8 Yummy Stuffed Dough Delights From Around The World
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Bread has been a staple food in human history for millennia. Its versatility and ability to be paired with a variety of flavours make it a beloved dish across cultures. While plain bread is delicious on its own, there is something magical about stuffed breads and buns that take this humble food to new heights. These delectable creations, filled with savoury or sweet fillings, offer a burst of flavours and textures that can elevate any meal to a delightful experience. In this article, we will embark on a journey across the globe, exploring some of the most enticing stuffed breads and buns and the techniques used to make them.

China - Baozi:

Moving eastward to China, we encounter the delectable Baozi, a type of steamed stuffed bun. Baozi can be either savoury or sweet and come in various shapes and sizes. The dough is made using yeast, which makes the buns soft and fluffy. For savoury variations, the filling can consist of seasoned pork, beef, vegetables, or a combination of these. On the other hand, sweet Baozi might be filled with red bean paste, custard, or fruit. A popular variation is the Cantonese Char Siu Bao, filled with BBQ pork, which has gained popularity worldwide.

Italy - Calzone:

Our journey takes us to Italy, where we discover the delightful Calzone. This folded-over stuffed pizza originated in Naples and has become a favourite in many parts of the world. The dough is similar to that used for pizza, and the fillings can vary widely, from classic combinations like tomato, mozzarella, and pepperoni to more innovative choices like spinach and ricotta or Nutella and banana for a sweet twist. Calzones are often baked to perfection, creating a crisp outer layer that complements the oozy, flavorful filling inside.

India - Samosas in a Pouch:

Starting our culinary adventure in India, we encounter the mouthwatering Samosa. The samosa is a triangular stuffed pastry that originated in the Indian subcontinent. The outer layer is made with a crispy, flaky pastry filled with a mixture of spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes minced meat. The combination of flavours and the contrast between the crunchy outer layer and the savoury filling make it a delightful snack enjoyed by millions. In some regions, samosas can even be found with sweet fillings like dates or coconut, showcasing the versatility of this stuffed delight.

Lebanon - Fatayer:

Travelling to the Middle East, we find ourselves savouring Fatayer, a delectable stuffed pastry hailing from Lebanon. These small, triangular delights are often served as appetizers or snacks. The dough is made from yeast and filled with a mix of spinach, onions, and sumac, creating a tangy and savoury explosion of flavours. Other variations can include cheese, ground meat, or za'atar, a blend of herbs and spices

Latin America - Empanadas:

Across the vast regions of Latin America, the Empanada takes centre stage. This savoury or sweet stuffed bread has won the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. Empanadas are made using various dough types, such as flaky puff pastry or corn-based masa dough. The fillings are limited only by one's imagination, ranging from classic beef or chicken with various spices and vegetables to sweet options like dulce de leche or guava paste.

Greece - Tiropita and Spanakopita:

In Greece, two iconic stuffed breads hold a special place in their cuisine. Tiropita is a small pastry filled with a mixture of cheeses, typically feta, and often served as a snack or appetizer. Spanakopita, on the other hand, is similar but includes a savoury blend of spinach and feta cheese. Both Tiropita and Spanakopita are usually wrapped in thin, flaky phyllo dough, providing a delightful crunch to balance the creamy filling.

United States - Kolache:

Travelling back to the United States, we encounter Kolache, a popular treat in states like Texas. This Czech-originated pastry is a soft, sweet dough filled with various ingredients. Traditionally, they were filled with fruit, like apricots or cherries. However, the modern evolution of Kolache has introduced savoury variations, such as sausage and cheese. This fusion of flavours has made Kolache a hit across the country, particularly as a breakfast or snack option.

Japan - Anpan:

In Japan, Anpan steals the show as a beloved stuffed bun. This iconic pastry, created by Yasubei Kimura in the late 1800s, consists of soft bread filled with sweet red bean paste called "an." The combination of the fluffy bread and the sweet, earthy filling creates a delightful treat enjoyed by people of all ages. Anpan's popularity in Japan is evident by its presence in bakeries, convenience stores, and even in popular culture, appearing in manga and anime.

Techniques for Making Stuffed Breads and Buns:

Creating stuffed breads and buns may seem daunting, but with the right techniques, they can become a delicious part of your culinary repertoire. Here are some basic steps to get you started:

Dough Preparation:

For the yeast-based dough, mix warm water, yeast, and a bit of sugar to activate the yeast. Once it foams, add flour and other ingredients like salt, butter, or eggs, and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.

For the flaky pastry dough, combine flour, salt, and cold butter, then add ice water until it forms a shaggy dough. Fold and roll the dough multiple times to create layers that will result in flakiness when baked.

Filling Preparation:

For savoury fillings, cook and season the ingredients before using them as stuffing. This ensures that the flavours meld together.

For sweet fillings, use ingredients like fruit preserves, chocolate, cream cheese, or nuts, depending on your preference.


Roll out the dough into circles or squares, depending on the shape you want for your stuffed bread.

Place a spoonful of the filling in the centre of the dough, leaving enough space around the edges to seal the dough properly.


For buns or smaller stuffed breads, fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal.

For larger stuffed breads like calzones, fold the dough over the filling and crimp the edges with a fork or twist and fold the edges to create a decorative border.


Bake the stuffed breads and buns in a preheated oven until they turn golden brown and cooked through. The baking time will vary depending on the size and type of dough used.

In conclusion, stuffed breads and buns from around the world offer a delightful array of flavours and textures, satisfying both savoury and sweet cravings. Whether it's the crispy samosas from India, the fluffy Baozi from China, or the sweet Anpan from Japan, these culinary creations have captivated taste buds across the globe. With a multitude of dough types, fillings.