg wash:
large egg, beaten
Mix the dough (9:00 a.m.)
Place the Kerrygold butter in a small bowl and let sit out at room temperature to soften. Measure and warm the whole milk to about 76°F/24°C, either in the microwave or on the stove. Warming the milk will lead to a warmer mixed dough, which ensures ample fermentation activity.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flour, warmed milk, eggs, salt, and ripe sourdough starter. (Leave the cut butter aside for now.) Set the mixer to low speed and mix until all the ingredients are combined, and no dry bits of flour remain. Turn the mixer up to speed 2 and mix for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough starts to clump around the dough hook (it won’t completely come off the bottom of the mixing bowl).
Let the dough rest 10 minutes in the mixing bowl, uncovered.
The butter should be at room temperature by this time—a finger should easily push into a piece without much resistance. If the butter is still cold, place it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until it’s soft to the touch.
Turn the mixer down to low and add the butter, one ½-inch piece at a time, waiting to add the next until the previous one is fully incorporated into the dough. While mixing, continue to add all the butter and mix until the dough smooths and once again begins clumping to the dough hook. Adding the butter and finishing to mix could take a total of 5 minutes or so. The dough will be homogenous and moderately elastic at the end of mixing, but still sticky and not fully developed. We will perform a few sets of stretch and folds during bulk fermentation to continue strengthening the dough.
Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover, and bulk ferment.
Bulk ferment the dough (9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Set a timer for 30 minutes; for the duration, let the dough rest, covered, at a warm temperature (77°F/25°C). After 30 minutes, give the dough its first set of stretch and folds (we’ll do this three times total).
For each set, use slightly wet hands to grab the edge of the dough farthest from you in the container, then stretch it up and over to the side nearest you. Then, grab the dough on the side closest to you and stretch it back up and over to the farthest side of the container. Repeat two more folds, one at the right side of the container and one at the left—you’ll now have a folded up square in the container. Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes, again covered and at room temperature, then stretch and fold a second time. Repeat this process once more for a total of three sets. After the third set, let the dough rest, covered, for two more hours. (The whole bulk fermentation process will take 3 ½ hours.)
Chill the dough (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
After bulk fermentation, place the container, covered dough into the refrigerator for at least an hour (or up to 24 hours). This time in the fridge will chill the dough, making it easier to roll out, shape, and cut it into rolls.
Roll out the dough, spread the filling, cut the rolls (2:00 p.m.)
Liberally butter a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. I like to use my USA Pan, which has a natural nonstick liner, but you could also use parchment paper folded and pressed to the inside.
In a small bowl, combine the grated Kerrygold Blarney Castle and Kerrygold Skellig cheeses. Chop the chives and add them to a small bowl. Set aside.
When thoroughly chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator and flour the top of the dough and your work surface. Then, gently scrape the dough out of the container to the floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 16 x 15 inches, the longer sides parallel to you. If the dough begins to stick at any point, add additional flour to the dough and the work surface to prevent sticking.
Evenly spread the mix of grated cheeses over the rolled-out dough and sprinkle the chopped chives over the cheese. Then, starting with the dough closest to your body, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder.
Using a sharp chef’s knife (or unflavored dental floss), cut the roll into 1 ½-inch-thick rounds. I like to trim the ends of the cylinder just about 1/2-inch, so the remaining pieces are more uniform. You might also end up with one extra roll (for a total of 10) in the end, depending on how thinly you’ve rolled out the dough.
Place the cut pieces into the prepared baking pan in 3 rows of 3 with a little space around each roll, giving it room to relax and rise during proofing.
Proof the shaped rolls (2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., temperature depending)
Cover the baking pan and let the dough proof at warm room temperature for 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on your kitchen’s temperature. If it’s cooler, the dough may take longer until ready. When the rolls have relaxed and risen fully, the dough will be very soft to the touch.
Bake the rolls (4:30 p.m.)
Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
In a small bowl, make the egg wash: Whisk together the egg and whole milk until frothy. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the egg wash onto the proofed dough in a thin, uniform layer.
Bake the rolls for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°F (175°C) and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The rolls are finished when the tops are golden, and the internal temperature should be above 200°F (93°C).
When baked, remove the pan from the oven and let the rolls rest for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, remove from the pan to a wire rack, sprinkle on a few more chopped chives, grate the Kerrygold Aged Cheddar liberally on top, and enjoy.