Tapenade and White Bean Buns

This image courtesy of Celine Steen

We highly recommend enjoying these big, soft buns dipped in a warm bowl of your favorite marinara. Pop a couple of heads of garlic in the oven the next time you roast veggies so that you can use the cloves in the dough. If you don’t have roasted garlic hand add 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic to the filling instead. Whole spelt flour and white whole wheat flour play off each other beautifully once again. With the spelt flour keeping the crumb soft and the wheat flour giving the buns the most outstanding flavor and texture.

6 buns

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner, lunch

Type of Dishbread, rolls, yeast bread


  • 1 cup (235 ml) lukewarm water, divided
  • 22 g (1 tablespoon) molasses
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 280 g (2 cups) whole spelt flour
  • 120 g (1 cup) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 15 cloves roasted garlic, minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 80 g (½ cup) pitted kalamata and green olives
  • 28 g (½ cup) oil-packed sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 15 g (2 tablespoons) drained capers
  • 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste


  1. To Make the Dough:

  2. Combine ½ cup (120 ml) of the water with the molasses and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.

  3. Place the flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the garlic, oil, remaining ½ cup (120 ml) water, and yeast mixture on top. Knead for 6 minutes, until a smooth and pliable dough is obtained. Add extra whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time, if needed. Alternatively, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes, adding extra whole wheat flour if needed, until a smooth and pliable dough is obtained. Place the dough back into the bowl.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

  5. To Make the Tapenade:

  6. Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times just to coarsely chop the ingredients. Set aside.

  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Punch down the dough and divide it into 6 equal portions. Place on a lightly floured surface or a silicone baking mat. Roll out each portion of dough into a 6 x 7-inch (15 x 18 ern) rectangle. Divide the filling among all 6 pieces of dough, approximately ¼ cup (68 g) per bun, and place it on the lower center half of the rectangle. Fold the upper half on top of the filling, and lightly press the sides to seal the bun. Cut a small vent hole on top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes, until puffed.

  8. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Bake for 20 minutes, until the buns sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped. For shiny tops, take the buns out of the oven 5 minutes before they’re ready and lightly coat the tops (away from any source of heat) with cooking spray. Place the buns back in the oven, and bake for the remaining 5 minutes.

  9. Place on a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes before eating, or enjoy at room temperature.


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