Pillowy soft rolls, fill with anything you have in my pantry.

Thought I’d take a break from all the chocolate I’ve been consuming and try something different. The end result was truly marvelous. I know that because this is my second batch in less than 12 hours 😀.

These rolls have the softest, pillowy texture, thanks to tangzhong which is an Asian method used to create light and fluffy yeast bread.



5 tablespoons (71g) water

5 tablespoons (71g) milk

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (28g) bread flour


all of the tangzhong (above)

496g Unbleached Bread Flour

21g Milk powder (I used Klim)

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

7g instant yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk

2 large eggs

85g unsalted butter, melted


To make the tangzhong: 

1. Combine all of the starter ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.

2. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. This will probably take only a minute or so. Remove from the heat, and set it aside for cool for 10 minutes.

To make the dough: 

3. Mix the tangzhong with the remaining dough ingredients until everything comes together. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

4. After 20 minutes, knead the dough — by hand or mixer – the dough will be sticky

5. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for an hour, until puffy.Gently deflate the risen dough, divide it in half, and shape each piece into a rough rectangle.

6. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a rectangle and smear the basil pesto and cheese onto the rolled-out dough.

7. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a log. With the seam underneath, cut the log into 12 slices.

8. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining filling.

9. Lightly grease a cake pan or oven safe dish. Space the rolls in the pan, leaving enough space for them to rise. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

10. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 180°C.

11. Bake the rolls for 22 to 25 minutes, until they feel set. They will not turn a deep brown color and that’s fine, you don’t want to over cook the rolls.

Serve the rolls warm. Store completely cool rolls for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 1 month.

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