Chocolate hazelnut bread buns … The title alone is enough to sell anybody on this recipe. These dessert buns are warm, chocolatey, and sweet. They're perfect when paired with a glass of nice, cold hazelnut milk. As with other bread recipes, this one requires a bit of patience, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to peacefully knead, bake, and enjoy.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Olive Oil Buns [Vegan]

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Serves

6-9 large buns

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Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup unsweetened hazelnut milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 1/2-3 cups light spelt flour

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
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Preparation

To Make the Filling:

  1. Place milk and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit until foamy, at least 10 minutes.
  2. Add olive oil to milk and yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Add salt and 2 cups of flour, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula and gently combine. Continue to add flour until you have a straggly, sticky dough. Tip contents of the bowl out onto a well floured surface and begin to knead, adding more flour as needed. You may not need all 3 cups of flour, but work in enough until you have a soft and smooth ball of dough, then continue kneading for 5 minutes.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled and cover with a clean dry tea towel. Set dough in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  4. To make the filling, mix olive oil and maple syrup in a bowl and whisk to combine. Sift in cocoa powder and salt and stir until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.
  5. Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, then spread over chocolate filling, leaving a bit of space around the edges. Sprinkle all but a few tablespoons of hazelnuts on top. Roll up from the long side, tucking the in filling as you go, once you get close to the edge, pull the long side of the dough up onto the roll to get everything inside. Cut into slices and place in a well oiled muffin tin. If using a baking pan make sure to leave a little space between the buns so they can rise. Cover again and let rise for another 45 minutes, or up to an hour.

To Make the Buns:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Bake buns until firm and golden, about 12-18 minutes, depending on their size. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then remove from tin, place on a cooling rack, and brush the tops with maple syrup. Sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts and let cool completely, or eat immediately.
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