Soft, fluffy, buttery babka dough filled with delicious dark chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, twisted into little knots. These homemade buns will make a great weekend baking project and will make your house smell heavenly!
Place flour, caster sugar, yeast, salt and lemon zest into a large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the hook attachment and mix well (you can also do it all by hand). Place the milk and the butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Set this mixture aside until it is lukewarm. Add the egg and the milk mixture into the bowl with flour, and start mixing it on a low speed for about 6-8 minutes until it forms smooth and elastic dough. Transfer the dough into oiled bowl, cover with cling film and allow it to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Put the butter and chocolate into a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat until fully melted. Remove from the heat and add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and stir together. Set aside until it has thickened into spreadable consistency.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into rectangle, about 40 x 60 cm. Spread the filling over half of the dough and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Fold the uncovered dough over the filling and gently press together. Using a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into strips, about 2.5- 3 cm thick. Twist each strip of the dough few times then, gripping one end between your thumb and forefingers, coil the dough around the fingers to form a bun shape, finishing by folding the end of the dough over and under (see recipe notes for how-to).
Place each bun on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, living about 5 cm space between each bun. Cover with cling film and set aside until buns have risen and puffed up (about 45 min- 1 hour).
Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan). Brush each bun with egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!
Watch this video to see how to twist the dough into knot shape.