These eye-catching braided rolls are a wonderful accompaniment to any meal. The coarsely ground pepper isn't overpowering. I sometimes like to use the dough when making hamburger buns.
- 4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt and pepper. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in cheese and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Divide into 36 pieces. Shape each into a 6-in. rope. Braid three ropes together. Pinch ends to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg; brush over braids. Bake at 375° for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Braided Peppery Cheese Rolls in Best of Country Breads 2000, p57
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