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  • Preeti Shridhar

Caterpillar Buns

Another twist to humble bread, the caterpillar buns. Kids are really attracted by these. You can choose a filling of your choice. I have used paneer filling. You can also spread Nutella or even butter and cinnamon with brown sugar. The choice is unlimited.

Two most important things in bread making are: Milk should be just warm, approx. 48 to 54 degrees Celsius .

Second is kneading. You have to knead it for 10. -12 minutes for the gluten to develop, which helps the buns or any bread for that matter to rise.

Read the entire recipe carefully , including notes before you start.

This recipe was shared by a friend, Hazeena. I have tweaked the original recipe slightly to suit my taste.

Ingredients Paneer stuffing

Paneer grated 400 gm.

Bell peppers ( red and yellow) 1 cup

Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp.

Onion ( finely chopped ) 1 cup.

Garlic ( crushed ) 2 tsp.

Green chilly ( finely chopped) 1.

Ginger ( grated ) 2 tsp.

Chettinad spice mix 2 tbsp.

salt ( or to taste) 2 tsp.

Coriander ( chopped) 2 tbsp.

Ingredients For buns:

All Purpose Flour ( maida) 4 cups

Milk (warm) 1 1/2 cup

Instant Yeast 2 tsp

Baking Powder 1/8 tsp

Sugar 1 tsp.

Salt 1 tsp.

Oil ( EVOO or any vegetable oil) 1/4 cup

Milk Powder 3 tbsp.

Garlic ( crushed) 1 tbsp

for brushing Extra oil and milk

Method for Paneer Stuffing:

  • Heat oil in a non stick pan .

  • Add garlic and green chilli .

  • Stir and add onions and ginger

  • Sauté onions till soft and pink

  • Tip in bell peppers , sauté for a couple for minutes .

  • Add paneer , salt and Chettinad spice mix .

  • Sauté on medium until the mixture is completely dry

  • Remove from fire and mix in chopped coriander .

  • Keep the filling aside to cool .

  • Divide it into 4 equal parts.

Method for Caterpillar Buns:

  • Warm milk. It should be just warm to touch not hot.

  • Place flour in a large bowl.

  • Make a well in the centre.

  • Sprinkle salt and baking powder on the sides of flour , away from the well.

  • Sprinkle sugar in the well.

  • Over the sugar sprinkle yeast.

  • Pour milk into the well.

  • Slowly blend in the flour, till all the flour is incorporated.

  • Tip it on a well floured counter top.

  • Start kneading the dough.

  • Add a little flour if the dough is sticky.

  • You will get a beautiful dough that is soft and not sticky at all.

  • Don't be tempted to add too much flour.

  • There will be a slight variation in the total amount of flour used because of the quality of the flour and weather conditions.

  • Now knead till the dough is elastic and soft like baby's bottom.

  • If kneading by hand then knead for 10-12 minutes.

  • Now grease a large bowl and put the ready dough into the bowl and turn the dough over so as to grease it from all sides.

  • Cover with a cling film and let it sit undisturbed in a warm and draft free place till it doubles in size, anywhere between an hour to hour and a half depending on the temperature of your kitchen .

  • To check if the dough has risen enough, push your finger , into the dough upto your second knuckle. If the indention remains when you remove your finger then it is ready else let it rise for some more time.

  • Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto a floured surface and punch it .

  • Add garlic .

  • Knead for a couple of minutes to release all the trapped air and incorporate garlic properly.

  • Divide the dough into 4 equal parts

  • On a floured surface roll it out one portion into a 11" long and 10" wide rectangle.

  • As shown in the pic below spread paneer filling on 2/3 of the rectangle.

  • Cut the remaining 1/3 into 1/4" strips as shown in the pic below

  • Slowly lift the edges from the farthest end from you and start rolling it.

  • Seal the ends and very gently lift it and place it on a prepared baking tray, slightly curved in the centre . Refer to the pic above.

  • On one end stick two cloves for eyes.

  • Repeat with remaining portions.

  • Brush with oil. Cover and leave them for second prove, till they double in size anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 degress celsius.

  • Bake for 30-35 minutes till they have a nice golden color.

  • Remove from the oven. Gently knock on the bottom of the buns, they will sound hollow, this means they are done.

  • Remove them on a wire rack. Brush them with oil.

  • serve them warm.


  • For the filling, you can also use spices of your choice instead of chettinad spice.

  • if you are using active dry yeast then in warm milk mix sugar. Now sprinkle yeast and mix it lightly.

  • Keep it in a warm place for 10 minutes. You will see yeast would have ballooned by now.

  • Pour the oil into the well. Now pour yeast water mixture in the well and proceed.

  • In this case you don't sprinkle sugar in the well.

  • To prepare the baking tray : grease it and dust it with flour.

  • Alternatively place a silicon mat on the baking tray. This is what I prefer.

  • Brush them with milk and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 -35minutes till golden. Mine were ready in 30 minutes.

  • Once done remove on a wire rack.

  • Brush with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil for softer crust.


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