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 ;)
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).
- 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)
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
Finalist in the
Bread Speed Challenge
1 Person Made This Project!
- BrunoR114 made it!