Friday, February 4, 2011

Freezer Friday: Ham & Cheese Rolls

freezerfridaysmThis recipe has been a work in progress over the last couple months.  It started out as filled bread sticks.  I made them for friends and was met with rave reviews.  As filled bread sticks, they had some integrity issues:  lots of leaking cheese.  I decided that the flavors were all good, but they needed a different structure.

HandCRolls5My next attempt was filled rolls.  These worked much better!  Then I realized that if I didn't bake them all the way, they froze well and then I could finish baking them when I wanted to serve them.  This method worked fantastically!

While I've made these rolls with ham and cheese combinations, the filling ideas are endless!  My only thought is that if you're leaning towards veggie fillings like peppers and onions, saute and drain them first.  The extra liquid from the veggies could cause leaky rolls.  Read through to tips at the bottom.

Ham & Cheese Rolls

4-1/2 Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast

1 cup Warm Water

1 cup Warm Milk

1/2 cup Butter, Softened

2 Tablespoons Sugar

3 Teaspoons Salt

2 eggs, beaten

6-7 Cups All Purpose Flour

4 cups chopped Ham

2 cups Shredded Cheese

1.  Combine milk, water, sugar  and yeast and allow to sit until yeast begins to dissolve.  Add eggs, butter and 3 cups of flour and mix until a batter forms.

2.  Slowly work in the remaining flower.  As soon as your dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, STOP!  Do not add too much flour or it will not stick together well when you are trying make the rolls.

3.  Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl to rise. Allow to rise until doubled in size.

4.  Separate dough into quarters and roll dough out.  I roll it out to about 1/4 inch for lots of small rolls, and about 1/2 inch for larger, sandwich rolls.

5.  Cut rolled dough into desired sized squares.  (A pizza cutter works great!) Sprinkle ham and cheese in the center of each square.  (This time I cheated and used sandwich meat and chunks of cheese - it works great for smaller appetizer rolls)


6.  Pull the four corners of the square over the topping and press the dough together until there are no  seams visible.

7.  Place bottom down on a cookie sheet, and space about 2 inches apart.  These will rise quite a bit.


8.  As soon as the sheet is full, bake at 375 for 12-17 minutes to par bake and 18-25, or until golden brown to fully bake.  (Par baked rolls can be cooled and frozen and finished baking for about 15 minutes when you're ready to serve them.)

Serve with hot with your favorite mustard!


On the dough:  You want it to be pretty soft and maybe even a little sticky.  If you use a mixer with a dough hook, it should pull away from the side of the bowl, but not completely off the bottom.  This makes it easier to seal up your rolls.  Second, use cooking spray on your rolling pin and rolling surface instead of flour - this helps with sealing up the rolls too.

On Leaky Cheese: I found that even when I par bake the rolls some tend to leak cheese. I let them cool and send them to the freezer.  Then when it's time to finish baking them I bake them upside down, or seam side up since it's usually the bottom that's leaking.

On Fillings:  The combinations are endless, but remember, the more moisture your fillings release while they cook, (like peppers, onions, fattier meats etc) the soggier your rolls will be.

This post is linked up at Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap: Super Bowl Food. Check it out for other great party food ideas!


  1. Do you have to defrost them before you finish baking them, or can you put them in frozen?

  2. I've done both. If they're still frozen, they just take a little longer to cook.