Go Back

Twisted chocolate buns

This is a wonderful, versatile recipe. If you prefer, you can use a filling made with cinnamon or ground nuts, or poppy seeds. The shaping techniqe is the same one that is used to make cardamom or cinnamon bullar from the Nordic countries.
Prep Time6 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, coffee, tea
Cuisine: Unknown
Keyword: Buns, Chocolate, Holiday baking, Sweet bread
Servings: 12
Author: Jane Mason


  • baking tray
  • pizza cutter or sharp knife
  • Dough scraper or spatula


Ingredients for the dough

  • 600 g Good quality strong (bread) white flour
  • 350 g Full fat milk Heated to boiling point and let cool right down to room temperature. Always heat more than you need because it has a habit of disappearing when it's heated so measuer 400 grams, heat and cool it, and then measure out the 350 you need. You will find, it's all of the milk you heated up.
  • 6 g Dry yeast Or 3 g instant yeast, 12 g fresh yeast
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 12 g Salt
  • 100 g Butter at room temperature

Ingredients for the filling

  • 100 g Dark chocolate
  • 100 g Unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch salt

Ingredients for the egg wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Cold water
  • 1 pinch Each of salt and sugar


Make a pre dough

  • Measure the flour into a big bowl and make a well. Sprinkle the yeast and the sugar into the well and add 100 grams of milk. Flick a little flour over the water to close the well and cover with a tea towel. Let it rest for one hour.

Make the dough

  • Add the rest of the milk, and the salt.
  • Knead for ten minutes either by hand or by machine on the lowest setting, and then add and the butter. Knead again for 10 minutes until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough gets shiny and is elastic.
  • Pop the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise for 2-4 hours or over night in the fridge, until it has doubled in bulk.
  • While the dough is resting, melt the butter and chocolate (filling) together and then stir in the cocoa, icing sugar, salt and cinnamon if using. Cover and leave it. It should be easily spreadable.

Shape the buns

  • Generously flour your work surface and pull the dough out of the bowl and on to the work surface. Flour the top of the dough lightly and roll it into a rectangle. The short side should be around 30 cm and it should be about 0.5 cm thick.
  • Take the filling out of the bowl and spread it all over the dough rectangle. Be patient and spread it all the way to the very edges.
  • Fold the dough up along the long side of the rectangle into thirds, as if you were folding a piece of paper for an envelope.
  • Using a scraper or a pizza cutter (knife is a worst case scenario) cut the dough into sections about 2 cm wide.
  • Form these into twists, stretching them as you do.
  • Pick up a twist and pinching one end between your thumb and the third finger of your NON WORKING hand. Now put your index finger and your ring finger next to the middle finger so you have a little group made of fingers, thumb and dough. The only one left out is the little finger. Pick up the other end of the twist with your working hand and wrap it three times around the group. Hold your thumb away from the group (and the dough) as soon as the dough is securely wrapped around your three fingers.
  • When the dough has come around for the third time, take it past your thumb and loop it around your thumb. Then bring end of the dough up over the strands of dough that are facing you and thread it between your ring and third fingers, all the way over to the back of the wrapped dough. Tuck it under the dough at the backand remove the whole thing from your fingers. Bunch it up nicely if it has become wonky and place it on a baking tray you have covered with non stick baking parchment. It takes some practice.....
  • Cover with a tea towel and let rise 45 minutes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 225 degrees C.
  • Glaze the buns with the egg wash and then pop them into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Check them 5 minutes and cover them with a piece of parchment paper if they are getting too brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack (that's wishful thinking because they are terrific when they are warm).