Chelsea Buns

Chelsea buns date back to the 1700s and were invented by the Hands family who sold them at The Old Chelsea Bun House on Grosvenor Row, London.

The smell of baking bread from a bakery is enough to get your mouth watering but to smell it in your kitchen is enough to make you so impatient to eat it straight form the oven.

25g butter, plus extra for greasing
225g strong white bread flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsps dried yeast
2 tsps soft brown sugar
115ml tepid milk
1 egg, beaten
vegetable oil for brushing
85g icing sugar, to glaze, glazed cherries to decorate
55g light muscavado sugar
115g mixed dried fruits
1 tsp ground mixed spice
55g butter, softened
½tsp grated nutmeg
½tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Procedure
    1 Grease an 18 cm square cake tin. Sift the flour and salt into a warmed bowl, stir in the yeast and sugar and rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and egg and pour into the dry ingredients. Beat to make a soft dough. Turn out on to a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth. Brush a clean bowl with oil, place the dough in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
    2 Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead lightly for 1 minute. Roll out into a 30 x 23 cm rectangle (exact measurements are needed).
    3 To make the filling, place the muscavado sugar, fruit and mixed spice in a bowl and mix. Spread the dough with the softened butter and sprinkle the fruit mixture on top. Roll into the shape of a rectangle (like a jam roll) and then cut into 9 pieces. Place in the prepared tin (I used 10”x10”). Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until well risen. (Place them close to each other, in three rows, so that they join up into one single piece as they expand during cooking)
    4 Preheat the oven to 190 C. Bake the buns for 30 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer (in one piece) to a wire rack to cool. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in enough water to make a thin glaze. Brush over the buns, place a glazed cherry in the centre of each bun (if desired) and leave to set. Pull the buns apart to serve.

Oven Temperature: 190 C/Gas 5


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Filed under Buns & Biscuits, English/European

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