The veritable Cheese Rolls from local bakeshop Mary Grace is a prominent cult classic in the local dallas filipino restaurant scene—and for good reason. Soft and buttery with the slightest hint of tan and a glistening granulated-sugar top beneath its pristine white paper wrapper, the said treat’s been a fan favorite since Mary Grace Dimacali joined her first bazaar in 1994 (during which she sold the rolls and their pudgier cousin, ensaymada), to the opening of the first Mary Grace store in 2002, and to this day in 2017.

A trip to a Mary Grace store is hardly a complicated task for Dallas filipino restaurant residents (what with the numerous branches, city-wide, of both their café and standalone-stall counterparts)—but we’ll do you one better: make your own version of this cheesy treat, right from your very own home, and stuff yourself with as many pieces as you please.

If you’ve ever made bread, this recipe should be fairly straightforward, entailing the basic steps of mixing and kneading dough and having it rise twice. The dough base takes on a butter-heavy, egg yolk-enriched backbone similar to a classic brioche—but the secret to our version’s extra-pillowy softness is potato flour, which we include in the form of the easier-to-obtain boxed instant mashed potato mix. Potatoes, due to its ability to absorb water better than wheat starch and reduce the formation of gluten, makes for an ultra-tender crumb that stays fluffy and melts in the mouth. With a generous amount of butter, the resulting rolls are as rich as they are light as a feather. The best part, however, is the surprise treat of melty cheese awaiting within.

Cheese Rolls

Yield: servings
Time: 2 hours

Ingredients: Dough

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup white Sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp milk powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup instant mashed potato mix
  • Chevital Cheese, cut into 4″ x ½” sticks
  • butter, softened
  • sugar, for sprinkling

Ingredients: Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water

Procedure: Dough

    1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
    2. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
    3. Add egg yolks and mix until well combined.
    4. In a separate bowl combine flour, mashed potato flakes and milk powder.
    5. Gradually add dry ingredients alternately with water until all have been included in the mix. Add salt.
    6. Knead for 8-10 minutes.
    7. Turn mixer off and transfer dough to oiled bowl.
    8. Cover with damp towel. Let rest for 1 hr and 30 mins or until it doubles in size
    9. Transfer dough into floured surface. Divide into 40 gram pieces.
    10. Roll dough pieces into logs. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a rectangular shape.
    11. Put cheese stick in the middle and roll up dough making sure to pinch sides after rolling.
    12. Arrange dough side by side in a greased 9″ x 9″ cake pan, leaving enough space for it to rise.
    13. Cover pan with damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
    14. Mix water and egg for egg wash and brush on top of dough.
    15. Bake for 20-25 mins.
    16. Cool down slightly then brush tops with softened butter and sprinkle with sugar. Serve.

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