February 15, 2009

Spicy Potato and Pea Bolsos (Filled Pocket Breads)

When my first few (actually, many) attempts at making and baking bread were pathetic at the best, it was a good friend of mine who came to the rescue. She is an excellent cook and in fact, it was eating her spicy potato filled rolls that encouraged me bake my own bread. I got her to come home one afternoon and give me a hands-on demonstration on how to make those rolls. They were so good, I can still remember the happiness at seeing my first successful batch of bread rolls!

So when this month's Bread Baking Day theme was announced as "Bread And Potatoes", I knew it was time to post those rolls of hers. I do make these rolls on and off, and each time the potato filling tends to change a bit, depending on what vegetables I have at home and what spices I choose to add. So there are no hard and fast rules here with this recipe. But this filling is a typical Indian "potato masala" filling which is spicy and good for filling samosas or bondas.

A couple of days back, I was going through my copy of the Tassajara Bread Book when I came across a recipe for Ricotta Olive Bolsos. "Bolso (masculine form)" (or bolsa-feminine form) means pocket/ bag in Spanish and Portuguese. So Bolsos are small "pocket" breads which are baked with filling in them, a sort of ready-made sandwich. So I decided to call my filled bread a spicy potato and pea bolso. This sounds much fancier than a filled roll, doesn't it?

Whatever, the name these rolls (or bolsos) are very tasty and filling. They are good for a meal with a salad or a soup, as a filling snack and very convenient to pack and carry in a lunch box.
I have adapted the dough for the bolsos from the above mentioned recipe, but used my own version of a potato and pea filling here. My dinner roll dough can also be used to make these rolls.


For the dough:

1 3/4 tsp dry active yeast

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup skimmed milk powder

1/2 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

3/4 cup oat flour*

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

For the filling:

2 cups roughly mashed potatoes**

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tsp oil

1 1/2 tsp minced ginger (or paste)

1/2 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 1/2 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

1 or 2 green chillies, chopped

1 to 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves


For the dough:

*I don't get oat flour here, so I powdered rolled oats in my grinder and used this.

Dissolve the honey and the yeast in the warm water and allow the yeast to prove. Put all the other ingredients for the dough in the food processor (or in a bowl, if kneading by hand) and run a couple of times to mix well.

Pour in the yeast-honey mixture and enough water to make a soft, smooth and elastic dough. Shape into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl, turning the ball of dough so it is coated with the oil. Cover and allow to rise till double in volume (about an hour).

For the filling:

** Do not mash the potatoes into a paste. Just mash well, till slightly lumpy. You can do this by breaking up each boiled potato by hand. About 5 to 6 medium sized potatoes should give you approximately 2 cups mashed potatoes.
You can make this filling while the dough is rising, or make it the previous day and refrigerate it.

In a pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the ginger and the garlic paste and sauté for half a minute. Then add the onions and chopped chillies, and sauté till they are translucent and beginning to turn golden.

Now add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders and sauté for a minute on low heat. Add a quarter cup of water, stir and add the frozen peas and the salt. Simmer for a couple of minutes till they're cooked. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well, cooking for about two minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the chopped coriander and mix well again.

Divide this filling into 6 equal portions. Each portion will measure about 2 to 3 tbsps.

To make the bolsos:

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, take one piece of dough and roll out into an approximately 4" by 4" square (or a circle). Place one portion of filling on one half of the dough square/ circle leaving about 1/4" of dough free at the edges. Moisten this edge with water and fold the unfilled half over the filling. Seal the edges by pinching together well so that it doesn't open up while baking.

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, cover and allow to rise slightly for 20 minutes. Brush with milk (or egg wash) and place on a greased sheet. Bake at 200C for 20 to 25 minutes till done and golden brown in colour. Cool on a rack and serve.
This recipe makes 6 bolsos.

This is my submission for BBD #17 being hosted this month by Lien at Notitie van Lien. This also goes to Susan for YeastSpotting.

Also featured by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Asha said...

Beautiful! I was thinking of something like this too. Great entry! :)

Poonam said...

superb!!! Meal by itself..love the look of it.

Smitha said...

Reminds me of potato bun we get back home!

jayasri said...

hi, when i saw this as smitha said it remeinded me of potato buns which are baked in bangalore bakeries, I too bake them well as u said I am not a good baker, I was planning to post it in a few days time.....but urs look gorgeous, do they come really soft? on the upper crust... must try this, ASAP....I want to learn lot more in Baking...even though my family are Bakers...if u would have heard of Iyengar Bakeries in Bangalore, most of them are my relatives!!!, Give me some hints & suggestions about baking....fabulous photos & is making me hungry:) & tempting me do it...

