Sunday, February 15, 2015

Black Forest Buns - We Knead to Bake #25

The chosen bread for February, being valentine's month, for the We Knead to Bake group was Black Forest Buns. These buns have cherries, chocolate cake and chocolate sauce incorporated into bread in the form of buns. The idea appealed to me instantly and I got the ingredients together to make them on a Sunday.

Since K loves jams, jellies and preserves, he has quite a collection and I had his permission to raid his stash for something suitable. I did. I also made my easy pound cake with a whole lot of cocoa powder added to the mix for a home made chocolate cake that I could crumble and use for this recipe.

The Black Forest Buns are basically bread rolls stuffed with a cherry preserve or compote, and crumbled chocolate cake. Ideally they should look like cinnamon rolls and should stand individually instead of turning into pull apart rolls as mine did. The hubby certified the taste to be outstanding, so I'm glad I got that right at least!

To make the chocolate cake I followed the same Basic Sponge Cake recipe that I've been making for many years, with around 3 to 4 spoons of cocoa powder added to the flour. You can add a little milk to the batter if you feel the cocoa is making the batter too dry. Let the cake cool completely before you take it out of the tin. I used a little less than half the cake for crumbs. The rest will be slathered with Nutella and enjoyed with coffee :)

Black Forest Buns

The recipe is quite the same as given by Aparna here.

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaped tablespoon soft butter
1 and 1/2 tsp Instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups plus extra maida

For the filling

Crumbled chocolate cake
Cherry preserve or compote or any berry jam. Chunky will give good texture.

For topping

Melted cooking chocolate

Start by mixing the milk and water in a pan. Heat the two till hot but not boiling. Remove from heat. Add the sugar and let it dissolve. Let this mixture cool considerably and then put it into the mixing bowl of your food processor or stand mixer. If you're kneading by hand then just use a large mixing bowl.

Add the egg and the yeast into the still warm liquid mix and stir to combine. Then add a cup of maida/white flour and start your machine. I used my stand mixer with the batter paddle attachment. Gradually add the remaining flour till it all combines. Don't forget to add the salt early enough.

I changed to the dough hook once the ingredients were combined and left the machine to knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. Once the dough was more or less together but still a tad sticky I took it out onto my work surface and kneaded it by hand till it was soft, smooth and very lightly sticky. Add loose flour little by little as you knead to get there. Use the stretch and fold method to work the dough.

Take an oiled bowl and set the dough aside to rise. I will take a little more than an hour to double. Leave the bowl covered with a damp cloth.

Once the dough has doubled get all your filling ingredients together.

Punch the dough down gently. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to make a large oblong around 18" x 12" Try to make it as neat and uniform as possible so you have nicely formed rolls at the end. Work quickly so the dough doesn't rise too much as you work.

Once the oblong is rolled out spread the cherry preserve (or whatever you are using) generously all over, leaving a small border around.

Next spread a generous amount of the cake crumbs covering as much of the dough as you can. Try to make the layer as even as you can.

Now comes the tricky part. Start from one long side and roll tightly to form a long log creating a spiral as you go. Tuck in the dough gently and carefully so the roll is not loose. The sides of my dough were a bit too thick so I had a really fat centre so remember to roll it as thin as you possibly can.

Use a dough scraper or a really sharp non serrated knife and cut out individual buns from the rolled log. Arrange these in a tall sided baking tin and leave them to prove for another hour. They will double.

Bake the risen buns for around 30 mins at 180C. Keep an eye on them so they don't become too brown.

 I also topped the buns with dried cranberries before putting them in to bake. Melt a little chocolate and drizzle on top of the buns. Serve them still warm or enjoy them later with your evening coffee or tea. These will be great as tiffin fillers for the kids.

We Knead to Bake

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