Savory Filled Buns

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Savory Filled Buns

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Published prior to 2008

Spinach and feta... Tomato, onion and pepperoni... or what's your favorite filling combination? Not only cinnamon and sugar deserve to be swirled into bread dough. These spirals, cinnamon bun-like in appearance, team nicely with a bowl of hot soup.

Dough
3 cups (13 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounce) potato flour OR 1/3 cup dried potato flakes
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) pumpernickel
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Pizza Dough Flavor or cheese flavor powder (both optional but good)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil

Manual/Mixer Method: Whisk together, in a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer, all of the dry dough ingredients. It's important to whisk the potato flour or flakes so they won't clump when the liquid is added. Add the water, egg and olive oil, then mix until a shaggy dough forms. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, if you have the time; this resting period allows the flour to absorb the liquid fully, making it easier to knead.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes; it should feel firm and smooth. Put it into a greased bowl, turning to coat, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's almost double in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (The amount of time this takes will depend on the temperature of your kitchen.)

While the dough is rising, make the filling of your choice.

Spinach and Feta Filling

    10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach or 1 pound fresh spinach
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 cup diced onion (2 1/2 ounces, 1 small onion)
    1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped pitted black olives or 2 tablespoons black olive paste
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Thaw and squeeze dry the frozen spinach, or clean and chop 1 pound of fresh spinach. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and stir well. If you're using fresh spinach, cook for a very brief time, just until the spinach wilts. If you're using frozen spinach, heat through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve the feta cheese and olives to layer onto the dough when filling, and the mozzarella to sprinkle atop the shaped rolls.

Tomato, Onion and Pepperoni Filling
    1 1/4 cups thick tomato sauce*
    1 tablespoon Pizza Lovers' Seasoning or the mixed dried herbs of your choice
    1 cup (4 to 5 ounces) diced onion
    1/2 cup (4 ounces) diced pepperoni
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
*To make thick tomato sauce, stir a 6-ounce can of tomato paste into 3/4 cup of tomato sauce.

Stir together the sauce, diced onion, and seasoning, reserving the pepperoni to spread over the dough after it's rolled out, and the shredded cheese to sprinkle over the rolls after they're formed.

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Filling
    1 cup (4 ounces) goat cheese
    1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
    1 tablespoon Instant Clearjel(r) or cornstarch (optional, though both are key to keeping the cheese from oozing out)
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely diced sun-dried tomatoes, dry or oil-packed
    2 teaspoons herbes de Provence OR a mixture of 1 teaspoon basil, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon marjoram, and 1/4 teaspoon sage
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
    2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
    1 cup (4 ounces) fresh bread crumbs
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the goat cheese and cream cheese until they're soft and spreadable. Mix in the remaining ingredients, except the butter and bread crumbs, stirring till smooth. Melt the butter and toss it with the breadcrumbs; reserve this mixture to sprinkle over the shaped rolls.

Assembly: Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Fold it over once or twice to gently deflate it. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 16 x 18 inches. Spread the filling of your choice over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch margin along one long edge. (If you're using the spinach filling first sprinkle the dough with the cheese and olives, then top with the spinach.) Starting with the opposite long edge, roll the dough into a log, sealing the edge and ends. Use a bench knife or serrated knife to cut the log into 1 to 1 1/4-inch slices.

Grease or line a baking pan with parchment paper. Lay the buns on the pan, leaving about 1 inch between them. Sprinkle them with either cheese or breadcrumbs, depending on what filling you're using. Cover them lightly with greased plastic wrap or a dough cover, and let them rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until they're puffy.

Baking: Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until their tops and bottoms are lightly browned. Check the buns after 20 minutes and tent with aluminum foil if they're browning too quickly on the edges. Yield: about 18 buns.

Nutrition information per serving (1 bun with spinach & feta filling, 77g): 159 cal, 6g fat, 6g protein, 21g complex carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 21mg cholesterol, 281mg sodium, 169mg potassium, 149RE vitamin A, 5mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 84mg calcium, 102mg phosphorus.

Nutrition information per serving (1 bun with tomato, onion and pepperoni filling, 81g): 169 cal, 6g fat, 6g protein, 23g complex carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 20mg cholesterol, 386mg sodium, 265mg potassium, 34RE vitamin A, 4mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 38mg calcium, 93mg phosphorus.

Nutrition information per serving (1 bun with goat cheese and sun-dried tomato filling, 72g): 215 cal, 10g fat, 7g protein, 25g complex carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 34mg cholesterol, 323mg sodium, 248mg potassium, 181RE vitamin A, 2mg vitamin C, 3mg iron, 48mg calcium, 109mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 2, Winter 2001 issue.