July 24, 2013

Nutella Stuffed Sweet Buns

One thing about being the only person to answer the main line for an international company is that you learn very quickly just how little people think before they speak.

I can't tell you how many times I've had people call in and ask for Joe. That's it. "Can I speak to Joe?" Because it's not like there might be more than one guy named Joe or anything.

My favorite is one time I got the reverse of that. Someone asked to speak to Mr. Smith. I applaud your effort sir, but I'm still gonna need a little more information.

I had one person call and ask, "Can I speak to someone?" I'm sure you can. Do you have an idea who you would like to speak to, or should I just start alphabetically?

Or when someone said, "I need to be transferred to someone who can open a document." Umm, I'm pretty sure that's everyone in the building. You want to try something a little more specific?
Visitors tend to be a little better, but I had one that just kind of came up to the desk and stared at me. I smiled, said good morning, she said hi back, and then stared. After an uncomfortable few seconds, she said, "So what do I do?" I don't know. Who are you and why are you here?

Or the visitor that I asked to sign in. They pointed to the sign in book- there's nothing else around that they could possibly use to sign in-, and asked, "in here?" No, not at all. I want you to carve your name into the desk. I like a permanent record.

It's like these people don't realize that I can't read their minds. You guys, I know I'm good, but I'm not that good. So, pro-tip: think about exactly what you want to ask the operator before calling, because she can't read your mind. Also, be as succinct as possible. If I need more information, I'll ask you for it. If not, you're just tying up my phone line. I've had people give me job id's, employee id's, tell me about conferences across the country, tell me how much their medications cost and what they're on, I even had one person give me a social security number. I can do nothing with this information. Except maybe commit identity theft. Not that I would, I feel should clarify, but you really shouldn't just give random people your social security number. Even if that random person is me.
So whenever you're about to call a corporation, take a deep breath and a moment to gather your thoughts before dialing. And you know what, eat one of these Nutella stuffed sweet buns to put yourself in a good mood, too. Because you can't be pissy when you have a belly full of homemade sweet dough and chocolate hazelnutty goodness. That's just science.

As yeast dough goes, these suckers are surprisingly quick and easy. Not quick like 10 minutes quick- dude, it's still yeast dough- but minimal hands on time, no electric mixer needed, and just under 2 hours for combined rising/resting times. Then you roll it up with some Nutella, brush them with some melted butter, sprinkle with some raw sugar, follow up with a quick trip in the oven, and you are in sweet dough/Nutella heaven

These buns are best served fresh and still warm from the oven. The sweet dough is light and airy, and the Nutella is melty and gooey, and it will make you forget all your troubles. Like why you even picked up that phone in the first place.
Nutella Stuffed Sweet Buns
Yield: 10 buns

3 to 3½ cups flour
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
Approx. 5 tbsp. Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1 tbsp. raw or decorating sugar

In a large mixing bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt. In a small saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave) heat the milk and 3 tbsp. butter together until the microwave, or in a saucepan over low heat, heat the milk and butter until very warm, 110°-120°F (butter does not have to melt completely). Gradually stir the milk mixture and egg into the dry ingredients to form a soft dough. If the dough is too sticky, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Shape dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat with oil. Cover and let rise about 1 hour, or until doubled.

Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Punch down the dough and knead gently on a lightly floured surface about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a log and cut into 10 even pieces. Working with one piece at a time, form the dough into a ball. Hold it in the palm of your hand, using the heel of your other hand to flatten it. Place about 1/2 tbsp. of Nutella in the middle of the dough, then fold the edges over so the Nutella is completely covered. Pinch the edges together to seal completely, then place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover lightly with a towel, and let rise about 20-30 minutes, until nicely puffed.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Melt the remaining tbsp. of butter and brush the tops of the buns with it. Sprinkle evenly with the raw sugar. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Best served warm.

Recipe adapted from Favorite Brand Name Gifts From the Kitchen