Croissants and sticky buns, you may have met your match! These salted mini chocolate chip challah buns are my new favorite dessert-for-breakfast carb.
These little challah buns started out as something completely different in my mind. But after a huge baking failure I decided to take it down a notch, keep things simple. So what was going to be cute and Easter-y is now this— strands of sweet challah dough studded with mini chocolate chips braided together, and topped with both sugar and salt.
Sometimes I am very, very grateful for baking failures.
I took my challah bread recipe, cut it in half and added mini chocolate chips. And what was one loaf is now 8 single-serving buns perfect on their own and even better with a cup of coffee.
The mini chocolate chips are important, as full-sized chocolate chips would be too large for the small braided strands. And because they are so small, some of them melt into the warm dough while it’s kneaded, creating a fun light and dark marbled look.
I don’t know what I love about these more— the soft honey-sweetened bread, the little bursts of chocolate in every bite, the sweet and salty topping, or how cute they are.
Can I pick All of the Above?
I ate two straight off the baking sheet, that should tell you something.
baking tip:How to create a 4-strand braided bun
1. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, 1 for each bun.
2. Divide each bun into 4 equal pieces.
3. Roll each piece into a 6-inch long rope.
4. Lay 2 of the ropes out in front of you and place the other 2 on top, perpendicular to the first two. Alternate over and under (similar to a pie lattice).
5. Take the 4 ropes that are “under” and pull them over the “over” ropes to their left.
6. Tuck all rope ends under, creating a round braided bun.
Salted Mini Chocolate Chip Challah Buns
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (56 grams)
- ⅓ cup honey (113 grams)
- ½ cup water (118 ml)
- 2 ½-3 cups bread flour (300-360 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active-dry yeast (1 package, 7 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips (85 grams)
- 1 large egg + 1 teaspoon water , for egg wash
- Coarse sugar , for sprinkling
- Coarse salt , for sprinkling
- In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the butter, honey and water until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, or until 120-130°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 1 ½ cups of the flour with the salt and yeast. Add the butter mixture, mixing until combined, followed by the eggs.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until dough is sticky, but does not come off on your hands when touched. You may not need all 3 cups of the flour.
- Add the mini chocolate chips. Continue kneading dough on medium speed until smooth and elastic about 5-7 minutes. Put dough in a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough gently to release gases. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, cover with the greased plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out the dough.
- Working with each piece at a time, divide them again into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-inch long rope. Lay 2 of the ropes out in front of you and place the other 2 on top, perpendicular to the first two. Alternate over and under (similar to a pie lattice). Take the 4 ropes that are "under" and pull them over the "over" ropes to their left. Tuck all rope ends under, creating a round braided bun.
- Place the braided buns on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until almost doubled again, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
- Brush with egg wash again and sprinkle generously with the coarse sugar and salt. Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Buns are best the day they are baked, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.