Chris said...

These look a lot like Singaporean curry puffs that I am in love with! But I have the feeling that I might like your version better because it doesn't involved deep-frying. I'm really excited to try these! :)

Lien said...

Hi Aparna, these breads look really wonderful. I love the idea of a meal in one roll. Wish I could smell the spices here ;-)
Thanks for participating in BBD.

Ashwini said...

wow looks yummy and as smitha said..it reminds of the potato bread.

Soma said...

Looks wonderful! Yesterday I made pita & was wondering when there was some dough left if I should fill with potato & make something - an inbetween of potato pita & alu naan. These looks more full !

Madhuram said...

Wonderful rolls Aparna. You really amaze me with your (bread)baking skills.

Heidi said...

These look awesome. I make a curry with ground meat and peas that I think I will try as a filling in here, but not before I tries these just they way they are, they look so yummy. Thanks for the recipe :D

Nags said...

the bolsos have come out so chubby and brown. filled bread is next on my to-do list :)

Cham said...

Wonderful bread Aparna, I ve to try soon this kind of bread!

jayasree said...

Beatiful... Lovely color.

Raaga said...

I love such buns... waiting for the weather to get a little warmer here :)

Lakshmi Venkatesh said...

The buns are looking very beautiful and delicious.

Happy cook said...

YUmmy delicous. Wish i had one of them here right now.

sra said...

I instinctively felt it had to be Portuguese when I saw the name. I wonder how one can tell the difference between a bolso and a bolsa?! :-)

Priya said...

Delicious buns, i too prepared bread with potatoes, urs makes me hungry Yaa!!!

Aparna said...

Thanks. They're worth making and not difficult, either.

I have seen quite a few references to the Itengar bakery on blogs, though I don't know of it.
Yes, the bread is is quite soft. As for tips on baking, I'm not an expert, just learning as I go along. I'd be glad to help in anyway.
But you have the experience of professional bakers behind you.:)
Do bake them, though.

Singapore puffs are new to me, Chris. Though deep fried probably means they're tasty even if not good for us.:)

That's an idea, Soma.

I'm amazed too, Madhuram.:)

Heidi, these would work with any filling, the spicier the better!

Sra, actually I think they're Spanish.:)
As for boy or girl, haven't a clue! Though, in a non-food context, I think whether it is bolsa or bolso depends on what the word is describing (bag, purse, pocket or stock exchange).

MamaFaMi said...

Goshh... I'm drooling over your bread photos!!! Yummy yummy!

bee said...

much healthier and tastier than a samosa.

mona said...

Thats a lovely idea. They look gorgeous.

Uj said...

Looks yummy dear.. perfect and evenly baked crust. When I get a fresh batch of yeast will try this one. :D

Ivy said...

You make me want to bake right now. These sound delicious.

PG said...

I'm so hungry now. :D These bolsos look devine!

Usha said...

These look beautiful, I loved that the bread has a combination of wheat flour and oat flour...perfect!

A_and_N said...

They look so good, Aparna! The colour on the bread is awesome and I agree with Bee!

Bharti said...

Abs. delicious.

Lore said...

*Swoon*. That's one generous an delicious filling Aparna.

Curry Leaf said...

Love the bread Aparna,I heartily wish I were there when you took this out of the oven-aroma of fresh baked bread along with spicy potato filling,the taste -even the thougt of being there is very comforting and filling.Sooooooooooooo beautiful

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I am dying over that filling!

Sunshinemom said...

I know many before me have said this but it is really the only thing - same as the ones we get at Bangalore Iyengar bakery:), and how I love them!! Yours looks awesome. I agree bolsos are definitely better than rolls. I suppose it is because the shape looks like comfy bolsters:) Give me one!

n.o.e said...

You can call them rolls or bolsos, but I call them beautiful! They sound delicious with that spicy filling.

zorra said...

Your bolsos look so yummie! I never made filled rolls, great idea!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Aparna, these are just so tempting. I know if you set a plate in front of me, I'd be over stuffed when I left the table ;)
Love that filling.
It really helps to bake with somebody else to learn how bread should feel and how to shape it.

chuck said...

I can smell those spices through the computer. The filling is like samosas that I love so much! Nice bread!

Aparna said...

Thanks, again.:)

scraps said...

I like the spices and use of oatmeal flour in this recipe. Looks great!! You did good!