Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Chelsea Buns

Chelsea Buns, originally uploaded by mike(toons).

Chelsea Buns

This is mainly based on a recipe I found at the Great British Kitchen Cookbook with changes to make them even more scrummy.

60g raisins
40g sultanas
25g cut mixed peel

1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

40g butter (soft enough to spread)
50g Demerara sugar

Mix fruit in a bowl and add 25ml of hot water, a mixture of ruby port and hot water or 100 per cent port. Cover with cling film and soak for at least an hour - longer is better. Stir the fruit occasionally.
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Yeast ferment/batter
75g wholemeal flour
10g natural caster sugar
10g fresh yeast (or 5g of dried yeast)
125ml of milk at 30 deg C

Add enough milk to the yeast to make a paste, then add the sugar and enough milk to dissolve the sugar. Add the flour and the rest of the milk a little at a time to create a fairly sloppy batter. Make sure the bowl is big enough to have enough room for the mixture to froth up. Cover with cling film and leave until the ferment has bubbled up and is just starting to drop back - an hour or more depending on room temperature.
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Ferment/batter (above)
175g strong white (plain) flour
25g butter
50g egg (1 medium egg) beaten

Measure flour into a large bowl. Cut butter into small cubes, adding a little at a time into the flour and rubbing in using thumbs and fingers to create a 'crumb' mixture. When all the butter is mixed with the flour, add the ferment/batter and beaten egg and mix thoroughly.

Knead for about 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the mixture feels smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the bowl and cover with greased cling film. Allow to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled.
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Prepare a 20cm square cake tin by lining with baking parchment.
Drain any excess liquid from the fruit (if you've used port, this is where you get your bonus tipple) and stir the spices mixture into the fruit.
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Roll or spread the dough on a lightly floured surface until it makes a rectangle 20 x 30cm. Spread with the soft butter. Sprinkle spicy fruit and Demerara sugar to cover evenly. Roll up from the long side (like a Swiss roll) and then slice the roll into nine pieces.

Place the slices in the cake tin (with the cut sides top and bottom) in three rows of three. Cover and allow to rise for about an hour. I use a very large re-sealable polythene bag for this purpose.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Remove the cover and then bake for 30 to 35 minutes. If the top is browning too much, cover with baking parchment for the last few minutes.

Glaze while still in the tin with warmed liquid honey (3 tsps). Leave to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Best eaten warm!

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