Savory Swirl Buns stuffed with Basil Pesto and Spice Paneer – Bell Pepper Masala

Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns

When deciding for the recipes to bake for the baking mega marathon, I only had savory dishes lined up. As the days went by I managed to include a few sweet bakes. Savory bakes and especially those that I can serve as dinner is very popular in my house. I have seen many swirl buns filled with chocolate or cinnamon. But when I saw the savory version on Priya’s space, I picked up the idea and made the buns.

I have used a layer of pesto and then the masala filling in the bun. If you are not a big fan of pesto, omit it or use cilantro chutney, bhel chutney or any other chutney that you like. I also used a paneer bhurji kind of masala with bell peppers. Any masala would work for this bun. Make sure that the filling is not very soggy as it might ruin the dough texture and make it very hard to work with.

I made about 13 buns from the recipe and had a few left over for the next day. I and my husband ate it for breakfast after reheating the buns in the microwave and it was simply delicious. Refrigerating the buns did not change the texture of the bun and it had a wonderful texture the next day. The buns are egg less and I have added a part of wheat flour and flax seed meal to the recipe.

Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns

Preparation time – 30 minutes plus about 3 hours of inactive time
Cooking time – 20 minutes plus 25 minutes
Difficulty level – medium

Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns

Ingredients to make Savory Swirl Buns – 12 buns

For the Buns –

  • Bread flour – 2 cups (substitute All purpose flour)
  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Flaxseed Meal – 2 tbsp
  • Instant yeast – 1 ½ tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Luke warm water – ½ cup (might need more)
  • Olive oil – 3 tbsp

For the pesto –

  • Basil leaves – 1 cup (loosely packed)
  • Pine nuts – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Garlic – 1 clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil – ¼ cup
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese (grated) – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste

For the Paneer-bell pepper masala –

  • Paneer – 2 cups (finely grated)
  • Red bell pepper – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Onion – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp (adjust based on your spice level)
  • Garam masala – ½ tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns


Procedure to make Savory Swirl Buns –

To make the dough –

  • Combine the flours, flax seed meal, instant yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of the mixer.
  • Add the olive oil and run the mixer at low speed. Slowly add the warm water to form dough which appears slightly wet and is sticky.
  • Now run the mixer on medium and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.
  • Coat a bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise in a draft free place for about an hour to hour and half or until double in volume.
Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns

To make the pesto –

  • Add basil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a blender jar and grind. Slowly add the olive oil and blend. Add the parmesan cheese and run the blender once again. Mix well and keep it aside.
Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns

To make the Paneer-bell pepper masala –

  • Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and let it crackle. Now add the chopped onions and sauté until light brown.
  • Add the bell pepper and mix well. Cook until the peppers are almost cooked. Add the salt, chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and mix well.
  • Add the grated paneer and mix. Let it cook on low heat for about 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid the paneer from sticking to the pan.
  • Keep it aside and let the mixture cool down.
Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns

To shape the buns –

  • Once the dough has risen, deflate it gently and then place on a floured surface. Grease 2 round baking pans and keep it ready.
  • Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 9 inches wide and 14 inches long.
  • Spread an even layer of the pesto on the rolled dough reaching to the edge as much as you can.
  • Now layer the masala and spread it evenly on the dough.
  • Starting from the side closer to you start rolling the dough into a tight jelly roll. Make sure that you roll it as tightly as you can and make a neat log.
Savory Swirl Buns
Savory Swirl Buns
  • Now slice the log about ¾th of an inch wide and place it on the prepared pan barely touching each other. I got around 13 rolls and placed 6 in one and 7 in the other pan.
Savory Swirl Buns
  • Cover the pans and let it rise again for about an hour until the rolls are puffed up.
Savory Swirl Buns

Baking the Buns –

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Once the buns have risen, brush them with milk.
  • Bake the bun for about 25 -30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan placed over the rack.
  • Serve warm or if serving later, reheat in the microwave and serve.
Savory Swirl Buns


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