Snacks and sides

Tuscan rosemary buns

Tired of your usual breakfast? These soft, savoury buns are the answer.
Eight savoury buns together with a saucer of syrup.

Photo: Ben Dearnley

Ben Dearnley
1H 5M

Most great breakfasts involve bread in some capacity. But sometimes, regular old toast just doesn’t cut it. So if you’re up for a change from your quotidian breakfast, these traditional Tuscan rosemary buns, which are excellent with both sweet and savoury toppings, are well worth a try.

In Tuscany, these buns are traditionally made at Easter-time, on Holy Thursday and taken to church to be blessed; these days, they are enjoyed all year round.



1.Heat sour cherries and Amaro in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering (2-3 minutes). Set aside for 1 hour. Drain well, reserving liquid.
2.Heat olive oil and rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant and rosemary is crisp and dark green (5 minutes). Set aside to cool. Drain, reserving oil and roughly crushing leaves using a mortar and pestle.
3.Place flour, sugar, yeast and 1½ tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed to combine. Gradually add milk and reserved rosemary oil to bowl and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic (4-5 minutes).
4.Turn dough out onto a work surface and press into a 25xm x 30cm rectangle. Pat dry cherries, spread over dough, along with rosemary. Fold over corners of dough to enclose cherries and rosemary and knead until evenly distributed, sprinkling over extra 40gm (¼ cup) flour if required as you knead. The cherries will become slightly mashed and speckle the dough. Form into a round, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and rest in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
5.Knock down dough with fist and divide into 12 equal pieces (83gm each). Working with one piece at a time and keeping other pieces covered, fold edges of dough underneath into the centre to form a ball, pinching base to seal, ensuring no fruit has torn surface. Place, seam-side down on a work surface, cup with your hand and roll ball in a circular motion, using friction of the bench to drag base towards you to create a smooth, tight ball. Arrange balls on a 23cm x 30cm oven tray lined with baking paper, in a 3 x 4 grid, leaving 1.5 cm between each ball for dough to expand. Score deep cross slashes into tops, cover and rest in a warm, draught-free place until doubled in size and touching (45 minutes – 1 hour).
6.Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly brush tops with egg; bake until buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped (18-20 minutes). Stir reserved Amaro and extra 1 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and reduced by one-third (2 minutes). Brush syrup over hot buns then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with butter.

Dried sour cherries are available from select delicatessens.


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