Have you seen the "savory bun and roll" trend in coffee shops and hip cafes? I've been seeing this everywhere — in magazines, at bakeries in various day-trippable cities, etc.

As a person who pretty much worships bread, I'm thrilled — this is a sweet-gone-savory trend I can really get behind. So for you, Eagle readers, I have spent the past month testing savory roll recipes and created this mashup of my own for your enjoyment.

After going through the roll versus bun versus scone debate, I settled on a saltier cinnamon roll dough with chopped fresh oregano. After trying to roll up the dough with chopped, cooked ham and kale, I realized there was a better way: Make what's roughly a cooked spinach pesto so you can spread it on your dough more easily and less like you're topping a pizza. After eternally melting cheddar cheese onto one of my baking pans, I realized less is more and shifted to feta, which bakes nicely, but doesn't melt everywhere.

Also after that melting fiasco (and one pan sent to recycling heaven), I adjusted the recipe to include greased parchment paper. May you enjoy these savory rolls, impress your brunch friends and never have to throw away a pan because of me!


Makes 12 to 14 rolls



3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons powdered yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, softened

3 cups flour

Chopped herbs — I used 2 tablespoons oregano

Spinach and feta filling:

1 pound bag spinach

Pinch salt

Olive oil

4 cloves garlic, diced

8 ounces crumbled feta cheese

3 additional tablespoons melted butter


Make dough: Warm milk to lukewarm, then stir in sugar and yeast. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes until mixture is bubbly.

In another bowl, mix herbs, butter, egg and salt, then add yeast mixture. Add flour and mix until fully combined. Remove from mixer and knead until it roughly feels like pizza dough — elastic, but not craggy or wet.

Roll into a ball. Oil a mixing bowl and add dough, then cover and let rest two hours.

Meanwhile, make filling. In a saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil and diced garlic, then spinach and a pinch of salt, cook until fully cooked and soft. In food processor or blender, combine until consistency of pesto. Crumble feta cheese and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Flour a large counter top area or cutting board, then place dough on floured surface. Punch down and roll into a rectangle — go for around 10 inches by 14 inches. Once your dough is ready, use a spatula to spread the spinach mix evenly over surface, then top with crumbled feta.

Roll one 1/2-inch strip over the messier long side of your rectangle, then roll that strip into two layers, until you can roll your dough cinnamon roll-style right into a tube.

Cut into 12 equal sections and place in two 9-inch circular metal baking pans lined with parchment paper and buttered, six rolls each.

Cover and let proof 30 minutes.

After proofing, brush melted butter over the rolls and bake 30 to 35 minutes. You're going for just barely golden brown — anything darker and they will overcook. Let cool 15 minutes and enjoy.