Cheesy Buns

Dan and I started off in a middle-distance relationship.  We met in Washington, DC but I lived in Northern Virginia and Dan lived in Maryland.  This was further complicated by my lack of car and Dan’s office not being downtown.  This means that on weeknights we would have to meet somewhere in between.  We went to some nice restaurants but many nights we went to Panera so we could have more time to sit and talk.  
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Little did I know that this was the home of Dan’s not-so-secret addiction, the roast beef sandwich on an asiago cheese roll.  Every time we would go I would order something new and Dan would get his old faithful.  It honestly took years for him to tire of this obsession.  It has been a few years since he retired that sandwich and despite the fact that I’ve been trying to replicate delicious meals at home, I’ve never tried to replicate the bread he liked so much.  That was until I was trying to figure out a recipe for the Land O Lakes ® blog.  I wanted to make our dinner really special and have been trying to find a good hamburger bun recipe.  It seemed like the perfect time to try to replicate the bread from Dan’s old fave.

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Cheesy Buns
Note:  These take a lot longer than you’d expect. Start the buns a long time before you want to start prepping for dinner.  Starting at lunch time would be good of course first thing in the morning would probably be safer! 
Also, I put a little too much cheese on top and it burned. It still tasted really good though, it wasn’t dense but it was flavorful. I think it would be good to add some chives to it next time.

Last but not least, I learned something new with all of this, I don’t usually buy deli cheese since I like cheese in blocks not slices.  That will all change now that I found out that you could request the cheese in a block at the counter. 

Ingredients

3 3/4 cups flour
1/4 ounce yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 cups Land O’Lakes® 4 Cheese Italian Blend, shredded 

Directions

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 c flour, 1/4 oz yeast, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t sugar and 1/4 t pepper.

2. In a small bowl mix the melted 2 T butter and the 1 1/4 c milk.  Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.

3.  Stir in 1 c cheese.

4.  Start adding the remaining 2 c flour slowly until it comes together as a soft dough.

5.  Kneed the dough for a few minutes adding flour as needed.

6.  Oil a large bowl and add the dough.  Cover with a towel and let it double.  This takes awhile.  I put it inside my cold oven for 2 hours and it was almost doubled so maybe 2.5 hours?

7.  Punch down the dough and form into 8 buns.  Spread out on a baking sheet covered in silpat.  Cover and let rise again until doubled (almost another hour)

8.  Preheat the oven to 375.

9.  Sprinkle the buns with the rest of the cheese (and chives next time!) and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.