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.