October 16, 2008

Savoury & Spiced Caramelised Onion, Red Pepper and Paneer Rolls

I have been seeing a lot of cinnamon rolls on various blogs in the past year or so and have always wondered how it would be if I made some similar rolls with a savoury filling instead. This thought finally became reality when I decided to try making them in time to post for World Bread Day 2008.

The recipe for the dough is adapted from the Yeasted Breakfast Bread Dough in my Tassajara Bread Book. I used this dough because it is less rich compared to the dough usually used for cinnamon rolls. I made some adjustments to the dough recipe and made it egg-free as well.

I guess the tweaking of the recipe is fine as the author of the book, Edward Espe Brown, himself says,
"Recipes do not belong to anyone -- given to me, I give them to you. Recipes are only a guide, a skeletal framework, to be fleshed out according to your nature and desire. Your life, your love, will bring these recipes into full creation (p. vi)."

For the filling, I used caramelised onions, red bell peppers, spring onions and crumbled home-made paneer (from 3% fat milk).

These savoury rolls are soft and light and great to serve as a snack, appetizer (if you make them slightly smaller), or with soup for a light dinner. Here’s the way I made them.
Savoury & Spiced Caramelised Onion, Red Pepper and Paneer Rolls

(Adapted from the Tassajara Bread Book)


For the dough:


1 cup lukewarm water

11/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 tbsp honey

1/3 cup powdered milk

1 tsp ground flax seeds in 1 tbsp water (or an egg)

11/2 cups all-purposeflour


3 tbsp oil (you could use melted butter)

11/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 1/2 tsp roasted and crushed cumin seeds

1 tsp freshly crushed black pepper (or more, if you like)

1 cup all purpose flour

About 1/2 cup or so more flour for kneading

For the filling:

1 ½ cups chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped spring onion greens and whites

3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 tsp oil

1 1/2 cups crumbled paneer

1 tsp red chilli flakes (or according to taste)

1 tsp mixed Italian herbs

1/4 tsp salt



In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and honey. Add the honey, milk powder and flax seed+water (or egg). Mix well. Add the whole wheat flour and mix into a batter and beat well (Brown says 100 strokes!).
Cover and keep aside for about 30 minutes for it to rise.

Add the oil, crushed cumin, black pepper and salt to the risen batter and fold in. Also add the 1 cup of flour or more as required, and knead till the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes using just enough flour to get a smooth dough which doesn’t tear easily. The dough should be reasonably soft but not sticky. Cover and keep aside, allowing to rise for about 40 minutes.

During this time, heat the 1 tsp oil and sauté the chopped onions till they turn soft and light brown/ caramelise. Add the chopped red pepper spring onion, after adding the salt and chilli flakes and saute for another 30 seconds or so. Now add the herbs and mix well. Allow to cool.


After the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface into a rectangle (approximately 18" by 11") that is about ¼” thick. Do not roll it thinner. Place the dough rectangle such that the longer sides face you.
Spread the cooled filling evenly over the dough right up to the shoter edges of the rectangle. Then sprinkle the crumbled paneer over this and then the spring onion greens and whites as well over the paneer, on the edges of the longer sides.

Using your finger dipped in water wet the longer edge of the dough away from you. Slowly roll the dough rectangle as tightly as you can, keeping the filling in (jelly roll style), from the edge of the rectangle closest to you. The wet edge will help seal the roll.

With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces, about 1 1/2" wide. I found it easier to divide the dough into two halves and make two smaller rolls, cutting each into 6 pieces. Place the rolls, cut side up, in a greased rectangular baking. If the rolls are a little close together, when the rise, they will expand upwards rather than outwards. 
Cover and let them rise for about 20 minutes.

Brush lightly with milk and bake at 190C for 30 minutes or so, until they're done and the golden brown in colour.
Serve warm. This recipe makes 12 rolls.

These rolls go to the World Bread Day being hosted by Zorra at 1x umrühren bitte.


Ulrike said...

Interesting recipe and a very tasty looking result

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Sangeeth said...

Thats a perfect bread for the event! loved the recipe. May be I could try it too. I at present do not have honey at home..so is there any substitute for that?

Aparna said...

Thanks, Ulrike.

You can use sugar instead of honey. Yeast needs sweetening and warmth to prove. Sugar is the most common option but I prefer the taste/ flavour of honey and use it if I feel it would go with the bread.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

You've got me inspired to make some savory filled rolls. Nice!

Passionate About Baking said...

Oh Aparna...these are just too beautiful. I love savoury & these are just up my alley. What a great post !

Yasmeen said...

Aparna,I'm drooling hungrily looking at those cheesy spiced up rolls. I'm bookmarking it!

Happy cook said...

Wow I would love to try them.
They must have been really yumm.

Arundathi said...

yummy! love paneer and spring onions!

Rachel said...

Someone's baking like a pro now....egg replacement and all....great job....

Lisa said...

How I love paneer. What a great idea to use it as a filling.

Bharti said...

Those look AMAZING. My son and I are drooling over them right now.

sra said...

The pic of the ready-to-bake rolls are as good as that of the finished product!

Cham said...

They look just amazing with cheese, I am savory side , great bread for the event!

Priya said...

Rolls look prefect n yummy..nice entry for the event..

Curry Leaf said...

Love the rolls,Aparna.I love the filling,as such.

PG said...

fabulous! a wonderful recipe!

jayasree said...

Pretty looking rolls. I am all for savory ones.

Asha said...

Hi Aparna, good to see you baking away. I am very very jealous. I haven't cooked in 2 weeks now, no oven at all. Rolls look mouthwatering, wish I could start baking, miss it so much but it will take quite a while for me to come back to blogging.
We are off to the beach for 3 days to get away, enjoy blogging. Hugs ! :))

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Hooray for the savory! Excellent filling and great technique. I do like that quote from Brown in the Tassajara Bread Book

Aparna said...

Thanks, I hope you all try these. They're not too difficult to make. Its as much fun making them as eating them.:)

Nice to see you back, Asha.
Will wait to see you at your blog. In the meanwhile, enjoy your short break.

Simran said...

This is so unfair! I have taped your dill and paneer rolls recipe to my fridge to bake first thing tomorrow and now you come up with another one that's just as pretty. What do I do now :)

n33ma said...

lovely rolls.cheese makes it all the more better.

Jude said...

Looks great... That's a nice quote about recipes. So true.

zorra said...

Great idea! Now I'm hungry and would like to try on or two...

Thx for your participation in WBD'08.

sunshinemom said...

Though I like sweet rolls too, my preference will always be for the savoury fillings - this one agrees with me too! Maybe I would fill it with crumbled tofu or just mashed potatoes or something:)

Nidhi said...

Looks like a winner of a recipe. Has got me all excited to try it soon.

Kevin said...

These savoury rolls are a great idea! They sound really tasty!

Baking Soda said...

Hurray for savoury! Great combination of flavours, they look so appetizing!

Aparna said...

Thanks again.

Raaga said...

I am wondering how on earth I missed this!