This my first Fresh from the oven challenge and it forms one of my new years resolutions that I posted earlier this month to bake more often and more adventurously. This month’s challenge was chosen by Chele of Chocolate Teapot and she decided that we should make Chocolate Buns from Richard Bertinet’s ‘Dough’. I have never made a sweet bread before or crème pattissiere so I was slightly nervous before I begun. I adapted the recipe slightly as I had some dried yeast and did not want to make a special trip out, just to get some fresh yeast. This did not seem to affect them in any way and they still rose really well. I also adapted the method slightly as I do not have a plastic dough scraper so I just kneaded the dough like I would any other type of bread and it did not seem to affect the finished result. My colleagues at work loved them, however they said that they were too big and many did not eat lunch after having one. Therefore, if I was to make these again, I would cut the dough the half once it has been rolled out and make smaller one’s and I would make the crème pattissiere a bit thicker as it went everywhere except for in middle of the dough. Overall, I enjoyed the challenge and I eagerly await the next one.
- 250g full fat milk (250ml)
- 15g fresh yeast
- 500g strong bread flour
- 60g unsalted butter at room temp
- 40g caster sugar
- 10g salt
- 2 large eggs
- 25g good quality coca powder
- 200g chocolate chips, milk or plain, or a mixture
- 2 eggs beaten with a pinch of salt for an egg wash
- Crème Patissiere (recipe follows)
- 15g cocoa powder
- Pour the milk into a pan and warm gently until it is about body temp – it should feel neither warm nor cold when you dip your finger into it.
- To mix by hand, rub the yeast into the flour using your fingertips as if making a crumble. Rub in the butter, then add the sugar and salt, then the eggs, milk and cocoa powder. With the help of a plastic scraper, lift the dough onto your work surface. Even though the dough will feel quite soft and moist (and look like thick, sticky porridge) do not add any flour to the work surface.
- Begin to work the dough, slide your fingers underneath it like a pair of forks, with your thumbs on top, swing it upwards and then slap it back down, away from you, onto your work surface (it will almost be too sticky to lift at this point). Stretch the front of the dough towards you, then lift it back over itself in an arc (to trap the air), still stretching it forwards and sideways and tucking it in around the edges. Keep repeating this sequence.
- As you work the dough it will start to come together and feel alive and elastic in your hands. Keep on working until it comes cleanly away from the work surface, begins to look silky and feels smooth, firm but wobbly and responsive.
- Now you can flour your work surface lightly, place the dough on top and form it into a ball by folding each edge in turn into the centre of the dough and pressing down well with your thumb, rotating the ball as you go. Turn the whole ball over and stretch and tuck the edges under. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 45 mins in a draught free place.
- Make the crème pattissiere.
- Once the 45 mins are up, use the rounded end of a scraper, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and, with a rolling pin, gently flatten it into a rough rectangle. Spread the chocolate creme patissiere evenly over the dough and sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Starting with one of the longer edges, roll the dough up until it resembles a Swiss roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 2cm slices and place them on their sides on a baking tray. Glaze with a little egg wash and leave to prove for 1 1/4 – 1 3/4 hours until the buns have roughly doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 250C.
- Glaze again and put into the preheated oven, turning the heat down to 180C. Bake for 10-15 mins. As the chocolate dough is quite dark it can be difficult to tell when the buns are properly baked, and you need to take care not to under bake them – the best way to tell when they are ready is to lift one gently with a spatula and check that it is firm underneath.
- If you don’t want to bake the buns all in one go, you can freeze some. When they are cut, just before proving, put them on a small tray in the freezer and when they are hard put them into a freezer bag. To use them, take them out, leave to prove overnight and bake in the same way
In a bowl whisk together 6 egg yolks, 70 g caster sugar and 50g sifted flour. Put another 70g sugar into a saucepan with 500g (500ml) full fat milk, a vanilla pod split lengthwise and seeds scrapped in and the remaining cocoa powder. Place over a low heat. Leave until the first bubble appears, then remove from the heat. Whisk 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture, then add the remaining 2/3 of the milk and stir again. Pour back into the pan and put back on the heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of mins, stirring constantly to ensure that the cream does not burn on the bottom. Pour into a dish to cool. Sprinkle a little icing sugar or flakes of butter on top to prevent a skin forming.
Using A Mixer With A Dough Hook
Put the flour into your mixer bowl and rub in the yeast. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Switch the mixer onto the slowest speed, add the sugar, cocoa and salt, then the eggs and milk and mix for 2 mins, then turn up to the next slowest speed and mix for a further 6-7 mins until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the bowl, transfer to a lightly floured surface to mould into a ball before placing in a tea towel to prove for 45 mins. Then follow the rest of the instructions as listed above.