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Be still, my heart! Simple sourdough puts on fancy airs with just a few alterations. Need a slightly unusual side dish to enjoy alongside a hearty soup? Or a special addition to an appetizer buffet? How about an alternative to sweet rolls? These sourdough savory buns are the answer!
Sourdough savory buns are also the perfect vehicle for giving leftovers new life. Have a little taco-flavored ground beef remaining from last night’s nacho bar? Maybe a little shredded cheese? Make taco-flavored savory buns! How about pepperoni, red sauce, and mozzarella for pizza savory buns? Bacon and cheese are fabulous for making a breakfast-style savory bun or perfect alongside a hearty stew. Let what you have on hand and your imagination guide you. The sky truly is the limit!
Savory Bun Dough
Your sourdough savory buns begin with dough. I love using my simple no-knead rustic biscuit dough (I double or triple the recipe to make several batches of savory buns) or my Minimal-Knead Sourdough Sandwich Bread. Both go together quickly with very little effort. I’ll often start the dough before bed to make savory buns for breakfast. If we want buns with dinner, I’ll mix up the dough after breakfast. Planning ahead is the key to sourdough. Not only does this allow the gluten to activate properly when using a no-knead recipe, but the sourdough process breaks down the antinutrients and results in a gut-friendlier bread.
Another excellent option for the dough is Whole Grain Sourdough Bread (einkorn, spelt, or whole wheat) from my friend Wardee at Traditional Cooking School. This kneaded dough produces a very light and fluffy dough, making a wonderful savory bun. This is my preferred dough for making a savory bun appetizer platter. I use equal parts of whole wheat and unbleached white flour. The combination of the kneaded dough and lighter flour results in a beautiful bun everyone loves.
Savory Bun Filling Options
Did I mention the sky is the limit on filling choices? It truly is! I love to scrounge around the fridge, freezer, or pantry for fillings options. Sometimes I’ll only have a bit of this or a dab of that, but adding to the bread dough is the perfect way to stretch these bits or dabs. I’ll often make more than one version of buns, too, dividing my dough into several portions to give us many bun flavors and emptying out all those odds and ends.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on your own savory buns!
- Cheddar cheese and crispy bacon bits (cooked and cooled)
- Taco-style meat (ground or shredded beef or shredded chicken) and shredded cheddar with drained salsa
- Pepperoni, red sauce, and mozzarella (pizza-style fillings)
- Thinly sliced roast and cheese slices (or shredded cheese)
- Salami and cheese
- Mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrated and chopped small), fresh garlic, and fresh basil
- Mozzarella with pesto
- Cheddar cheese with fresh herbs
- Olive tapenade (something like this, but I use regular black olives or a combination of black and green)
- Parmesan cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and herbs
- Caramelized onions, bacon, and cheddar with herbs
Now that you have your dough and fillings ready, it’s time to construct your savory buns!
- Lightly flour a cutting board or section of your counter and roll the bread out. You want the dough about an inch or so thick. I roll mine into something resembling a rectangle, but it doesn’t need to be exact.
- Add your prepared fillings, staying back about a quarter of an inch from the edges. Gently press everything down to secure.
- Now you are ready to roll. Start at the smallest edge and gently roll, being careful not to lose your filling. Small pieces tend to hold on well. If you use larger things (like sliced or crumbled cheese) you will need to be more careful.
Arrange and Bake
Butter a baking dish. Depending on how much dough you used, you may need a small 8 x 8 pan, a pie dish, or perhaps a larger 9 x 13 dish.
Once the dough is rolled up, very gently cut it into ½ to ¾ inch pieces. I use a serrated knife for this.
Move each cut piece to your buttered baking dish with the swirls facing up (think cinnamon rolls), allowing them to slightly touch. You want to be extremely careful so that your fillings stay in place.
Baking Option #1
If you aren’t crunched for time, cover the buns with a cloth and allow them to rise for a couple of hours. Bake in a preheated oven at 325° for 30 minutes or until the dough is cooked through and no longer gooey.
Baking Option #2
If you are crunched for time, put the freshly cut and arranged savory buns in a cold oven. Turn on the heat to 375° and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and no longer gooey. The buns will rise slightly while the oven is heating but will not be as light and fluffy as they are if you allow them to rise naturally. They’ll still taste delicious!
Sometimes I move the savory buns to a cooling rack if they look like they are holding together well. If they look fragile, just leave them in the pan to cool enough to eat. Serve warm or even allow to cool completely. You can make a big batch and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for several days or for several months in the freezer.
These savory buns are not only a perfect side with soups and stews, but also double as a hearty appetizer or even a light meal or snack, especially when adding a simple dip. Try a simple Homemade Ranch Dressing/Dip (keep it on the thick side), Creamy Queso Dip, or Tex Mex Salsa (fermented for extra gut health).
Want More Sourdough Recipes?
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