Halva, Dark Chocolate, Sesame Twist Buns
August 10, 2021

Halva, Dark Chocolate, Sesame Twist Buns

The recipe for these Halva, Dark Chocolate, Sesame Twist Buns was developed and photographed by New York based pastry chef Stephanie Loo. These buns are perfect for a weekend baking project and a delicious vehicle for our halva and tahini!  

For the dough
½ c (113g) heavy cream
½ c (113g) water, divided 
¼ c (56g) unsalted butter
1 c (120g) whole wheat flour*
2 ¼ c (270g) all-purpose flour, divided 
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast (from one ¼-ounce packet)  
2 tbs (25g) granulated sugar
2 tbs (25g) dark brown sugar
¾ tsp Kosher salt 
1 egg

For the filling
1 ¼ c (215g) dark chocolate, chopped finely
1 8 oz (227g) container Seed + Mill Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Halva, chopped finely
½ tsp Kosher salt 

1 tbsp white sesame seeds 
½ c (128g) Seed + Mill Organic Tahini

To finish 
1 large egg
1 tsp water
1 tbsp white sesame seeds

For the dough
1. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and ¼ cup of water until it bubbles around the edge of the pan. Turn off the heat and add the butter, stirring until melted. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool to lukewarm while you prepare the rest of the dough.  
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine whole wheat flour, 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, instant yeast, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and Kosher salt. Add ¼ cup water, egg, and the lukewarm cream mixture and mix on low until just combined and beginning to form a dough, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix to combine. Once the flour has been incorporated, increase the speed to medium and continue to knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny. When ready, the dough will spring back when lightly pressed.
3. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

For the filling
1. While the dough is resting, chop the chocolate and halva and line two 13-by-18-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.  
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to approximately 12 inches by 20 inches. Using a small offset spatula, spread the tahini all over the dough, getting all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the chopped chocolate, halva, Kosher salt, and sesame seeds and press in lightly.
3. With the short side of the rectangle facing you, fold the top third of the dough down over the middle third of the dough, then fold the bottom third up to cover the remaining dough, like folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90° and go over the dough with the rolling pin a couple of times, vertically, to flatten the edges. Roll out again into a 12 inch by 20 inch rectangle.
4. With a ruler and a pastry cutter (or a small knife), cut the dough vertically into 12 long strips that are 1-inch wide. Take each strip and starting from one end, gently wrap one strip around the tips of your index, middle and fourth finger, two or three times. Place your thumb on top of the wrapped dough, on the side closer to your wrist, to secure the shape, then loop the remaining end of the strand over and through the center of the bun, tucking it under at the base of the bun.
5. Place six buns on each baking sheet, spaced evenly apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the buns to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. They should expand slightly and soften.

To finish
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, using a fork, beat the egg together with 1 teaspoon of water until combined.  
2. After 30 minutes, brush each bun with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through. Serve warm.

*The whole wheat flour in the dough compliments the nuttiness of the tahini and halva but if you only have all-purpose, feel free to substitute that.