These cute rolls are one of my mom’s favourites and staple in her culinary repertoire. I remember them from my childhood, with the most vivid memory of the magical aroma in the kitchen, and the moment when I was given the important task of shaping them. She prepared them with Sirene cheese, the Bulgarian a bit firmer variety of feta, and I was even allowed to grate it. Later on, already in my college years, a batch of these rolls was often put in my backpack to comfort me during my absence from home (thank you, mom!). So, me and these cheese rolls have a long story together, although I had completely forgotten them for few years.
Last week we stayed few days with my parents and had lots of special moments together. To see them laughing with their beloved granddaughter and singing baby songs, trying to cheer her up is really priceless. And when I thought I couldn’t be happier, one morning I found these warm and soft cheese rolls on the table for breakfast. So the next thing I’m dreaming of is the time we can prepare these rolls with my mom and my daughter, and teach her how to shape them.
It is an easy recipe that can be put up for the Sunday breakfast in just 30 minutes, and if you have your kids around, it can be a real fun. It’s also the perfect finger food for your baby, providing you’ve already introduced gluten and use unsalted cheese.
Makes around 60 small rolls
Preparation and baking time: 45-50 minutes
1 cup yogurt* 1 tsp baking soda 2 cups grated white brine cheese** 125 g unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all purpose flour
Optional: 2 tbsp sesame seeds
*Use natural thick Greek stile yogurt for this recipe.
**We prefer a bit firmer than feta type of cheese, called Sirene and don’t add any additional salt, as the cheese is salty enough. If you going to offer these rolls to your baby, you better extract the salt out of it, you need to soak the cheese in cold water and leave it for about a day. By doing so, you’ll extract the salt from the cheese, making it softer, but adding a bit more flour will adjust the dough.
First grate the cheese on medium – if it’s grated too finely you’ll not taste it in the ready rolls, if it’s too roughly grated, it will be difficult to roll the dough.
In a big bowl mix together yogurt and soda with a fork. As you’re mixing, the yogurt will start bubbling. Add the grated cheese and the melted (but not hot) butter and mix again. Sift the flour over this mixture and start incorporating it slowly. You may need more flour in order to have soft, but not sticky dough. Knead it with hands just for a minute, forming a ball, and leave it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough in 8 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface roll out the first one into a circle, 2-3 mm thick. Using a sharp knife, cut it in 8 equal wedges. Roll each piece from the outer side to the point, using a light movement with the palm of the hand. Arrange the rolls over baking trays, covered with baking paper. Sprinkle some sesame seeds, if you like.
Bake in preheated to 200C oven for about 18-20 minutes, until golden. Serve them warm or cold. Store in air tight container.