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cream cheese bread rolls

Cream cheese bread

These super fluffy cream cheese bread rolls are pillowy soft with just a hint of cream cheese flavor. The tangzhong method keeps them soft for days!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rest Time 2 hrs
Course Breakfast
Servings 12 rolls


  • medium mixing bowl
  • Small skillet or pot
  • 9 x 13 inch baking tin
  • dough scraper (optional but helpful)


Tangzhong (makes 1/2 cup)

  • 3 tbsp (23g) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup (60g) water
  • 1/4 cup (60g) milk


  • 1/2 cup tangzhong (see above)
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) lukewarm milk
  • 4 oz (120g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg

Milk wash

  • 2 tbsp milk


Make tangzhong

  • In small skillet or pot, whisk together flour, milk, and water until smooth. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until mixture has thickened but is still pourable. It should take 5 – 10 minutes. Your whisk should leave a mark when dragged along the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour into a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Make dough

  • Mix together yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk and set aside for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is foamy. If the yeast does not foam, it may be inactive. Try again with new yeast.
  • In bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine flour, egg, milk and yeast mixture, 1/2 cup of tangzhong starter, and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until combined. While the stand mixer is running, add pieces of softened cream cheese until fully incorporated. Mix on medium-low speed for another 15 – 20 minutes until dough passes the window pane test. You should be able to stretch the dough quite thin. If it does not pass the window pane test, keep kneading and check again.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and placed into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 45 - 60 minutes until doubled in size.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 in. baking pan. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough onto the surface. Knead a couple of times to squeeze out the air bubbles. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and shape each piece into a ball. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a bit of flour and flour your hands as well. Place the balls in the baking pan.
  • Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and let proof for another 45 minutes. When you press your finger into the dough, the indent should come back halfway. If it comes back all the way, it needs more time. Towards the end of the proof, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Brush the tops of the rolls with milk. Place in the center rack and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and makes a hollow noise when tapped.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 - 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy fresh!
Keyword bread, bread rolls, cream cheese, milk bread