Sweet Piggy Buns With Nutella Filling

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Introduction: Sweet Piggy Buns With Nutella Filling

This is a huge hit in my family. I learned how to make them from my mother, who is a great baker, but a very poor cook. They were baked as a savoury bun filled with meat to tempt children into eating her awful dinner concoctions. Everyone knew her tricks...regardless, her buns never failed to tempt people. I even remember trading them in kindergarten to make friends, so that's something to remember once quarantines are over and kids go back to school.

I modified my mother's technique, changed the dough from savoury to sweet and used Nutella as a filling. They are a cross between a brioche and a dinner roll, albeit sweeter. Those buns are fun to make, fun to look at and fun to eat ;)


Supplies:

I used 8 cm round cookie cutter to cut the shape of the buns. Once baked, those inflated to approximately 10 cm. Overall, this recipe yielded 14 small buns.

  • 600g plain flour + handful for dusting (don't use self-raising flour)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 300ml whole fat or semi-skimmed milk (room temperature)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 60g melted butter
  • Small egg for egg washing
  • Spoonful of peppercorns (for eyes)

Your choice of sweet filling: nutella, jam, chopped chocolate... [For that amount of dough, I used a whole 400g jar of Nutella).

Additionally:

  • Pastry brush, rolling pin, round cookie cutters
  • Silicone baking sheet or non-stick parchment paper
  • Cling film

Step 1: The Dough

Make sure to take your wet ingredients out of the fridge at least 30 min before mixing. I recommend using a stand mixer, but if you don't have one, you can just knead the dough by hand.

Put flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a bowl, use a whisk to mix them together. Add milk and eggs and mix until everything comes together. Add melted butter and continue kneading until the dough is flexible, smooth, shiny and not sticky. If your dough is sticky, add a spoon or two of flour and knead some more.

Tip the whole thing onto a table and knead it by hand until it resembles a ball. Put the dough into a bowl and cover with cling film. Put aside until doubled in size. This should take between 1-2 hours.

Step 2: Rolling

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it to deflate it, tip it onto a work surface dusted with flour and roll it out. Aim to roll the dough to 5 mm thickness. If you don't have a rolling pin with adjustable thickness rings, you can use large melamine chopsticks to control the thickness (picture 2).

Step 3: Cutting and Filling

When it comes to filling buns before baking, normally you'd roll a large circle of dough, put a spoonful of filling in the middle, fold dough over filling to meet in the centre and pinch edges to seal. No matter how much I try, I always make a mess, so I'm using a method I learned from making ravioli instead.

Prepare a small container with flour to dip your cookie cutter between cuts, this will prevent sticking.

Cut two, three circles at the time, pick them up and transfer them to the side. Note how elastic the dough is (picture 1), it shrinks immediately after cutting. You have to roll it out into a thinner circle, slightly bigger than your cookie cutter (picture 2).

You have to work on one bun at the time, and you have to work fast.

Once your circle is rolled out, put a spoonful of filling in the middle (don't spread it out). Immediately, roll a small amount of leftover dough to approximately 3 mm thickness, pick it up and use it to cover the filled circle of dough (picture 3). Use your fingers and palms to seal the dough together. Finally, grab a cookie cutter and cut a circle out of that.

Step 4: Shaping

Pick the dough up and pinch the edges to create a seal (picture 1&2). Gently round the edges to create a smooth bun. Place it on the lined baking tray and use your palm to flatten the dough. Be gentle, smooth and flatten the dough into a flat disc, rather than a dome-shaped bun.

Continue making buns until all you are left with is a fist-sized leftover dough. Cover leftover dough with cling film and put it in the fridge (to slow the fermentation process).

Cover your buns with cling film and set the baking trays aside in a warm place. Leave them to rise for 30-40 min.

Step 5: Face Details

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

In a small bowl, crack an egg, whisk it with a fork and keep it at hand while you prepare ears and snouts.

Take the leftover dough out of the fridge, deflate it and roll to 2 mm thickness. Use medium sized cookie cutter to cut a circle, cut that circle into quarters and voila, you have two sets of ears. To make a snout, cut an even smaller circle out and stretch it to resemble a thin oval.
Using a pastry brush, or your finger, brush a tiny amount of egg wash onto the bun where ears and snout will be placed. Place the ears and snout in positions, no need to press, just leave it as it is.

Press peppercorns in and brush the whole bun with an egg wash.

