Aparna chose the Black Forest Buns for the February month's We Knead to Bake #25, as a Valentine's day special. Whereas, the Black Forest cake is made with chocolate cake, cherry compote and kirsch and lots of cream; these Black Forest Buns are filled with chocolate sponge cake and cherry compote or jam.
These buns were new to me, since I haven't heard of them nor seen it sold in any bakeries.... And so was eager to bake and taste them and viola! it tasted yummy... It's a perfect snack for kids, you could use their favorite jam instead of the cherry compote.
Now, on to Aparna's recipe:
For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 gm butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature, optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
3/4 cup cherry/ strawberry jam or compote
2 1/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- Pour the water and milk in a saucepan, and heat on the stove till quite hot but not boiling. Pour this liquid into a large bowl and add the butter. Stir till the butter is melted. Then add in the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves. Let this mixture cool down till it is lukewarm, so that the yeast will proof. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast and curdle the egg.
- You may knead the dough by hand or in the processor. Pour the lukewarm mixture into the processor bowl (if using) and add the yeast and the egg. Pulse a couple of times to mix well. Then add about 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add the salt and more flour, as much as is necessary, and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic but not sticky.
- Add in the salt and some more flour and mix. Once the mixture becomes difficult to mix, turn it out onto your work surface. Add more flour and continue to knead for about 10 minutes till the dough is not sticky and elastic.
- Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough till lightly coated with oil. Cover loosely, and allow to double in volume, for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
- Now place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into an approximately 18” by 12” rectangle (or 9" by 12" if using half the recipe).
- Spread the cherry compote/ strawberry jam over the leaving a 1/2 inch all around. Sprinkle the chocolate cake crumbs on top of this. Roll the dough away from you, as snugly as possible, starting with the 18” edge like a jam/ jelly roll (as for cinnamon buns). Try to pinch the dough closed as best as possible, or dampen the edge with a little water to seal well.
- It is important to roll up the dough as tightly as possible because this dough does swell up quite a bit while baking.
- Cut the roll into 1 1/2" wide pieces with a very sharp knife/ dough scraper. You should have 12 pieces for the full recipe and 6 for half of it. Place each piece in a mould (or make collars using foil or parchment paper to fit well around each piece) and then on a baking tray. Otherwise place them in a lightly greased rectangular baking tin with raised sides or a cake tin leaving enough space for them to expand.
- A round cake tin will however not give you perfectly round buns but buns that are more triangular in shape. If you place them too far apart, they will spread rather rise in height. Cover loosely, and allow to rise, for about 1 hour or till almost double.