Although these decadent Black Forest buns would be perfect for Valentine's Day, you don't need to wait until then. Swirled with a combination of crumbled chocolate sponge cake and cherry preserves, the buns would be a warm welcome for any festive occasion. If you have made cinnamon rolls or any other swirled filling yeast dough, the method is the same. Need to know more about making swirled rolls, Better Homes and Gardens website has step-by-step instructions on How to Make Cinnamon Rolls. Aparna has a winner for the February edition of We Knead to Bake. Although she doesn't use Kirsch in her buns, a little bit in the cherry preserves would be an authentic touch for a classic Black Forest flavor. I used my trusty bread machine to process the dough, but if you choose the traditional method, refer to Aparna's post or the Better Homes and Gardens link above.
Black Forest Buns
For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 grams (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cups sugar
1 egg (room temperature), optional
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (rapid rise-bread machine yeast)
3-3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
3/4 cup cherry or strawberry jam, preserves or compote
2-1/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake, homemade or purchased
Chocolate Drizzle (optional as I didn't drizzle my buns)
For the dough, place all ingredients in the bread machine pan according to manufacturer's instructions. Process on the dough cycle. When dough cycle has completed, remove to lightly floured surface
Roll dough into an approximate 18"x 12" rectangle. Spread the cherry preserves/strawberry over the rectangle, leaving about 1/2 inch all around. Sprinkle the chocolate sponge crumbles on top of this. Roll the dough away from you (long end) cinnamon roll style. When rolling the dough, try to roll as snugly as possible. Pinch the dough closed, or dampen the edge with a little water to seal well.
Cut the rolls into 12 1-1/2-inch wide pieces. You can place the rolls in a mold or make collars from foil or parchment paper to fit well around each piece of dough. Otherwise, place them in a tin or (cast -iron) pan as I did, leaving room for expansion. Cover loosely and let rise about an hour or until almost double.
Bake 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Drizzle with the melted chocolate, if desired. Makes 12
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