Macedonian Dinner Rolls with Feta Cheese – Kifli

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Macedonian Dinner Rolls with Feta Cheese are buttery, soft dinner rolls filled with feta cheese and topped with sesame seeds. They’re the perfect side for any dinner!

Kifli - Macedonian Cheese Rolls @diethood


So you wanna boast about your domesticated self? In our culture, this is where it starts – with Kifli (Кифли). Say it with me: KEEF-LEE. 😊

This is the stuff wives-to-be are supposed to know. Yeah right! bahaha The correct word is were supposed to know – baby boomers changed all that – phewww! Thanks guys!

But, in all honesty, if you’re going to bake in a Macedonian household, then it’s best to know how to make homemade bread first, then Kifli, then Maznik, and finally, the big star, Zelnik, which is a layered pastry dough stuffed with greens, cheese, meat, sauerkraut, and so on. Yep, all of that makes a good Macedonian housewife. Winking smile

step by step pictures on how to make kifli

In time for big holidays, birthdays, Saint Patron Days, and so forth, Kifli, or Dinner Rolls with Sesame Seeds and Feta Cheese, are almost always the centerpiece on that table, or somewhere very near to it. What’s good about these rolls is that they are very versatile. You can stuff them with feta cheese, or even meat, have them plain, or dunk them in some homemade yogurt. They are enjoyed as a starter, with a salad, or as a dinner roll.

I prefer to snack on them… all day long. I think I ate one entire batch before they were finally done. Ana helped.

I have a total of nine different recipes for these. Everyone always has the “best” Kifli recipe – I just jot down their version and give it a go as soon as I get a moment. This particular one that I’m going to share with you is probably the easiest, and, in my opinion, the tastiest. The method of preparation may seem a bit off, but just follow the recipe and don’t question it. Smile In the end, you will have about 40 soft, delicious Kifli filled to the rim with feta cheese! Make sure to share with your family.

Kifli - Macedonian Cheese Rolls @diethood


***For those that need the original recipe for my Kifli, you can grab it 👉 here

4 from 4 votes
Kifli - Macedonian Cheese Rolls @diethood

Kifli - Macedonian Dinner Rolls

14 14 14
WW Freestyle: 11
Servings: 16
Calories: 373


  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 200 ml warm water
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 250 ml warm milk
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 8 tablespoons butter


  • 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese


  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds


  • In a bowl, stir together yeast, sugar, and water; set in a warmer place to activate. Let sit until it gets thick and foamy - about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, add flour to your mixer's bowl; make a well in the middle and add warm milk to the well, vegetable oil, salt, and eggs. Don't mix until you've added in the prepared yeast.
  • Pour yeast mixture into the flour mixture; using a large spoon, mix it all together to combine.
  • Then, attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and finish kneading for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until dough starts to separate from the bowl. If dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of milk, if it's too wet add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Dough shouldn't be too sticky, but you also don't want it to be dry.
  • Spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and sprinkle it with a bit of flour to prevent sticking.
  • Transfer prepared dough to the oiled bowl ; fold dough into a circle; add more flour to the bowl and a sprinkle of flour on top of the dough ball.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. It's best (and faster) to let the dough rise in a warmer spot.
  • Combine feta cheese and ricotta cheese in a bowl; set aside for later.
  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Turn the dough over to a flour dusted work area and fold it on all sides; then, cut in half. Cut each half in 3 parts so you have a total of 6 pieces. Fold all pieces into small balls. Keep them covered.
  • Take a ball of dough and lightly punch it down to spread and then roll it out into a round circle the size of about a medium pizza. Make sure to flour your work area often so the dough does not stick.
  • Cut into 8 to 12 slices, depending on the size of the dough’s diameter.
  • Add a tablespoon of the ricotta/feta cheese mixture to each slice. Place the filling at the top of the slice, right in the center.
  • Roll them up; pull the sides of the widest part at the top and tuck them inward, right over the filling, and continue to roll.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  • Transfer kifli/rolls to baking sheets; place a pat of butter on top of each roll.
  • Bake for 5 minutes at 400˚F.
  • Prepare the glaze; combine eggs and water in a small bowl and beat to combine.
  • Remove Kifli from oven and brush with egg glaze; sprinkle with sesame seeds and continue to bake for 11 to 13 more minutes, or until golden.
Nutrition Facts
Kifli - Macedonian Dinner Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 13g65%
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 341mg14%
Potassium 116mg3%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 382IU8%
Calcium 112mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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70 Responses
  1. Valentina

