Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mozzarella Stuffed Dinner Rolls

Everyone likes a dinner roll with dinner. Everyone except people who eat only low carb, I guess, and you might even be able to convince them to eat these because of the cheese inside. Each of these dinner rolls has a lump of warm, melted mozzarella inside. They go well with salad and soups, but are the best with a bowl of pasta topped with marinara, where they can be used to soak up all that delicious extra sauce.
I used those neat little balls of fresh mozzarella that are packed in tubs of water at the grocery store. Simply cut them in half and stick them into the rolls. It's actually important not to use too much cheese, since it will just run out of the dough. Rolls are a much better shape option than breadsticks, which you can see I tried in the photo above. The round rolls held the cheese much better than the sticks did.
I topped all of the rolls with either coarse sea salt or garlic salt. Personally, I prefered the plain sea salt to top them over the garlic salt, but it's a matter of individual preference. The salt really brought out the flavor of the cheese and I think it's necessary to a good roll.
These are really quick to make. you can do start them at 4:30 and pull them out of the oven in time for dinner. Of course, you'll have to watch that you don't burn your tongue on the cheese, but it's a small price to pay for warm, fresh dinner rolls .

Mozzarella Stuffed Dinner Rolls
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup water, warm (110F)
1/2 cup milk, warm (110F)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 - 2 2 1/2 cups ap flour
12, 3/4-inch cubes of fresh mozarella cheese
coase sea salt or garlic salt to top

In a large bowl, combine yeast and water and let stand for 5 minutes, until slightly foamy. Add milk, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour, stirring well. Add the remaining flour gradually, stirring until the dough comes together into a ball, away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl to rise until doubled, 50-60 minutes in a warm kitchen.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each into a round. Place a square of cheese inside each dough round and pinch tightly to seal. Place seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a dish towel for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F while rolls rest.
Brush rolls with a little water and sprinkle with coarse salt or garlic salt, if you prefer. Bake rolls for 18-20 minutes, until golden.
Serve right away, as the cheese is best warm. Don't worry if it leaks out onto the baking sheet; the rolls will still taste great.
Makes 12 rolls.