chocolate orange and hazelnut babka buns

It’s Citrus season right now. My favourite would have to oranges! In my opinion, one of the best combination is dark chocolate and orange so therefore these buns were born! I’ve added in chopped hazelnuts to the filling as they are also in season right now, plus they provide such a great texture contrast as well as flavour which works so well with the chocolate and orange. It gives off major Nutella vibes, plus the addition with the orange, what is there to complain about! However if you are allergic to nuts or just don’t like hazelnuts, you can easily omit this ingredient and will still be just as yummy! These buns may look daunting to make but are surprisingly simple and quick to do. You can even make this recipe in stages, then leaving the dough overnight in the fridge if you fancy.

Now yeast can be a scary ingredient if you aren’t familiar with it. Plus there are lots of different types of yeast which makes it the more confusing! But I am going to go through each one step by step so you know which one to pick and also how you can switch them up so you don’t mess up the recipe.

  • Instant Dry Yeast (also known as easy bake, fast action, easy blend or quick): This is the most commonly used yeast. It is the one where you add directly to the flour mixture and begins to work quickly.
  • Active Dry Yeast: This yeast can be easily confused with the instant dry yeast. The difference is that you need to activate the yeast in a warm liquid. So before you add the yeast to the flour, you need to add the yeast to the liquid and let it sit for about 10 minutes to activate. However the measurements are the same for the instant as it is for the active.
  • Fresh Yeast: This type of yeast is perishable, so it must be kept refrigerated and used within a couple of weeks of purchase. When using fresh yeast, it is dissolved into a liquid prior to adding to a recipe. Fresh yeast should be proofed, or tested for potency, before each use. To proof yeast, dissolve in warm water and add a pinch of sugar. If the yeast does not begin to foam within 5 to 10 minutes, it is no longer active. To switch a recipe from fresh yeast to dry yeast the ratio is 1g dry yeast to 3g of fresh yeast. So 5g dried yeast you will need 15g fresh yeast.
  • Liquid Yeast: Liquid Yeast is purely used for sourdough. Another word for this is called a ‘starter’. It is a living yeast. All you need to do is to add fresh carbohydrate for it to survive and to continue to replicate.
  • Nutritional Yeast: This yeast is NOT used for baking. This is purely to add flavour to savoury foods.
Makes 6 Large Buns
For the dough:
345g Strong white flour
170g Milk
35g Butter
5g Fast Action dried yeast
35g Caster Sugar
5g Salt
1 medium egg
For the filling:
2 oranges, zested
70g Dark chocolate
50g Butter
10g Cocoa powder
25g Chopped Hazelnuts
25g Light Brown Sugar
For the syrup:
100g Freshly squeezed orange juice
100g Caster Sugar
1 beaten egg for the egg wash
1. Firstly, the dough. In a small pan, melt the butter and add the milk. Heat until body temperature. Make sure it isn’t too hot otherwise you will kill the yeast.
2. In the bowl of a free standing mixer, place the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, eggs and warm milk and butter. Using the dough hook, mix until it has all come together. Keep the machine on a medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should have all come together, it should be tacky and very elastic. This is when it is ready to be proved.
3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film or a clean tea towel. Leave for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
4. Whilst the dough is proving, let’s make the filling. Place the chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl. Place this bowl over a pan of boiling water and leave to melt.
5. Once the chocolate and butter has melted, add in the remaining ingredients for the filling. Mix until all combined. Set aside and leave to cool. Mixing every so often until it becomes a spreadable consistency.
6. When the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a large rectangle to about 2-3mm thick. Make sure the dough isn’t sticking to the surface by continuously moving the dough and by adding more flour to the surface.
7. Spread the chocolate filling 2/3 lengthways onto the dough. Fold the 1/3 without the filling on top of the middle 1/3 then the chocolate covered 1/3 of the dough on top of that.
8. Use the rolling pin to flatten and press the folded dough together. Making it a little wider and longer at the same time.
9. Using a knife or pizza wheel, slice 6 strips cutting lengthways. Then starting from one end, roll the strips up to get a lovely swirl, tucking the ends in underneath and place on a baking tray lined with parchment.
10. Repeat this step until all have been rolled up and are on trays. (I recommend dividing them across two trays to make sure they are spread out)
11. Lightly cover with clingfilm or a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size again.
12. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
13. Once the buns are ready, brush lightly with 1 beaten egg and place in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.
14. Whilst the buns are in the oven. To make the syrup, place the juice of the orange and sugar in the pan and bring to the boil. Brush over the buns immediately once they come out of the oven.
15. Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!!
These buns are best eaten on the day but will last in an airtight container for a couple days.

Posted by

Hey there! My name is Emily Brook and I am a Pastry Chef, Recipe developer and Food Stylist. I love all things sweet and seasonal! I hope to inspire you with these recipes to create delicious bakes and sweet treats which use and celebrate seasonal food. Along with the recipes I will give you some tips and tricks along the way! Happy Baking!

Leave a Reply