Guava Onion Jam Swirl Buns


Nik Sharma

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Guava Onion Jam Swirl Buns

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I crave savory baking more than I do sweet pastries. When I’m traveling, I hunt down all the savory pastries first. On a recent trip to London, I adored the sausage-stuffed croissants coated with miso at Arôme bakery and couldn’t wait to bring that idea back to my kitchen. These swirl buns are filled with my guava onion jam (there’s a quick cheat for those of you who want to skip making the jam in the recipe’s cook’s notes below) and then topped with a glaze of miso, nigella seeds, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan. These buns are sweet and savory, making them a wonderful way to start the day. 

  • Yield: 6


For the Tangzhong

1/2 cup/119 g whole milk

3 Tbsp/23 g unbleached bread flour

For the Dough

2/3 cups/159 g whole milk

2 1/2 cups/300 g unbleached bread flour, plus more for dusting

2 Tbsp/25 g granulated sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 tsp instant yeast

4 Tbsp/57 g unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling

11 oz/312 g guava onion jam (see The Cook’s Notes for options)

1 Tbsp bread flour

For the Miso Glaze

2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

1 Tbsp nigella seeds

1 Tbsp white or yellow miso

1 Tbsp boiling water

3 Tbsp/6 g grated Parmigiano 


For the Tangzhong

  1. Combine the milk and flour in a small saucepan and whisk until no lumps remain.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until thickened and pastelike; the whisk should leave lines on the bottom of the pan. This will take 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the strength of your burner.
  3. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of a mixer.

For the Dough

  1. Immediately add the dough ingredients to the mixer bowl in the order listed. The heat from the tangzhong will help warm the cold milk.
  2. Using the dough hook, mix over low speed to bring the dough together, then increase the speed to medium-low and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, place it back in the bowl, and cover.
  4. Let the dough rise until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk—​about 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

For The Filling

  1. Mix the guava onion jam with the flour and keep aside.

For the Assembly and Baking

  1. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and press it into a 10 in by 12 in/25 cm by 30.5 cm rectangle about 1/2 in/12 mm thick.
  2. Sprinkle the jam filling over the dough, covering all but a 1/2 in/12 mm strip along one long side.
  3. Roll the dough into a log starting with the filling-covered long side. Pinch the seam together to seal.
  4. Using a serrated knife or dental floss, cut the dough into eight rolls, about 1 1/2 in to 2 in/4 cm to 5 cm each.
  5. Place the rolls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 in/5 cm apart; a 3-​2-​3 arrangement works well. To prevent them from unraveling while they rise and bake, tuck the ends of the spirals underneath the rolls to hold them in place.
  6. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 to 60 minutes. The rolls should be puffy, and the dough shouldn’t bounce back immediately when gently pressed.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C with a rack in the top third.
  8. Prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the butter, water, nigella, and miso
  9. Uncover the rolls and brush them with the butter glaze. Bake them for 14 to 18 minutes, until they’re light golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the Parmigiano over the buns, and return to the oven; bake for 10 minutes until light brown. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
  11. The buns will stay good for up to 3 to 4 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature or for a week in the refrigerator. 


  • You can cheat if you don’t have time to make the guava onion jam from scratch. Take 7.5 oz/212 g of your favorite commercial brand of onion jam in a small bowl. Warm-up 4 oz/114 g guava paste in the microwave until soft and pliable; it will take a few seconds (avoid overcooking as it will burn easily), and fold them together.  Fold in 1 tsp of nigella seeds and use this as the jam. 
  • Warming the buns in an air fryer at 400F/200C for 5 to 10 minutes works great. 

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