Cheese Zombies are a soft, buttery bread roll filled with gooey, cheesy goodness that will transport you back to your childhood!
Recipes for freshly baked bread are always taunting me. I’ll see a picture and be like, “OOH!”…and then scan the ingredients and be like, “Ooooh. Yeast.” Which immediately makes me shrivel into a ball. I’ll walk away and be sad. And eat an Oreo.
Then this happened with my BFF of 35+ years. (p.s. everyone should have a friend for that long. It’s, well, pretty awesome.)…
Cheese Zombies were a thing – a huge thing – in our Mt. Diablo school district, when we were in high school. They were .50 and I used to buy one every single day at first break. (Now, they’re probably $2.00!)
My need to eat one again, after 28 years, was stronger than my intimidation of yeast. This was the bread to push me out of my comfort zone.
BUT, I needed to figure out how. Cheese Zombies are not on a national level – although they should be! So, I went searching. Google returned only a few results, and they were mediocre at best. So, not only am I afraid of making my own bread, but now I have to make some serious adaptations to a recipe. Oy. Hold me, friends.
Mine didn’t turn out as dark as I remember, but golden enough. Everything else was perfect!
My original thought was, I’ll serve them with dinner. But they basically became dinner.
Now my kids know what a Cheese Zombie is. And so do you. And the world is better off for it.
Note: do not try and health-ify these with real cheddar cheese. The Velveeta is what makes them…them. It’s ok. The cheese police aren’t going to arrest you. And your arteries won’t clog by eating a couple. And if they do, it’s totally worth it! HA.
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar , divided
- 1 cup lukewarm whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese , cut into 16 cubes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to dissolve and set aside until bubbly, 5-10 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Add milk, softened butter, salt, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix until well combined, and then add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough just starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until a soft, elastic dough forms. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
Turn the dough out and divide into 16 equal pieces. Shape pieces into rounds. Tuck a cube of cheese into each round and pinch the dough tightly together at the bottom, working to shape each one into a tight ball. Place rolls, pinched-side down on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes, switching baking sheets halfway through baking time. Brush the tops with remaining butter and bake for 5 more minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.
Do not try and health-ify these with real cheddar cheese. It will make them greasy, and just not right! The Velveeta is what makes them…them.