Monday, February 16, 2015

We Knead to Bake 25 - Black Forest Buns

Through the last year and the year the year before that, I have been baking along with the We Knead to Bake bread baking group. But my attention to the baking along suffers long intervals. Just as I am catching up with other members who have baked almost all the breads, I have a set back and I race again to catch up. This time I am four behind, having taken a break since November. I had intended to bake all the four of those and post in the order of the group, which again became a task that I did not adhere to. This month's bread caught my husband's attention when Aparna posted it and he printed it out for me. He fancied the black forest cake crumble in the buns and insisted that i try it out soonest, other breads could wait. Thus, here i am posting the bread for February 2015.
Aparna wanted to have this recipe for this month in line with the Valentine's Day. I have no idea how this day is different from other days as love can be shared and expressed any day. However, it was a good idea to bake a special kind of bread, for the other half.
I kept reading the recipe and putting it off for another day. with the Cricket World Cup matches starting, I was sure I may never get around to doing anything constructive over these two months. However, team India gave us a reason to celebrate defeating their arch rivals Pakistan in the opening match. It was a good start having not won a match for over few months. While we can enjoy great friendship with our neighbours, Pakistan, when it comes to cricket, we are rivals and fans tend to treat this rivalry very seriously. Thus, it is a joy to watch your team beat their opponents.I thought it would be good to bake a cake,celebrating the victory and a cake that will go into the buns that my husband was looking forward to. I baked the eggless cake adding cocoa to the batter and baked the chocolate sponge cake.The left overs of this cake was crumbled and added to the buns.
I hope to bake the three other breads soon too and shall be posting even though they do not appear in the order of baking as in the group. bear with me if there be too many breads following one another.
Black forest buns use chocolate cake and cherry compote. The cherry compote could be flavoured with a little amount of kirsch - the cherry brandy if you like them for flavour.
While egg adds to the texture to the dough and hence buns, I did not find them different even if I omitted the egg. I had cherry jam on hand, but you could always opt for the strawberry jam.
The kneading, rolling out the dough and the shaping are all similar to the cinnamon rolls. Adding toasted and chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips is also an option.

Black Forest Buns

Makes 12 buns

For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 grams butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg at room temperature (I have substituted the egg with 1/4 cup more water)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 to 31/4 cup all purpose flour

For the filling:
3/4 cup cherry compote/ jam or strawberry jam
21/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake

For Drizzling:
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate (not used in my buns)

Prepare the chocolate cake adding 20 grams of cocoa powder to this recipe posted earlier in this blog.
You may make any chocolate sponge cake recipe with or omitting eggs.

The dough:
Pour milk and water in a pan and heat it until hot but not boiling. Take off the heat and drop in the butter. Stir and melt the butter in this hot liquid. Add the sugar and dissolve it. Allow the mixture to become lukewarm. Hot liquid will kill the yeast and also curdle the egg if using one.
Transfer the liquid to the kneading bowl. Add the yeast and mix it in. If you are adding egg, add it to the mixture now and whisk together.I added some extra water to the mixture at this point.
Add one cup of the flour to the above and mix. Then add the salt and the rest of the flour and knead well to obtain a soft, elastic dough that is not sticky. Add flour to adjust the consistency of the dough, but do not add too much.
When done, roll the dough and place it a lightly oil coated bowl, turning it in the oil to thinly coat over the dough. cover loosely and keep aside allowing it to double in volume. This may take about an hour to an hour and a half.
Meanwhile crumble the cake and keep the jam ready.

Shaping the buns:
Remove the risen dough and transfer to a flat working surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle 18"by 12".
Spread the jam over the surface leaving just about 1/2 an inch towards the edges.
Sprinkle the crumbled cake on the jam.

Roll the dough as snugly as possible away from you along the length of the rectangle. This will be like the Swiss roll with the jam, cake and dough contained within.
Pinch to seal well, if needed dampen the edge to ensure that it seals.
Using a sharp knife or the dough scraper into 1&1/2 inch rolls.
Arrange these rolls on paper moulds or making collars around them in a pan, leaving just enough space. If they are too spaced out, the dough might rise in the wider angle while we need it to rise in height.
Make sure that the roll has been done as tightly as possible because these buns swell quite a bit
Cover and leave aside for an hour until almost double.

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Bake the buns for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool them on wire racks.
if you choose to drizzle the chocolate, do it after the buns are completely cooled.
Like every other bread, these are best enjoyed fresh. However, keeping them for an extra day does not alter the taste and texture.
I have halved the above recipe to make six buns, though I had one extra bun as I may have cut the rolls smaller. I baked them in a 10" round cake tin.They swelled enough to fill the tin. placing the collars helps as otherwise they tend to stick to each other on the sides, making them pull-apart buns.

For more of these buns please visit Aparna's post and find at the bottom links to other members' buns.


  1. Perfectly kneaded bread. Excellent preparation.

  2. Lata they look great. I couldn't agree more about celebrating love and life everyday instead of restricting it to occasions 😄.
    I am planning to make these. They look so yum!


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Lata Raja.