Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guyanese Cheese Rolls


Every weekend my family made our routine trip to Liberty Avenue in Queens, NY to purchase our Guyanese baked goods for the week.  Our first stop was to the ever so popular and historic bakery, Sybil's.  Sybil's has come to be a landmark in our community, one that is easily recognizable by the look and taste of their baked goods. Two of my absolute favorite pastries from Sybil's are their pine tarts and cheese rolls. Usually when my dad purchased a bag of cheese rolls, I would have already eaten one in the car before we got home.  It was flaky, cheesy, slightly spicy, an absolutely delicate, so delicate that you could see the crumbs in the bag.  I made sure to always wash those scrumptious cheese rolls down with a bottle of cream soda.  Oh, the childhood memories...



Baking cheese rolls take patience and focus, the crust and assembly is what will take up most of your time.  You can buy yourself some time by purchasing already shredded cheese and using store-bought pie crust (which I have done in the past and works great if you don't feel like spending hours on this), but if you are really in the mood to make it all from scratch then this is an excellent recipe.



Mix 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp curry powder into 2 cups flour. 

With a pastry cutter, cut 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter and 1/2 cup of crisco vegetable shortening into the flour mixture until you have little lumps of butter/shortening throughout the flour.  You don't want to cut the butter too small because the small chunks is what helps to create a flaky crust. 

Add enough ice cold water to bring the dough together about a 1/4 cup or more. 

Place dough ball on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten dough into a square shape.  This is important because it will help you later when cutting the dough.  Refrigerate the dough for about 3-4 hours. 

In the meantime, mix the cheese.  You can season the cheese and freeze it and use it at a later time. Add 1/2 tsp mustard, 1/2 tsp pepper sauce, a shake of dry parsley, black pepper, and garlic powder.

Toss together

Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into 16 squares.  Your squares should be 1inch x 1inch in size, it's okay if it is not exact. 

Sprinkle your surface with flour and flatten the square piece of dough. Roll to a rectangular shape.  Do not roll very thin.

Reserve 1 egg white for brushing the edges of the rolled dough.

Brush edges

Place about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture at the bottom of the dough, then fold over.  Add another tablespoon of cheese and brush a little egg white on the folded edge, seal and flip cheese roll so the seam is on the bottom. With a fork, pierce sides and cut with a knife for an nice and clean look. 

Place all cheese rolls on a baking sheet

Can you see the specs of curry powder in the dough?

Beat one egg to be used for the egg wash

Brush egg wash on each cheese roll. This will give the cheese roll a really nice color after baking.

Ready to go into the oven! Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.  You can pierce the cheese rolls on the top with a fork if you are nervous about the cheese oozing out while baking.  

Remove from oven, cool and serve :)






Guyanese Cheese Rolls 
Yield: 9-16 rolls

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup crisco (vegetable shortening)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp pepper sauce (more if desired)
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of dry parsley flakes
  • egg whites for brushing edges
  • egg wash
    • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water
Directions:
  1. Mix 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp curry powder into two cups all-purpose flour.
  2. Add 1 stick of salted butter and 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening. 
  3. With a pastry cutter, cut shortening and butter into flour until small pieces are formed throughout the dough.  Add about 1/4 cup ice cold water to the dough and knead slightly to form a ball. 
    1. This can be done quickly in a food processor by adding dry ingredients, pulsing, adding shortening and butter, pulsing until pea sizes form, then adding water until ball forms. 
  4. Place ball on plastic wrap, flatten and shape into a square.  Refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.  Remove dough from fridge an hour before use so it can thaw. 
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred cheese and mix in mustard, pepper sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, and parsley flakes, toss and set aside. 
  6. Cut dough into 16 squares for thinner cheese rolls or 9 squares for thicker cheese rolls.  Flatten one square and roll into a rectangular shape.
  7. Brush edges of dough with egg whites. Fill a tablespoon or two on lower half, roll into center then add more cheese.  Seal edges. 
  8. Place all cheese rolls on a baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash. 
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until rolls are golden brown. 
*If you are nervous about the cheese oozing out of the rolls, you can pierce the tops with a fork to allow the steam to escape while baking. 


63 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this! Do you have a good recipe for black cake too? I have been searching for a cheese roll recipe, I am going to try this on Tuesday. Love your site. - Savie

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  2. Yes would love a recipes for black cake! Your cheese roll looks so delicious!

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  3. Thanks Alica, looks delicious. I can't wait to try it.

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  4. Awesome!!! I will try! (But I will try with already made crust first...and make my way up that way LOL)

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  5. Amazing! This is my favorite pastry from Sybils. :)

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  6. I love this blog <3

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  7. Amazing photos... I will try this recipe tomorrow ♥

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  8. Can this pastry recipe be used for pinetarts if I don't add the curry powder?

