Croque Monsieur Rolls are everything you love about the famous grilled ham and cheese sandwich stuffed into a savory roll. It’s perfect for brunch.
I’m gonna cut straight to the carb-loving chase here. These rolls are ALL ABOUT the dough. The dough that yields super tender bread that is somewhere in between the inside of a croissant and a beautiful loaf of brioche.
The first time I made this dough was for my Blackberry Sticky Buns and I knew it would be the perfect backdrop for sliced ham and smoky cheese.
The dough is a tiny bit time consuming, mostly because it’s a traditional yeasted dough, so the beauty of the finished product is all in the rise (and the butter). But if you have the time to wait it out I promise it will be sooooooo worth it.
If you aren’t familiar with croque monsieurs in general, know that it is basically the most indulgent grilled ham and cheese sandwich you’ll ever find.
All croque monsieur recipes share a few key characteristics - a thin layer of ham, smoky delicious Gruyere cheese, butter, and a bit of dijon mustard. These Croque Monsieur Rolls have all the crucial elements.
That perfect dough is brushed with dijon mustard (yellow won’t do, y’all), and then layered with thin slices of ham and a half pound of shredded Gruyere cheese. Rolled up and baked what you have is pretty perfect.
But if you want to take it up to another level, make the buttery mustard dressing to brush over the baked rolls.
I borrowed that dressing from those baked ham and cheese sandwiches that church ladies always bring to potluck dinners. It was the buttery dijon right decision.
1/2 cup Warm Water, read your yeast package for temperature suggestions
2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast, 1 envelope
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
4-4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, **see note**
3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
8 ounces Thinly Sliced Ham
8 ounces Gruyere Cheese, shredded
For the Dressing:
1 tablespoon Grated Onion
1 1/2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
4 tablespoons Melted Butter
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the milk.
In a large bowl whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Then whisk in the egg plus egg yolks. Add the salt, 2 cups of the flour, and the butter / milk mixture. Stir with a sturdy spatula until combined.
Add the last 2 cups of flour and work it in with your hands, kneading the dough in the bowl for around 8 minutes, only adding more flour if the dough seems too sticky or wet. It should be soft, pliable, and shiny from the butter in the dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a large oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.
Butter a 9 X 13 baking dish. When the dough has doubled in size lay it on the prepared work surface and roll it out to about 16 X 12, with the longer side closest to you.
Spread the dough with the mustard and then cover it in a layer of ham slices, overlapping them. Then cover the ham with the shredded cheese.
Roll the dough up lengthwise (rolling away from you) and cut into 12 equal pieces. Lay the pieces in the prepared baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise for another 11/2 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the risen rolls for 25-30 minutes. They will be golden.
While the buns bake, mix all the ingredients for the dressing together. Brush it over the hot baked rolls.
Add only the LEAST AMOUNT OF FLOUR you can manage. You will definitely need the first 4 cups, but only add additional flour if your dough seems too sticky and wet. Humidity will play a role in how much flour you need and too much can make your rolls tough.