Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns #Chocolateparty

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns #chocolateparty by Bakewell Junction

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns #chocolateparty by Bakewell Junction

Easter has come and gone but I think Hot Cross Buns are a great treat any time of year.  This is the second time I made this recipe and I made some changes this time because the first time they didn’t turn out so well (at least to my definition of well).  This doesn’t mean that no one liked the first batch – to the contrary, my husband’s co-workers couldn’t get enough of them.  They just weren’t like Hot Cross Buns, they were more like a thick, dense cookie bar.

On to the success story…  My second attempt worked out wonderfully.  The buns turned out fluffy, light and delicious.  How did this happen (you might ask)?  There are three reasons:

  1. I’ve changed how I get my breads to rise.  I still put the dough in the oven but I don’t warm it by turning it on, I just add a pot of boiling water to warm the oven and turn the light on to ensure the temperature stays warm enough.
  2. I changed the amount of the chocolate chips and the timing of when to add them to the dough.
  3. Instead of using milk, I used buttermilk.

The chocolate party is a linky party hosted by Roxana’s Home Baking and has a different theme every month.  As it turns out, the #chocolateparty theme for April pairs buttermilk and chocolate which is great considering the modifications I made to this recipe.  The only thing I would change the next time I make this recipe is to use milk chocolate chips with a rough chop (just because they’re larger than the semi-sweet chips).  I like the flavor of milk chocolate better in some recipes.  Would you keep the semi-sweet chips or change to  milk chocolate?

chocolate party logoEnjoy!

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns

Yield:  15 or 16 Buns                  Cook Time:  20 minutes

Dough:

  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter plus additional for greasing the bowl and baking pan (or you can use cooking spray instead of additional butter)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or substitute milk chocolate chips chopped in half or quarters)

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

Crosses:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or water

Directions:

Step 1:  Warm milk in the microwave to 110 degrees.  One minute and 25 seconds works in my glass 2 cup measure.  I used my candy thermometer to check the temperature.  If you are transferring to a small bowl, warm the bowl so the milk doesn’t cool.  Add the sugar and yeast to the milk and stir to combine.  Set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes.  I used the boiling water in the oven method for this step too.  The mixture should grow and become foamy.

Step 2:  In a large mixing bowl of your electric mixer, stir together flour and salt.  In the center of the flour form a well.  Add the butter, egg and yeast into the well.  Mix the ingredients and slowly incorporate more and more flour until the flour is completely incorporated and a dough is formed.  Using a dough hook on your electric mixer, knead the dough for approximately five minutes.  The dough should now be smooth and elastic.  If necessary, you may add a little more flour.

Step 3:  Prepare a large bowl by greasing it with butter or cooking spray.  Transfer the dough into the bowl and turn it so the entire dough becomes greased.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour (I used the boiling water in the oven method here too).   After an hour, the dough should have doubled in size.

Step 4:  On a clean work surface, lightly sprinkle some flour.  Place the dough on the floured surface.  Deflate the dough.  Add the chocolate chips.  Incorporate the chips by kneading the dough.  Using a bench scraper or a sharp knife cut the dough into 15 or 16 evenly sized dough balls.  If you’re using a 9 by 13 inch pan, you may want make 3 by 5 rows of buns or your pan may fit 4 by 4 rows of buns.  Let this determine whether you should make 15 or 16 buns, otherwise you could wind up with a few oddly shaped buns.  Place the buns in a greased or parchment lined baking pan.  The buns should be set closely together in the pan.  Cover the buns and let them rise for 20 minutes (since I have a double oven, I used the boiling water in the oven method here too).

Step 5:  In a 400 degree preheated oven, bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes.  The buns will be golden brown and smell delicious.

Step 6:  Glaze:  While the buns are baking, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of hot water in a small bowl.  Mix until the sugar dissolves.  If necessary, additional hot water in small increments but do not exceed a total of 3 tablespoons (i.e. the original 2 tablespoons plus up to an additional 1 tablespoon).

