I had the best of intentions of getting this post up before the weekend, but the week sort of got away from me and well, here we are into a new one. I hope it was a good one you guys, it seems like love and chocolate were in abundance and that sounds pretty perfect to me. We had a friend of Matt’s visiting from France for a few days and it felt good to sit around the table with good wine and lots of food while computers and phones were turned off in the background. To simply be in and enjoy eachother’s company. I made pancakes for the first time in what felt like forever, it seemed like the only way for our guest to enjoy real deal maple syrup while on this side of the pond. I was so delighted in welcoming someone into our little space here in the city.
I’ve always loved meeting old friends of Matt’s, I love hearing the stories they have to tell and seeing the way they laugh together. We never really got to do the whole dating thing, Matt and I. We met and immediately fell into long distance. So in those moments when I get to see him as a friend, a brother or a son, I feel like I am getting to know him a little more each time. It’s my favorite story. We became aunt and uncle to a beautiful baby girl a few days ago, it’s an oh so exciting chapter for us to discover together. So I guess it’s been a pretty perfect week for us too. Here’s to love and chocolate for so much more than just a day.
CHOCOLATE, HAZELNUT + OLIVE OIL BREAD ROLLS
Preparing yeasted breads and buns is the love filled treat I can think of to make in the kitchen. I love the simple patience it takes. A slow sunday of kneading, waiting, rolling, waiting, tasting, sharing, enjoying. These buns are much more bread-like than brioche, next time I’m thinking I’ll make a loaf out if the dough so we can slice and toast it, oh now wouldn’t that be nice. The filling, for me, is just the right amount of sweet, but feel free to add a little extra maple if you want. Love, bread and patience. Enjoy x
Vegan. Makes 6-9 large muffin sized buns.
1 cup unsweetened plant milk of choice (I used homemade hazelnut milk)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast dry active yeast
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups light spelt flour
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Pinch sea salt
3/4 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped (I used a food processor to chop)
Place milk and maple syrup in a small sauce pan 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.
Add olive oil to milk/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.
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.
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.
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 to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C
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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