S’mores, a campfire classic, full of childhood nostalgia and happy memories of sticky chocolate covered fingers. But what if it could be even better? Chocolate spread, pillowy light dough and toasted marshmallow come together here for a truly decadent s’mores inspired creation. Want to view the cook along? It can be found on my instagram @The_Culinary_Cartel, on the Giant S’mores Bun Highlight. 

My pet peeve with most cinnamon roll and bun recipes are their shelf life. They taste great fresh and warm from the oven, then quickly go mealy and dry as they cool, becoming stale and sad by the next day. My signature dough borrows from the best of Japanese Milk Bread and Brioche techniques to create a dough, that’s rich, light and fluffy, stays that way once cool, remaining fresher for a few days. The trick to this is a Tangzhong, which is a Japanese method of cooking a portion of the liquid and flour together into a paste. If you are interested in the science behind my technique head over to my “The Best Burger Bun”  instagram highlight on @The_Culinary_Cartel where we get down and doughy on bread science, how to gauge when your dough is perfectly kneaded and the tricks needed to create perfectly fluffy and delicious rolls. 

In this recipe we use a stand mixer, however it is possible to make this dough by hand. It is a little sticky at first, before the kneading develops the stretchy gluten, so if you struggle, add up to 50g more flour a little at a time, to help it become easier to knead. You can also add a little oil to your hands and work surface to prevent sticking. 

Giant S’mores Bun

Ingredients:

For The Tangzhong:

30g Bread Flour

30g Water

100g Full Cream Milk

Dough:

120g Full Cream Milk

10g Instant Yeast

320g Bread Flour (plus more for dusting and rolling)

5g Fine Sea Salt

60g Brown Sugar

1 Egg

80g Soft Butter

Filling & Topping:

180g Hazlenut & Chocolate Spread* 

(*I love Oh Mega’s Chocolate Almond Butter for this, in place of Nutella or Woolworths Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, as it’s Palm Oil free, all natural and locally produced)

1 Packet Woolworths Marshmallow Frosting Mix OR 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows

1 Egg, beaten for glazing the bun

Method:

To make the Tangzhong: 

In a pot off the heat, add all the ingredients and whisk until combined. Place the pot over a medium high heat and cook the mixture until it forms a very thick paste. Place the paste into a bowl or plastic container to cool.

While the tangzhong cools, prepare your yeast. Warm the 120g of milk until blood temperature* then add the yeast, and a spoon of your sugar. Mix everything together and allow the yeast to rest for 5 minutes, and become foamy. 

Chefs Tip: Blood temperature liquid is the perfect home for yeast activation and growth. This means the liquid will feel neither hot nor cold when you pop your finger into it. Careful, as too warm environments can kill your yeast. 

To a bowl, add your flour, remaining sugar, salt and yeast mixture. Knead everything together for 10 seconds, or until just coming together, then add in your tangzhong and egg. Knead the dough by hand or in a stand mixer until it’s smooth and elastic. This should take about 10 minutes in a machine on medium, or 15 minutes by hand, kneading vigorously. 

*To test your dough try stretching a small ball out as thinly as possible until you can see light through it. This is called the window pane test. If your dough tears then it needs more kneading. Head over to my instagram @The_Culinary_Cartel to watch our video on Instagram highlights and dough tips. 

Once the dough is ready, add your room temperature butter blob by blob, kneading in between each addition until the butter is incorporated. 

Proving: 

Quick method: Place your finished dough into a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a damp tea towel to prove until doubled in size.

Tastiest Method: If you have the time, place your dough into a large tupperware with a lid, and pop it into the fridge overnight. This slows down the yeast and rise, creating a delicious, complex and more flavourful dough. 

Once your dough has risen, punch it down to deflate it. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out your dough into a large rectangle until 0.5cm thick. Pop your chocolate spread into a microwave safe bowl, and heat until it warms enough to be easily spreadable. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture all over your dough. To finish, lightly dust 1-2Tbsp of flour over the chocolate spread using a sieve. The dusting of flour will help prevent your spread oozing out while baking.

Line a 25cm cast iron pan or cake tin with a circle of baking paper. 

Using a pizza cutter, cut your dough rectangle into long 5cm wide strips. Roll the first strip into a spiral. It will look like swiss roll slice. Place the spiral onto the next strip and roll it over creating an even bigger spiral. Repeat until the bun becomes too cumbersome to roll (you will have a few strips left). At this stage, pop the bun into your lined pan. Finish the giant bun by wrapping the remaining strips around the bun, while in the pan. Once finished, allow the bun to prove at room temperature in a shady spot for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Don’t prove your bun in a very hot and sunny room over 27C as the butter may start to ooze from the dough. 

Chefs Treat: If you have any awkwardly shaped off cuts, roll these into mini buns and prove and cook them in a small ramekin for a sneaky chefs treat. Yum! 

Once your bun has doubled in size, preheat your oven to 180C on the fan setting. Brush your bun lightly with a beaten egg, then pop it into the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes or until lovely and golden brown. 

If you are using mini marshmallows instead of marshmallow frosting, add these to the top of your bun about 4-6 minutes before it’s finished cooking. The lime will depend on how brown you want the mini marshmallows. 

While the bun cooks, mix up ½ of your marshmallow frosting as per the packet instructions. Set this aside until needed.

Once the bun is out the oven and has cooled slightly, spoon the marshmallow frosting over your bun. Light your blowtorch and toast the marshmallow until deep golden and brown. 

If you do not have a blowtorch heat your oven until very very hot on the highest grill setting. Cover your entire bun with marshmallow frosting (any exposed bun will burn) and pop it under the grill to get nicely coloured. Be sure to watch it like a hawk. 

To serve slice your bun into wedges like a cake, and enjoy!

Happy Cooking x