Well it’s technically not a festival that’s celebrated in India, but as the Internet has gone ballistic about Halloween and pumpkins and witches and wizards and cats and trick or treating and spiders, I had to do something.
So I made cookies in the shape of a haunted houses and cats in a few bats, but I didn’t finish frosting them and we ate them up just like that…
So all the plans were shelved then I decided I had to make something hallowe’en.
I’ve been wanting to do a sourdough hybrid sweet bread for the longest time and then I saw Sylvain Verneys pumpkin and chocolate muffins… They looked too cute to not make. So I made two small batches , one of hybrid sourdough …that is with yeast and sour dough and the other which is pure Yeast.
The doughs were similar to handle but because in all probability you are not a sourdough Baker I will put the recipe using instant dry yeast on the blog.
If you would want the formula for the sourdough hybrid , do leave me a comment and I will revert with the exact formula.
Try these ones first and I am sure you love them …Halloween or no Halloween.
You can change the stuffing according to your wish or keep it just like this.
The most important thing to remember if the microwave these ones at least 10 seconds before you eat them so that the chocolate becomes warm and gooey.
About the pumpkin.
The best thing to do would be to place it in your oven and allow it to roast independently or when something else is baking.
It needs about 40 to 45 minutes. Please don’t boil it with water otherwise the water content increases.
Alternative play strips on a flat bottomed bottomed Pan and allowed to cook with a little bit of oil you need to sleep it over once it is roasted.
Cool puree or mash and use in the dough.
The Other important thing to remember is to use twine or cotton thread which has been Dipped or soaked completely in oil so that it does not stick to your Buns.
And when you paint the buns with beaten egg ,make sure to not apply the egg on the thread and if you wish to Omit the eggs , totally,do. Just please do not apply the milk and sugar mixture on the thread . Peeling the threads off becomes very difficult, because that will make the thread stick to the buns. And you’ll either cut the bun or peel off the top glazed layer of the bun, making it look ugly.
Let’s get on to it.
Pumpkin and Chocolate Buns
3 ½ cups or 400 GM’s flour or maida
80 GM’s finely ground sugar or icing sugar
60 GM’s brown sugar
150 GM’s roasted pumpkin from Almost 600 GM’s raw pumpkin
80-100 mils warm milk
2tbsp plus a little extra or 35 mils vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp or 8gms instant dry yeast
½ -1 cup chocolate chips
2tbsp chopped candied orange or 1tsp orange zest
1 egg for the egg wash or a mix of milk and sugar Instead
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup mixed with 2 tbsp hot water for the final glaze
Cotton string or twine to tie the buns and parchment paper or silicone sheet.
extra oil for the thread and for oiling the worktop.
Start with the pumpkin. Peel and cut thin slices of the pumpkin and place on a baking tray, lightly drizzle with oil and roast in an oven for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. The pumpkin should be easily mashable with a fork. Repeating this, so you dont miss it.
Alternatively you can steam the pumpkin, the caramelization by roasting in the oven or on a pan makes it taste better. My dough has bits of caramelised pumpkin that i left for effect.
You can Mash the pumpkin before hand or if you are making your dough in a stand mixer ,put everything in and let the machine do all the hard work.
It’s important to weigh out the ingredients when you are making bread. In my experience, weight always works better.
Place that maida or all purpose flour in the bowl, add the pumpkin puree, the two different sugars, the oil, the salt, the yeast and mix well to break up the pumpkin pieces within.
If you’re using active yeast then be sure to activate the yeast with some of the milk.
Knead the dough with the milk and then bring on to the counter and knead till the dough is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The sugar should have dissolved within the dough and the dough comes off the counter without sticking to it.
This dough is denser than your regular bread dough and will not rise as much as normal bread does.
Shape into a ball and place in a oiled container.
Set aside for at least an hour for the dough to rise. It may not double in volume but will definitely be puffier than before.
Cut into 9 or 10 equal sized pieces, shape in 2 balls and set aside for about 10 minutes.
Chop candied orange and mix with the chocolate chip. If you are not using chocolate chips make sure you cut the chocolate into very small pieces otherwise it will not melt and mingle with the orange zest or candied Orange.
Make sure you dip the cotton thread or string in oil otherwise you won’t be able to peel it off your pumpkin and chocolate buns.
Keep a pair of sharp scissors Handy and lightly oil your work top.
Pat the dough ball into a flat round shape.
Place a generous one tablespoon mix of chocolate chips and candied orange mix.
Gather the dough edges together and Pinch the dough ball ensuring you tighten the dough so that chocolate does not leak out of the joints.
Run The thread around the ball 4 times loosely to get the Rough shape of a pumpkin. Remember to keep the string a little loose otherwise the bun will tear and the filling will leak out making your pumpkin and chocolate Bun very ugly.
You can check out this video at the bottom of the blog post.
Now place the pumpkin and chocolate Buns on a paper lined tray . Brush these buns with beaten egg making sure that the egg does not touch the string. If the egg touches the string then feeling of the string may be difficult and will ruin the shape of the bun.
Set the baking tray aside for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Brush the ones again with the remaining egg white egg wash.
Now reduce the temperature to 180 degrees centigrade and slide the trays in for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Keep an eye on the oven ,you do not want the buns to burn… Because of the high sugar and double wash ,they will caramelize very fast.
Once they are done , bring them out and immediately brush them with the honey or maple syrup and water glaze. The liquid will be absorbed and the buns will become soft and will look more like a pumpkin.
Now with your sharp kitchen Scissors , snip off the string and gently peel it off.
Do not pull it out otherwise the string will cut the bun into sections ,spoiling the final effect.
Pop a single pumpkin seed on the top or use a little green fondant for the stem and the leaf.
Served these buns warm , with a cup of tea or coffee ,but remember to microwave them for at least 10 seconds so that the chocolate within melts slightly and improves the taste when you bite into them.
It may look a little daunting but with a little effort these cute little buns can start an amazing conversation.
I won’t say that extremely healthy because of the high sugar content but they have pumpkin which is healthy and its all a matter of the festive spirit.
And of course they have chocolate.
So make these little pumpkin and chocolate buns and make your munchkins a little happier.
You can replace the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour but you will need to increase the amount of milk needed to make the dough and of course the test will be slightly nuttier.
A little indulgence once in awhile can only bring a smile on your face. The yellow and black thing is near the pumpkin are sprinkles and that Barn owl has been waiting for his moment for the longest possible time.
Happy Hallowe’en people.