I made up this cocoa sweet rolls recipe the other day when I was working on recipe ideas that will be used at the CITR Retreat in breadbaking classes. (If you’re coming to the retreat, you will be either making these or eating these or BOTH!) Attendees in the bread classes will be making several different recipes during their class periods, and the sweet breads made will be part of what’s served at breakfast. (Every class will be making a basic loaf, a sweet bread, and a savory bread.)
All of the bread recipes made at the retreat will be Grandmother Bread recipes. My Morning Cocoa Rolls recipe uses the one-loaf standard version with cocoa powder and oil as add-ins plus additional sugar with a powdered sugar icing. You can let these rolls rise and bake them right away, or let them rise overnight in the fridge for a make-ahead easy breakfast! (Fabulous for lazy weekend mornings, company, or holidays. Recipe can be doubled for two pans of rolls.)
How to make Morning Cocoa Rolls:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 cups flour
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt, along with oil. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the half cup of cocoa powder and the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
A bowl of chocolate-y goodness:
Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. Roll out onto a floured surface into an approximately 9 x 12 rectangle.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Brush dough with melted butter.
Combine sugar and cocoa powder; generously spoon onto dough, taking care to get right up to the edges. Roll dough from the long side.
Dust the roll with a bit more flour if needed for easy handling.
How many rolls you get will depend on how you cut the slices. I cut them about an inch thick to get 12 rolls. Before slicing, I make a slight cut in the middle of the roll, then a slight cut in each half, then each quarter is made into three slices.
That gives me fairly even rolls.
Place rolls in a large greased pan. To bake right away, let rise 30 minutes to an hour, until doubled, or for overnight rolls, stick the pan (covered) in the fridge. They’ll be risen and ready for you the next morning!
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. (How thick you cut your slices will vary your baking time, so keep an eye on ’em!)
Powdered Sugar Icing:
Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (two to four teaspoons) for drizzling consistency. Drizzle over baked rolls.
These rolls are decadently delicious just as they are, but you could do more if you like. Sprinkle chocolate chips and/or nuts before rolling and/or on top before baking for extra luscious, lavish extravagance! You could also drizzle the tops with a chocolate glaze if you prefer. I thought the white powdered sugar icing looked particularly pretty, though, and the bread itself is very chocolate-y.
Crazy delicious. Don’t bake them when you’re alone. You might eat them all.
See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes for the handy printable:
Morning Cocoa Rolls.