It was the cheese powder that caught my attention. I have never used it, and I doubted it would be available in my supermarket. I decided to make the buns anyway and find a substitute for cheese powder.
King Arthur Flour called it their cheese burger buns recipe with Vermont cheese powder. The closest substitute I could find was the Knorr packet for cheese sauce. I wasn’t sure it would work but I really felt like experimenting.
I followed the recipe to the letter, substituting the Vermont cheese powder with the Knorr cheese sauce packet. Luckily it came to exactly 1/4 cup (as stated in the recipe). The dough grew humongous after 1-1/2 hours of proofing. I formed them into buns. The recipe said it would yield 12 buns and that’s what I ended up with. They grew even larger after another hour.
My brother loved it. So did I. Soft and chewy. I almost wished I had made hamburger patties.
Then it hit me. The macaroni and cheese boxes of Kraft would have that powdered cheese as well! I bought a box and was delighted that the powder also came to 1/4 cup! (what is it with packed cheese substitutes anyway?)
For the second attempt, I wanted to be artistic and decided to make twisted rolls. I tied the basic knot and just made the ends of the knots go over-under. I baked them at exactly 18 minutes. The visual treat was that Kraft’s cheese powder gave my rolls a bright yellow color. When they came out of the oven, I brushed them with melted butter the second time, let them cool on the wire rack for 1-1/2 hours, then put them in a sealed bag, freezing about 6 of the rolls (I ended up with 13).
The next morning, I warmed the rolls in the toaster oven and again…delicious…chewy…cheesy! This is going to be a keeper. Thank you, King Arthur. You’ll be at my table again, even if my table isn’t round!
Here they are fresh from the oven.
For those who want the King Arthur Flour’s recipe, here it is: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/cheese-burger-buns-recipe.
If you have no cheese powder or don’t want to use a substitute, King Arthur does say you can use grated Parmesan or your favorite cheese.
Lessons learned? One, I’ll be using Kraft’s macaroni and cheese powder in the box. Two, instead of brushing with butter, I think I’ll use one yolk mixed with cream – sort of give the rolls two tones: brown on top and yellow on the sides. Or…here’s an idea: sprinkle poppy seeds or dried parsley leaves on top for even more color!