Sunday, 28 September 2014

Great British Bake Along: Chelsea Buns

It was advanced dough week on the Great British Bake Off this week, which as far as I can tell just meant using enriched dough (dough with eggs and butter added) and adding fruit, which can retard the rising process.

I've kind of made a lot of enriched dough and filled loaves recently and I'm a wee bit bored of it, so I decided to make Chelsea buns. According to the slightly warped ideas I have about the bread family tree, this still counts.

I think someone even made them on Bake Off. This is what mine looked like:

I used a recipe of Paul's as my starting point, but as we all know, I am a rebel without a cause. So after I had made the basic dough and started to add the fruit, it all got a little crazy.

Basically, I substituted the fruit mixture Paul used for sour cherries and marzipan and used a glaze of lemon syrup. There were two reasons for this - firstly, I had marzipan and lemon syrup left over from my Fraisier Cake. Secondly, cherries go well with marzipan and I thought sour cherries would cut through the added sweetness.

I have a troubled relationship with cherries in that I really like them, but am allergic to them. When I eat fresh cherries my mouth swells on the inside and becomes quite painful. But preserved cherries are fine, so I like to use sour cherries in my baking.

Don't even try to talk to me about glacé cherries, they are gross.

This recipe makes 10 buns with some stupid off-cut pastry that I usually end up baking anyway because I don't like waste.

You will need:

For the dough:
500g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-acting yeast
300ml milk
40g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 egg, beaten
oil, for greasing

For the filling:
25g unsalted butter, softened
finely grated zest of one lemon
75g soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
300g dried sour cherries or unsweetened cranberries
100g marzipan, wrapped in clingfilm and chilled in the fridge

To finish:
200g/7oz icing sugar, sifted
the juice of 2 lemons
70ml water
75g caster sugar

1. Put the flour in a large bowl and add the yeast and salt to opposite sides of the bowl. Put the butter and milk in a pan and heat very gently until the butter melts - the milk should only be lukewarm.

2. Add the egg and the milk mixture to the flour and stir until it begins to come together into a dough, then tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for around 5 minutes until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky.

3. Roll the dough into a ball and oil a large bowl. Put the dough into the bowl, turning over a couple of times so the dough is well-oiled. Leave for an hour until doubled in size.

4. Roll out the dough into a 40cm x 20cm rectangle. 

5. Beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling and spread across the rectangle with a knife. Then sprinkle with the lemon zest and the fruit and grate the marzipan over the dough. Use your palms to gently press the fruit into the dough.

6. Dampen a finger and use it to stick the dough down to the work surface along the furthest long edge from you. Then, roll the dough towards you, pulling gently against the stuck down edge to tighten the roll.

7. Grease a baking tray. Slice a couple of inches off each end of the roll so that both ends show a spiral of cinnamon and fruit. Cut the roll into 10 equal slices and place each cut side up on the baking tray.

8. Cover the tray loosely with clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes to an hour until the buns have doubled in size. While waiting, preheat the oven to 190C.

9. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, then leave to cool. 

10. Put 2 tbsp of the lemon juice aside and put the rest in a saucepan with the caster sugar and water then heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil rapidly for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and brush over the cooled buns. Mix the reserved lemon juice with the icing sugar and using a teaspoon, drizzle the icing over the buns.

Eat with a strong cup of coffee!

Next time on the Great British Bake Off it's patisserie. I have NO idea what I am going to do. What on earth is an entremet?

Bye for now,


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