    I made these with the current recipe. Not as tasty and fluffy as the first one you had posted with egg whites a few years back. The bread is dense, not as fluffy. However still good. Hubby was a bit disappointed Would you please also post the previous recipe? Thanks.

  2. Valentina

    I’m also thinking it changed. I recall using only egg whites in the dough. Fluffy perfection that hubby said were better than my Macedonian mom’s. Has this post changed?

  3. John

    Can you please explain the need for using baking powder at the same time as using yeast?
    I don’t see the need or use of baking powder in this recipe…..or am i missing something??

  4. Michael Taylor


  5. Odessa Alexander

    I’ve made this twice now and each time the dough comes out really wet and sticky. I added a lot more flour than 6 cups but the dough gets a little tough to roll into a medium pizza. Is the dough supposed to be on the wet side?

  6. Alice

    I’ve made these loads upon loads of times. I’m half Macedonian, half Belgian(weird combo, right?) and my husband is 100% Macedonian(he came over from the old country about ten years ago). Now that’s it’s Christmas time, he wants them and I am happy to oblige. There’s only one problem. They didn’t have the little packets of yeast at the store so I got the jar. Do you know how many teaspoons/tablespoons of yeast it is?
    Вие и среќен Божиќ благодариме!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      HI Alice!! What a combo! Lucky girl! You must be gorgeous!!
      I am on your hubby’s side – Kifli are a must for Christmas. 😀

      I had to call my mom for this one because she uses the jars, only. 🙂 So, 1 package of yeast is exactly 2-1/4 teaspoons.

      Среќен Божиќ и За Многу Години! Голем поздрав до сите вас!

      1. Katherine

        Hi, how do I prevent from the bottom of the croissants to cook faster than the top? I have the oven set at 375 and the bottom gets brown faster and hard

        1. Katerina Petrovska

          Hi! So sorry you’re having issues with this. I can’t wait for kifli to get done, but hard bottoms are a no-go! 😃
          Couple things could be happening… your oven may not heat evenly and the hot spots are affecting the kifli. Or the baking sheets you are using may be too thin. Hard to tell, but you can try to bake on a higher positioned rack, or I would start with placing the baking sheet on a lower positioned rack and then move it up to a higher position half-way through baking time.

      2. Christina Koch

        In your ingredients list you wrote 2 tbsp and 1/4 tsp of yeast. I’m assuming you mean 2tsp and 1/4 tsp’s correct?

  7. Kate

    How do I keep the feta from drying out? My family loved them, but the Feta ended up kinda of drying instead of melting!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Kate!

      SO happy to hear that you enjoyed them!!

      To answer your question;
      You can combine the feta with one egg; mix until it’s well incorporated and then sprinkle the feta cheese over the dough. That should do the trick. 🙂

  8. Biljana

    These look great and cant wait to try and make them. But I dont see in your directions where to use the 1 stick of butter….can you pls clarify?


  9. Sara

    I just found your recipe, and I am definitely going to make KIFLICE tomorrow. I have already made “Varazdinski klipcici”, which are similar to you version of kiflice. Thanks a lot! XO

      1. Sara

        Katerina, they are FANTASTIC! I made them today. We all love them! I do not need to mention that they are already gone. :)) Really excellent recipe. And, excellent blog. I am your new fan. :))

        1. Katerina Petrovska

          Sara, I am so happy to know that you enjoyed them!! Thank you for coming back and letting me know! Have a great day!!