Step 7:  After the buns are finished baking, take them out of the oven.  Using a pastry brush, coat the buns with all the glaze immediately after removing them from the oven.  Move the buns to a wire rack and let them cool in the pan.

Step 8:  Crosses:  In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk (or water) to create the icing mixture.  You may add up to 1 additional tablespoon of milk to get to the a piping consistency.  Fill a piping bag with the icing and pipe crosses on the buns.  Alternatively you can fill the corner of a plastic ziploc bag, and snip 1/4 inch opening in end to pipe the crosses.  Many like these buns served warm but I thought they were delicious at room temperature.

Storing:  Store buns in a sealed plastic container or covered with plastic wrap for a few days.

Tips:  If your house is chilly like mine always is and your dough doesn’t rise, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven.  The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe from Seeded At The Table, originally from Butter Baking.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party. Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

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Chocolate Babka #TwelveLoaves March

Chocolate Babka #TwelveLoaves March | Bakewell Junction
Chocolate Babka #TwelveLoaves March | Bakewell Junction

Mmmm….  Look at those chocolate swirls.

Chocolate Babka #TwelveLoaves March 2 | Bakewell Junction
Chocolate Babka #TwelveLoaves March 2 | Bakewell Junction

Chocolate Babka is one of those things that I’ve wanted to try baking for several years.  I had printed a copy of the recipe I had seen on Smitten Kitchen and had it with all my other recipes (this was long before Pinterest became popular).  Thinking this would be a great recipe for #TwelveLoaves March which is featuring Holiday Breads, I decided to make it.

Babka in Polish means Grandmother and was traditionally made for Easter.  It was also a tradition in Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine and Western Russia.  Another version of Babka (Chocolate Babka) is associated with Eastern European Jews.  The history behind Babka is a little confusing.  From what I’ve read on the internet, it’s debated as to who started the Babka tradition but it’s usually made around Easter.

This recipe contains a ton of butter and a ton of chocolate.  It is decadent, delicious and smells heavenly.  I would highly recommend breaking the Lenten fast with this sweet bread.  Although it takes a while to make this recipe, I had great results – my dough rose well and it was easy to roll out.  I did have one mishap because I don’t have three of the 9 by 5 loaf pans, so my attempt to put two of the loaves side by side in a half aluminum tray didn’t work out so well.  They were very dense and gooey in the middle but that didn’t alter the taste and they were devoured quickly anyway.  The only thing I would change for next time it to double the crumb topping recipe – you can never have too many crumbs.

Have you ever had Babka?  Which type do you prefer – chocolate filling, cinnamon filling, raisins, etc?

If you’re interested in additional Easter recipes that I make, try my Easter Bread or Prosciutto Bread (Lard Bread) recipes.  They’re delicious too.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Babka

Yield:  3 Loaves                  Cook Time:  70 minutes

Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warmed to 110 degrees
  • 2 1/4 ounce packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3/4 cup sugar plus a another pinch
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 6 cups flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature plus additional for bowl and loaf pans (or you can use cooking spray instead of additional butter)

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Filling:

  • 2 1/4 pounds very finely chopped semisweet chocolate (I substituted a combination of Hershey’s and Lindt’s milk chocolate candy)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

Directions:

Step 1:  Warm milk in the microwave to 110 degrees.  One minute and 25 seconds works in my glass 2 cup measure.  I used my candy thermometer to check the temperature.  If you are transferring to a small bowl, warm the bowl so the milk doesn’t cool.  Add the pinch of sugar and yeast to the milk and give a quick stir.  Set aside for about 5 minutes.  The mixture should become foamy.

Step 2:  Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs and yolks in a medium bowl.  Combine yeast and egg mixtures and mix thoroughly.

