Make the DoughCombine the water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.Set aside for 5 minutes to dissolve and become frothy.Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with only 3 of the 4 cups of flour.Fit a paddle attachment and mix on a low speed until just combined.Change to a dough hook attachment and mix. While mixing, slowly add the remaining 1 cup of flour, and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough.Grease a mixing bowl with butter and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the top with some more butter, cover with plastic cling wrap and set aside in a warm area to rise until doubled in size. (this can take about 1 – 2 hours)Plump all the raisinsPlace the raisins for the filling and topping in a bowl.Cover with the boiling water and brandy and let it steep for about 30 minutes.Strain into colander and let it drain.Divide into the quantity needed for the filling and sauce.Make the fillingCombine all the ingredients except the butter and plumped raisins and mix. Set asideAssemble the bunsPunch the risen dough down and tip onto a floured surface, sprinkle with more flour so the rolling pin does not stick and roll into a rectangular shape about 45cm long and 30cm wide.Dust off any excess flour and spread the softened butter for the filling over the entire surface.Sprinkle the sugar and chocolate filling evenly over this.Scatter 1 cup of raisins over the sugar mixture and gently press the filling down.Starting from the longest edge, roll the dough and filling up until you have a long log. Brush off any excess flour as you roll and keep the join seam underneath.Let the log rest where it is while making the toppingCaramel SauceMelt the butter in a small pot over medium heat, and then add all the other ingredients except raisins.Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has come together and is golden brown with a nice sheen (about 3–4 minutes).Pour ¾ of the glaze into baking pan (about 22cm x 32 cm), swirl this around to evenly coat the bottom. Set the rest of the sauce aside.Sprinkle the raisins over the sauce evenly.Trim the edges of the log and then cut it into 16 even pieces.Place the 16 cut slices of log on top of the caramel and raisins, allowing some space in between for proving.Cover with a tea towel and let it prove in a warm spot for about an hour.BakingPreheat the oven to 180 °CBake the buns for 35 minutes until golden brown.Check the buns halfway through. If they are browning too fast, cover loosely with tin foil to prevent over browning.Remove from the oven and spread the remaining glaze over the buns.Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack.Tip out onto a large serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.Recipe reprinted with permission of Hein Stirred. To see more recipes, please click here.
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