“Two and a half hours later, and the Chelsea buns have been taken out of the oven. The exhausted bakers appraise their creations, assessing their relative merits: the extent to which the vine fruit have caught; the neatness of the cinnamon swirl; the uniformity of the buns; their softness; the merits of simple caster sugar versus an apricot glaze and drizzled icing top.” ~The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan
1 lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1/4 oz sachet fact-action dried yeast
10 fl oz milk
1 1/2 oz unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
vegetable oil for greasing
For the filling:
1 oz unsalted butter, melted
3 oz soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 oz dried mixed fruit
For the glaze:
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. make a well in the middle and add the yeast
- Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.
- Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. (You may need to add a little extra flour.)
- Tip the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Knead for five minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer feels sticky.
- Lightly oil a bowl with a little of the vegetable oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn until it is covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Lightly grease a baking tray.
- For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 1/4 in thick. Brush all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.
- Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder, cut ten 1 1/2 in slices and place them onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each slice. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
- Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the glaze, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.