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  9. Hi Anonymous,

    You can use this recipe just omit the curry powder and only put in 1/4 tsp salt. Make sure you roll your dough into balls and when you roll them out with a rolling pin, they should be about 1/8in in thickness and about 6-6/12 inches in diameter. You can also use a cookie cutter or bowl if you can find one that spans that diameter.

    Thanks for visiting!
    Alica

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  10. Thanks for this recipe. I am about to use this recipe. I have made previous cheese roll recipe that call for cold butter or margarine. Did you use cold butter and Cisco for yours or was it room temperature?

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  11. Alisha its natalie as i said before this camne out amazing!!!! as well as the pinetarts!! thanks again your recipe couldn't have been more easier!

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  12. Def gonna try this Alicia, thanks for the recipe!

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  13. I also have the same question, does the recipe call for cold butter and crisco?
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Yes, I used cold butter AND room temperature Crisco. You can use all butter, but if you are doing so, I would recommend you use unsalted to control the amount of saltiness in the cheese roll. Hopefully this helps!

      Delete
  14. I also have the same question, does this recipe call for cold butter and crisco?
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Yes, cold butter and room temperature crisco :)

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  15. I have never ever heard of CURRY POWDER in cheese roll.

    ...but each to their own I guess. I'm also Indo Guyanese, but seems very wrong.

    I can tell you that cheese roll is is originally form Europe/England...maybe at one time in England it was popular, and that's how it traveled to Guyana.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for your message. In my opinion there is no RIGHT way to make a dish since taste is all about preference.

      Best,
      Alica

      Delete
  16. Tried it and LOVED it! Gave some to friends and they didn't want to share, so I had to promise to make more lol. Just a testament to how awesome this recipe is. Thanks so very much for sharing. Have to say that the curry powder gave it a very authentic flavor. Maybe this is the secret ingredient to the perfect cheese roll? The dough was very easy to work with as well. ~ Nalini

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  17. Hi
    If I don't have crisco, how many butter should i be using then? Is it better to use salted or unsalted butter, if unsalted, how many salt should i add in total.
    thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Wackybacky :)

      If you don't have crisco, you can use 1 stick (equal to 1/2 cup) UNSALTED butter. Using unsalted will help you control the salty taste in the cheese roll. Don't add any additional salt, it should be fine with the saltiness from the cheese and salted butter. When making the dough, if you find it needs a little more cold water then add it. Work quickly, you don't want the dough to get warm. Enjoy and feel free to message me if you have any questions!

      Alica

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    2. Cheers..will try it out tomorrow and hope it come out like urs...keep u update later :D
      Thanks

      Delete
  18. Love it, Love it, Love it. Growing up with Crisco and then never buying it once I was on my own, I was really afraid to start cooking with it again BUT if I want cheese roll and this is the way I am going to get it then off to the supermarket I go.

    And it was worth the trip. However, I am one of a few people who fells that there was never enough cheese in these rolls (that woman is being skimpy with her cheese) STUFFED my rolls and it was not a good outcome.

    The rolls were fine and the taste was excellent BUT trying to wrap the small dough around my cheese requirement took some doing and a few seeped unto the pan (stick to the tablespoon of cheese or double the dough ingredients) but other than that, the rolls were a hit and everyone loved it. My color, flakiness, and texture was also the same as pictured above. What's not to like . . .

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  19. I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog! I love cheese rolls and am going to make these asap. :D Your photographs are well done too!

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  20. Why did my Cheese ooz out even though i pierce hole with a fork

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      This could've happened for a few reasons, perhaps the dough was rolled too thin, maybe too much cheese, or the roll was not sealed tightly enough. I have had a couple of my own cheese rolls burst as well, but I have noticed it is because of one of the three reasons listed above. Hopefully this helps for next time, thanks for visiting!

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  21. I really like you photos. I've just started studying photography, and those are impressive. What kind of camera did you use?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Fazil,

      I use a Nikon D3100. I also use a macro lens for the close ups. Thanks for visiting :)

      Delete
  22. I found your website through pintrest and I just wanted to thank you for the amazing recipies. I'm going to make the cheese rolls this week. I'm 29 and have still not mastered a good chicken curry, of course my mom doesn't measure anything when she cooks so its difficult to learn that way. Not sure if I missed it but do you have a chicken curry recipe? I would love to try it! Also, your wedding pics are beautiful!

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  23. I just took my cheese rolls out of the oven. Can't wait to try them. The dough was very hard to work with, it was breaking apart very easily and kept breaking off into little chunks on the rolling pin. Any idea what I did wrong?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karina,

      Sorry to hear you had trouble with the dough. Here are my recommendations:

      1. Knead the dough more before wrapping it in the plastic wrap. This will help to incorporate the butter into the dough more so it won't break apart as easily.

