Bread with Seeni Sambol filling (සීනි සම්බෝල පාන්) is my take on Sri Lankan Seeni sambal buns. Filled with spicy caramelized onions and tastes amazing with the added coconut oil to the bread.
This Bread with Seeni Sambol filling reminds me of a bread my uncle used to buy me when I was in my primary school. He was the one who drove me and my sister to our school every day. There was a small bakery/stationery store (yes! that’s a thing in Sri Lanka) near our school and he always bought us something from there. Although my favorite was a fish roll wrapped in a plain hopper, I remember him buying these cute bread once in a while. They weren’t filled with Seeni Sambal though. It was a tuna and potato mix.
I wanted to make these Bread with Seeni Sambol filling because I love having Sri Lankan bread with Seeni Sambol (සීනි සම්බෝල/spicy caramelized onions). A classic breakfast or dinner in Sri Lanka. And when you pair that with a creamy curry like lentil curry, potato curry or egg curry… oh man!! I don’t have words to describe how good that is. I really hope you give this a try.
The dough is a 60% hydration bread dough. With the given amount you can make 3 small loaves or one big loaf. You can also use this same recipe to make plain bread. Or if you don’t like Seeni Sambal (spicy caramelized onion), feel free to add any filling you like.
For Seeni sambal, I fried sliced onion in very low flame with chili flakes, Maldive fish flakes, tamarind pulp, sugar, curry leaves, and a piece of cinnamon, until onions get caramelized. The detailed recipe would be soon available on the blog.
Here’s the Bread with Seeni Sambol recipe video.
- Mix everything in the mixer for 10 mins or more until you get the window pane. (If you hand knead, double the time)
- Take the dough out of the mixing bowl. Make it into a rough ball and put the dough back into the bowl, cover and let it rise until it’s doubled in size. This would take roughly 1hr - 11/2hrs depending on the temperature of your house.
- When doubled, lightly punch the dough. Take the dough out. Divide into 3 equal portions if you are making 3 small loaves. Or you can make one regular bread loaf with this amount.
- Make the dough into a ball and flatten it out to a dish shape. Put the filling in. Or you can make these without a filling too. Now fold the left side to the middle with a slight angle. Fold the right side to the middle, the same way. This should look more like a narrow triangle. Now roll the dough from the narrow side to the wider side to form a cylinder. (please watch the video)
- Pull the dough to your side to tight up the skin. (optional step but this is the step that gives the smooth crust on the top)
- Oil the bread pan. Place the shaped dough in the bread pan.
- Now let it rise again until it rises up 1inch above the bread pan. It would take about 30min - 45mins approx.
- Meanwhile, put a separate baking dish in the oven. preheat the oven to 400F. When the oven is ready, add some hot water to the preheated baking pan. The idea is to incorporate some steam in the first few minutes of baking the bread. It helps you to get a good oven rise and a good crust. Put the bread pans in. Bake for 40mins or until it gets a golden crust.