Step 3:  Add the flour and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer and give a quick stir.  Add the wet mixture to the flour and beat on low with the paddle attachment for about 30 seconds to combine.  Swap out the paddle attachment for the dough hook.  Cut 2 sticks of butter into 1 inch pieces and add to the dough.  Beat with the dough hook until butter is combined.  This will take approximately 10 minutes.  The dough will be soft and barely sticky.

Step 4:  On a clean work surface, lightly sprinkle some flour.  Place the dough on the floured surface.  You may need to scrape the bowl and dough hook to get every last bit of the wonderful dough.  Knead a minute or two.  Prepare a large bowl by buttering it or spraying with cooking spray.  Transfer dough to prepared bowl and turn to coat butter/cooking spray.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rise in a warm spot for 1 hour to double in size.  My house is always cool so, while I prepare the dough, I boil a pot of water and place it in my oven along with the dough.  This creates a great environment for the dough to rise.

Step 5:  Filling:  Mix the chocolate, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Cut in 1 1/2 sticks of butter using a pastry cutter until you have a homogeneous mixture.

Step 6:  Egg wash:  In a small bowl, beat egg and heavy cream together.

Step 7:  Butter the loaf pans or spray with cooking spray then line with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and wait for 5 minutes before cutting into thirds.  Cover resting dough while working with the first piece of dough.  Flour the work area.  Roll the first piece of dough until it’s about 1/8 inch thick.  It should be about 16 by 16 inch square.

Step 8:  Using the egg wash, moisten the edges of the rolled dough.  Evenly crumble 1/3 (about 2 1/2 cups) of the chocolate mixture minus 2 tablespoons on rolled dough up to about 1/4 inch from the edge of the dough.  Beginning at one side of the dough, roll the dough up until you reach the opposite side.  Pinch the dough together to seal the edges.  The dough needs to be twisted along its length 5 or 6 times.  Moisten the top of the rolled dough with the egg wash.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture on half the roll and press into the dough.  Fold the side of the dough roll without the chocolate mixture onto the side with the chocolate mixture.  Seal edges by pinching.  Twist the roll twice and place in loaf pan.  Repeat rolling dough through placing in loaf pan for each of the other doughs.

Step 9: Streusel Topping:  Add powdered sugar, flour and butter in a large bowl.  Mix to combine and create small to large crumbs.

Step 10:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let doughs rise for 20 to 30 minutes in a warm spot.  Moisten the tops of the loaves with the egg wash.  Sprinkle the top of each loaf with 1/3 of the streusel.

Step 11:  Place loaves in preheated oven and bake 55 minutes until golden, rotating loaves midway during baking.  Lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until loaves are darker golden.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Depan loaves and try not to eat an entire loaf.

Storing:  Store loaves in a sealed plastic container or covered with plastic wrap.

Tips:

  • To finely chop the chocolate easily, break it up into inch size pieces initially.  In small batches, use a food processor or mini chopper to chop it finely.
  • The dough can be frozen for 1 month after preparing up to the point where they are ready to be placed in the oven.  Remove the dough from the freezer and wait 5 hours before baking.
  • If your house is chilly like mine always is and your dough doesn’t rise, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven.  The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Martha Stewart.

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What is baking this March in the TwelveLoaves kitchens? Holiday Breads!

#TwelveLoaves March:  Holiday Bread.  Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual.  This #TwelveLoaves is all about the incredible holiday breads featured in March.  Do you have a favorite Easter or St. Patrick’s Day Bread?  We would love to see it.  Let’s get baking!

Look at what our very talented #TwelveLoaves bakers have created this March!

We would love to have you join our #TwelveLoaves group; it’s easy!
1.  When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts.  Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!
2.  Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of Lora’s blog (Cake Duchess) or the link below.  It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3.  Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2013 posted on your blog by March 31, 2013.

You are next… Click here to enter

Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

See what’s freshly baked for #TwelveLoaves on the growing Pinterest board.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party. Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

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