The results are well worth the long proof for this Eastern-European inspired sweet bread. The combination of chocolate and tahini gives this moist, brioche-like cake a modern, standout twist. Yum!
Prep time: 45 mins - 1 hour
Proofing time: 20 - 22 hours
Bake time: approx 20 mins
Total time: 2 hours
For the Dough
75g wholemeal starter (30%)
125g buttermilk (50%)
1 large egg (55g approx) (22%)
50g golden caster sugar (20%)
250g organic strong white bread flour (100%)
5g sea salt flakes (2%)
100g unsalted butter (40%)
at room temperature, cut into 4 pieces
For the Filling
75g dark chocolate
65g unsalted butter, at room temp
50g brown sugar
A pinch of salt
1 large egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp golden syrup
Chocolate shavings, pearl sugar and sesame seeds to decorate.
You will need a stand mixer.
1) Feed your starter 6 hours prior to, or the night before baking, with 25g of water and 25g of wholemeal flour. (You will need at least 35g in the jar before feeding your starter). Mix well and leave covered with a thin cloth in a humid environment.
2) In a large bowl for a stand mixer, combine the starter, buttermilk, egg, caster sugar, flour and sea salt flakes and knead to a smooth dough (about 5 minutes). Add the butter in 4 additions, ensuring each piece has been fully incorporated before adding the next.
Once you have a smooth dough, cover and allow to double in size (4-8 hours).
3) Once your dough has puffed up, retire it to the fridge overnight (for at least 8 hours) without knocking back or deflating the dough.
4) The next day, melt the chocolate over a bain-marie . Allow it to cool before mixing in the other ingredients for the filling. Mix into a smooth paste and set aside in the fridge to firm up a little.
5) Get your dough from the fridge and roll it out to a rectangle approximately 30x60cm. With one of the short edges facing you, spread the mixture across the bottom half of the dough, and fold the top half down to conceal the filling.
6) Shaping from the edge where the dough is meeting, slice 12 equal strips. Take two strips at a time and twist them around each other before rolling around your fingers and tucking the ends under to create a knot shape. Place these into the muffin pan (it’s okay if the knots aren’t staying tight).
Brush the knots with a little neutral oil, (vegetable oil or rapeseed), cover and allow to double in size once more. (4-6 hours)
7) To bake, preheat the oven to 190C (fan) and place an empty baking tray on a shelf below the one you’ll be baking on. Brush the knots with a beaten egg and bake for 18-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the knots from the tin. Brush the buns with a little golden syrup that's been warmed and sprinkle over your chosen toppings.