This recipe for cheese rolls sounds yummy and has a lovely technique for attractive rolls at the end. But first, let’s talk yeast. We have learned previously that yeast was a byproduct of beer making, and has been around for hundreds of years. Prior to the use of yeast, most bread was either a sourdough type or unleavened. The chemical reaction of the yeast rising in the proofing dough adds air to the dough, making it more soft and adding loft. In the past, yeast was available in cake form as well as dry. Today we can purchase dry yeast, cake yeast on occasion, packets of yeast, and even yeast formulated for your bread machine that is fast acting. Cake yeast, which this recipe calls for, is also called fresh yeast, or compressed yeast, and can still be purchased. It stays good for up to 10 days in the fridge, but it can be impacted by temperature fluctuation and that is why many people have moved to using dry yeast. Because this recipe calls for so much flour, I suspect the cake of yeast intended was a 2 oz cake. That would be equivalent to 2 1/4 tsp of dry yeast. I have linked to a wonderful website after the recipe that has a yeast conversion table to help you determine the right amount of dry yeast needed for your recipes.
I will write out the recipe as printed and then convert it to our modern style.
Mix 1 cup hot water with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand until lukewarm. Soften 1 yeast cake in 2 tablespoons lukewarm water. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and combine with the first mixture. Add 1 well beaten egg and 2 1/4 cups grated cheese. Gradually beat in 3 1/2 or 4 cups sifted flour. Turn out on a lightly floured board. Knead until elastic and smooth. Shape in a loaf and place in a buttered loaf-cake pan or form into tiny balls. Place three of the little buttered balls in buttered muffin pans, cover and let rolls or loaf rise in a warm place until nearly double in bulk. Bake the rolls in a hot oven, or at about 425 degrees F for 12 or 15 minutes. The loaf is baked at a lower temperature at about 350 degrees F.
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 yeast cake (or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast)
2 T lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
1 egg well beaten
2 1/4 cups grated cheese, any kind
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
Butter as needed
Mix together the hot water, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in a bowl. Let stand until lukewarm. In another bowl, soften the yeast with 2 T lukewarm water. Add 1 tsp sugar, stir, then combine with the first mixture. Add the egg and cheese, stir. Gradually beat in the flour. On a lightly floured board knead until elastic and smooth (10 minutes?).
For a loaf – butter a loaf pan and shape the dough nicely. Cover and allow to rise until nearly double. Bake at 350 until golden brown.
For rolls – roll the dough into small balls. Butter a muffin tin and place three balls in each hole. Cover and allow to rise until nearly double. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.
Yeast Conversion Table via Red Star Yeast
PS Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband, my father, and all the great dads out there!