Saturday 10 April 2010

Chelsea Buns with Ginger-Apricot Jam

Last weekend I promised the recipe for hot cross bun dough, once I perfected it. Well...two attempts later, I still wasn't satisfied. I planned to try again this morning, making simple currant buns as it is no longer Easter. However, considering how many people are averse to raisiny things in bread (my Love included, who kindly samples everything that I bake to see if it compares to the gluten-y version), I thought I would do something different.

These are Chelsea Buns, another British sweet, and there are many variations for the filling. Some do indeed have dried or candied fruit rolled up in them, and many are topped with slivers of blanched almonds. I didn't want mine to be too fussy, though, so they are simply spread with a sweet filling and brushed with sugar glaze.

If you wish to make hot cross buns, make the flour blend below and follow the additional instructions I have added to that post. The blend still isn't perfect - the crumb is too close in my opinion - but these buns are certainly good enough to post. This is probably a recipe base I will keep coming back to and adjusting slightly.

By the way - I have just discovered that baking by weight is So. Much. Easier.
No more need to rinse measuring cups between each flour, or worry about the inconsistent measurements that starches are prone to when the air is humid. If you don't already have a food scale, I absolutely recommend getting one - even a very inexpensive one (like mine) can work well.

P.S. - This recipe is long, but it is very easy to do.

Chelsea Buns

Dry ingredients:

60 g tapioca starch
60 g potato starch
25 g Expandex modified tapioca starch
25 g arrowroot starch
20 g sorghum flour
15 g soy flour
10 g chestnut flour
10 g sweet rice flour

1/4 tsp pectin
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp dough enhancer
1/2 tsp sea salt
55 g sugar

Wet ingredients:

25 mL warm water
2 T canola oil
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
75 mL warm organic milk

3 tsp dry yeast


Turn the oven to 200 C. Blend together all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and allow to foam for 5 minutes. Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry and knead with a flexible spatula until smooth. Lay out a piece of clingfilm and brush it lightly with canola oil. With moist fingers, pat the dough out onto the clingfilm until it is thin.

Spread the dough with the following mixture:

A few teaspoons apricot jam and marmalade
25 g (about 1 T) organic salted butter, melted
2-3 tsp sugar syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Starting from one end, roll up the dough so you have a long cylinder. Now use a sharp, wetted knife to slice the roll into nine buns. Place them on a greased baking tray about 2 cm apart - not touching, but close enough that they will touch once they raise. Allow them to raise for about 30 minutes in a warm place (I like to set them on top of the oven). Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sugar glaze. Combine 2 tsp sugar, 3 tsp water, and a few drops lemon juice in a small microwave-safe dish. Heat on high for 30 seconds or so - you want it to boil thoroughly.

Brush the buns with the glaze immediately after you remove them from the oven, gently pull them apart, and transfer them to a cooling rack. Enjoy whilst still warm!

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