These are quite nifty for a picnic or a long walk, particularly if made smaller, though as a big bun with a surprise filling they're deeply moreish. The recipe makes more than two people will manage at lunch, but the buns freeze very well, or alternatively will make you very popular in your office.
(Makes 4 large or 8 small buns)
500g/1lb 2oz/4 cups strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g/¼oz/about 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup warm water
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp salt
For the filling
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
400g/14oz leftover lamb, chicken or beef, chopped
Tip the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast, water, oil, yogurt and salt. Mix the wet ingredients together, then, using your hand like a claw, bring in the flour, adding a little more warm water or olive oil if necessary. When it has all come together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 7 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, cook the onion in a little oil until golden and soft, then add the garlic and spices and season with salt and pepper. Stir for a minute or so, then mix through the chopped meat.
Divide the dough into 4 large or 8 small balls. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface to a round about 8mm/3/8in thick. Put a good handful of the filling in the centre. Fold the outsides into the middle and pinch to seal. Place, seam-side down, on a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining dough, then cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Brush the tops of the buns with a little olive oil, then put in the oven. Turn the heat down to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cold, or reheat in a microwave on medium for 3 minutes, or in an oven at 150C/300F/gas mark 2 for 10 minutes.
• From Love Your Lunchbox by James Ramsden.
If you put these spiced lamb buns in your packed lunch, you better be prepared to defend it. Photograph: Love Your Lunchbox