I haven't had a Cinnabon since high school, but whenever I pass a shop, the sweet, bready aroma tempts me (and then I walk on by, knowing that three bites in I'll feel stuffed and sugared into a coma). Even though Chocolate and Hazelnut Buns from Warm Bread and Honey Cake: Home Baking from Around the World by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra (Interlink, Nov.) don't have cinnamon in them, they’ll fill your home with that delicious, buttery scent.
Chocolate and Hazelnut Buns
Makes 9 buns
2 1/3 c white bread flour
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, beaten
About 2/3 c milk, lukewarm
2/3 c hazelnuts
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 stick butter, very well softened
1. Place all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl and mix to moisten the dry ingredients. Use a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead thoroughly until smooth and supple. Alternatively, turn out onto a floured surface or a non-stick silicone mat and knead until smooth and supple. Bring together in a ball and return to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
2. For the filling, pulse all the ingredients except the butter in a food processor until the nuts are very finely chopped. Set aside until needed.
3. Punch down the dough and knead briefly until it is smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to a rectangle about 16" x 12". Use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread the butter over the dough, leaving about 3/4" clear on all sides. Sprinkle the filling evenly over this. It is a generous amount, but the butter will eventually absorb it. Roll up from one long end. Trim the roll so that it measures 14" and discard the end pieces [I used the ends to make mini rolls with the filling that fell out as I cut the main roll.] Cut the resulting log at intervals of 1 1/2", so that you end up with 9 pieces.
4. Grease and line an 8" square baking pan, then arrange the dough pieces in three rows of three [I tucked the mini rolls in there too]. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place until almost doubled in size. The buns will now be pressing cozily against each other; this slight over-crowding gives nice soft sides.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave in the pan for about 5 minutes before turning out in its entirety onto a wire rack. Break the buns off as needed. That way, the sides stay softer for longer.
This story originally appeared in Cooking the Books, PW's e-newsletter for cookbooks.