I must say when i was in England, i didn’t have a Chelsea bun but i did have a Sally Lunn and a bath bun. That gives me more yeasty beasties to do another day as both are from the yeast family!! Created for the Hanover royal family, it is believed the Chelsea bun was made in a factory in Chelsea about early 18th Century, hence the name
My middle son, loves Chelsea buns and I love them as they are relatively easy, ok, they take a little time, but the dough can be used for other things like cinnamon sticky buns, cream and jam rolls and the list goes on………..Really you are only limited by your imagination.
The dough i make, is not true to the Chelsea buns we get here , as our buns here are horrible bloody white things with a smear of cinnamon and a sprinkle of raisins and a revoltingly sweet icing. Buns my arse, more like hideous white bread squashed together!! Blurgh!!
I can’t remember the recipe I used originally but I have adapted it to make it more buttery as it was originally quite bland tasting, with heaps of spices and occasionally i add pistachio’s or walnuts to one 1/3 of the buns (as BOYS don’t like nuts) or if i feel very risqué, i will do like a nut paste (similar to that used in baklava filling) and mix it in all of them. Strangely, they don’t say anything but do ask what spices i used??? Ha ha my secret.
Once again I digress………..
Yeasty Beasty Chelsea buns:
- 3 tsps dried yeast
- 2 tsp castor sugar
- 1 cup warmed milk
- 4 cups strong bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup castor sugar
- 120 g butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- For the Chelsea Bun Filling:
- 1.5 cups raisins
- 1/3 cup peel (optional) or you can just add lemon and orange zest if you don’t like peel.
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 30 g butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Dissolve 2 tsp sugar in the warmed milk and mix in yeast.
- Cover and place in warm spot until creamy and frothy 15-20 mins.
- Sift flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter.
- Remove yeast from warm place and mix in beaten egg.
- Add yeasty egg mix to dry ingredients and form a dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured area and knead 5-6 minutes.
- Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in warm place until doubled in size , usually 60-90 minutes.
- Combine Chelsea bun filling ingredients in a bowl EXCEPT the butter and mix well.
- When dough is ready, turn out on lightly floured area and knead for 3-4 minutes.
- Roll out with lightly dusted rolling-pin a rectangle of 55 cm by 30cm roughly.
- Brush with melted (not hot please) butter and then sprinkle all the filling on the rectangle BUT leave a gap of about 3 cms from the end of the dough of one side of the 60 cm length. This is the side that you will roll towards. I do this so when I roll it up, I don’t get over spill as I roll that end piece.
- When you are rolling, try to do it tightly as you would a swiss roll, so be patient doing it.
- When the log is rolled, I cut 12-16 pieces depending on how much rise etc I have got from my dough and place in a well-greased roasting dish or rectangle baking pan.
- You need a pan/ tin with a good 4cm + in height as these buns are quite high.
- Remember these will double in size ok? so leave room in the pan width wise as well (see photo above where you can see the space i have left).
- Cover and place in warm spot for 1-2 hours until double in size.
- Preheat oven to 200 Celsius.
- Place buns in the oven and bake for 30-35 mins.
- As soon as the buns are in the oven, place sugar and water in a pot and bring to gentle boil.
- About 10 minutes before the end baking, brush glaze on buns, don’t be shy, be generous.
- When cooked, remove and glaze straight away again and leave to cool in pan.
When cool, you can make a white fondant icing and drizzle this or you can leave the buns as they are!! Entirely up to you.
I find these best eaten the day you make them but good for toasting the following day and day after. Would also make a good bread and butter pudding too, if there were any left:)
Don’t forget the fillings are up to you but then you need to rename them.
Cranberry and raisin mix is nice, sometimes i be a bit naughty and put vanilla essence in the milk !! Nuts are all nice and you could go savoury and make cheesymite scrolls. Cheese and Vegemite instead of raisins etc and no sugar, and maybe less butter too? Even bacon, cheese and onion would be nice, like a pull apart. The yeasty possibilities are endless.
Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy:)
P.S: Forgot to say, Muscovado sugar is VERY nice instead of brown sugar.