      2. When rolling the dough, keep your rolling pin floured as much as you can, even between rolls if you have to. This is also an indication to me that the dough needed to be kneaded a little bit more.

      Another tip I didn't mention in the post - I like my cheese roll crust to be a little thinner, but some people prefer a thicker crust. If you do prefer a thicker crust, cut the dough into 9 squares instead of 16. Lastly, hope you liked how they tasted even though the dough gave you some trouble!

      Best,
      Alica

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    2. Sorry one more thing! You can also let the dough cool off a bit after it comes out of the fridge. When it is cold, the butter will make it hard to roll. Let is come down to room temp a bit, that will be easier to work with.

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  24. Instead of crisco, do you think solidified coconut oil would work?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anisah,
      I have not used coconut oil in place of the crisco. I think it could work though. If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know what your results were like. Thanks for visiting!
      Alica

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  25. Hey Alica,
    I'm really glad you made this blog :) i tried this recipe - with a few tweaks... and it turned out amazing...

    Wishing you well

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  26. i made this today, came out ok. My question is the recipe said 2 cups of flour but my dough was breaking apart. Should i have used 2.5 to 3 cups of flour to get the right texture ?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jasmin,

      The dough breaking apart may have to do more with the temperature of the dough than the amount of four. Was the dough very cold when you were working with it? Perhaps I will indicate in the recipe to let the dough come down in temperature after removing from the fridge before working with it. When it is really cold, it's very hard to roll and the edges will break apart. Hope this helps, I will make a note in the recipe.

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  27. Thank you for the advise, I will try again.

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  28. thanks for the respond, i will try again.

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  29. I tried this today but after i baked it, it was way too crumbly. I am sure this is an unfair question, but why do you think that is?

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  30. I tried this today. After i baked it, it was way too crumbly. Why do you think that is? I know it may be an unfair question

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vanessa,

      No, it's not an unfair question at all! I believe the dough was too crumbly b/c the butter was very very cold, try to knead it a little bit more next time, if that doesn't work, reduce the amount of shortening or butter by 1/4 cup. Hope this helps.

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  31. Great blog! Oh how I miss Sybils! I need to find a good Guyanese spot in Maryland if they have one :/

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  32. What if you don't have shortening, what can be used as a substitution?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anumeeka,

      You can use all butter if you dont have shortening, the shortening just helps to keep it soft for a couple of days after baking. Hope this helps!

      Delete
  33. Hi Alicia, if you don't have shortening can you substitute with salted and use 1 cup salted butter and don't add salt at all?

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  34. Thank you for sharing can you make ahead and freeze then bake them at a later time

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  35. Hi thank you for sharing. Can you make and freeze them and bake them at a later time?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amir, I have never tried that, but if you do, please let us know how it turned out!

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  36. I think this recipe should be tested to make sure it works before it put out to everyone .

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    Replies
    1. Hi Priya, sorry you didn't have success with the recipe. What do you think went wrong? Thanks for your comment.

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    2. Clearly you had problems with yours and you're trying to blame the recipe. If other people had success then obviously you did something wrong. I used the exact same recipe and mine turned out great!

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  37. Hello, im really interest with this recipe since im a cheese lover. Before i make this cheese rolls, i want to ask with the douh..how long do i need to rest the dough? 2 hours is it enough?

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  38. Hello Alica,

    Thank you for the recipe. I am planning to make these in advance for friends and family whom i will see at various times over the holidays. How long do the cheese rolls stay fresh after baking? And should they be refrigerated?

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  39. Hello Alica,

    Thank you for the recipe. I am planning to make these in advance for friends and family whom i will see at various times over the holidays. How long do the cheese rolls stay fresh after baking? And should they be refrigerated?

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  40. I have made many cheese roll recipes, but it was never exactly what i wanted until now. This is by far the best cheese roll recipe out there. The dough is also great for pine tarts as well. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

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  41. I have made this recipe and it is by far the best cheese roll recipe out there. Yhe dough is also perfect for pinr tarts too.

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  42. Great recipe! Worked just absolutely perfect! Short crust pastry is always 2:1 flour to shortening/butter. The art is the mixing and temperature. Patience and love = good outcome.������

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  43. I tried your recipe and my cheese roll came out amazing. I made cheese roll before but this time was the best thanks to your recipe. Keep up the good work!

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  44. Hi there, I tried your recipe instead of mine. Family didn't like the curry powder consistency. The dough was nice just like how my recipe.
    Thank you for the recipe!

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  45. Alicia, you can certainly prepare delicious food and snacks. Your instructions are so clear and easy to follow, I remember how you said the oil for frying mithai should be 280 degrees, That is key info. awesome job in overall presentation

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