Minced Onion Celery Seed Savory Cheese Rolls

When I spotted the Savory Cheese Rolls recipe on Red Star Yeast's site I immediately thought they would be great rolls for Thanksgiving and a (Parve) Chanukah. I also thought that on a balmy wintery day they would go perfectly with a piping hot bowl of chili. Seems like Red Star Yeast was thinking summer BBQ rolls, so really these Minced Onion Celery Seed Savory Cheese Rolls are a year-round crowd pleaser.

While the dough is soft and sticky, once it proofs the first time, just tear a piece of dough with your hands, if you wish, instead of spooning into the muffin tins as instructed. It is sticky but yet workable. I inverted each ball of dough and tapered it at the bottom to achieve uniform looking rolls. I suspect that even if you don't take this extra step, by the time it proofs in the muffin tins for the second time around, it will all even out and the muffin tin will lend its shape to the roll. I used exact measurements called in for in the recipe. The explanation on the added milk in this baking tips explains the feathery soft savory cheese rolls achieved here. 
You might wish to dust the muffin tins with flour after greasing the tins so the rolls will pop out easier when cooled down. If dusting with flour, turn the muffin tins over the sink to rid of any excess flour. I was successful prying the rolls out gently, all in tact, without that extra dusting step, but keep in mind the melted cheese will stick to the tins. The rolls are really fantastic warm or at room temperature. I gave one roll, as it came out of the oven, to Jonathan, while he was mowing the lawn and blowing the leaves. It's pure satisfaction, on a brisk fall day, outdoors.
On to the minced onion and celery seeds. I have never used either one of these spices in the past. Minced onion was an ingredient I was introduced to when I came to the US over two decades ago. It was an ingredient Jonathan's Grandmother or great aunt in Florida might or might not have used in their casseroles. Little had I known that both spices are such a staple in every day American cooking. You can see the discussion here, here and here. I was especially blown away how wide spread the use of celery seeds is in potato salads, mac and cheese, soups, and even on the rim of a bloody Mary. I was happy at all of these discoveries. Both minced onion and celery seeds will be used again in making these, as I like to call them, buns, and making an appearance in all of sort of dishes in my kitchen. A revival of sort, I would like to think, even if it eluded me in the past. 

This post is a part of my continued professional collaboration with Red Star Yeast. See the entire series in the links below.

Savory Cheese Rolls
yields 18 rolls
Red Star Yeast original recipe

3 cups bread flour
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 egg
1 cup (4oz) Stella Fontinella or cheddar cheese

In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, onion, salt and celery seed; mix well. In saucepan, heat milk, water and shortening to 120-130°F (shortening does not need to melt); add to flour mixture. Add egg. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in remaining flour to make a soft batter and  add cheese, by hand, gradually. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled, about 30 minutes. Stir down batter. Spoon into greased muffin cups. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled, about 30 minutes at most. Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Red Star Yeast series:
Cinnamon Buns
Yeast Pancakes
Multigrain Oatmeal Bread
Marbled Rye Bread
Dark Pumpernickel Rye Bread
JalapeƱo Cheddar Bread
Challah
Brioche
Date and Orange Tea Ring
Finnish Pulla
Banana Bread
Granola Crunch Coffeecake
Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread