Resurrecting the cheese zombies
By Elaine Magee
Q. I remember fondly the cheese zombies that the school cafeteria would make, but they were made with white roll dough and processed cheese. Is there a better way to make these at home?
A. My brother-in-law has perfected the art of making cheese zombies at home using a bread machine so I begged him for his recipe and then I changed it (he knows that's what I do, that it isn't personal).
I used canola oil and less of it compared to the half-stick of butter and I switched to a little more than half whole-wheat flour. I used honey instead of sugar; the moisture helps compensate for the smaller amount of fat in the dough. I added only half the amount of salt as well, figuring the cheese would be salty enough. And speaking of cheese, instead of the traditional processed cheese, I filled the zombie rolls with a slightly smaller chunk of reduced-fat sharp cheddar.
These work well as a side dish with soup or as a snack. If you are keeping them in the refrigerator, just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the cheese and soften the bread.
This recipe has three times the fiber of the original, more than 30 percent less fat and sodium.
Original recipe contains 300 calories, 11.5 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 600 mg sodium and only 1 gram of fiber per zombie.
NEW AND IMPROVED ZOMBIES
• 1 cup 1 percent milk (other milk can be substituted), slightly warm to the touch
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 large eggs, higher omega-3 if available, lightly beaten
• 2 cups whole-wheat flour
• 1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
• 4 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry or bread machine yeast
• 1 egg white, beaten
• 10 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese cut into 12 chunks
Set the bread machine to "dough" cycle. Place the first 8 ingredients in the bread machine container in the order listed (add the salt to one of the corners of the containers and add the yeast in the center of the flour in the container — salt can kill yeast).
Press "start" and the dough will be ready in about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Divide the dough (it will be sticky) in half and then divide each half into 6 pieces. With well-floured hands, shape each piece of dough into a pancake shape. Brush the top of the pancake with some of the egg white, then place a piece of the cheese in the center. Wrap the dough around the cheese to form a ball and seal it well (the egg white helps keep the cheese from oozing out through the bread while it's baking). Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese.
Place the cheese zombie rolls on a large nonstick baking sheet and let them rise in a warm part of your kitchen for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees about 15 minutes before they are done rising.
Bake 10 minutes, cover with foil and bake another 8 minutes. Enjoy warm from the oven or store, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat in microwave for 30 seconds on high.
Makes 12 rolls.
• Per roll: 260 calories, 12.5 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 53 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 323 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .3 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = 1.2 grams. Weight Watchers POINTS = 5
Elaine Magee is a registered dietitian. Learn more at www.recipedoctor.com.