Christmas is one of my favourite baking seasons because of all the fragrant goodies coming out of the oven. These chocolate pinecone bread rolls fit right in!
With a super soft and fluffy crumb and a crispy exterior from all the little cuts, they have a unique texture. Flavoured with cocoa, enriched with butter, egg, and sour cream the flavour is chocolatey and sweet. You could even fold in a whole piece of chocolate when shaping them so that they have a chocolate centre.
This must be one of the simplest recipes. Even a complete beginner can make these with ease. And if you are not into pinecones, then add a pair of googly eyes to the rolls after baking to make a bunch of hedgehogs ?
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
225g (8oz) strong white bread flour
25g (0.9oz) cocoa powder
30g (1oz) sugar
4g (0.14oz) instant dry yeast or 4.8g (0.16oz) active dry yeast or 12g (0.42oz) fresh yeast
5g (0.17oz) salt
20g (0.7oz) soft butter
20g (0.7oz) sour cream or crème fraiche
1 egg, around 50g (1.75oz)
75g (2.7oz) milk
The sour cream, egg, and milk should be cold. To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
1 egg for brushing
For the glaze –
20g (0.7oz) water
20g (0.7oz) sugar
I also sprinkled the rolls with some edible glitter for a sparkly finish. This is optional.
- In a large bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, butter, egg, and sour cream. Mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
- Tip the dough out on the table and knead for 5 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 26C (79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
- Cover and ferment for 3 hours or until almost doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape.
- Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
- Shape the pinecones. See video.
- Place them on a non-stick paper lined tray. Cover and ferment for 2 hours. *During the final hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan on.
- Brush the rolls with egg and score them with scissors.
- Bake for 23 minutes.
- As soon as they come out the oven brush them with the hot sugar syrup.
Leave to cool down and enjoy!
Check out some more festive bakes in the ‘Breads of Christmas’ playlist on my channel.
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.
Watch the video here