The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

(Not) Ian’s Cream Cheese Rolls

Elsie_iu's picture

(Not) Ian’s Cream Cheese Rolls

Apparently, these are inspired by Ian aka the King of Buns as referred to by dabrownman. As I can never allow myself to follow a recipe exactly, of course I have changed things up to show my own character. Unlike Ian, who blended the cream cheese with the dough, I put in chunks of cream cheese. Also, candied orange peels and sunflower seeds are incorporated to make the rolls more interesting. Rye flours are usually used along with orange and earl grey, yet to break the tradition, I chose to use barley flour (which resembles more of Ian’s rolls as well).


Earl grey cream cheese rolls with orange and sunflower seeds


Dough flour:

90g       30%       Freshly milled pearl barley flour

75g       25%       Whole spelt flour      

75g       25%       Whole red wheat flour

60g       20%       Freshly milled sprouted white wheat flour


For leaven:

10g       3.3%       Starter

13g       4.3%       Bran shifted out from dough flour

13g       4.3%       Water


For dough:

287g     95.7%       Dough flour excluding bran for leaven 

207g     68.9%       Water

52g       17.3%       Whey

36g         12%        Leaven

9g             3%        Vital Wheat Gluten

5g          1.7%        Salt

1g        0.33%        Ground earl grey tea leaves



90g         30%       Cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)

30g         10%       Toasted sunflower seeds

21g           7%       Candied orange peels


215g       70.5%      Whole grain

277g       90.8%      Total hydration 


Shift out the coarse bran from the dough flour, reserve 13g for leaven. Mix the rest back into the dough flour or soak them in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.

Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until doubled, about 6-8 hours. Soak the candied orange peel in a little hot water to rehydrate.

Freeze the cream cheese for 1 hour. Cut into cubes and return to the freezer until needed.

Reserve 10g of the liquid and roughly combine all dough ingredients except for the leaven and salt. Autolyse for 30 minutes. Combine the reserved liquid with the leaven. Knead it into the dough along with the salt. Let it ferment for 10 hours.

Fold in the sunflower seeds and orange peels and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Fold the frozen cream cheese into the dough and shape them tightly into tiny boules. Leave it on the counter for 1 hour or until fully proofed. At the same time, preheat the oven at 250°C/480°F and pre-steam at the last ten minutes.

Score the dough and bake at 250°C/480°F with steam for 10 minutes then without steam for 15 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 205°F. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

These rolls have chewy and moist crumb but a crispy crust when toasted. The crumb is not very open probably due to over-proofing (the oven was occupied so I couldn’t heat it up in time for the rolls!) but acceptable to me for rolls.

I adore the taste of these rolls! They taste mildly sweet thanks to barley, spelt and sprouted white wheat. Cream cheese, orange, sunflower and earl grey are such a killer combo! You get sweetness from cream cheese and orange, tanginess from cream cheese, toasty nuttiness from the sunflower seeds and whatever aromatic scent from the earl grey. 


Thanks Ian for inspiring such delicious rolls!



isand66's picture

These look awesome.  So glad I could inspire you.  So how did the frozen cream cheese effect the dough?  Sounds like a good idea to try.



Elsie_iu's picture

The frozen cream cheese cooled the dough a bit but not that much as it defrosted super quickly. I therefore let it proofed for perhaps 5-10 minutes more.

Since the cream cheese went back to room temperature at such a high rate, I shaped it tightly immediately once it is wrapped around by the dough. If you handle it too much or take too long, the cream cheese might break into pieces and blend with the dough. It got a bit messy when I was working with the last piece of dough but it's worth it :)

The cream cheese holds its shape well after baked and doesn't seem to have any break down issue associated with the freeze. I think incorporating cubes of cream cheese make its presence more prominent. Adding cubed cream cheese into your basic cream cheese rolls formula would produces double cream cheese rolls!

Thanks again for the inspiration!

Ru007's picture

is one of my favorite teas! Earl Grey + Orange has got to be delicious. 

Well done Elsie 

Happy baking! 


Elsie_iu's picture

along with brown rice tea and matcha!  The combo is truly amazing so give it a chance. I don't think you would regret it.

Happy baking to you as well!