Morning buns are created from croissant dough which makes them different from a classic cinnamon bun. They are baked in jumbo muffin tins so that the bottom keeps the shape of muffins, and the top puffs out and remains in the signature pinwheel like cinnamon buns.
Add the warm milk, brown sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and let sit until the yeast becomes foamy (about 10 minutes). Add 3½ cups of the flour, and the salt. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and is smooth and soft (about 7 minutes). Add additional flour if needed.
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for about 2 minutes so the dough is soft and slightly sticky, adding additional flour a little at a time if needed. Form the dough into a 1½” thick rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Arrange the sticks of butter horizontally on a clean work surface. Use a rolling pin to pound the butter so that it is pliable. Scrape butter into a block and put on a sheet of plastic wrap then cover with another sheet. Pound and roll out the butter until it forms an 8” x 5” rectangle.
Roll the dough out into a 16” x 10” rectangle. Arrange the dough with the short side facing you. Put the butter in the center of the dough then fold the bottom third over the butter then the top third down over the dough, as you would a letter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Repeat the previous steps to make 3 more folds, chilling after each fold. Wrap and chill at least 8 hours.
Butter and sugar two jumbo (6-cup) muffin tins. In a small bowl stir together the butter, brown sugar, dates, cinnamon and orange zest.
Roll out the dough into a 16” x 20” rectangle. Spread the sugar mixture over the dough. Start at the longest side away from you and roll the dough towards you into a long tube. Cut the tube into 1” pieces and add each to a cup of the prepared muffin tin. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour, then bake at 160 degrees fan forced for about 35 minutes or until until golden brown and flaky. Let cool.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Place chopped dark chocolate in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
Add butter to a saucepan. Turn the heat to low and allow the butter to melt. Once it’s melted, turn the heat to medium. Once the butter starts bubbling, allow it to bubble for about a minute (taking care so the butter does not brown). Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate in the bowl.
Allow the chocolate to sit for 5 minutes without stirring. After waiting, stir with a rubber spatula until it’s thoroughly mixed together and all of the chocolate has melted. Allow it to cool completely and set, about 45 minutes. Then, you’re ready to pipe it. Add to a frosting bag and using a 1M tip, pipe a swirl on each bun.
Drizzle the sauce over the morning buns and serve.