Aren't they really cute??? I was in awe of these cute little caterpillar buns and I had book-marked them long back. But tell you what I was so bad in handling yeast and almost killed it many a times. And somehow I used to feel sad when I saw my blog buddies rave over their dinner rolls or breads or buns and I used to get really upset and wonder when I would get it right. Bread baking also was a challenge to me, being someone who gets alarmed when a recipe calls for all purpose flour and the time it takes for dough to double. But last week my experiments in the kitchen with yeast was a success and I was all excited to do dinner rolls with a basic fool-proof recipe by Martha Steward and I was in awe with my dinner rolls, they were super spongy and light as air. Trust me if you are new to bread baking I warn you playing with yeast is so very addictive and after the dinner rolls I almost hid the yeast away from my sight. After a little gap nearly 4-5 days I tried this caterpillar nutella stuffed buns and boy I was so pleased with myself. I was smiling from ear to ear. Read more on my tips and tricks on break making and basics if you are a beginner and have never tried your hands in baking bread. To all my blog buddies really sorry if I have not visited you for the last couple of days, I had a hectic schedule and will sure visit you, thanks...
These catterpillar buns are filled with nutella and are absolutely great as a breakfast/ snack and surely a great pleaser for kids and anyone who loves nutella. You can explore using any filling of your choice. I did not add sugar to the dough since the filling is sweet in itself. It was soft yet slightly firm and tasted great. You can re-heat them in a microwave for 15-20 seconds before serving later.
Winning the Yeast War -
- Use active dried yeast / instant yeast for starters
- Most recipes either say warm milk/ water or call for a temperature don't worry I used to fail at this step and heat water/ milk in a microwave for 2 minutes and this always resulted in curddled yeast.
-So if you are using a microwave to heat milk / water heat it for 15-20 seconds, it should be easy to touch. Add 1 tsp sugar and stir and immediately add the sachet of yeast in it and mix well. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to froth up ( it will be similar to pepi/ coke foam)
- Good quality yeast is recommended and also make sure it had not exceeded its expiry date
Makes ~ 4 caterpillar breads/buns
All purpose flour - 2 cups + 1 cup to kneed
Water/ Milk - 1 cup (I used water)
Active dry/ instant yeast - 1 tsp / 1 sachet (I used hovis brand)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt- a pinch
Egg - 1 large
Butter - 3 tbsp (room temperature)
Nutella - as needed
Cloves - few for the eyes
Egg wash - 1 egg white (optional/ use butter)
1. In a mug heat water for 20 seconds and mix sugar into it, now add the yeast and give it a quick mix. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy/ frothy
2. In a large bowl add the flour, salt, egg (beaten), yeast mixture and butter to form a pitable dough. Knead for 2 minutes and place it in a greased bowl flipping it over and covering with a damp cloth/ cling film. Place it in a warm place/ in microwave/ oven until doubled. This should take an hour
3. Poke the dough with your fingers and it should spring back. Now punch it down and take it to a floured surface and kneed for 5-8 minutes using up the remaining flour / as required
4. Divide the dough into four/ five and flatten it with a rolling pin, fill with nutella and roll the side with nutella. Score the other end
5. and start placing the ribbons on the rolled side. Place it in a prepared baking tray curving it.5. Once you have shaped all the dough. Rub with eggwash and place the clove as eyes, cover with the same damp cloth and keep it in a warm place/ oven/ microwave until it rises again. Now pre-heat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C for 10 minutes and again do the egg wash before placing it in the oven. Let it bake for 25-30 minutes until a golden crumb
6. Once done let it cool for 2 minutes and serve warm/ cool them completely and store in a air-tight container to be served later. Before serving you can heat it in a oven for 10-15 seconds if required
- Second rise is a must for soft fluffy buns
- Make sure you do the egg wash/ butter coating for a lovely golden crumb.
- I did not mix yeast with the flour as the recipe says you can follow that method too
- You can also add little sugar to the dough for sweeter buns but mind you the buns can get sticky to knead