Chocolate Buns

At the Thomas Jefferson School Science Fair earlier this week, students had the opportunity to make their own “Gak” – or polymer made from Elmer’s glue and Borax. It’s fun to play with for a while, until it ends up stuck to the car floor or buried at the bottom of a backpack.  At least with homemade bread dough and these magic chocolate buns, you get to play with your dough and eat it, too.  For a fun activity and tasty snack all in one, kids can help form the dough balls and stuff them with chocolate chips.  (Easy enough for a 7-year-old – see below.) Or for a special breakfast or brunch item, you could make the dough and form the buns the night before; in the morning, just bake for 20 minutes and serve hot and oozy.

Usually I make the dough for these buns in a bread machine – fast and foolproof. Just dump all the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) into the bread machine bowl, set to “Dough” cycle and walk away. After about 90 minutes, the dough’s ready to form into balls or be refrigerated until ready to use.  Since not everyone has a bread machine lying around, this morning I tried making the dough with an electric mixer and dough hook. It took a little more “active time”, but the results were just as good. And for a fully unplugged and highly therapeutic version, you could mix and knead the dough entirely by hand, using the week’s frustrations to power the process. (Trying to get blue Gak out of beige carpeting comes to mind.)

Chocolate Buns

  • 1 Recipe multi-purpose Bread Dough (below)
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips (approx. ½ package)

Multi-purpose Bread Dough

  • ½ cup warm water (approx. 110-120ºF, like bathwater)
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 package yeast (preferably RapidRise)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened or melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (not kosher)
  • 3 ¾ cups flour

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