Step 6: Snout

Devil is in the detail, so pay attention to the snout. Last step, directly before popping the buns into the oven, is creating nostrils. You have to make them as big as possible, as they will get considerably smaller once baked. Use a sharp-tipped knife, handle of a small spoon or chopsticks.

Work quickly, make big holes and once done, put the buns in the oven.

Bake for 12-15 min at:

170°C (FAN ASSISTED)
185-195°C (CONVENTIONAL OVEN)
365-380°F

Step 7: Cool Down

Let them cool for 10-15 min.

Step 8: Coloured Dough

I wanted to see if I could get pink piggies using red food dye. Normally when you use red food colouring for baked goods, they always end up more pink than red. In this case, once baked, my experimental red bun remained as red as a tomato. Additionally, egg wash makes the top of the bun appear darker. So, keep that in mind if you decide to add some colour to your buns.

Step 9: Enjoy

Bread Speed Challenge

Finalist in the
Bread Speed Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!

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26 Comments

0
splitthebanana
splitthebanana

8 days ago

Awww these are so precious I couldn’t possibly bare to eat these but they look and sound delicious you got my vote!

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25kcrandall
25kcrandall

9 days ago

Oh my! Those look very delicious!

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ddancer
ddancer

12 days ago

These look great! My granddaughters love "piggies", so I will be making these soon. I only thing I will change, is the eyes. Two year olds eating a peppercorn might not go over very well... especially if they think it is chocolate. LOL. I will do what you did for the snout... make an indented eye socket and after they come out of the oven, stick in an inverted chocolate chip. By putting the pointy end into the hole, they "should" melt into place. (weeeee, will see) ;-)
Another thought is stuffing them with home made breakfast sausage. Thanks for posting!!!

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FrauMartina
FrauMartina

Reply 12 days ago

I haven't baked for actual children for so long that I totally forgot about the peppercorn issue! Whenever I baked for children I still used peppercorns to get nice holes. Once baked, I replaced them with small chocolate balls from yogurts (attached picture). Chocolate chips would work too, as well as melted chocolate applied with a toothpick.

Also, if you want to stuff them with savoury filling, reduce the amount of sugar to 1TBS, nothing worse than sweetened breakfast sausage.

snapshotimagehandler_139950881.jpeg
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ddancer
ddancer

Reply 12 days ago

I agree about the sugar, depending on the sausage. I made a batch using chicken thighs instead of pork, with a little red pepper to heat them up. I may try your recipe as is, with the sugar to see if it balances out the heat... sweet n' hot, so to speak... I will reduce the sugar for other stuffings! ;-) I also agree that there are many options for the eyes! Thanks for the reply and advice.

0
FrauMartina
FrauMartina

Tip 12 days ago

I’ve come to realise that not everyone knows what I meant by fan-assisted oven and there is a lot of confusion about temperatures, so let me explain.
I have a fan assisted oven and anything I bake or roast has to be cooked at lower temperature (usually 10-20 degrees) than conventional oven, otherwise food will burn or lose moisture. Those piggy buns, when cooked in a conventional oven, should be cooked at 185-195C (365-380F). Depends on the oven, because no two ovens are the same, some heat up more, some heat up less.
This dough bakes similar to cinnamon buns, so if you’ve ever baked those, use the same temperature.
If you are still not sure what temperature to use, regardless of the type of oven you have, the best way to figure out how to bake them would be to bake a single test bun first and adjust the temperature accordingly. That way you will be sure and won’t have wasted hours of work only to end up with under-cooked or over-dried buns.

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jovavann
jovavann

Question 13 days ago on Introduction

I guess from your flour bag that you are in the UK.
Can you convert the oven temp for those of us in Canada?
They look yummy, thanks for sharing!

0
jovavann
jovavann

Reply 12 days ago

Thank you!
I was drooling so much looking at the photos that I temporarily lost my ability to find the answer online. Will use your link in the future.

1
FrauMartina
FrauMartina

Answer 13 days ago

If I remember correctly, Canadians use Fahrenheit, right? If that's the case, you would have to bake them at 375°F

0
jovavann
jovavann

Reply 12 days ago

Thanks for your reply!
We actually should be using Celsius but most of us are still stuck in Fahrenheit mode.
Can't wait to try out your recipe! Good luck with the competition!

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guje_th
guje_th

12 days ago

These are adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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D1Bobbyg
D1Bobbyg

12 days ago on Step 9

They look beautiful and cute :-). Gotta try make them for my little man.

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rachl009
rachl009

12 days ago

These are so cute!