Hot Ham and Cheese Party Rolls

I love warm rolls. When I think of rolls, I instantly picture hot, gooey cinnamon rolls. But rolls aren’t just for sweet treats, they can also be jam-packed of savory tastiness, such as ham and cheese. These Hot Ham and Cheese Party Rolls are the perfect savory treat for any party (or party of one)!

For the rolls, you will need just three ingredients. Pizza crust, deli ham and Swiss cheese. For the pizza crust, this recipe calls for a can of Pillsbury refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust. It takes the hassle out of having to make homemade pizza dough. Pillsbury is a brand name used by General Mills and Orrville, a J.M. Smucker Company. The Pillsbury Company, founded by Charles Pillsbury and his uncle John Pillsbury in 1872, was a rival to General Mills and was one of the world’s largest producers of grain and other foodstuffs until it was purchased by General Mills in 2001. General Mills kept the rights to refrigerated and frozen Pillsbury products (like Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust) while Smucker took over dry baking products and frosting.

The other ingredients though, the ham and Swiss cheese, really are the ‘stars’ of this recipe. Swiss cheese is actually a generic name in North America for several related varieties of cheese, mainly of North American manufacture. The cheeses resemble Emmental cheese, a yellow, medium-hard cheese that originated in Switzerland. Some types of Swiss cheese have a distinctive appearance, such as the blocks which are riddled with holes known as ‘eyes’. Swiss cheese without these holes is referred to as ‘blind’. Swiss cheese is mild in taste and can be made from both whole milk (such as Baby Swiss) and low-fat milk (such as Lacy Swiss). It has a mild, yet distinctive flavor and if you happen to not be a lover of Swiss cheese, you can substitute for another medium-hard cheese (such as Gouda, Edam, Jarlsberg, Cantal and Cascaval – all of which are ideal for melting).

Ham is just pork that has been preserved through salting, smoking or wet curing and is traditional made only from the hind leg of swine. Technically a processed meat, ham may simply refer to a product which has been through mechanical reforming. The preserving of ham has a long history with Cato the Elder writing about salting hams in his De Agri Cultura tome around 160 BCE, although there are claims that the Chinese were the first people to mention the production of cured ham. For the ham, you want a nice deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved – it should be thin, but not ‘too thin’). If you’re a meat-lover, you can add more than the ¾ pound this recipe calls for, for a jam-packed roll.

To finish these cinnamon-roll style ham and cheese rolls, you will need to make a glaze that includes the ingredients Worchestershire sauce and Dijon mustard. The sauce also calls for poppy seeds, but you can skip these without noticing much of a difference to the flavor profile. These rolls, however, taste so good on their own if you want to skip the sauce, you can. Or you could put out little dishes for dipping, in case your friends and family are picky. But even the pickiest of eaters should love these hot ham and cheese party rolls!

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