Scallion Rolls with Sesame Cream Cheese

The first time I steamed bread was like a revelation/epiphany. It’s completely magical and must be attempted by everyone at least once in their lifetime, even considering the risk of falling into the bread’s addicting trap, which in that case you’ll find yourself making buns more often than the Muffin Man. Just-steamed bread in irresistibly fluffy, kind of like your favorite pillow if it were edible and delicious. These scallion rolls were a big hit at home (I say this humbly), but so is everything that comes out of my bamboo steamer. The wood, although not in direct contact with the dough, gives it a slightly nutty, earthy flavor as steam travels through it. Schmeared with super quick and easy sesame cream cheese, these steamed rolls are on a roll (ha. ha.).

Scallion Rolls with Sesame Cream Cheese

Scallion Rolls with Sesame Cream Cheese

Scallion Rolls with Sesame Cream Cheese

Scallion Rolls with Sesame Cream Cheese

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Asian


Swirled Scallion Rolls

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • nonstick spray
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions

Sesame Cream Cheese

  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 brick cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste, room temp


Swirled Scallion Rolls

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and water until the sugar has fully dissolved. Stir in the yeast and let sit 8-10 minutes until it foams. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder until combined.

  2. Add the milk to the foamed yeast and, using the dough hook attachment on a low speed, mix the flour into the yeast until it comed together into a ball of dough. Then, continue kneading the dough in the stand mixer for 6-8 more minutes on medium speed.

  3. Remove the dough from the bowl while you spray the bowl with nonstick spray, then place the dough back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for about 1-2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

  4. Transfer the dough to a work surface and roll it out to a 6-inch by 18-inch horizontal rectangle-ish shape. Sprinkle the chopped scallions evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border bare along the top of the dough. Roll the dough tightly away from you, then pinch the edge of the dough to remove the seam.  

  5. Slice the roll into workable logs, depending on the size of your steamer basket. Cover each log and proof for 30 more minutes.

  6. Line the steamer basket with parchment paper. Steam each sectioned roll for about 15 minutes, adding more water to the steamer as necessary. Remove the logs and allow to cool until manageable. Slice the roll into thin slices using a serrated knife.

Sesame Cream Cheese

  1. In a small nonstick pan over medium heat, add sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, until both are fragrant and garlic is a bit translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool to room temp.

  2. In a bowl, use a fork to mash the cream cheese and tahini together until combined. Stir in the sesame seeds and garlic and serve with the scallion rolls.

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