Roasted garlic & cheese swirl buns

Roasted garlic & cheese swirl buns

John Whaite's swirl buns will bring comfort to winter soups, stews and lunchboxes

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  • Makes12
  • CourseCanape
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook50 mins
  • Total time1 hr 10 mins
  • Pluscooling and proving

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  • 3 bulb/s whole heads garlic, or ready-roasted ones (see tip)
  • tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½g x 25g pack chives, finely chopped
  • 4 salad onions, finely chopped
  • pinch ground white pepper
  • 150g ball mozzarella, drained and grated
  • 150g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 100g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg, beaten, to glaze

For the dough

  • 120ml whole milk
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced
  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g fine salt
  • 5g fast action yeast
  • 1 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg


  1. If you’ve already roasted the garlic (see tip), move to step 2. If not, start here. Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Slice the stalk end from the garlic heads and drizzle the exposed flesh with oil. Wrap each head in an individual foil parcel, then pop into the oven and roast for 35 minutes, until soft and squishy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  2. For the dough, put 140ml water, the milk and butter into a small pan and heat just until the liquid is lukewarm and the butter just melted – don’t let them get too hot. You can also do this in a bowl in the microwave. Put the flours, salt and yeast into a mixing bowl and toss together. Add the egg and warmed milk mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Bring everything together into a scraggy dough, then knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. This is best done in a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook, as the dough will be quite soft. If doing by hand, add a little flour to the worktop for kneading, but no more than a light dusting.

  3. Once the dough is elastic, put it into a bowl and coat in a little oil. Cover with a clean tea towel or plate and allow to prove until doubled in size – this will take at least 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

  4. Meanwhile, squeeze the flesh out of the roasted garlic into a mixing bowl and add the butter, chives and salad onions. Beat to a smooth paste and season with sea salt flakes and the white pepper. Put the cheeses into a second mixing bowl and toss together to mix.

  5. Once the dough has risen, lightly flour the worktop and roll it into a square of about 45cm. Spread the butter mixture over the dough, then scatter all but a handful of cheese on top. Roll the dough up into a tight spiral and pinch the seam to seal. Slice off the ends of the dough log and set onto a separate small baking tray to bake as an optional cook’s perk.

  6. Cut the log into 12 evenly sized portions, and place these, spiral-side-up, into a greased 23x33cm baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in size again.

  7. Preheat the oven to 220ºC, gas mark 7. Once the buns have risen, glaze them with the beaten egg, then sprinkle over the reserved cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese has melted and burnished. Allow to cool before digging in.

Cook’s tip

Save turning the oven on several times by roasting the garlic in it when cooking something else at the same temperature.


Typical values per item when made using specific products in recipe


1,795kJ/ 430kcals



Saturated Fat












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