These savory pinwheel dinner rolls with fresh herbs and cheese filling are sooooo delicious and not nearly as hard to make as you might think! They are the dinner version of cinnamon rolls, filled with a thin layer of herb and cheese butter, with a golden brown crust and soft, flaky middle! We used Pecorino Romano, but you can easily use your favorite Parmesan or Asiago cheese. Then snip up some fresh herbs or toss in your favorite dried herbs, either way, you you’re going to love these! We used them as fancy buns last time we had burgers and they were perfect! Or, heat them up and use them to scoop up any sauce you might have left on your plate!
If you are afraid of yeast doughs, please don’t be! You just need to give them a try and follow the directions. The best thing to have on hand is a candy thermometer, so you can get the temperature of the liquid that you mix with the yeast in the right temperature ball park! If the liquid is too hot it can kill the yeast, but if it’s too cool, the yeast won’t activate properly. We like to heat our liquids for the yeast to anywhere between 110 and 115 F. This always seems to work really well for us. Also, check the date on your yeast. Old outdated yeast will not rise as well as yeast that is within the “use by” date. We store our yeast in the refrigerator until we’re ready to bake with it. Once it’s opened, you should probably not keep it much past 4 or 5 months. We bake a lot, so we buy the small jars of yeast, but you can always start with the 3-pack envelopes of yeast.
These rolls freeze well, too, so you can make them ahead and have them on hand for when you need them. And, they can be made with any kind of grated cheese, like Gruyere or sharp cheddar, or even a creamy cheese such as Boursin cheese. If you use Boursin, cut way back on the butter, if you use any at all. The Boursin is so creamy and already has herbs and garlic, or shallots and chives, so you really just need to spread the dough with the Boursin and call it a day!
Herb & Cheese Pinwheel Rolls
Yeast Roll Dough
- 2 tbsp. warm water 110-115° F
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons if you have a large container of yeast
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour You may not use all of this, but you may!
Herb & Cheese Butter
- 2 oz. salted butter, at room temperature equivalent to 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup
- 2 tbsp. fresh herbs, minced oregano, thyme, parsley
- 1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
- 1 cup grated cheese (we used Pecorino Romano), divided
- Scald milk and then add butter, salt and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Cool mixture to luke warm.
- Sprinkle 2 tbsp. warm water with the yeast in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk or stir with a fork, just to wet all of the yeast. Allow to sit while milk is cooling.
- Stir the luke warm milk mixture into the yeast in the bowl. Add the egg and mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
- Stir in 2 cups of the flour and mix well with the wooden spoon or your clean hands. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and turn into a clean, greased or sprayed bowl. Turn the dough ball once to coat the top and bottom with the butter or cooking spray. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double, or about 45 minutes. Punch down and continue assembling the rolls according to the directions below.
Herb & Cheese Butter
- While the dough is rising, mix softened butter with herbs in a small bowl until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside until ready to use. Reserve the remaining cheese for the tops of the rolls before baking.
Assembling the Rolls
- Spray a round baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Roll the dough out into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle on a floured cutting board or pastry cloth. Spread herb and cheese butter over the entire rectangle.
- Starting with the long end, roll the dough into a log. Cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch slices.
- Arrange the slices in the baking dish, making sure that the cut side is on top and on bottom. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until double in size, approximately 25-30 minutes.
- When doubled in size, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of the grated cheese over the tops of the rolls.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls seem cooked in the middle. Serve hot.