|Chelsea Buns with a little twist|
Whenever I bake Chelsea Buns it brings back memories of my school's Home Economics classes or Domestic Science as we used to call it in the old days back then. It was one of the first things I remember baking with the use of yeast. Of course back in the 60's when I was at school there was no such thing as dried yeast, it was, of course, the real McCoy that we used, creaming it together with sugar and milk to make a bubbling brew before adding it to the dry ingredients. We all found the whole process of yeast fermentation absolutely fascinating, in fact, I'm still intrigued as to how this little fungus can transfer flour and liquid into the most delicious concoctions known to man when baked.
The traditional recipe uses Sultanas & Currants for the fruit filling, I've twisted this a little by adding dried Cranberries and a few crunchy Pistachios to the dough, along with a lemon glaze instead of the regular apricot jam glaze... either way both my recipe and the traditional one remain firm favourites here at home. Perfect for Breakfast or Brunch, I do hope you try them, I'm sure you'll love them as much as we do.
If you prefer to measure your ingredients then here's a handy Conversion Chart. There's another link further down the conversion post which is far more comprehensive too.
2 tsps of Easy Bake Yeast
85g Caster (Superfine) Sugar
450g Strong Plain Flour (Bread Flour)
1tsp sea salt
225ml Milk (tepid)
grated zest of half a Lemon
½ tsp mixed spice ( pumpkin spice will do)
60g Sultanas & Raisins mixed together
50g Dried Cranberries
30g Pistachios (shelled)
for the Lemon Glaze
150g Icing (Confectioners Sugar)
juice of half a Lemon ...a little more or less depending on the size of the lemon
Sieve the flour and salt into a warmed bowl
Add the dried yeast and 1tsp of the caster sugar
Now rub in half of the butter
Beat the egg into the tepid milk
Make a well in the flour bowl and add the egg & milk.
Use a spoon to gradually draw the flour into the liquid
Now get your hands in and bring everything together to make a ball.
Knead until smooth.
Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for around an hour or until the dough has doubled in size
Knock the dough back and knead it on a floured surface and roll it out into a square approximately
Halve the sugar that's left
Mix with the first half into the remaining butter to form a paste
Spread this paste over the dough square
Mix together the remaining sugar with the mixed spice, lemon zest, fruit and pistachios
Sprinkle on top of the butter & sugar paste.
Carefully roll this square up into a Swiss roll shape
With a sharp knife cut into ½ inch /3.5cm slices
Place the slices, cut slice facing upwards on a greased baking tray
Now cover & leave to prove in a warm place for around 15 minutes
Sprinkle over a little extra sugar (not included in the recipe)
At the same time set the oven to 220C/ 425F /Gas 7
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes
While they're baking make up the glaze simply by adding enough lemon juice (little by little) to the icing sugar to form a thickish yet still loose icing glaze.
Leave the buns to cool until just warm then drizzle over the lemon glaze.
These delicious buns are best eaten on the day they're made although they are lovely toasted the next day.
They also freeze well and will keep for around a month quite well in the freezer.