We are in full Halloween/Dia de los Muertos mode around here.
Have you seen this beautiful video made by Yvette from Muy Bueno? If you know some to nothing about Day of the Dead or even if you know everything about it, this video is a gorgeous representation of how special and important the holiday really is to Mexican culture. The make-up alone is reason enough to spend 5 minutes out of your day watching it.
I would love to have a Dia de los Muertos party with plenty of papel picado and paper flower decorations. I would serve these delicious seeded rolls that are perfect for little hands to tear off and dip into warm, cheesy green chile queso. They are shaped around a large biscuit cutter or whatever heat-proof thing you have that will work as a space holder for your queso bowl. When they come out of the oven they are golden and crisp and loaded with an array of seeds and big flakes of sea salt. You can use as many or as few seeds as you like. I went all out and used everything from chia to sunflower seeds. Louisa's favorite was the sea salt and Hiro's was the sesame (the pumpkin seeds he picked off and threw over his shoulder).
But who knows, I would love to do a lot of things that never seem to happen because by the time they roll around I basically have enough energy to just get the food to the table, let alone actually invite anyone over or sweep the Cheerios off the floor so as to not be too embarrassed by the mess we normally live in.
If you do summon up enough gusto to have a fiesta, this is perfect party food whether its a party of one (plenty of queso dip for me!!!) or more.
Seeded Pull-Apart Rolls + Warm Green Chile Queso Dip
For the Rolls:
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 105-110°F)
1 (7 gram) packet dried yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 cups white bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
For the Dip:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) cream cheese
8 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) shredded Chihuahua cheese (or Monterey Jack)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
For the Rolls:
Place water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit about 10 minutes or until yeast begins to dissolve and look foamy.
Add flour, salt, and sugar, and mix on low until combined. If the dough seems dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. The dough should be sticky. Turn the mixer to medium and knead for 8 minutes. The dough should be very soft and supple.
Coat a large bowl with the oil. Flour your hands and remove dough from mixer. Place dough in the bowl; turn to coat in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425°F and arrange rack in the bottom of the oven. If you have a pizza stone, place that on the bottom rack to heat as the oven heats up. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour a clean work surface then remove dough with floured hands onto the surface. Flatten the dough and cut into 32 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, pinching the dough together at the bottom to make firm.
Place the balls in a row on the parchment lined sheet or if you want to make a ring, place a large biscuit cutter in the middle of the baking sheet (this is where the dip will go) and place the rolls in a circle around the cutter, leaving about 1/2-inch space between them.
Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the top of each roll with the egg wash. Sprinkle the different seeds and salt among the rolls, you can use as many or as few seeds as you wish. Bake on the heated stone, or oven rack, for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and rolls are firm. Remove the biscuit cutter and serve with warm queso dip.
For the Queso Dip:
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
Slowly add milk, whisking continuously, until smooth. Bring to a simmer, then add the cream cheese and half of the Chihuahua cheese; stir to melt. Add remaining cheese and remaining ingredients and stir until cheese is melted and combined. Remove from heat, pour into a serving dish and serve with bread.