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Tuscan rosemary buns

Tired of your usual breakfast? These soft, savoury buns are the answer.

By Belinda So
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking (plus proving, cooling)
  • Makes 12
  • Print
Photo: Ben Dearnley
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.


  • 80 gm dried sour cherries (see note)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) Amaro Montenegro
  • 15 gm rosemary leaves
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 515 gm plain flour, plus 40gm extra
  • 55 gm (¼ cup) golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • 7 gm (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 270 ml lukewarm milk
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten, for glazing
  • Butter, to serve


  • 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.

  • undefined: Belinda So