Cocoa Hazelnut Buns

Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra buns with Dan Lepard sourcream loaf doughI found a pot of creme fraiche in the back of the fridge, left over from Christmas.

It was still good but I had no plans for it and it needed using up quickly. Returning to Dan Lepard’s lovely sourcream bread recipe I scaled it up to fit the pot of cream and arrived at nearly twice the amount of dough as the original recipe.

Dan Lepard Sourcream LoavesI made two oval loaves, proved on a couche cloth. This shape fits very well on to the kiln shelf I use in the oven –  for some reason there is no banneton that gives you this shape, they are all wider and shorter. This is such an easy dough to work that it was no problem to shape these two loaves. The scoring was a bit rubbish as I needed a new razor blade and this one dragged a bit.

Still had loads of dough left over so I rolled the dough out to a 40 x 30 cm rectangle, spread it with 50 grams of soft butter and pressed a mixture of  25 g cocoa,  100 g finely chopped hazelnuts and 75 g granulated sugar on top of the butter, rolled the dough up as tight as I could, from the long edge.

If you do this; don’t butter the dough to the edges but leave an inch clear all the way round, otherwise it’s impossible to roll up without filling going everwhere and it’s hard to seal the roll at the end. (Guess what I did? I’ve made similar so have no excuse !)

Cut it into 9 slices, approx 1.5 cm slices, put them in an 8 inch square cake tin, greased,  bottom lined with baking parchment  and leave them to join up.

All ready for the oven

I baked these at 180 º C  for 25 minutes ( I think another time I should maybe move them up to the top of the oven at some point to get the tops to brown quickly without letting the buns over cook.

After pulling them out of the oven,  I tested one of the offcuts that I had baked and decided they needed a little something.  I made a boiled sugar syrup flavoured with vanilla, by dissolving 150 grams of sugar in 100 grams of water, bringing to the boil and then simmering for about 3 minutes. Once it had cooled a little I added a teaspoon of home made vanilla essence and drizzled this over the cooled buns.  Not as sweet as you would think and less heavy than regular Chelsea buns. My sort of bun, definitely bread not cake, (no eggs in the dough), and the wonderful combination of cocoa and hazelnuts, bordering on savoury/sweet.  I think there must be all sorts of possibilities for customizing buns like this to one’s own preferences, nuts, fruits, flavourings, sweet, savoury.  One could always blitz some elderly cake and use the crumbs as a component to the filling too. Bread is so versatile.

The shaping and filling inspiration comes from a recipe in ‘Warm Bread and Honey’, a lovely bread and cake book by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra that I have read a dozen times and never baked from till now, lots more wonderful recipes in there to play around with soon.

The square tin with the drop out bottom is the perfect thing to use for these too!

I’d rather eat a nice bun than a cookie, maybe it’s because one of these is enough, whereas cookies demand you eat quite a few…

Are you a bun person or a cookie person?

24 thoughts on “Cocoa Hazelnut Buns

  1. drfugawe

    “Are you a bun person or a cookie person?”

    As I was reading the tail-end of your post -about reading the bread book dozens of times w/o using it= it dawned on me that a dividing line between really seriously addicted foodies and those who just talk about it. is the reading of cookbooks for pleasure, much as others read fiction for pleasure. We read, tuck an inspiration away, and one day a thought comes to us out of the blue, and we say to ourselves, “where did that come from?” And we can’t remember – but it was an old cookbook we read a long time ago.

    Yup, that’s our illness. Enjoy it while the memory still works.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Since I started baking people give me baking books and bags of strange flours for gifts, when I did a lot of bird watching people gave me bird books and stuffed ducks. So it goes. But I am a re-reader by nature, it’s not confined to cook books by any means. There are some books on my shelves I have read so often I know them almost by heart – don’t know if that is good for the memory or not :)

      ‘Yes’, – does that mean I get to choose? That’s fine with me.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I’ll put you down for buns then? How am I ever going to organize a tea party at this rate… it’s going to have to be buns and cookies, I can see it now….

  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    I LOVE the look of your sourcream loaves – more so as boules than the high top loaf it was originally written as. Must try it soon, still haven’t, but then again we rarely have commercial sour cream in the fridge. It does look sooo easy though!

    I can’t decide if I’m a bun or a cookie person – maybe more a cookie person, as it’s easier to eat less cookie than a whole bun. Of course, it depends on the cookie, sometimes they’re bigger than a bun. Unless of course we count the owl buns, I love those a lot – hmmm..must make them again. Sigh, it’s 6am here and I’m just awake and barely coherent, can you tell? ;-)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      If you make some full fat yoghurt with a little melted cooled butter in there I am sure it will have the same sort of effect.

      I think you are wonderfully coherent for someone with their eyes still half shut :)

      I’ll put you down as cookie!

  3. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Buns…cookies…buns…cookies…You mean I have to decide between the two?

    I have a packet of hazelnuts, that I have been picking up and pondering what to do with. I ponder, then I put it back. Maybe I should make something like these…

  4. Emily

    I’m a cookie person, but probably only because I can’t get good buns here.

    Wait – are you suggesting I could make them myself? No no, that’s too scary!

      1. Emily

        OK then. I will *definitely* use that gorgeous dough which, since it’s from Dan, must be foolproof. Then it’s just a matter of finding the right filling. Hey, I have roasted salted pecans in the house!

        1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

          If you want softer squishier bun dough texture, (I’m thinking of those American cinammon rolls here) add a beaten egg and a little more sugar to the dough mix and maybe use a proportion of soft flour..
          but whatever you make will be brilliant. Just remember not to butter right up to the edges of the dough. Rolling up is the worst bit…

  5. C

    Ooooh, don’t know if I’m a bun or cookie person. Probably more bun. Do you mean sweet bread type bun, or cake type bun. Actually, it’s probably irrelevant, put me down for bun I think…

    Your breads look amazing. When you’re making the scrolls do you cut 11 slices and bake the two ends separately? I never end up with 9 even slices. Sigh. I’m with Celia on those owl buns though, they were amazing, and I keep thinking about them even months and months after I made them. I think they’ll have to make a reappearance pretty soon. Just need to eat some of the other bread taking up space in my freezer.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I am so glad you are a bun :)

      I’d forgotten the owl buns, Celia did such a good step by step on them (I begged her to do it, she does the best step by steps ever!) I’d go back and make those, in fact I might join you! Owl faced buns

      And as to how the slices worked on these ones: I ended up with a small loaf tin’s worth of raggedy ends which I baked off separately and ate anyway plus nine good slices to go in the square tin. You never think they are going to join up when you first put them in, but they do… the wonders of yeast :)

  6. Choclette

    How did I miss these beauties – they look scrumptious. They sound particularly good made with the sour cream dough.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Well I liked them, B says he prefers trad chelseas, but he is a dried fruit fiend!

      I think the rolled up bread/bun cake has lots of potential to do many variations with, especially if you flavour the drizzling syrup too. LIke all nutty bread/cakes they got better with age. Songthrushoncam was going to have a go with toasted pecans the other week, I don’t know if they worked or not. The owl bun dough is much softer than this quite robust dough…

Comments are closed.