  10. Sandra's Easy Cooking

    Oh this is older post…i just saw it on the pinterest, like just now 😀 I wish i have 2-3 right now..ok maybe I would saddle with 5 haha
    Kifle with buttermilk were my breakfast almost every morning before school at the local bakery…and you did an amazing job!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      OMG! I KNOW! The best with buttermilk!!! I can’t wait for Easter because my mom and I always make dozens upon dozens for the big day… I am going to dive into them like never before!! 😀

  11. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    I can certainly start with these rolls, they look so moist and fluffy! I bet there are a million recipes, but this one is divine!

  12. Lori

    oh boy how I love bread….these look so nice and soft, just perfect for a pat of butter to melt all over…..yum!

  13. April @ The 21st Century Housewife

    These look just beautiful! I can only imagine how delicious they taste! Thank you for sharing the recipe so I can try them myself, and thank you for sharing them your croissants with the Hearth and Soul blog hop.

  14. Alea Milham

    Even though I enjoycooking and sewing I am glad that the definition of what it means to be a good housewife has greatly expanded in the last 30 years!. 🙂 Your croissant are elegant! Thanks for sharing the recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  15. kita

    Oh these rolls look beautiful. Im slacking on my housewife skills so I guess I need to get in the kitchen, try my hand at these and catch up 🙂

  16. Trix

    Those look so tempting! I promise not to question your recipe ; )
    (And your cookbook should be there next week – let me know!)

  17. anna

    yay! my mum and tato came over to visit me and they made me a batch of kifli =) happiness defined =) my aussie/irish boyfriend cant get enough of them either!

  18. Kate

    Wow! These croissants look perfect – browned just enough and the sesame seeds add a great texture I am sure. Definitely want to make these 🙂

  19. Baking Serendipity

    Any bread product is good in my book 🙂 These look fantastic…I’m definitely impressed with your housewife skills!

  20. Lil @ sweetsbysillianah

    so yummy… i’m gonna add this to my bread-baking list. can i halve the recipe tho? don’t think it’ll be good to have so many around the house…i will definitely eat them all myself! =P

  21. Sandra

    Making Croissants is so not on my radar. Thanks Kate for allowing me to live the Croissant lifestyle through you. They are fabulous!

  22. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

    I just am one of your biggest fans!! I want to sit down and drink a cup of ttea with you and eat whatever you happen to be serving that day! This recipe is so delicious! The dough looks good enough to eat!

  23. Katie@Cozydelicious

    These look amazing! If baking these beautiful rolls is what it takes to be a good housewife, count me in!

  24. Maggie @ Vittles and Bits

    Sooo pretty, and I can see how you could mow through a batch singlehandedly! Yeast always scares me but you make these seem so easy 🙂

  25. Claudie

    I love kifli! 🙂 But I’ve never had one with sesame seeds — only “regular”, with chocolate, or with lokum in them — so I will try your recipe for my first baking of kifli 🙂

  26. Susi's Kochen und Backen

    These croissants look wonderful, especially with the sesame seeds! I’ve never made croissants at home before, but these are terribly tempting and I might just have to give it a go :o)

  27. claudia lamascolo

    What a temptress~ I am so trying to stay on my diet but looking like this off I go… breads are my weakness these are one of my favorite and my mouth is watering!

  28. Firefly

    I love this 🙂 and same as you, where I come from this is a must to know LOL my recipe is a bit different LOL I’ll have to try your recipe, they look so perfect 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  29. Kristy

    Oooh! These look wonderful! I’m going to save the recipe for when we take our culinary tour of Macedonia. So glad you shared. Thanks!

  30. Charlie

    I love sesame seeds on croissants! Yours look so good! I never had homemade croissants; summer is coming and I’ll definitely use my free time to try and make them!

    1. Kate@Diethood

      Yes, definitely. The dough is good for a few days in the freezer. Also, you can make these ahead and freeze them – they last for a long time in the freezer. Just store them in an airtight container.

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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