It’s Fiesta Friday over at Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and we are all invited! I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to bring to the party. A bright and cheeky salad with blood oranges and halloumi? A bold as you dare Thai curry? Perhaps a steady and comforting fish pie…. Nope, I’ve decided to take something tall, dark and handsome to prop me up and look and smell gorgeous while I mix and mingle with all the other party goers.
When I first made this recipe I remember thinking what an inspired combination the flavours were – coffee and Nutella in a sticky bun! But when I made it, I felt that the dough wasn’t rich enough and well, I just had to tweak it here and there.
Since then, I have taken a bread making class with Nina Oortman where she introduced me to fresh yeast. It doesn’t last more than a couple of weeks but it has no chemicals in it and is super easy to work with. In the UK, you can ask for it from the in-store bakeries or buy it in little blocks from the dairy section in Eastern European grocery shops. It’s called “Drozdze” in Polish. Store opened packs of fresh yeast in an airtight container in the fridge as otherwise, the smell of yeast will permeate everything.
To convert recipes which call for active dry yeast, multiply the number of grams by 3 to arrive at how much fresh yeast you will need. There are 3.5g in a teaspoon. You need 20% more instant yeast than active dry. (This site explains it in more detail – http://makebread.com.au/fresh-yeast-conversion/) I’ve given measurements and instructions for all three types of yeast in the recipe below.
Please don’t be afraid to work with yeast – it’s so easy that once you try it, you will wonder why you didn’t do so sooner. Kneading dough is actually quite easy – it’s more like stretching the dough. Keep one hand at the base of the dough, use the other to pull it away from you. Then bring it back over on itself, give it a quarter spin and keep going, There are lots of videos on YouTube if you want a demonstration – as my son told me the other day, “YouTube is your friend, Mum…you should pay it a visit!”
I’ve used cocao nibs to take the sweet edge off the sugar and the Nutella – and it’s good for you too. They have quite a bitter flavour and I think they would be wonderful in smoothies, shakes, granola, hot chocolate, biscuits and mole type sauces.
My recipe for Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns can be made in one go – I prefer to make the dough, fill and slice it and then prove it in the fridge overnight. A long, slow prove makes for a tastier dough. Then in the morning, pop them in the oven and hey presto, you have delicious, warm, gooey buns for a decadent mid-morning pick-me-up.
As I prepared the dough in the evening, the lighting is not the best but the photos below give you an idea as to how easy it is.
Click on the link to be taken to Angie’s blog The Novice Gardener and join the party! Mix and mingle with the the guests – who knows who you might meet! http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/fiesta-friday-5/
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Nutella Espresso Sticky Buns
For the dough:
- 100ml luke warm milk
- 50ml luke warm water
- 15 g fresh yeast (or 5 g active dry yeast or 6 g instant yeast)
- 60 g melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 45 g/3 tsp golden caster sugar
- 30 g/ 2tsp espresso powder
- 250 g plain flour plus extra for dusting
For the filling
- 30g/ 2 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 150g Nutella
- 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
- chopped roasted hazelnuts
- Fresh yeast – place luke warm milk and water in a cereal sized bowl and crumble in the yeast. Stir until yeast has dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- For active dry yeast – place milk and water in a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy
- For instant yeast – add straight into dry ingredients
- Melt the butter in a cereal sized bowl and allow to cool a little; crack the egg into the butter, add the sugar and espresso powder and whisk well to blend. Scrape into the milk/water/yeast bowl and mix.
- Measure flour into a large bowl and make a well in it.
- Pour in the yeast mixture and using the fingers of your dominant hand, stir in the flour, spinning the bowl round as you go. It is going to be a wet and sticky dough to begin with.
- Once the flour is incorporated, start stretching it in the bowl (to develop the gluten) by picking up a bit, stretching it out and then laying it on top. Spin the bowl a quarter turn and keep repeating this until the dough starts to feel like it’s coming together – this should take 4 or 5 minutes – keep going – it will come together!
- Scrape it out onto a well floured surface. Scrape all the bits off your fingers onto it. Start to gently knead the dough – it will be sticky and you may have to keep dusting it with small amounts of flour. Try to use as little as possible. I used an additional 30g (2 Tbsp) of flour. Knead for another 5 minutes or so.
- When it feels nice and elastic, form it into a tight ball, pop it back into the bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside for 1- 2 hours (depending on how warm your kitchen is) to double in size. Mine took 2 hrs.
- Mix sugar and espresso powder for the filling and set aside
- Butter a 26cm/10″ cm round baking tin and set aside
- Lightly flour your work surface and measure out 12″ x 16″ on it.
- Scrape out the dough onto it using a rubber spatula ad lightly flour the top.
- Roll it out gently and evenly, adding a little more flour if it gets stuck or is sticky – but it really won’t be. The dough is soft and lovely to work with. I sort of pat it out into a rectangle and then roll it out.
- Warm up the Nutella – 30 seconds or so in the microwave should do it. It should be soft enough to spread easily onto the soft dough.
- Spread it over the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edge.
- Sprinkle over ⅔ of the sugar and espresso mixture
- Sprinkle over the cocoa nibs
- Start rolling up, as tightly as you can, from the long side of the dough.
- Cut into 1 ½” slices – I got 11 because I didn’t trim off the ends – all that lovely dough!!.
- Arrange in the baking tin, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to prove overnight. Or you can leave the tin in warm place for 45 – 60 mins to rise.
- Pre heat oven to 190C 375F
- Remove the tin from the fridge and sprinkle the top with some chopped hazelnuts and the remaining sugar mix.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes and enjoy them warm.