Do you ever make something and then think “Why haven’t I been making this all my life…?”
Well that’s how I feel about these.
The bread is so deliciously soft and fluffy and the fillings are rich and flavourful and so easy to tailor to your own tastes. Absolutely yummy both hot and cold, these are just great for picnics or parties, they’re so perfectly portable and shareable (although once you’ve tasted them you might not want to share them).
They’re basically the same as my savoury Chelsea buns but with a lot more going on inside. The only other slight change that I made was to switch the butter in the dough to olive oil, just for flavour really.
You can fill these with pretty much anything you like. I avoid anything that will make the buns soggy though like fresh mozzarella or large tomatoes. You do need to cut the fillings into fairly small pieces so that you can roll the buns up easily. Pesto (any variety) makes a really nice base if you want something a bit different.
makes about 16
230g strong white bread flour
7g yeast (1 sachet)
1 tsp sugar
big pinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
125ml warm milk
3-4 tbsp tomato paste/pesto
handful of sliced cherry tomatoes
handful chopped olives
1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs
Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Using a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the warmed milk, oil and egg. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in about half of the liquid. Stir together using a butter knife. Gradually incorporate the remaining liquid (you may not need all of it) until you have a soft dough. Pop the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about five minutes. It should lose any stickiness that it might have had and become soft, smooth and springy.
Wash and dry your mixing bowl to make it nice and warm and lightly oil it. Put the dough in the bowl and cover it with a piece of oiled cling film. Put the dough in a nice warm spot and leave it to rise until it has doubled in size, this should take about an hour.
Once the dough is ready carefully lift it out of the bowl and knead it for a minute or two. Oil your work surface, or a large chopping board and roll out the dough into a rectangle. Try to persuade it to be as big as possible so that you can maximise your surface area. You need to have the long edge of the rectangle facing you.
Spread the entire surface (right up to the edges) with the tomato puree or pesto and then evenly scatter on your other chosen fillings, finishing with the cheese.
Roll the dough up, starting with the edge nearest you and rolling it away. Cut the roll of dough into even-sized pieces, I usually make mine about an inch wide, and arrange them in a greased cake tin. Cover this again with cling film and put it back in its warm place to rise for a second time. Whilst this happens you can pre-heat your oven to 190°c.
Once this second rise is complete, uncover the tin and bake the buns for 30 minutes. They should be wonderfully golden brown once they are baked and they’ll smell delicious. Leave them to cool in the tin on a wire rack for five minutes before turning them out.