It was a day like any other when I was perusing foodgawker and came across what looked to me like the most divine chocolate “somethings” I’d ever seen. Really, it was love at first sight… some sort of bread thing filled with lots of melted dark chocolate. The name? Chocolate Things.
Such a basic name for something so delicious, but I understand why. What do you call something that’s round, with a bread base but an interior loaded with chocolate? It’s really hard to explain these little buns, let alone name them, but I did my best to come up with a name that’s a bit more descriptive of what they are.
I feel like I might as well get on to the recipe, because you just have to try these to understand them.
Divine Chocolate Buns
(makes 12 buns)
7/8 cup milk, divided
scant 9 tablespoons butter, divided, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Oven Temperature: 350 F
1. Heat a saucepan over low heat. While the saucepan is warming up, combine 1/2 cup milk and vinegar in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes until bubbles start to form at the top.
2.Meanwhile, add 3/8 cup milk and scant 3 tablespoons butter to a separate, microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until the butter has completely melted into the milk. Beat the mixture quickly for about 30 seconds to thicken.
3. Pour the milk/vinegar mixture and the milk/butter mixture into the hot saucepan and heat until bubbles being to appear around the edges of the pan. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to cool to a warm temperature. Then, add the yeast and whisk until the yeast has dissolved into the liquid.
4. Add the flour, 6 tablespoons butter, sugar, and 1 egg to the bowl and mix with the paddle attachment until just combined. If the dough is not coming together, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do so with caution, and don’t add more than 2 tablespoons! Switch to the dough hook and knead for about seven minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add the chocolate and knead just until incorporated throughout the dough. You want to keep the chocolate whole.
5. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
6. When the dough is almost ready, line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. I used parchment paper, but I would recommend the silicone mat instead, to keep the exterior of the buns softer. Transfer the risen dough to a surface covered with parchment paper, placing another layer of parchment paper over the dough. Roll out to a 10 x 12 inch rectangle. In a small bowl, beat the second egg. Brush some of the egg along the longer side of the rectangle of dough, keeping the remainder of the egg for glazing. Beginning with the long side that you did not brush, roll the dough up, jelly roll style, smoothing the dough together at the end to form a seam. Cut the roll into 12 1-inch pieces, placing each piece on the prepared baking sheet cut side up.
7. Cover the buns again with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 1 hour, until they’ve increased in size by 1/3. When the rising time is almost complete, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and brush the tops and sides of the buns with the remainder of the egg. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until just turning golden. (I’m serious about that middle rack; I learned the hard way that it won’t bake as well otherwise!) Move to a wire rack to cool when done. Of course, I would definitely eat them warmed up a bit so you can enjoy all that delicious melting chocolate!