Sweet or savoury dough swirls? You choose!


This is a fabulously versatile recipe – the same dough base can be made into either a sweet or savoury version. I’ve given both alternatives below – all you need to do is choose your filling! The recipe makes 12 rolls but it’s super easy to double up if you need to feed more people. Heather

Savoury turkey, stuffing and cranberry swirls

Dough ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 x 7g packet of instant yeast
  • 300ml milk
  • 40g butter
  • 1 egg (beaten)


  1. In a jug, warm the milk and butter in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds until the milk is lukewarm and the butter has just melted. Tip in the yeast and give the mixture a little whisk to combine. Leave for five to ten minutes until the mixture begins to froth.
  2. In a big bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Once it’s bubbling, pour the warm liquid mixture into the bowl and add the beaten egg. Mix together until it forms a soft dough
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed until it becomes lovely and smooth – this takes about ten minutes by hand, or five-ish minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
  4. Wipe a little oil around the mixing bowl and put the dough back in. Cover with a clean tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for one hour.
  5. Grease and line a 9” x 13” (23cm x 33cm) baking pan that’s about 1” (3cm) deep.
  6. After the hour, during which time hopefully your dough has doubled in size, place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle using a rolling pin. The dough will be quite springy, so this will take some work! It needs to be about 1cm thick.
  7. Spread your chosen filling across the dough evenly.
  8. Roll the dough into a sausage shape, starting with the longest edge off the rectangle, rolling the filling inwards. This makes the ‘swirl’ shape.
  9. Cut the long sausage of dough into 2” (6cm) slices and place them into the baking pan, swirl side facing up. You should get ten to 12 swirls, depending how large you cut the pieces.
  10. Cover with a clean tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place for another 45 minutes to rest.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180º fan/Gas 5.
  12. After 45 minutes, bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the swirls are a golden brown and no longer soft in the centre.


Cinnamon Swirls:
Simply mix soft, light brown sugar and lots of ground cinnamon together and spread it over the dough; as much or as little as you like. Once baked and cooled, I drizzle over some simple water icing to finish.
Christmas Swirls:
Make this into a seasonal, savoury version using pre-cooked turkey. If you don’t have any leftovers, slow-cook turkey breasts in chicken or vegetable stock to keep them lovely and juicy. Add stuffing and dried cranberries, crumbled up and scattered across the dough. It’s a great way to use up Christmas leftovers!
Other filling suggestions: For sweet swirls, try Nutella, jam or sultanas. For savoury, try a samosa filling or a spicy jerk chicken. Just remember to make sure any meat is pre-cooked as the baking time might not be long enough to cook the meat all the way through.

Heather Brown is a special officer for the Guild of Food Writers, and has worked in the food industry for 20 years. She is a food writer and photographer, offering one-to-one help to local businesses for content and websites.


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