Cheesy Bread Friday: Ode to Hilhi Class of ’05

Back in the olden days of Hillsboro High School, Friday was a special day: the last day of school for the week, no after-school practices, the day Jenna did her Friday Dance, and Cheesy Bread Friday.

Cheesy Bread was served weekly – a giant white roll wrapped up with cheddar cheese and served with a little cup of marinara. Taking into account the current regulations against childhood obesity in public schools, I would assume (and hope) that 1:1 cheese to white bread is no longer served at the Spartan cafeteria (or at least as a complete meal in its own). Regardless, the memories, conversations, and laughs over greasy fingers have more than well made up for its low nutritional content, leaving lasting friendships that are far from bland.

In a bout of nostalgia a few months ago I decided to have my own Cheesy Bread Friday. We kept a few for our ourselves, and shared the rest (more to get rid of the temptation than out of kindness) – not realizing what a hit they would be! I have made them several times since, usually to replace a dinner roll on special occasions – and they have remained a favorite!

Cheesy Bread
makes 24 
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons yeast
6 – 8 cups flour (sub up to half with whole wheat flour)
2 Tablespoons dough enhancer (optional, but recommended)
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning mix (optional)

1 1/2 lbs shredded cheddar cheese (these are cheese rolls, not diet rolls: commit.)
1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning mix (optional)

1. Combine water and sugar, and sprinkle yeast on top to proof. When bubbly, add in 3 cups of flour and dough enhancer. Stir to an even consistency. Add in salt and Italian seasoning, and enough flour to bring the dough together. Knead until smooth (5-6 minutes in KitchenAid, 12-15 minutes by hand).
2. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
3. Punch down dough and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. (This helps loosen its elasticity so that it is easier to roll out.)
4. On a lightly greased or floured counter – roll out dough into a long rectangle – about 10×36-inches. (about 3x the length of your 9×13-inch pan)

5.  Sprinkle cheese evenly over dough, leaving about 1-inch free. With a pastry brush – or your fingers – dampen the last inch with water. This will help to seal the dough once it has been rolled up.

6. Roll up tightly, and cut into 1.5-inch slices. I like to use a piece of dental floss for a clean cut. You should end up with about 24 rolls.

7. Place the rolls in two 9×13-inch pans (12 in each) for cinnamon-roll-style cheesy bread. Or, place on a cookie sheet (with more space in between) for more individual rolls (like in the first picture).

8. Let rise one more hour, or until doubled in size.
9. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Sprinkle the top with more dried herbs, if desired. Bake for 20-40 minutes, depending on pan size, or until done and golden brown on all sides.

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  1. says

    I was mourning my mini-ovenless kitchen thinking of these yummy rolls we had at Century. Wishing that we could have them with our ham and potato soup tonight…. I googled and found your picture. You are famous!

  2. Anonymous says

    I googled Hilhi Cheesy Bread, so happy to have found this. I was part of the class of 2004 and every so often I wish I could taste a little bit of this goodness. :)

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