Since my wife had just made sweet potato bread stuffed with a mixture of Japanese sweet potato puree and ricotta cheese (which was excellent BTW) I mentioned in passing that stuffed breads (for example breads filled with curry sauce “kare-pan”カレーパン, sweet red beans “An-pan” あんぱん, custard cream “Kuri-mu-pan” クリームパン and so on) were very popular in Japan. I even sent her the link to a recipe for potato salad filled rolls. The recipe was in Japanese but it included pictures and I verbally translated how the bread was made. To my surprise she took to the project of “stuffed bread” like a piranha.
I regularly make potato salad and salmon salad over the weekend because they are good staples to have; the potato salad as a side for any main dish or by itself as a snack. The salmon salad is great on crackers or bread as canapés or sandwiches. I came home one day and the kitchen was filled with the nice smell of baking bread. My wife had noted that I made more potato salad than we could reasonably eat before it went bad so she put together potato salad stuffed bread as per the Japanese recipe. Then noting a similar surplus of salmon salad decided to “go for broke” and put together salmon salad stuffed bread. Based on my description of the Japanese recipe she took her favorite white bread dough as the base. The main element she learned from the recipe was to cut the top of the rolls to form a vent for the steam from the filling to escape. This would prevent the development of a large void in the bread covering the filling .
In the picture below, the left front is the salmon salad filled and the right back is the potato salad filled rolls.
Here are the cut surfaces. The left two are the salmon salad and right two are potato salad. Probably, she could have put more fillings but this is her first try and never having made this kind of bread was not the least bit sure it would turn out.
The picture below shows the salmon and potato salad filled rolls just after they came out of the oven.
Both rolls were really great. It was amazing that the flavor of the salads remained fresh and permeated the bread. The salmon salad filled roll had the assertive salmon and dill flavor of the salad which we thought would be good for lunch or even breakfast. The potato salad filled one was a bit more subdued but this starch-on-starch approach really works. Now my wife has ideas about other fillings she could use. Did I mention that, in Japan, filled breads even made of “pasta” (such as spaghetti or fried Japanese noodles) are very popular. The possibilities are limitless. I “tremble in fear” at the thought of what kind of filling my wife will come up next…but I will be first in line to try whatever she makes.