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Cosmic Cuisine: “R.O.U.S.es (Rolls of Unusual Size)” Ham and Cheese Stuffed Rolls

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 When I first found out that I would be reviewing The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa the first thing I said was “There better not be any recipes for R.O.U.S.es in there or I’m out.” But of course, there was a recipe for R.O.U.S.es, how could there not be? Luckily, the recipe wasn’t for real rodents but these adorable little rodent-shaped buns! They looked so cute I had to try them and turns out, they’re delicious too! This is one time that I happily ate my words (and these ham and cheese stuffed rolls too!).


So as I said, there is no rodent in Jenn Fujikawa’s version of R.O.U.S.es. Instead, the acronym stands for Rolls of Unusual Size. These yummy, homemade rolls are stuffed with diced ham and gruyere cheese. Topped with a sprinkle of parmesan and decorated with slivered almonds and raisins, they were almost too cute to eat. Almost. Then once you bite into them they’re too good not to eat. They were surprisingly easy too. 

[Note: “R.O.U.S.es (Rolls of Unusual Size”) is from The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa. This is not an original recipe.]

Yield: 8 servings

"R.O.U.S.es" Ham and Cheese Stuffed Rolls

R.O.U.S.es Ham and cheese stuffed rolls

R.O.U.S.es are definitely something you don't want to eat in The Princess Bride movie. But these R.O.U.S.es (Rolls of unusual size) from The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa, are a whole other story. They are delicious and cute. Bake some up and gobble them down today. The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook is available now from Smart Pop books check out our review!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
  • 1 Package (.25 Ounce) of active dry yeast
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 Cup diced smoked ham
  • 1 Cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 16 Sliced almonds
  • 16 Small raisins
  • 1 Egg plus 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the milk, yeast, butter, and honey. Let sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast starts to bubble.
  2. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour and salt, until just combined. With the speed on medium, knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 and a half hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Flatten out a ball of dough and place some ham and cheese in the center. Pull up the edges to seal. Form into a teardrop shape, pulling the recess dough on one end and rolling out into a long tail, then pressing the end back into the body of the roll. Repeat with the remaining dough balls, ham, and cheese.
  6. Add 2 sliced almonds, pointed side down, to create the ears, and add 2 raisins for the eyes. Place 2 inches apart back on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel, and let rise for another 30 minutes
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  8. Brush the dough balls with the egg wash and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve.

Notes

This recipe is from The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook by Jenn Fujikawa from Smart Pop, available now!

My first yeasted dough

Confession time. As much as I love baking, I have never made a yeasted dough before. I’ve only made soda bread. If a recipe did need real bread dough I always cheated and used frozen dough. So this was my first time making a yeasted dough. I have to admit I was a little intimidated by the whole idea but I tried it anyway. And it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was pretty easy. 

Stages of Dough. Ham and Cheese stuffed rolls
(L-R) When the yeast first started to bubble and activate. Kneading the dough in the mixer. Punching the dough after its rise

After letting the yeast sit for the first few minutes I was pleasantly surprised by the bubbly brew I returned to. After the first proving stage I was happy to see that the dough really did double in size like it was supposed to.

Having been an avid watcher of the Great British Bake Off for years I was sure that making bread was beyond difficult but it proved (haha) to be rather easy for me. And I got to use my dough hook for my mixer for the first time in 20 years of owning it! It was an exciting day, to say the least. So if you are like me and have been intimated by recipes that use yeast, go ahead and try this one. You will be pleasantly surprised too.

These ham and cheese stuffed rolls are surprisingly easy to make

Beyond the stress of making a yeasted dough, I was sure that stuffing these little rolls and then making them look like mice would be really hard and time-consuming. In fact, I’m not sure what pushed me to pick this recipe, perhaps my inner sadist (it resembles my little brother insisting people want recipes that are difficult, not easy). But I was pleasantly surprised again because the actual assembly tasks were pretty easy too. Flattening the dough, wrapping it around the ham and cheese mix, and stretching the dough to make a tail was easy. Adding the “eyes” and “ears” was even easier, they didn’t even fall off during proving. 

Turns out the most difficult part of the whole recipe was waiting for the dough to prove each time. It was nerve-wracking worrying if it was rising properly. I was very tempted to peek, but I knew that would mess up the proof so I controlled myself. Next time I have a recipe that requires yeasted dough, I will make it without any hesitation. Like the R.O.U.S.es in The Princess Bride, they required skill to defeat but I was up to the challenge!

R.O.U.S.es. is a potentially versatile recipe

Okay, I know that these are The Princess Bride themed and as such should be made to look like R.O.U.S.es but let’s be real. How often do you need rolls to look like mice? Now, how often do you need yummy rolls? Exactly. These are delicious and filling.

They could easily be made as regular-shaped rolls for a delicious treat. They would make a great picnic lunch. Everything already is contained in an easy-to-grab-and-hold little roll. They could also easily become, say, little bunnies at Easter, or little cats at Halloween. I’m sure that you could come up with other creative twists to fit whatever occasion you’re celebrating. And they’ll be delicious no matter what!

Work smarter, not harder

Being yeasted dough, the bread part of these rolls had a lot of rising to do. In fact, the main part of the time spent on making these was inactively waiting for the dough to rise. To help make the active parts of the recipe go faster, I made sure to prep everything that I could during the rise times. 

From chopping ham and grating cheese to prepping pans and preheating ovens. I did all of it while the dough was rising so that when the timer went off and I was okay to start an active step I just had to flatten and shape the dough or pop the trays straight into the oven. It helped immensely with the preparation and made it feel like I spent very little time actually cooking before I got to enjoy these delicious rolls. So remember to take advantage of that proving time to prep anything you will need that way the active time goes quickly. 

Have faith in yourself

If you didn’t pick up on it earlier, I was very nervous about trying this recipe. A yeasted dough was totally new to me and Paul Hollywood has made the task of making bread very intimating!

Then there was the decorating. Try as I might, my decorating abilities are somewhat hit-and-miss. I have made some phenomenal-looking cakes for my kids (if I do say so myself), but I have also made some really messed up looking things too (falling down gingerbread house, I’m looking at you). Usually, I don’t make cutesy recipes, or I skip the decorating part out of a lack of confidence. 

I was certain my R.O.U.S.es would be able to moonlight as demonic creatures on some horror movie set instead of being the cute little things that were in The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook but I gave it a try for you guys and, surprise, they turned out just as cute as the originals and I was given a confidence boost. So let that be a lesson, just try and you might surprise yourself (and it’ll be delicious either way!).

“R.O.U.S.es.” ham and cheese stuffed rolls and more recipes can be found in The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook, which is available now. Check out our review of the cookbook! Thinking of making this treat sometime soon for yourself or your family? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord. And if you haven’t already, check out another fantastic recipe from The Princess Bride: The Official Cookbook, “Good Night, Westley” hot chocolate!

Cosmic Cuisine: “Good Night, Westley” Hot Chocolate

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 213 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier