It’s the understatement of quarantine to say that baked goods are having a moment right now. Chances are that your Instagram feed is full of photos of sourdough, poppy loaves, and banana bread. (So. Much. Banana Bread.)
If you want to get really creative and think outside the bread box, you may want to switch from hunting for loaves to a really stellar buns recipe. Recipe creator Anett Velsberg has one that’s hands-down the cutest baked good ever: matcha chocolate avo-buns.
“I love experimenting with bread buns and after seeing a matcha cinnamon roll recipe, I got the idea to use a green-ish dough for something else,” Velsberg says as to how she dreamed up these little avo-buns. “And then avocados came to mind as a cute green thing to bake.”
While these doughy little guys bear the avocado name, you don’t need the fruit to make them. (Which is a good thing since avocados are pretty hard to find right now.) All you need are items you likely already have in your pantry: alt-milk, yeast, sea salt, sugar, flour, matcha, and cocoa powder. (The faces are decorated with edible black paint, so that’s the only specialty item you need if you want to exactly replicate Velsberg’s buns recipe.) Velsberg says you can also switch the sugar out for coconut sugar and the buns will still taste yummy, but she says it can make the dough darker in color, so just be aware of that.
Velsberg says the most important part of baking these buns to perfection is giving yourself time for the dough slowly rise. (Hey, you’re not going anywhere anyway!) “It takes longer [to rise] than usual because the dough is enriched with oil and sugar,” she says. “After shaping, let the buns prove again until nice and puffy. That way they won’t change their shape in the oven too much.”
Matcha chocolate avo buns
3/4 cup lukewarm unsweetened plant milk
2 1/4 tsp (1 standard packet) active dried yeast
1/2 cup neutral cooking oil, such as canola
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 3/4 – 3 cups all-purpose flour, as needed
Edible black paint, to decorate
1. Add the lukewarm plant milk, yeast, oil, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well mixed.
2. Slowly add in flour until a dough forms. Once the dough has come together, use the dough hook to knead the dough with a stand mixed for 5 to 6 minutes or knead by hand on a well-floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes, until uniform and elastic.
3. Remove a quarter of the dough and set aside. The large piece will be your matcha dough. Flatten the dough piece slightly and add the matcha and milk mixture. Knead until uniform, adding more flour as needed. Lightly spray a large bowl with oil, form the dough into a ball, and add to the bowl. Cover plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. The dough is done when you can push a finger into the dough and the dough does not spring back.
4. To make the chocolate dough, flatten the dough pieces and add the cocoa powder and milk mixture. Knead until uniform, adding more flour as needed. Lightly spray a medium-sized bowl with oil, form the dough into a ball, and add to the bowl. Cover and let rise 1.5 to 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. The dough is done when you can push a finger into the dough and the dough does not spring back.
5. When the matcha dough is ready, roll it into a log and cut into 10 even pieces. Shape each piece to the shape of an avocado and make an indent where the seed will be. Place on a baking tray covered with baking paper and cover with a plastic wrap or a clean dish towel.
When the chocolate dough is ready, roll it into small golf-balls and place in the middle of the avocado buns where the indent is.
6. Place the buns on a baking tray covered with baking paper and cover with a plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Let rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until light and puffy.
7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the buns for 8 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely.
8. Decorate buns with edible paint. Best kept in an airtight container and enjoyed within a day.
Pair your yummy buns with one of these anti-inflammatory drinks. And if you gave this bun recipe a try, share the end result in Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group (baking fails, totally welcome!).